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Canadian Nonprofits See Websites as Important Tools

WASHINGTON (AFP eWire - April 25, 2003) - Canadian nonprofits recognize the vital role websites can play in their organizations, according to a new survey.

'Leverus' Annual Internet Survey for Associations and Not-for-Profit Organizations: 2002' showed that the majority of Canadian nonprofits have had a website for five years or more and 68 percent have an Internet strategy as part of their strategic plan. Leverus, a web design and development company for nonprofits, released the survey results earlier this month.

Leverus recommended that associations begin monitoring and evaluating flow to their website more than they are now. Identifying the more active areas of the website and comparing them to the rarely-visited areas can help organizations improve their effectiveness. The company also recommended that associations implement procedures for posting content on their websites, which can ensure integrity and quality of the content. Only 15 percent of respondents said they have formal web content guidelines, and 41 percent said they post content in an ad-hoc approach.

More than half of respondents said their staff had website training; 42 percent were trained in HTML and 33 percent were trained in basic Internet usage. When questioned about the look and feel of their organization's website, about half were content with the design and about half were not. Fourteen percent were 'very satisfied' with the design, 40 percent were 'satisfied,' 31 percent were 'somewhat unsatisfied,' and 15 percent were 'very unsatisfied.' Leverus called the design results 'particularly surprising' because 64 percent said they had redesigned their website in the past two years.

Canadian nonprofits see websites as essential in contributing to their organization's goals. Thirty-five percent said this was 'very important' and 37 percent said it was 'important.' But only 12 percent said their websites were very effective at actually contributing to the goals.

The idea that websites are vital to all nonprofits is no longer challenged, Leverus said. Nonprofits in Canada now recognize that a successful website can help improve procedures of their organizations, but they need to have active participation and support to make full use of website technology.

For a copy of the survey findings, visit the Leverus website.

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