Your website is a portfolio of your work. It’s the first impression people will have if they found you through a search. A great website is one that communicates what your organization is all about in a clean, concise design.
In order to stand out from the rest, learn from the best! Read on to discover our top 5 websites to inspire you.
What Makes a Good Nonprofit Website?
Before diving into some examples, we should understand what makes a website great. Each nonprofit will need different things from their site depending on their size, programs and mission but ultimately a solid website will have the following:
- Intuitive Navigation: Visitors can easily navigate the content and everything is organized in a way that makes sense to a new user
- Mobile-Friendly: Works and looks good on both desktop and mobile
- Quick Loading Time: All content on your site is loaded efficiently
- Plug Other Communication Outlets: Your website is your homepage on the internet and your own personal news board. Make sure to have it placed prominently on your site!
- Donate Button: It’s bold and can be found easily
- Great Content: High-quality photos and images that reflect was the organization is about
- Effective Copywriting: Compelling writing that informs the audience and inspires them to donate
5 Examples of Great Nonprofit Websites
O.A.C.A.S or the Ontario Association for Counselling and Attendance Services have an incredibly cheerful layout and compelling images. One of the things to note is their membership program influenced their design.
The header of the site allows you to easily connect on social media or access your member account. Even as you scroll down they have an option to learn more about their organization which is perfect for new members, and a link for information on their annual conference.
This website stands out because it shows that O.A.C.A.S has a clear understanding of their audience. Their content provides new users with the information they need but also provides direct access to their private member space.
CAMH has an incredibly effective design that proves less is more. They are currently running an addiction awareness campaign, so the main image ties in perfectly with the ads and commercials in the market.
This is a great example of consistent, integrated campaign branding. They are putting a lot of resources into the campaign and know they may be getting new visitors specifically interested in learning more about addiction. By having the focus on the homepage be on that campaign they are showing new visitors they are in the right place and they can easily click to learn more, access resources or donate.
Here is another example of how a simple design paired with great navigation can make the world a difference.
Their whole website focuses on telling the stories of the children they serve and demonstrating to the reader that they have to act now. The consistent branding creates a stunning visual and professional look that compliments the messages they want to share.
As you scroll down you are introduced to a variety of different content from blogs, images and videos that tell the story of what they do. You get a clear sense of the organization and connect with them by the time you hit the bottom of the page.
What stands out with Adopt a Love Story is its ability to connect with the viewer right away.
As an organization working with families seeking adoption, they are all about creating a warm fuzzy feeling with their donors. What is stronger than the love a parent has for their child?
When you enter the website you’re greeted with a beautiful college of video showcasing the pure happiness families feel when completing the adoption process. They don’t have a ton of text on their front page, but they don’t have to. The content speaks for itself, with a clear menu in the top right corner for people to learn more.
Cause We Care is one of our amazing clients and an organization that raises money to assist frontline organizations that support local single mothers and their children in need.
What stands out immediately about their website is how intuitive the layout is. The front page alone tells a story by sharing what drives their mission, then offering stories from mothers they support, finally leading you to a simple donation form. This allows a new viewer to get a good sense of what Cause We Care does and the impact their work has on real people.
Storytelling is an important aspect of any website, and the layout is a part of how that story is told. The direction you take your viewer is completely up to you. If you learn anything from this website it is to create intention with your pages, try to map out the user experience and what information they may be interested in before making a donation.
Nonprofit Website Design Best Practices
There are a few things to consider when building a website for your nonprofit organization.
Start With A Good Host
When choosing a website host find a solution that will be able to meet all of your needs. A website builder like Wix is easy to use, and you have a ton of modern website designs to choose from. Something like WordPress is a little hard to get used to, but has so much potential and can be completely customized to your organization. Part of that means finding a good CMS.
What is a CMS?
CMS is short for Content Management System Driven has a website builder that allows you to create stunning websites without needing to know how to code. Driven Sites has CMS software that can tie in directly to our CRM and supporting tools. You can cater your website to your member types and you can easily share updates with ease.
Promote your Donate Button, Newsletter and Social Accounts
According to the Global Trends in Giving Report, the top three communication tools that most inspire donors to give are social media (29%), email (27%), and an organization’s website (18%).
At the very least, your "Donate” button should be integrated into your website’s primary navigation or header so that it is prominently featured on every page of your website - consider having this link go directly to your monthly giving option too. The button should be large and colourful so that it is obvious and not easily missed. Email and social media play a critical role in successful online fundraising, so your e-newsletter opt-in and social network icons should also be prominently featured.
Use a Modern Design
Nonprofit web design matters. Your website should not only reflect your branding but keep up to date with technology and design trends. An old, outdated website communicates that you are not keeping up with the times. Consider working with web design firms to update your site every few years, or do it yourself using a modern design template.
Your website is the foundation of your nonprofit’s online image. It is so important you are making sure your site is both visually appealing and functional so that your visitors can easily access the information they need to learn more about your cause or make a donation!
If you are looking to upgrade your website please reach out! We have helped dozens of nonprofits build powerful and stunning websites and would love to do the same for you.