Search Our Site


Many nonprofits and charitable organizations have strict budget limitations, leaving them unable to fund a fully-customized, interractive, complex website. While bigger doesn't always mean better, a clean, organized, effective website is an invaluable tool in your marketing plan, drawing in donors, involvement from the community, and helping contribute to an overall increase in visibility of your cause.

Having an effective website doesn’t mean you have to go over your budget. Implementing these five features can help make your website more efficient in achieving your organization's marketing goals and metrics.


1. Description of your Organization’s Purpose: What’s Your Story?

Each and every nonprofit organization exists for a specific purpose, and no two nonprofits share the same story. Whether you help rescue animals, raise money to help educate youth, or raise awareness for those in need of medical treatment, your unique story should reflect who you are and what your purpose is from the offset. Your homepage is an ideal place to feature your story. Remember, shorter text or even a video may be the best option. If you're not sure what to write, try answering the question, "Why do we exist?" (We exist to help, stop, fund, bring...). Make it clear and simple. First time visitiors to your site should be able to quickly get an idea of your organization, even if they only stay on your site for 30 seconds..


2. Clear Call to Action: Get Involved!

Every nonprofit organization should feature a clear call-to-action. It should be easy to find, easy to share, and should be prominently featured on your homepage, with a link to separate page for details and specifics.

Your website should have a minimum of two calls to action: one will most likely be a donation module or portal, and the second  a volunteer or get involved opportunity. You can feature more with specific goals for your organization (“Sign the Petition”, “Download this App”, “Foster an Animal”, “Sponsor a Child”, etc.). Visitors who are interested in your cause can easily see how they can help, and decide what option is best for their involvement.

Remember, it's important for financial donors and sponsors to see where their funds are going. If potential donors can sponsor an endangered animal, have a photo and a story of the animals they can sponsor, and break down how the donation will be used to benefit the animal. (Bonus if you continue to update their story on a consistent basis, including new photos and information.) Some visitors may not have money to donate, but want to help the organization through volunteering their time. It’s important to provide descriptions of volunteer opportunities and how volunteering helps the organization achieve its goals. Consider providing previous volunteer stories, photos, or videos.

A quick note: there are visitors who may be in need of your organization’s services. Make sure you provide a contact option or a form for visitors interested in receiving the benefits of your services.


3. Impact: Who You Help

Each visitor wants to know who or what is benefiting from your services. Make it personal and establish an emotional connection with potential donors and supporters. Try including information about the community by highlighting specific clients and share their stories with your visitors. If that doesn’t fit your organization’s story, you can include more general information about your community, with maps, numbers, or statistics showcasing the organization’s impact on the community in need.

If you can, try to include photos and videos. Images are powerful, and help highlight your impact. Many effective nonprofit websites include photos of the people or animals benefitting from the generosity of the organization. This may help convert visitors to donors, retain current donors, and continue the development of  a complete story with consistent branding.


4. About You: The History of your Organization

Your organization’s history is important to website visitors and potential donors. Effective nonprofit websites include a biography or brief history of why and how the organization started, and include accomplishments or impactful stories. While connecting with your audience is crucial, remember that length of text doesn't equal level of impact. You don't need pages of information; just a few paragraphs narrowing down your history. 

Potential donors, volunteers, and members want to know who you are, and why you started. Keep them informed on how you help, who you help, and why you choose to help. Did you have any personal involvement in your cause before you decided to start an organization? Remember that your story is woven in your history, and should be apparent in everything on your website, newsletters, and extended content.


5. Newsfeeds: Savvy Social

Organizations often utilize events for fundraising, raising awareness, and encouraging involvement. Your organization’s website should have details on upcoming events so volunteers and potential supporters of your community can get involved. It also helps to keep your activity current. If a visitor comes to your website, they should see updates, news and announcements, and event information on your homepage. This conveys your organization is up-to-date, and making strides towards helping your community.

It’s also helpful to include direct links to your social media accounts, so visitors and potential volunteers and donors can connect with your organization. Share your photos, stories, accomplishments, quotes, and personality with your community, and watch it grow. Social media is a great tool for connecting with your audience, but will only work for you if you work for it. Be consistent, be engaging, and be sincere with your tweets, photos, and posts.


BONUS: Easy Navigation!

The best websites are easy to navigate. You don't need complicated modules, or dozens of pages. You do need to make your website easy to naviagte. Make an outline (sitemap) of what information you want to put where, and organize it as if you are the visitor. Think about a first time visitor's journey onto your website. What would you like to see? Can you find ways to help within 5 seconds of being on your website? Do this test for all 5 features, and see if you can improve your website's navigation. Lastly, research successful nonprofit websites, connect with web developers, network with other nonprofits in order to learn and grow.


Below are three examples of effective nonprofit websites. Remember, you don’t have to break the bank to have an effective website; utilize the tools available to you efficiently and effectively.


3 Examples of Effective Non-Profit Websites:


This is fantastic example of clean design and easy navigation. They have a clear menu right above the fold, eliminating the need to scroll through pages to find the information you’re looking for. You’re also able to read a paragraph describing what they do (1. Purpose), share the website on your social networks (5. Savvy Social), signup for the email newsletter (2. Call to action), and dive into more stories about the organization (3. Details of your Community).  




This website has a call to action right on the front page (2. Call to action), description of who they help (3. Details of your community), up to date news feeds (5. Savvy Social), mission statement (1. Purpose), and ways to get involved all right on the homepage. It’s also very clean, and doesn’t give visitors the feeling of “information-overload.” It’s subtle, and easy to navigate, and includes powerful images to help visitors connect with their cause.



Project C.U.R.E.

Project Cure’s website has a little bit of everything: Impactful colors, mission statement, calls to action, description of the community they help and why, and up to date social media links all on their home page. The website features a map of the world, highlighting the countries it currently has projects in. This is an excellent way of showing the impact and scale of the organization’s efforts. They feature two very specific calls to action on the top of their homepage: Give and Serve. The visitor can learn about the organization without spending a lot of time on their website. They can see some of their current projects, and watch videos on past projects. It’s easy to navigate, simple, and effective.



Hope you find this post useful!

Let me know if you've been successful incorporating any other features on your non-profit's website!

All my love,