Nonprofit organizations do amazing work for our communities across the country. That’s why when we have the opportunity to work with them in order to create beautiful new nonprofit websites we’re always excited to get started. No matter the size of the nonprofit, from those operated single-handedly by an inspired citizen or large operations that have a much broader reach, creating an effective nonprofit website is one of the best ways to improve the impact an organization has.
Because websites are capable of doing so much today, nonprofit organizations can leverage well-designed websites so that they operate more efficiently, raise more money, improve awareness and involvement, and, at the end of the day, help make the world a better place.
Nonprofit companies face different challenges than private companies, and while both types come with hardworking staff to help grow the business, nonprofits don’t necessarily have the more capitalistic resources to be successful via the same businesses methods. They often depend on customer donations, government subsidization, and lots of marketing to get their messages out to the audiences that care.
Some of the best nonprofit site designs model how to get across persuasive messaging and service information without losing visitor focus.
Standing out as a nonprofit site requires engaging design that typically puts visitors in a heartfelt position via highly descriptive imagery, clear calls to action toward joining and donating, and mission statements that make readers feel prepared to dive into the important goals these companies have to offer.
Creating a powerful nonprofit website, much like running such a business, takes time and serious dedication to get just right. Powerful designs come out of diligent planning and close attention to what your customers want and what services you can offer. Things like how much community impact your company has accomplished so far, and what specific actions make it stand out from similar competitors are important to make one’s voice online.
We’ve taken a look around online this year and have found the top nonprofit websites to help inspire you to maybe take that leap and start creating a new and improve website for your cause.
And, when you ware ready to get started, know that our team at FreshySites is ready to help.
List of the best nonprofit organization website designs
With a mission “to ensure that individuals with developmental disabilities or acquired brain disorders have the same opportunities like everyone else”, the New Hampshire-based One Sky Community Services is setting out with big goals. The nonprofit’s website is extremely effective partly because the content is so well organized. The website also uses cool elements to boost engagement, like subtle animation and illustrations, to prevent it from feeling boring or, even worse, contrived and insincere. Because it makes giving donations so simple, the website is also effective at generating money for the cause. And, thanks to photographs of real people it’s helping, the website feels personal and important, both to people in the community and to those who just happen to stop by.
The simplicity of this nonprofit’s website is definitely part of its appeal. The Colorado-based “The Park People” is dedicated to preserving and enhancing parks in and around the Denver area, which means that the website needs to create a vibe that is laid-back and down-to-earth. By keeping the color scheme simple with earthy tones and leaving plenty of white space for the eyes, the website presents its content in a straightforward, no nonsense kind of way, which means that you can focus on what’s important without being distracted by anything else. The highlight of the website design, however, is the scrolling gallery of photographs, which feature a diverse selection of people playing and working in the parks. And if you want to get involved, the Upcoming Events section will let you know all about the important when’s and where’s.
As you would expect for an art museum website, the overall aesthetic for the MCA Denver website is stunning. From the modern logo to the classic black and white scheme, there’s little to not like about this nonprofit’s online space. One of the most effective features of the website, however, is the seemingly subtle newsletter pop-up that hits the homepage as soon as you land. Far from fancy in terms of how it appears or even the copy that’s used, the pop-up stays put in the center of the screen, allowing you to enjoy a playful photo of a fashionable pug before deciding whether or not you want to “Never miss out on art, openings or happenings”. Featuring a well-organized menu with plenty to choose from, MCA Denver puts its shop, events, and how to join right at your fingertips.
Colorful and decidedly feminine, the Girls on the Run Washington DC website is a great example of why creating a website with a specific audience in mind works so well. From the cursive-style font to the photos of girls running in pink shirts and tutus, any visitor will immediately understand what they’ll find on the website the moment they land on the homepage. Another aspect of great website design that the Girls on the Run website uses is making sure that all of the most important information is given to visitors as soon as possible. In this case, the scrolling banner promotes registration for the year, how to donate to help change lives, and a video that explains what the mission of Girls on the Run is and why it’s so powerful. And, in case you’re still looking for something, the massive (and colorful) footer is sure to provide you with all of the information you could need, including contact info and the latest posts from the organization’s social media accounts.
The beauty of this website is its authenticity and clarity. While some nonprofits are unfortunately misunderstood because of websites that try to do or say too much, the website for Soldiers’ Angels makes it very clear what the mission is, why it’s important, and how you can help. Up to date with current events, the website lets you know exactly how you’ll be helping military families right now. And because of the helpful “Facts At-A-Glance” section, you have a better understanding of just how far this organization’s reach is — and how much good they’re doing across the United States.
While the name of this Detroit nonprofit might not make its mission immediately clear, the very first thing a visitor reads on its website does: “The only thing worse than kids giving up on school is if we give up on them. Allowing this headline and an in-classroom photograph take all of the above-fold center stage, the website’s menu doesn’t even appear until you scroll, showing up just below the main image. Separated into logical sections so that visitors to the site can quickly get to pages with applications, donation buttons, and more, the website feels big and bold thanks to the overall layout, font, and colors. That general theme of taking up space continues as you reach the homepage’s footer, where you’ll find yet another powerful headline: “Advancing equity and social-emotional learning through relationships”. So, if anything wasn’t clear at the very beginning, any visitor quickly realizes exactly what City Year is and what it does thanks to its functional (and attractive) website.
There’s a lot we really like about the Hunger Fight website, including the interactive videos and fun illustrations it uses. But, while we could go on about the bold features you’ll instantly notice, there are some smaller details that are just as important. For example, rather than simply including a “Donate Now” button like so many other nonprofit websites, Hunger Fight uses a much more compelling call-to-action in its footer banner. Not only does the button itself read “Help Children Now”, which is so much more powerful and specific, but it leads with “$25 Can Make Sure 100 Children Don’t Go To Bed Hungry”, which tells you exactly what your money will be used for and suggests an amount to give. These small details make the website so much more effective, which is probably why Hunger Fight is one of the most successful nonprofits in Florida.
One of the first things we noticed about this nonprofit’s website is its fantastic logo. Using a cozy cat curled on top of a heart, the logo for For the Love of Cats conveys its underlying mission without having to say anything. Large photographs of cozy, sun-bathing cats lead you into the site, which offers a clean and concise menu, as well as plenty of opportunities to donate to the cause. Important sections for nonprofits, like the “Our Impact” and “We Need Your Help” content boxes, make visitors feel confident that their donation will be put to good use — and that they are needed and valuable, which might just be the most important message any nonprofit can convey to its community.
The layout used for the Soles4Souls website is a fantastic template for any nonprofit looking to redesign or create a new online home. From the large, personal photograph, to the integrated menu, and the compelling “Give Now” button, the website feels cohesive and focused from page to page. Using the same color scheme throughout, the website repeats several elements from top to bottom of each page, giving visitors the ability to predict what’s going to come next, which, in turn, puts them more at ease. Subtle animation in the “Donate” button continues to draw your attention up, but without feeling pushy. The website is also clever in providing options for visitors who are looking to get involved and give, like putting buttons for donating and giving shoes side by side.
As we dive into the world of nonprofit website design, we realize just how much of a difference thoughtful website design really makes. While it’s no longer difficult to get a working website up and running in a matter of hours, creating one that compels people to actually do something, like in the case of nonprofits, takes a lot more skill and expertise. There are a lot of subtleties that go into website design and, while it’s easy to convince yourself that they don’t matter, the reality is that they really do.
With so many nonprofits working to make our communities around the world a better place, it’s more important than ever that they have a shot at getting the support they need. That means that not only do their websites need to be found online, but they need to persuade people that this is a good (and trustworthy) cause.
Whether collecting donations or asking visitors to take action, the best nonprofit websites compel visitors to join in, educating and exciting them to be a part of positive change.
So, while each of these websites has a vastly different mission, each one does a fantastic job at ensuring that every visitor has an experience that makes them want to come back for more. And, no surprise, it all comes down to how they are designed.
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.
Perhaps this list of the top nonprofit website has inspired you to take the next step for your own nonprofit organization. If that’s the cases, FreshySites would love to discuss your needs, to build a website for your nonprofit that’s worthy of being added to the list of best nonprofit websites.