Non-profit Web Design Guide 2023
This non-profit web design guide will make it as easy as 1, 2, 3. Creating a website for your non-profit might seem to be a challenging experience, even when you are building it with an expert non-profit web design team (Like We Are Immediate). Here’s what you need to think about for your new non-profit website to kick your expectations out of the ballpark.
Create a list of objectives: The list of objectives can be a variety of elements from technology to marketing goals, but here is a list to get you started.
This is a starter list of technology you should specify to any web design company so they can fully understand your technical requirements.
- Ability to change content on your own. This means you need a CMS (Content Management System). The most popular CMS is WordPress which now powers over 33% of the world’s websites. (We use WordPress) Other CMSs include Drupal, Squarespace, and Wix. The difference between WordPress and Drupal versus Squarespace and Wix is that you own the code of WordPress and Drupal versus Squarespace and Wix, which basically you rent. Note: We custom design our admin panels to make them simple to use, even for the least technical person. We also included unlimited training with a directory of videos for your unique website. Wix and Squarespace come with their own admin panels which you may or may not find easy to use. And, don’t ask us about Drupal – we don’t go there!
- Additional Requirements: This is an example of some of the functionality that is possible to develop using WordPress:
- Staff Intranet
- Job Boards – Example Using a WordPress Plugin
- Message boards and community
- E-commerce – Example of Gala Ticketing using Woo-Commerce
- Donation Software – Example of Donation Software using Give WP
- Location Finder with Maps
- Event Registration
3. Integration Requirements: What software do you currently use that requires integration with your new website? For example:
- Donor software – Not built with WordPress – Example using Donorbox
- Event Registration software – Not built with WordPress
- CRM (Such as Salesforce) – contact forms and donations dump into Salesforce or other CRM
- Job Boards
- ADA Plugin (such as User Way)
Every one of your departments may have specific needs that the new website can fulfill. We recommend surveying your team for suggestions and ideas so your website can become your best tool. We use both Typeform and Survey Monkey. Here are some examples that your team might request that our Web Design Guide Suggests:
- Development – requires pages to drive traffic to the donation page. The donation page must tell a compelling story so that users will take the next step and click that donate button! Impact pages and powerful success stories will also help the development staff.
- Events Department – requires a unique gala page or event page to drive registration
- Program Heads – your programs must have easy-to-find and interpret program pages so the people you help can easily understand your offerings and how you can help them. This page might also have days/times you are available, and contact forms (that integrate with a CRM. )
What are the marketing requirements that are needed to ensure your website performance can be measured? Our non-profit web design guide recommends the following analytic and social media tools:
- Google Analytics – Make sure that you have the latest version.
- Google Search Tools – you can set this up or have your design team set it up. There you will enter the Site Map from the website ensuring that Google is measuring every page on your website.
- 301 Redirects – this ensures that all your old website links will redirect to the new website. It will prevent any “page not found message” when people search your website.
- Yoast SEO Tool – this is specifically for WordPress websites and helps you to write SEO-friendly content
- Meta Pixel – if you are going to use Facebook and Instagram, the pixel will help you understand how your paid advertising is performing.
- Social Media Integration – this is if you want your articles, posts, and pages to be shared via social media.
- Heat Maps – Allows you to actually SEE via a recording of how your traffic flows through the website.
- HubSpot or other “email tracking” device – for free, you can see how the traffic from your emails “opens” travels through your website. (I know, spooky)
Content and UX (User Experience)
We find that content usually goes hand-in-hand with User Experience. User Experience tells us exactly what and where all the pages of your website go. We create what is called a “site map”. The site map will tell us how all your content will flow on your website. The other part of the User Experience is called “a wireframe.” The wireframe tells us exactly what type of content will go on each page – from images and videos to text and buttons. The wireframe will also illustrate where a user goes when they click a link or a button. We recommend that you review all content on your website to determine which will be migrated over, what new content will be created, and what content might be refreshed.
Pages and page types: We’ve listed examples of websites we’ve designed with some of the most important pages to include on a new website:
- Your homepage – the foyer to your website. You have less than 30 seconds to make an impact before you lose your visitor. We all have the attention span of a gnat, so go with that! A compelling homepage video can help your website become “sticky”. Here are some examples of websites with homepage videos: NYSTEC, We Are Immediate, RYR-1, Riverstone Senior Life Services, and EWA.
- About Us – Mission, History, Vision, links to bios, maybe statistics – everything that makes people want to learn more: NYSTEC, SSSEVA
- Case Studies – Crow about your success Riverstone, CCLR
- Bios – team member bios – McSilver, NYSTEC
- Donation – Make it easy to use and compelling! People can’t refuse you! FDC Online, EWA, RYR-1
- News – Important to constantly update your content for Google to find you: McSilver, FDC Online
- Events – do you have events, webinars, etc? This is critical EWA, CCLR
- Program Details – The more information and the more clear these pages are, the better. These are landing pages – you can click on the inner pages: SSSEVA, NYSTEC, Morris Museum
- Career Pages – FDC Online, EWA
- History – Maybe you will consider a timeline. NYSTEC
- Impact Pages: RYR-1, EWA
And now the fun stuff! Sometimes it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what you are looking for in a design. At We Are Immediate, we let our imaginations go wild. We scour the internet for all different types of websites, not only non-profit web designs because we understand that the best-in-class is going to come from many different types of inspiration. Our tastes run from the insane to mundane and everywhere in between. And yours should too. When you look for inspiration, it can come from Apple’s website (yes!) or something more complex. Don’t worry, we create designs until we get them exactly right for your organization. Here’s how we help you guide us:
- Show you multiple color palettes
- Show you different font designs
- Go “shopping” with you! Find websites that best match the design that you are looking for.
- Ask you to tell us about the feeling you want website visitors to get when they come to your website.
- Describe your organization using three different words: Warm, caring, professional (etc.)
- Tell us your design taste: Flashy, modern, conservative, etc.
Let us know if you felt that our non-profit web design guide 2023 was helpful. If you would like to learn more about the services We Are Immediate offers, please check out these links: