As web developers we take our non-profit clients web design needs seriously. 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!
Below is a list of nonprofit websites that we feel are exceptional in design, usability and delivering information – we offer our thoughts into why we feel that these websites are great so you can see a web designers view on what works on a nonprofit website.
What do we look at when doing our reviews?
- Clear messaging – is it easy to understand what they do and what their message is?
- Design – is it appealing to their specific demographic? Is their strong font elements and aesthetic to bring attention to 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?
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.
Visit ONE DROP
Because everyone should have clean water. OneDrop is a beautiful site that clearly tells a story with its strong use of imagery that tugs at the heartstrings and statistics that clearly show that what they do is helping lots of people. The website is easy to navigate – you can easily see what they do, who they have helped where and how you can get involved.
The color scheme is a beautifully done with a variety of blues that clearly define the water and earth movement they are making – and the imagery they have selected does a great job of telling their story and making us feel something.
CYSTIC FIBROSIS FOUNDATION
Visit 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!
Visit PAWS CHICAGO
The first thing we noticed on this website was the way they included a “hamburger” menu icon – but also used the word MENU next to it! Love that! Another great use of navigation to get visitors to the pages the group wants them to see first – Donate, Adopt and Foster while keeping the rest in a “hidden” menu. A strong call to action to donate right next to a content area that shows how many lives saved clearly lets potential supporters know the impact they are making which is critical to nonprofits. And let’s not forget the adorable animal pictures that suck is in every time!
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.