September 25, 2016
by Lori Shecter

10 Important Elements of a Non-Profit Website Design

Your non-profit website design is an important part (if not the most important part) of your marketing efforts. All things lead to your website whether it’s social media, other forms of online advertising or email or other media campaigns.  Remember, perception is reality and if your website doesn’t give potential donors or employees confidence about your organization, you could be losing…big.  Remember that just like all design trends, there are web design trends as well, so it is important to understand how your organization is perceived online.  Below is a list of elements that can help boost your traffic, donations overall health of your non-profit:

  1. DESIGN: Full-screen websites are not only in style but they look great!  Here are some examples of full-screen non-profit websites that are mention worthy. JOINTANIMIAL SERVICES, ONE DROP, BRIGHT PINK, and  MALALA one drop
  2. EASY NAVIGATION: Your website should be easy for any visitors to find exactly what they are looking for – whether it’s how to donate, how to join, your mission statement, board of directors, or success stories of your non-profit.
  3. RESPONSIVE: Your website should be beautiful on all devices
  4. DONATION: You can build your website to integrate with a variety of non-profit payment processors like DONOR PERFECT or you can also have your web developer create an integration with a payment processor like Authorize.net , PayPal, Stripe, etc. Having an easy to find donate button on your homepage and in your top navigation, will make it easier for users to give.
  5. STORIES: Everyone likes a good story, especially a story of how you impact the population you are trying to serve.  Check out these awesome storytelling non-profit websites. ST. JUDE, CHARITY WATER, THE NAYA FOUNDATION, UNHCRUNHCR
  6. SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION: Your website needs to be SEO friendly through not only technology but, but frequent content updates and social sharing.  Learn more HERE about SEO.
  7. EASY TO USE: Setting your website and forgetting it will not get you found in Google.  Content is one of the main aspects, especially generating new content at least weekly, will help your organization get found.  BUT if your website is not easy to content manage, it’s going to be hard to engage any of your staffers to keep it up!  We Are Immediate develops easy to use content management systems for non-profits that include WordPress, Umbraco, and custom coding.  We are happy to demonstrate all of our admin panels so you can see how EASY it is!
  8. CONNECTING: Your website should have an easy way for people to register for your email list and connect with you on social media.
  9. CONTACT FORMS: Another way for your user base to connect with your organization to either help, join, or donate.
  10. PAGE TYPES: At a minimum, page types should include:
    • Home Page- Featuring stories, missions, videos, and donation information
    • About- Mission statement, staff members
    • Contact Page- contact form, phone, address and email
    • Donate Page – allow users to enter credit cards and donate
    • Blog/News page – updates for your users and helps with SEO
    • Success Stories

And the MOST important thing is to BE A THING OF BEAUTY.  Remember perception is reality and there is NOTHING that will help your organization more than begin visual and beautiful from the design to the videos and imagery, down to the content writing.  Here are some awesome examples of beautiful websites: THE MEMPHIS ZOO, NAMES FOR CHANGE,  AMERICA FARMLAND TRUST, INVISIBLE CHILDREN and WILDLIFE CONSERVATION SOCIETY.

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We hope that helps you get started with a beautiful new non-profit website. Remember, great design and development don’t have to be expensive. If you would like a free consultation and estimate for your non-profit website needs, call us at 212-929-9980.