Web Design & Development

8 Best Nonprofit Websites (October 2019)

A great nonprofit website doesn’t just come out of the blue. It’s the result of careful planning in terms of what the nonprofit’s mission statement is, the donor-friendliness of the project, whether or not visual storytelling is important for the organization’s message, and more.

One of the best ways to consider just how your nonprofit site should look and operate is to compare the features of others’ sites in the same industry.

We’ve made a list of our favorites to help get you started:

  1. Rotary International

    Rotary International’s site is one of the most visual in the list, and for good reason. Their slogan “People of Action” goes well with their homepage’s immediate video loop of workers collaborating to achieve their group goals in a variety of environments. Scrolling down engages visitors with even more informative activeness, this time with short animation bursts that add a sense of levity to the laborious and serious efforts of depicted members. The more cartoony graphics are coupled with candid photos of Rotary’s in-person work because they don’t want to sacrifice an inviting sense of positivity for the stark realness of their day-to-day, or vice-versa. Their design, tonally, allows them to have both!

  2. I Saw My City Die

    The International Committee of the Red Cross has a fascinating site that tells semi-animated nonfiction stories of current urban conflicts in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen from their citizens’ points-of-view. Part info-graphic and part journalistic effort, the site’s linear model is split into three chapters that each start with an immersive video loop of the places and events being described, followed by concise but compelling descriptions of and anecdotes about the recent local conflicts. The small images and textual animations along with a dark and simple color palette curate a deeply emotional and informative experience you can’t find anywhere else.

  3. Acumen

    Acumen takes a minimalist, yet bold design approach. The sheet size of the graphic letter that acts as a visual divider between their homepage image and their first call to action is playful, yet austere. Their first call to action is extremely noticeable, coming just under their slogan. Their homepage animations are conservative and require user scrolling to activate. As a nonprofit with the specific goal to invest in promising private companies toward ending global poverty, they make separate “manifesto” and “about us” pages to separate information about their etymology from their core values and purpose.

  4. Memphis Zoo

    The Memphis Zoo’s design is just about perfect and looks simple without being so. As a company that cares for and displays wild animals, their site’s full, partially-animated displays show off their animals in a fun way. This is perfect for their biggest audiences, families and young children, and their homepage’s list of daily events is impossible to miss and informative, hour-by-hour. Their more text-heavy web pages don’t try to impress with fancy designs, but still maintain their color palette, simple calls to action, and their brand’s voice.

  5. David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation

    A wildlife conservation charity, the foundation’s site is heavily image-based. The site shocks with news both good and bad: one homepage image shows a founding member kneeling confidently with a wild elephant herd while another shows the destructive and graphic potential of the unchecked hunting of endangered species, big and small. Every image’s slide has a different call to action in the middle that signifies a specific moral purpose, as in “defend,” “engage,” and “donate.” Their header bar includes an exhaustive list of all the wildlife within their mission’s purview and the exact ways new donors and participants can get involved.

  6. To Write Love On Her Arms

    A self-described movement, this nonprofit helps sufferers of addiction, suicidal actions, and self-injury. Their site’s beautiful design brings a homepage slideshow with calls to action for each slide that directly relate to the topic. Possibly their strongest feature, their blog updates frequently with stories about overcoming great adversity toward happier and most satisfying personal lives from people who have been through it all. Scrolling down presents effective and very simple calls to action for donations and joining the organization, and easy to read scheduling for events around the country.

  7. Charity: Water

    From a sheer design perspective, Charity: Water’s site is probably the most minimal. But their lack of flashiness isn’t a bad thing; their slogan of being an unstoppable community of givers relates well with their homepage’s first two images of a young girl pouring water from a spigot and an older woman doing the same, both from completely separate countries. Together with their organization’s name, it’s immediately clear the nonprofit focuses on bringing clean water to places that struggle to find it. They have a very simple header bar for navigation and at the bottom you can watch a curated video of their impact around the world.

  8. Keep America Fishing

    More than other nonprofit sites, Keep America Fishing’s page for joining up is extremely specific about what activities there are and whether they’re available. You might never know that there’s a Consumer Protection and Fuel Transparency Act you can join, or a demand for updating Michigan’s state fishing regulations, but it’s all there under their toolbar’s “Action Center.” Their blog is active and posts information on nuanced topics about fishing regulations at the state and regional levels, and their homepage’s calls to action are easily seen with large graphics.

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