Posted: May 10th, 2012
Non-Profits are often faced with a unique challenge when redesigning their websites. Like other websites, they need to clearly communicate the mission of the organization, have a clear call to action, and engage their audience. We’ve selected 19 best non-profit websites that we think best accomplish this goal. Some of them use innovative design, some use multimedia, and some use humor. All of them accomplish the most important thing: When you leave, you know what they do and how you can help.
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The Acumen Fund has one of the most innovative designs we’ve seen. The homepage clearly tells their story, with sections on “What We’ve Accomplished”, “What We’ve Learned”, “Where We’re Headed”, and “How You Can Help”. Each section features information told in an infographic style to keep the visitor engaged throughout their entire story. And most importantly, the big black Donate button follows you the entire way down the page. We love this site.
Counterspill recently won three Webby awards and it’s no surprise. Upon landing, you are greeted with a dark, almost foreboding map that highlights the worst non-renewable energy disasters in the world. Users can also watch a featured video that explains the cause of the website. The average time spent on this site must be enormous.
Livestrong’s bright yellow and black branding is instantly recognizable by millions of people around the world, so it makes sense for that to be the main design element of their homepage. We like that there are very clear calls to action for visitors – Get informed. Find Support. Take Control.
Girl Effect uses an infographic feel and video to quickly communicate their message, mission, and what you can do to support. We love the landing page of this website because it immediately invited us to participate and engage with the cause.
Invisible Children uses film and social action to end the use of child soldiers in Joseph Kony’s rebel war. Their message is clear and the gritty design of the website completely complements their mission of raising awareness of a tragic and disturbing reality in Africa.
I Had Cancer is a social network for people fighting cancer, cancer survivors, or supporters of people affected. The homepage is clear, with a video explaining how the website works and easily paths for visitors to join.
Who doesn’t love Sesame Street? Sesame Workshop uses Sesame Street to promote education in over 150 countries. We loved the large image scroller and fun, quirky design that stays true to the Sesame Street brand.
Amnesty International’s yellow and black color scheme is different from most other websites, and that’s why we like it. The call to actions are clear: Donate, Join, or Take Action.
Charity:Water’s website has all the essentials right above the fold. Without scrolling, you are able to read a paragraph describing what they do, share the website on your social networks, signup for the email newsletter, and dive into more stories about the organization. We can tell that this organization clearly thought about who they were trying to reach and what action they wanted them to take.
AYPF is a nonprofit that supports policy leaders with resources and professional development opportunities. The design is professional without being stodgy and the navigation is easy to use.
While Change.org isn’t technically a non-profit, they help non-profits spread their message through an intuitive petition engine. We like that they clearly lay out the process of using their website: 1) Start a Petition, 2) Mobilize Support, 3) Win Change. Who knew it was so easy?
Kiva utilizes crowdfunding to support people around the world. Many websites make the mistake of talking too much about themselves and not enough about the people that they are trying to help. Kiva dedicates the largest area of its homepage to the people, with a wall of head shots and stories.
Greenpeace is known for their aggressive stance on environmental issues and their website is consistent with that message. Their design is clean and simple, with most of the focus on a large slider that directs visitors to learn more and take action against environmental transgressors.
ONE is a grassroots advocacy and campaign organization. The modern design uses lots of white space and a well-designed slider to highlight its most important initiatives.
The MacArthur Foundation’s website is simple and that’s why we like it. Users are immediately drawn to their most important press releases and news items and can easily navigate their grantmaking by program, topic, and location.
SHOFCO is a non-profit organization started at Wesleyan University that combats gender inequality and extreme poverty in the Kibera Slum. Their homepage features infographics, clear buttons to Donate, and an animated video that tells their story.
Messages for Japan used Google Translate to help thousands of people send videos and messages to Japanese tsunami victims. The approach was innovative and the website lets users see the messages on a world map.
Gasland is a film that documents the boom in domestic natural gas drilling or “fracking”. We love the action center on the homepage and right sidebar that lets users contact elected officials, take part in protests, and donate to the cause.