“Your website is your starting point of your online communications and fundraising campaigns.” (Mansfield, 2012) It’s your starting block. The single place that can tell your audience who you are, what you are about, and why they should care. It is crucial to invest thought into how you are going to portray yourself as an organization and tell your story.
There are more websites than we can count and possibly ever visit, but there are qualities about some of the best websites that attract visitors every day through not only their web design, but the photos, videos, and words they use. They are each carefully selected to make the website an experience, not just a place to get information.
In honor of showing rather than telling, here are a few of the best nonprofit websites that captivate telling a story, garnering support, and taking action. They are points of inspiration for you to begin to think about what your site might look like.
Not for Sale “is a movement to end modern-day slavery and human trafficking.”
Why their site is awesome: Simple clean navigation allows you to experience why there is a need to end modern-day slavery and human trafficking, what they are doing to make an impact, and how you can support in one single scrolling page. Their visually stunning photos bring you into their world.
Harlem Children’s Zone “has achieved unprecedented success, helping thousands of children and families and disrupting the cycle of generational poverty in Central Harlem through our innovative and effective programs.”
Why their site is awesome: As soon as you land on their front page, you see a video of children laughing, studying, playing music in the context of their school. Harlem Children’s Zone can tell you all about who they are and the impact they have made (which they do as you scroll down), but their use of video captures the essence of what they are all about. While some websites use video and photo horribly, this site has done it extraordinarily well by showing what they are all about in video playing in the background.
Everytown “is a movement of Americans working together to end gun violence and build safer communities.”
Why their site is awesome: They have a stellar set-up for making donations. As Mansfield (2012) puts it in Social Media for Social Good, “make the donation process as effortless and clutter-free as possible.” Their attention to the user-experience in making donations allows a potential donor to send funds with ease. Last thing you want to do is put an obstacle in the way of gaining a supporter and they understand that.
While these are just a few of standout nonprofit websites, they show that you can stay true to who you are as a nonprofit, but share who you are and what you are trying to do in creative ways. Your website is truly your starting point and foundation to your online identity. These days it doesn’t take an advanced web designer to develop a beautiful website, but it does take some thought and creativity to capture your audience in a meaningful way.