When developing websites for nonprofit organizations, there is a different mindset that needs to be taken. 2 Dogs Media primarily focuses on non profit website design and have built hundreds of sites for all kinds of charity organizations. One thing we do know for sure is that no two organizations are alike and it is important to have a web development agency that will work with you to understand your specific and unique needs!
The best nonprofit websites usually have the following items!
- Clear messaging – is it easy to understand what they do and what their message is?
- Design – is it appealing to their specific demographic?
- Are the fonts well used and complement each other? Do they draw the reader in with color treatments for call to actions?
- Photo usage – does it align with the websites messaging and make a visitor “feel something”?
- Is the website well done on mobile as well as desktop?
- Is the navigation clear and direct making for a good user experience?
Although the visual elements are of course important – usability is key and some organizations sacrifice that for more advanced design elements – and we do not recommend that! With most nonprofits having a wide array of demographics it is important to have a website that appeals to many different people and to be as user friendly as possible.
Wild Apricot did a great roundup of 22 features that every top nonprofit website has which is worth a look as well if you are still in the planning phases!
We will update this list as we find new sites that we think are awesome!
Below are our top picks for Best Nonprofit Websites based on aesthetic, usability and features and functionality.
NATIONAL TRUST FOR HISTORIC PRESERVATION
Visit National Trust for Historic Preservation
The simplicity of this website that allows us to focus on the historical treasures they are saving is what makes this site a part of this list. The menu is well organized and the overall subtle color scheme with the pop of orange in just the right places tells the user to come in and join them to help save more historic places.
The interior pages are clean and well organized with a touch of accents to make them a bit unique.
Visit The Royal Conservancy
Beautifully simplistic! The home page with its strong compelling imagery and clear font and call to actions, make this website a winner in our books. The menus are incredibly well done and easy to understand and the interior pages, although clean and content focused offer enough aesthetic to give the pages a unique and elegant look.
HUMANE RESCUE ALLIANCE
Visit HUMANE RESCUE ALLIANCE
The cuteness factor works on the Humane Rescue Alliance website. The intro video makes you smile, the icons in the impact area are adorable and we particularly love this whole area because it is one that we think many nonprofits forget the importance of. Letting visitors know right away about their impact is a great way to bring a sense of trust. The site is incredibly well organized and has a clean aesthetic so the focus can be on the animals. The only change we would make personally is to make the video less high – and include higher up on the page where they are located.
DOGS ON DEYPLOYMENT
There is so much to love about this nonprofit website – from what they do to the great content. As soon as you land on the page it is clear what they do – they have a search right at the forefront that is paramount to their offerings. They clearly note how funds are allocated, how much they have helped and profile dogs that are currently being helped. Everything you would want to know about a nonprofit – is right there in a clean and organized way. The interior pages are as well done as the home page – keeping the search readily available and all the content well organized and easy to read.
Thatsnotcool.com is a fantastic website dedicated to helping people understand that dating abuse is never OK! The website offers a fantastic design for what we imagine is a younger demographic that is tech savvy. Large images with focused text clearly outlines what the site is about, what the user can expect and how they can get help if they are feeling “abused”. It is filled with useful statistics, a social hub and even an app. The website is well thought out, engaging and bright and bold which will appeal to the market they are trying to reach.
CYSTIC FIBROSIS FOUNDATION
We love the cleanliness of this website, the ease of finding out what they do and how they can help those affected with Cystic Fibroses. The header is able to deliver a lot of information but is done in a way that is not overwhelming, the large home page image tells you right away what the team is up to and the news section overlaid on the image is a great way to keep visitors engaged!
The creative use of the varying colors for the call to actions really helps “pop” the various messages like their drug development work, advocacy and clinical trials. The mega menu is well done and easy to navigate to find information based on the level of CF a person is dealing with.
Visit PLANT CHICAGO
The monochromatic color scheme, beautiful imagery and clear and simple typography make this website a winner in our opinion. This a great example of where less is more in web design. The site is easy to navigate and makes it very clear as to what their mission is.
We love the uniqueness of the home page on this nonprofit website – great use of space to highlight the most important pieces of content that they want visitors to see right away. The clear subscribe box with text makes it clear what readers are signing up to do – “fight poverty”. The interior pages are kept simple and basic – and it works in helping deliver their messaging and content easily.
Bold is what comes to mind with this design. Bold fonts, colors and call to actions round out why this website made our list. This nonprofit website has a clear tagline on the home page, great use of fonts to break up content areas and simple design elements to keep it aesthetically pleasing.
LAST MILE HEALTH
Visit LAST MILE HEALTH
Great imagery that tells a story, clean design style and elements coupled with great content that clearly defines their mission and how visitors can be involved round out why we think this website is great.
NOBEL WOMENS INITIATIVE
Visit NOBEL WOMENS INITIATIVE
Unique home page that allows a lot of space for the organization to post content about upcoming events and actions they want visitors to take. Simple and clean design aesthetic with good typography to get their message out and the slide functionality for the blog posts and Take Action areas help them deliver their best content easily.
WORLD MONUMENTS FUND
Visit WORLD MONUMENTS FUND
Great introduction on the home page that makes it very clear what they do along with other content that clarifies how they do it and who they work with. We like the navigation menu – it brings attention to the 4 sections of the website they most want visitors to reach – but added an additional menu icon that offers a drop down to all pages of the website. (Although we sometimes find that visitors do not know that a “hamburger” menu on a full website is an option – so we shy away from that personally), but it is well done here.
The design is beautifully done and works well with the mission. The Trending Now section is a great way to promote different critical content.
ALLEY CAT ALLIES
Visit ALLEY CAT ALLIES
First, it is a website about cats – so what is not to love? But seriously this is a fantastic website that does a great job of breaking out the content areas on the home page. We particular love how you can get information tailored to who you are by simply clicking on a link. This is an exceptional example of “personalizing” a visitors experience. Well done navigation and great interior pages with strong call to actions in the sidebar make this website one of the best!
Displaying stong images right on the home page pulls you in to the Galapagos Conservancy, who focuses on preserving the Galapagos Islands. We love the creative block elements on the home page that direct users to different areas of the website. They are will done with simplicity and clarity!The menus are creatively done while still offering a clear hierarchy for their content. The only thing we would recommend are interior pages with more beautiful imagery to give that same wow factor we get on the home page.
Upstream looks for people that are doing great things in the world but are limited in the change they can make due to lack of resources. They then work with these world changers to make a bigger impact. This website may very well be a top pick for us.
It is creative – breaking out of the norm in terms of design, but still leaving it very easy to use and understand what they do. The warm colors and textures with powerful imagery offer a great storytelling aspect. We love the icons and how they can provide all the core information with so little text. Everything about this website is well done.
HABITAT FOR HUMANITY – FOX CITY
Visit FOX CITIES HABITAT FOR HUMANITY
Habitat for Humanity is about people – and the home page definitely does a great job of promoting that fact. Creative use of images as call to action blocks allow users easy access to the areas that the nonprofit wants to promote. The about section on the home page is well done with a strong image and creative opacity use.The donate button in the red pops on every page and the interior pages are clean and easy to read. Creative icon use also gives the website a nice touch while allowing users to understand what each item is about.
Visit MEMPHIS ZOO
A minimalistic design with well thought out accents make us love this site. The home page image and creative use of call to actions make it easy to find the content that visitors are most interested. We particularly love the use of the animal icons that allow visitors to easily see each unique section of the zoo.
Visit TEAM RUBICON
Team Rubicon focuses on not only helping veterans but offers disaster relief to those in need. The website does a great job of clarifying their mission helping visitors get a clear understanding of what the organization does. The clean design is well done with use of strong fonts and great imagery that tells the story of their successes. The mobile experience was extremely well thought out as well which makes this standout experience.
TO WRITE LOVE ON HER ARMS
Visit TO WRITE LOVE ON HER ARMS
Addiction, depression and suicide are all things that touch us personally somehow – and To Write Love On Her Arms provides support for those who are struggling with these issues. The website allows for story-telling, resources for help and more to help people see they are not alone. The compelling Learn page is well thought out and tells the story of their beginnings – the whole website offers exceptional details to allow for users to find the help they need and the support they want.
THE GESUNDHEIT! INSTITUTE
Visit THE GESUNDHEIT! INSTITUTE
A fun and creative website that sets itself apart with its creative illustrative type elements. Personally we would like to see these used more in web design! Great use of color to showcase different topics and we really like the area on the home page for their Facebook, Twitter and blog posts – uniquely done and easy to read! From the creative fonts to the blocks that hold the information – the details make this not only a great looking website, but one that is easy to read and navigate.
Strong imagery tells the story on this website and that is what nonprofits are about – storytelling. Easy to navigate, creative use of both photography and simple design elements keep the look unique – but yet clean and fresh. The navigation is clear and well organized and the interior pages are well done as well.
Visit RAW FOUNDATION
We rarely see left sidebar navigations anymore – but this one has it and it is well done. The creative elements on this website are so well done and they do a good job of introducing their foundation mission and what visitors can do to learn more. The Problems and The Solutions blocks are well done and make usability first and foremost for getting engagement and the latest news and twitter updates are also eye catchers. We really love the unique look of this website – and coupled with clear call to actions it becomes a fast favorite. Our only concern on initial visit was the lack of a clear navigation – often icons are misunderstood – but their hover effect on the icons makes that a non issue!
SHARING AMERICA’S MARROW
Visit SHARING AMERICA’S MARROW
Simplicity at its best! A beautiful home page with engaging video followed by pages that are clear and to the point about how they want a visitor to interact with the organization. There is not a lot of “design” going on but we love that as it allows the user to focus on what matters – the content. The only dislike we have is the lack of a title or logo in the header to further brand who they are and what they do.
Visit JUST ACTIONS
We absolutely love the design aesthetic of this website. We find the imagery sucks us in and we particularly like how the “10 Just Actions” section is done with the slider effect on the home page and even on the actual page. Good use of white space and simple design elements that “guide” users makes this website stand out.
This website we love because of the uniqueness of it in terms of the design. So many websites these days are filled with images and are full width websites, but this group took a different direction with creative illustrations and bold use of color and design in a fixed width layout that is still responsive and looks amazing on mobile too. A well thought out home page and well designed interior pages make this website a top pick for us.
GLOBAL FUND FOR WOMEN
Visit GLOBAL FUND FOR WOMEN
Bold, bright, informative – these are all the things we see when we land on this website.
Simple navigation, clean interior pages, strong images and great use of typography are what makes this site a stand-out in the nonprofit web design world. The imagery is incredibly powerful as well which definitely adds to the storytelling that we so highly recommend in organizations like this.
While we noticed the website is down – we wanted to keep this one up to draw inspiration from. Because this design is so unique and may be something to consider for a nonprofit we felt it was worth keeping on the list!
A beautiful design that fits with the mission of renting china dinnerware with all proceeds going to help children in Malawi. A beautiful color scheme with imagery subtle in the background do a good job of story telling. The only change we would have recommended was being a little clearer at the top about what the mission is exactly – we had to scroll to the bottom to find it! We love the uniqueness of this one page website!
LOOKING FOR A NONPROFIT WEB DESIGN AGENCY THAT CARES?
Well, you found us!
As WordPress website design professionals we take our non-profit clients web design needs seriously – and spend a lot of time analyzing trends, data and case studies to see what makes a website for a nonprofit successful. How we develop a website can directly affect the future of our client, so we understand how important it is to create a site that not only engages but converts on actions that they require to happen whether it be a newsletter sign-up, donation or volunteering!
If you are inspired by one of the designs here or looking for something unique – we can help!