Making a splash online can be really challenging for nonprofits, whether you’re a large global organization or your focus is on your immediate community.
The fact of the matter is that when your mission is on the line, the last place you want to spend fundraising dollars is hiring a team of web developers to carefully code, implement, and maintain your organization’s online home.
This means that for most nonprofit websites, user experience and aesthetics are often limited. Many organizations feel like an engaging, attractive website is out of reach. Well, think again!
Designing the perfect nonprofit website doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. Your nonprofit can create a best-fit website for your community easily. All you need is to choose smart design tools (like nonprofit website templates) to get the job done without breaking the bank.
Ready to get inspired? Find out how these nonprofit organizations designed outstanding websites:
Your nonprofit has the power to design the website it really needs to strengthen its online community—all you need is to take note of these awesome web design ideas.
Let’s dive into our favorite nonprofit websites on the internet so your team can see what’s possible!
The SEEP Network (short for “Small Enterprise Evaluation Project”) is an international business development organization dedicated to addressing the root causes of global poverty.
With their assistance, hundreds of organizations worldwide are empowered to better serve their constituents in the fight to promote economic opportunities for the world’s poor.
This commitment to solving global poverty is evident in SEEP’s web design. On their site, visitors are first greeted to a rolling slideshow featuring pictures of their constituents to help put a human face on their advocacy work.
Even further, SEEP makes it clear from the outset just how you can get involved with their work on the ground level by including links to their “About Us,” “Resources,” and “Membership” pages both in icon elements in the middle of the homepage and in their running header menu.
Our favorite feature? Because SEEP is an international nonprofit association, it’s important that their website is accessible to interested parties across the globe. For this reason, they include a translation tool powered by Google on every page of their site.
SEEP partnered with Morweb to build and maintain their web presence.
Built on Morweb’s user-friendly nonprofit CMS, SEEP's website was designed to last without needing to reach out to coding experts for every minor edit.
Using one of Morweb’s themes crafted exclusively for international organizations, SEEP was able to seamlessly customize their site to best serve their constituents.
SEEP’s Morweb site perfectly reflects their organization's brand and communicates who they really are to new visitors. Whether this is your first time interacting with them online or are a returning member, it’s easy to get involved and join their mission to end poverty worldwide.
YMCA of San Luis Obispo County is a chapter of YMCA based in California.
Dedicated to promoting physical fitness and community engagement, YMCA of San Luis Obispo County is committed to developing the mind, body, and spirit of all community members, regardless of gender, ethnicity, or age.
This focus on supporting wellness and uplifting the community is evident from YMCA of SLO County's web design. When visitors land on their homepage, they're immediately greeted with a slideshow of active community members making the most of what "the Y" has to offer.
Since YMCA of SLO County is primarily a community recreation organization, they make the most of their homepage’s real estate by placing engagement opportunities front and center.
Using bright call-to-action buttons, they center opportunities for youth development and healthy living. Nearby, they also include a "Donate" button to steer users toward giving back.
Our favorite feature? YMCA of SLO County includes an element on their homepage that displays a PDF version of their program guide. This way, site visitors can immediately see all that the chapter has to offer that year without needing to navigate away from the page.
YMCA of SLO County partners with Morweb to build and maintain their online presence.
Morweb offers a number of themes for community associations like YMCA of SLO County, so it’s no wonder that they were able to create such an effective online home for their cause.
What really stands out is how well the YMCA branding melds into the web design. You can tell how much freedom organizations like yours have over their website’s aesthetics when they use an accessible CMS like Morweb’s.
By making the most of Morweb’s customizable features, YMCA of SLO County still benefits from the platform’s drag-and-drop, coding-free interface while also creating an online home that’s totally unique to their community.
The Nonprofit Finance Fund is a financial management consulting firm and lender that has been serving nonprofit organizations for over 30 years.
Their website is clearly designed with their constituency in mind and features playful graphics of people from all walks of life. The Nonprofit Finance Fund is dedicated to sharing financial expertise with philanthropic organizations of all shapes, sizes, and missions, and their people-focused graphic design aesthetic makes that evident.
While visually impressive, the Nonprofit Finance Fund’s online home is fairly streamlined. Using a simple sans-serif font and a linear website orientation, NFF’s homepage is easy to navigate for new users and keeps important information front-and-center.
We love that they carry their branded colors throughout their entire site. Each page is framed with orange headers and footers, as well as orange accents like icon buttons to help break up the page. This gives the entire site a cohesive air that helps build their organization’s online personality.
Our favorite feature? By using friendly, warm design elements, the Nonprofit Finance Fund’s website does an excellent job of establishing their digital footprint without going overboard with flashy graphics and animations.
The Nonprofit Finance Fund built their website using Drupal.
Drupal is another content management system, but user be warned: Drupal has a steep learning curve and might not be appropriate for newcomers to nonprofit web design.
Since Drupal is an open-source software that’s free to use, your team would have a lot of wiggle room in how you leverage this platform to create your organization’s website. If you’re up for a challenge, this might be seen as a plus.
However, web design consultation and support services aren’t built into a Drupal partnership, and your nonprofit will likely need to hire out a developer to make any major changes to your site once it’s up and running.
Thorn is a global nonprofit organization that tackles the growing problem of child trafficking and sexual exploitation.
Because their work addresses such difficult subject matter, Thorn goes to great lengths to make their website inviting for all users. Whether you’re looking for the latest research data or interested in donating to support their work.
Thorn’s website is structured around sharing educational material about child sexual exploitation on the internet while providing tools to companies and law enforcement offices to help identify child sex abuse images.
In order to tell the story of their beneficiaries, Thorn pairs emotional images and videos of children at play to make it simple for users to get up to speed about the realities of modern child exploitation.
Our favorite feature? When you transition from page to page on Thorn’s website, they use smooth text and graphic animations. This helps make browsing the site feel seamless, and helps users navigate from page to page more quickly.
Thorn’s website was built using WordPress, a content management system like Morweb and Drupal.
WordPress provides users with lots of features to creatively structure and build dynamic websites. However, like Drupal, WordPress takes time to master and isn’t for beginners.
Although you can download WordPress website templates, your nonprofit will still need to spend lots of time building your site, and will need to hire a web developer to make major customizations.
This means that when the time comes for a site-wide refresh, you’ll likely run into trouble making updates.
The International Rhino Foundation is an animal advocacy group committed to supporting rhinoceros populations worldwide.
Their mission is apparent as soon as you arrive on their homepage. Rhinoceros images are positioned front-and-center, and a call to action driving users to support these animals is placed at the center of the page.
Because the bulk of their projects have pressing fundraising needs, the International Rhino Foundation’s website is designed to steer users toward giving. Right on the homepage, you can click a link that directs you to their online giving form.
On this form, you can choose from a number of suggested gift options. This page is branded to their cause and feels like a seamless element of their web presence, making it easier for potential donors to decide to make a gift.
Our favorite feature? On the International Rhino Foundation’s homepage, you can easily click through to web pages that detail the organization’s successful track record, learn more about rhinos, or get involved in their global research.
The International Rhino Foundation’s website was built using WordPress.
Not only that, but their online fundraising forms were designed by Salsa Labs. These forms are embedded into their website and feature mobile-responsive design elements in order to support both mobile and desktop users.
Using WordPress can be less intensive than working on a Drupal website. However, with WordPress, your design experience is really dependent upon what theme you choose, especially if it’s a lesser-used offering from a third-party developer.
The bottom line is that choosing a WordPress website can give your organization a lot of freedom in how you design your web presence. But, your team needs to be careful to choose a theme that’s regularly updated and offers support services in order to ensure smooth implementation.
Fuel Church is a faith-based nonprofit organization based in Florida that tailors its outreach to young Christians.
When visitors land on Fuel Church’s website, they’re met with an impressive moving graphic overlaid by a modern typographic logo. It’s immediately apparent that this congregation knows a thing or two about graphic design and uses this knowledge well.
While stylish, users might encounter a few issues with Fuel Church’s web design. One issue to note is that although homepage visitors initially see their impressive moving logo graphic, that’s nearly all users see when they click through to their homepage.
In the upper right-hand corner there’s a small menu bar, and below the fold you can find more content to interact with. But, if you’ve never visited the Fuel Church website before you might not know that these other engagement opportunities exist since the logo image is so large.
Our favorite feature? Fuel Church is undeniably stylish, and they make great use of layering text and photos in a way that makes their site feel seamless. This helps contribute to the sophisticated design of the site and certainly makes an impression on users.
CSS gives your team greater power to create customized elements like the site’s moving background image. However, using CSS isn’t for coding newbies, and you’ll need to hire a dedicated CSS expert to build your site from the ground up using this language.
For most nonprofit organizations, this would break a budget already stretched thin. And ultimately, unless you decide to hire that coder out for later projects or train a coder to stay on your staff long term, your team will have a hard time solving tech issues or updating the site without help.
While Fuel Church’s website is stylish, it’s functionality is still pretty limited. If the organization wanted a more dynamic website that they could easily customize to function as they need it to, they might be better off choosing a more accessible CMS to see the job through.
Making your mark online as a nonprofit shouldn’t seem like it’s out of reach. With the right web design tools and inspiration from your peers, your nonprofit’s website can go above and beyond to engage supporters.
Looking to dive a bit deeper into the world of nonprofit web design? You’re in luck! Check out our favorite web design resources for nonprofits just like yours:
Categories: Website Design