Whether it’s corporate or non-profit, one objective of all the websites is very common: to make an impression upon visitors. It is true that non-profit websites do not try to sell any goods or services, however, they have to convince the people about the cause they are trying to uphold. This is only possible through an effective and interactive website. The sites are the only medium through which charitable entities meet like-minded patrons. So, it is advisable in case of nonprofitable portals to be systematic and user-friendly.
What exactly is a non-profit website?
We have heard about the corporate website, which companies develop to promote services and increase brand value. However, many are in the dark about a non-profit website. For those who are oblivious to a non-profit website, it is a platform developed to attract donations for social causes, create awareness about your mission, and acquire a brand identity of ones own.
There are several non-profit motive organizations across the world that are into social causes such as rehabilitating the poor or financing the education of underprivileged kids etc. There are no promotional activities involved on these web platforms but a request for assistance to pursue the causes smoothly.
Main objectives of a non-profit website
As discussed previously, there are no commercial activities taking place over here. But the non-profit websites are there for a purpose. The motto is to convince the general public that they are genuine and sincere towards their cause. There is nothing better than a website to accomplish this task.
Spread social awareness
Irrespective of the task you are up to, financing the education of poor or rehabilitating the street children, everyone should be made aware of your initiative. Apart from conveying your objective, people should also be made aware of their responsibilities as citizens to help your entity in any capacity they can. The non-profit website should clearly establish this for your cause to gain traction among people.
Project the task undertaken with results
Non-profit online platforms should lay emphasis on the works they have done till now to magnify their social initiatives. On these websites, entities can list out the tasks they have undertaken and the progress they have made so far. These things would lend authenticity to the work the entities have done so far.
Seek financial support
Money is significant to any activities, and the same applies to charitable or non-profit motive initiatives as well. For charitable activities to progress smoothly, a lot of money is needed. How do you collect so much money? This is where websites can play a proactive role. After convincing people of your social initiatives, you can seek donation through web platforms. You can have a separate segment for financial help, and it would be ideal for the sites to have some payment gateways as well.
Be the voice of your activities
The website can be an effective channel for communication with the public. Those who visit your non-profit web platform should be able to get clarity on what you have done so far and what you intend to do in the future. These things should be properly communicated through the website. An ideal website should serve the purpose of a publicist to the non-profit entities.
Essentials or must-haves in a Non-Profit Web Design
There are certain prerequisites for every website. So, non-profits websites design should also contain certain elements to make an impact. So, here we have listed a few essentials that non-profit websites should possess. The website design should be able to whip up excitement for the cause you have undertaken to get the support you desire. This can only be possible if it has certain essential elements.
Short and simple donation page
If you are serious about seeking donation through your website, then the donation page plays a significant role. The visitors would be able to find your donation page to make contributions, but certain things can act as downers for the donors. It is in your best interest to do away with any links that distract people by taking them away to some other page. The page dedicated towards monetary help should be simple and should contain only those information that is required.
Captivating videos and photos
Similar to corporate websites, images and videos play an important role in non-profit web platforms as well. To project your works in an engaging manner, visual aspects have to be attractive. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, the images should capture your efforts in totality to send out a clear idea about your intention. The content on your website can be engaging if your non-profit website design embeds captivating images and videos.
Use appropriate font
One aspect that is critical to non-profit website design is readability. For this appropriate font has to be used so that users don’t find any problem in reading the content on your website. The ideal manner of ensuring smooth reading is the usage of fonts which gels well with the background of the website. This goes a long way in enhancing readability on mobile, PC’s, and tabs as well.
Simple CTA is crucial
In non-profit website design, it is pertinent to have a simple and convenient Call To Action (CTA) key. Having such a CTA ensures that first-time visitors do not lose their way on the website. This even helps in attracting and retaining customers on the website. So, no compromises on the aspect of CTA functionality.
Make Search Box more accessible
The visitors who come to your site invariably look for the search button. This button ensures that the visitors find whatever they want on the website with ease. So, the search box should be placed in such a manner that the visitors have no problem in finding the same. Also, ensure that the search option does not tamper with the overall design of the non-profit website design.
8 best practices for designing non-profit websites
Make your Mission Apparent
It is pertinent to provide clarity regarding your goal or mission. In case a visitor comes to your website, he or she should get a clear picture of your objective. If your intention is to provide education to the underprivileged children, then it would not be a bad idea to have pictures of students and their testimonials. This would make your endeavor more credible.
Adopt proper optimization strategies
It is essential to install Google Analytics on the non-profit website. With Google Analytics at your disposal, you can easily derive accurate data relating to traffic, visitors, etc. SEO is not a quick-fix strategy, it is a process that has to be done on a consistent basis. If you follow this, then it can be beneficial to your business in the long run. With appropriate SEO strategies in place, you can increase the visibility of your non-profit website and improve its ranking on search engines as well.
This is an essential thing for all the websites, including the non-profit ones. It is very necessary for your nonprofit website to have proper access on mobile phones.This is a vital step as globally mobile penetration is all set to touch 63.4% and it is poised to scale new heights in the future as well. Despite having attractive websites, many companies have suffered as the mobile responsiveness of those sites were very weak. It would be very difficult to sustain the interest of a user if your website design is not compatible with mobile phones.
Appropriate white spaces
It has been observed that a website design having appropriate white space goes a long way in clearly conveying the information about the entity and creating good vibes. Same holds true for non-profit websites design as well. It’s an ideal way to enhance customer participation and highlight your social initiatives.
Provide a sense of security to donors
Security has to be given a high priority in your website. Now you will ask why? It is obvious that donors would want their financial transaction to be as safe as possible. To make donations credit card or account details have to be provided on the website. With cyber stealth at an all-time high, everyone would think twice before providing such sensitive information about their credit card or bank account. So, the onus will be on the part of non-profit entities to have secure payment mechanisms on the website to ally the fears of donors.
Attract visitors via interesting content
Once visitors come to your website, you have to engage them as quickly as possible. But how would you do this? By having interesting content on the website. With engaging content, you can easily draw their attention towards your cause and make them believe in what you do. There are some non-profit websites which use tools such as graphics or maps to narrate stories. Such elements help visitors stay on the site and also prompt them to revisit the site as well.
Link the site to social media handles
This is the age of social media, so your website should also take full advantage of the same. Enhance your connection with donors through social media platforms. Through the non-profit website make Twitter, Facebook, etc more accessible to your supporters or followers. This can easily lead to more involvement between your website and visitors.
Avoid audios or videos that play automatically
Nobody likes to be greeted to a website that has audio or video playing on its own. This can be extremely annoying for donors. These audios and videos can prove to be a bane for you as well.
Having said that, audio and video content can be effective only if donors or followers can play those files on their own instead of imposing anything upon them.
5 Top Nonprofit Website Designs (2020 Edition)
The charity water strives to provide potent water to those residing in developing countries. What is so special about their website design? They have apt images, and the placement of the same is also perfect. The colors used are very charming and vibrant. The call-to-action keys are organized perfectly so that people don’t find any problem in their usage. The donation and monetary contributions are well laid out at the top-right space to enhance their accessibility, and they are perfect in terms of size as well.
The website focuses on maintaining green cover and keeping the environment clean. As for the navigation bar, it encompasses section such as our work, significant places of wilderness preservation, who they are, etc. When it comes to Donate and Adopt call-to-action keys, you can find them at the top right corner. There are provisions for making several types of donations and other valuable information. This makes the job of donors easy as they have enough choices to contribute.
The Thirst Relief aims to make clean water accessible to all. The website design is very subtle as the stress on attraction is very feeble. It has various sections, but logical links make navigation a smooth exercise. The images are of high resolution, and the icons are perfectly placed and give absolute clarity about what you need to do. The segment for donation is also simple and straight forward without too many columns to fill out.
This happens to be a website of the UN Refugee Agency. The site is primarily focused on rescuing the displaced civilians in Syria. The website has a variety of informative videos to view. It also contains a big banner image providing crucial data and information on the process of donation at the top part of the website. The visitors can also get a lot of information regarding the refugee situation in Syria as well.
This website is another humanitarian endeavor in which people from across the globe have joined hands to fight disease, promote peace, etc. It also got the honor of People’s Voice award. It has minimal usage of text and contains simple images. The main objective of the design is to involve people through diverse content straight from the homepage.
Ways to create a visually appealing nonprofit website
Choose the best website build
Before finding out the top website builders, it is better to analyze the kind of website you require. What do you intend to do with your site and the features you want on your site. In case, you are unable to get clarity on the website you need, then you can go through the website of your competitors to get an idea. As for the website builder, WordPress happens to be the most popular CMS currently with a nearly 60 % market share. It also has a wide array of themes, paid as well as premium, to build a visually appealing website. Some of the popular WordPress themes are as follows:
Design an effective logo
Create a logo that showcases the motto of your non-profit entity. With an effective logo, you can establish a good recall value of your brand. So, the logo should be accorded the highest priority as it is vital to your charitable needs. A perfect non-profit logo should resonate automatically and spread across the noble intention of your non-profit entity.
Create a consistent visual theme
It is advisable that the visual theme on the non-profit website remains consistent. This makes your site easily recognizable. By changing the visual theme frequently, you could lose brand identity. Ideally, the visual theme should represent what your organization stands for and also be utilized to draw the attention of potential donors and supporters.
More often than not, the homepage is the first thing that a visitor sees upon reaching a website. Hence, it is advisable to be thoughtful while designing the same. It should not be cluttered with images or text as the design should be easy on the eyes and attractive. A badly designed home page can easily drive away the visitors. So, design your homepage of the non-profit website with care.
Similar to other websites, there are several criteria involved in developing a non-profit website. It is always better to consider your needs before proceeding to build a website. There are so many non-profit websites, which strike a good balance between style and substance. You only need to take a leaf out of those before creating a portal for yourself.
I’m Nishant Gupta, a web developer cum blogger working
A Web Design & Development Company, who has proven expertise in
resolving all the technical complexities involved in the development of
innovative, unique websites and web apps. I spend my spare time on the web to
learn about the latest technologies and love to share my knowledge with others
through my content.