1. Your website looks homegrown. If you are actually trying to look homegrown, ignore this one. Chances are, you’d rather look professional and attract professionals to donate so anything that is contrary to that image you want to portray needs to go – including all cheesy graphics, anything animated and those little calendars where no one can see what events you actually have going on.
See: 13 Signs Your Nonprofit Website is Out-of-date (or looks homegrown)
2. You have no cohesive look between your main site and your microsites or other marketing materials. This usually means there are too many cooks in the kitchen and no cookbook to guide anyone. If you can’t communicate your brand internally how in the world can you do it externally?
3. Your unique value isn’t showing. This usually means that your board members just aren’t wearing their marketing hats or you don’t have enough successful business people on your board – because you can’t build a successful business on “we are the only ones doing exactly what we are doing”
4. Your colors don’t reflect your brand. I always refer to a cancer support group site that was done in the most depressing black and red you could possibly imagine. Shouldn’t you be trying to cheer people up in those support groups? Generally, yellow is wisdom/intellect, green is growth/life, red is action/strength, orange is warmth/energy, purple is luxury/nobility, blue is calm/dependable, black is endings/death, white is purity/clarity.
5. Only your staff knows the real meaning behind your logo. This usually means that the Executive Director or founder came up with the logo on their own and no one else had any input. The only meaning the logo should have is one directly related to your mission AND something the public will recognize. Because their opinion counts a lot more than yours.
See Nonprofit Marketing; It’s Not About You Anymore