Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Best Practices for Nonprofit Website Design

I recently completed a website for a local non-profit organization, and thought it would be helpful to share some tips when it comes to nonprofit web design. As with any site, it's imperative that the design is user-friendly, professional-looking, and consistent with your other promotional materials. However, considering the specific needs of a nonprofit organization, here are a few additional guidelines to keep in mind.

1. Make Sure the Organization's Purpose is Clearly Stated

Not everyone who visits your site will be familiar with your organization. Thus, it's vital to immediately, clearly, and succinctly explain what your organization does. After all, if people don't understand your organization's purpose, how can they be motivated to donate their time, money, or resources?

2. Make Sure the Website is Donor-Friendly

It's important to supply more than one link for visitors to make a donation. Even if the link is part of the main menu, there are no guarantees that it will be noticed. If possible, include a visual button or link as shown in the example above.

In addition, you want to offer as many opportunities for a person to donate as possible. For example, if your organization raises monies for local projects (as the case here), include a donation button below the information for each project. 

3. Make Sure the Website is Volunteer-Friendly

The majority of prospective volunteers will want to know what is expected of them before committing their time and energy to your organization. Thus, offer them a clear description of the type of volunteer positions you are looking to fill - almost as it you were posting a general job description. (It's also a good rule of thumb to carefully word your content so that you don't come across as begging for involvement. Instead, communicate that your volunteers are vital and greatly valued. People will be much more likely to get involved.) 

In addition, as with the donations links, provide multiple opportunities for people to volunteer. In addition to having a general volunteer page, add volunteer buttons where appropriate - such as under specific event descriptions.

What other practices do you find helpful - or non-helpful - on nonprofit websites? Have you ever ween wowed by the design of a nonprofit website?

1 comment:

  1. I haven’t really dealt with a website design project for a local non-profit organization, so I guess I am lucky because I would not know what things to keep in mind in order to produce a relative design that fits the niche perfectly. And I am fortunate to have the guideline above. Thank you for sharing!

    ijobasia.com - website design and development company based in Florida.