Storytelling is a popular, time-tested way to communicate information, spark empathy, and make a lasting impression on your audience. Whether they’re autobiographies or online reviews, people are drawn to read and learn from the real experiences of others. Because of this, stories are a powerful tool for any nonprofit looking to raise funds and build a close-knit community around its mission.

Incorporating testimonials into your website content is especially useful for healthcare nonprofits because stories can significantly enhance your credibility and humanize your cause in the eyes of prospective donors.

In this guide, we’ll highlight the key benefits of website testimonials for healthcare nonprofits, then discuss four tips for effectively gathering and using these compelling stories.

Why Are Website Testimonials Important?

According to Kanopi’s guide to healthcare website design, sharing inspiring testimonials allows your nonprofit to communicate the life-changing impact it has on the community and build a greater sense of trust around your work. In doing so, you’ll receive a host of benefits, including:

  • Higher donor engagement rates. When a donor gives to your nonprofit, they want to believe that their dollars are going to make a tangible difference in someone’s life. Testimonials illustrate all that you’ve been able to accomplish thanks to supporters’ contributions, knitting a more emotional connection between donors and your cause to keep them invested for the long term.
  • Increased corporate partnership opportunities. Initiating partnerships with local businesses empowers your nonprofit to unlock more funds and resources for enhancing your programs. Conveying real, specific examples of your outcomes can convince potential corporate partners that your nonprofit is a worthy investment for their corporate social responsibility goals.
  • Enhanced community reputation. As more people learn about your nonprofit’s impact, you’ll experience a reputation boost that can bring more donors, volunteers, and advocates your way.

Just like the rest of your website content, however, you’ll need to put some thought into collecting and producing your nonprofit’s testimonials to maximize these benefits.

4 Tips for Gathering and Using Healthcare Testimonials

Whether you’re planning to incorporate your healthcare nonprofit’s testimonials on your homepage, a dedicated testimonials page, or in your blog, there are several important considerations to keep in mind. Use the following tips to guide your efforts and create an engaging website experience for your supporters:

1. Identify the stories you want to tell.

When you first think about gathering testimonials for your website, your mind likely jumps to your patients or program participants. After all, these people are at the center of your mission and all that you do. However, don’t limit yourself—telling a variety of stories, including those of your donors, volunteers, and staff members, provides a more complete picture of your nonprofit’s community.

Some promising testimonial stories to consider include:

  • A patient recounting how your nonprofit’s program or services improved their life.
  • A donor sharing their personal connection to your cause and why they choose to get involved.
  • A volunteer describing their latest volunteer experience and how it made them feel.
  • A direct service staff member explaining their daily responsibilities and interactions with patients.

Above all, aim to curate a collection of positive stories that instill a sense of hope within your readers. Recent studies suggest that, in an age of donor fatigue, putting your supporters in a good mood can go a long way toward inspiring their generosity.

2. Be mindful of patient health information regulations.

Nonprofits must meet numerous regulatory and compliance standards to continue fulfilling their missions. For healthcare-focused nonprofits that store and handle sensitive patient information, this means paying close attention to privacy laws such as HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).

The HIPAA Privacy Rule protects all “individually identifiable health information,” including demographic details related to a person’s health or healthcare. By improperly sharing this information in any way, including website testimonials, your nonprofit could be subject to hefty fines.

Therefore, it’s critical to obtain written consent from your patients when collecting testimonials for your website. Explain the purpose of their testimonial and, if requested, anonymize or include only the patient’s initials alongside your story. Walk through HIPAA policies with your staff, volunteers, and anyone else who may be working with your website testimonials to ensure they’re all on the same page regarding the requirements and best practices.

If you’re not sure if your process or approach is fully compliant with HIPAA or other privacy laws, reach out to an attorney for expert advice.

3. Incorporate multimedia elements.

Once you’ve assembled a strong selection of testimonials, you’ll want to present them in a way that catches your website visitors’ attention. Whether you use WordPress or another website builder, make use of all the features at your disposal to present your testimonials in a variety of engaging formats.

Consider incorporating multimedia elements into your website stories by:

  • Adding real photos
  • Posting video testimonials
  • Including audio recordings

Ensure that all of your website content follows accessibility best practices so that everyone can access your testimonials. This includes adding alternative text to images, providing captions for videos, using easy-to-read fonts, and avoiding the use of all caps.

4. Express your gratitude.

Just as you thank your donors and volunteers for their contributions, remember to follow up with those who provide their testimonials for your website. Developing an appreciation strategy upfront sets your nonprofit up for generating more trust and strengthening its existing relationships.

Double the Donation’s donor recognition guide provides several popular ideas for saying “thank you,” such as:

  • Sending an eCard
  • Producing a thank-you video
  • Making personal phone calls
  • Gifting branded merchandise
  • Hosting an appreciation event
  • Including them on your digital donor wall

Regardless of the option you choose, be sure to personalize your thank-you messages so that your patients, donors, volunteers, and staff members feel individually valued for sharing their experiences on your website.

Many of the best nonprofit websites infuse storytelling into their content to bring supporters closer to their mission and impact. Prioritize accuracy and authenticity as you collect testimonials for your healthcare nonprofit. Then, to maximize your reach, use other platforms such as your social media pages and email newsletter to promote your website testimonials. You can even incorporate a few testimonials to enhance your events and annual report and drive further engagement.