Social Driver is thrilled to present our 38 Best Nonprofit Websites of 2013! One year ago, we showed you our favorite examples of 2012 and we were excited to see many of those websites have redesigned their look and feel. Through extensive research and evaluation we chose the best nonprofit websites on the web today.
It was a tough job but somebody had to do it! Social Driver evaluated hundreds of websites based on the following criteria: clarity of call-to-action, mission portrayal through photography, vibrant and engaging website design, and responsive site layout. We’ve defined our criteria below and highlighted the nonprofit website from our list that does an exceptional job showcasing the criteria.
Want to see if your favorite nonprofit made the cut? Check it out!
With any successful campaign, whether online or off, an organization must have a clear call to action. A clear call to action provides users and members with a purpose and easy way to carry out that purpose.
LiveStrong does an excellent job displaying calls to action prominently on the site. Visitors are greeted with instructions to “Join Our Team,” “Wear Yellow,” or “Donate” giving visitors an easy and quick way to begin their fight for the cause.
Successfully defining problems and developing solutions among the cancer community has contributed to LiveStrong’s wide-reaching impact. The site’s clear calls to action help their supporters make an impact as well!
Photographs are a powerful tool in telling your organization’s story. A single stunning photograph can pull in visitors and compel them to get involved.
Kiva made the cut as one our 38 Best Nonprofit Websites because of the compelling use of photography to tell their members’ stories. As a nonprofit that utilizes crowdfunding to promote entrepreneurship globally, potential donors must be able to connect with the individual projects showcased by Kiva. Inspiring descriptions of the need for funding accompany each “borrower” photo, better assisting lenders in their quest to give.
Along with photography, vibrant and unique website design is key to attracting your target audience and pulling them into the site to ensure your audience commits to your organization’s calls to action.
Sesame Workshop’s vibrant design, easy to ready typography, and simple color scheme bring visitors at all levels into the site. Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street? With Sesame Workshop’s fun to navigate website you will cheerfully and easily find the nonprofit’s mission and calls to action. Not only do we enjoy Sesame Workshop for all they do educationally to help children in 150 countries, but also for their visually stimulating site!
Web traffic is increasingly becoming more and more mobile. Your users are viewing and sharing your nonprofit website on a variety of devices, whether you want them to or not. Having a website that can adapt to different technologies and screen sizes is essential for connecting with your audience.
Boot Campaign helps raise awareness of the challenges American solders face upon returning home from war and raises money to provide assistance to programs helping our heroes on the front lines. Boot Campaign knew their target audience was heavily concentrated with mobile users. Creating a fully responsive site that looks and functions great on desktops, tablets, and smartphones allows Boot Campaign’s supporters to make a difference wherever they may be.
Want to see if your favorite nonprofit made the cut? Check it out!
Do you know of other nonprofit websites that we didn’t choose that could be contenders based on the criteria? You can let us know in the comments below.
Facebook recently announced a new design of the Facebook News Feed. The design reduces the left and right sidebars and expands the main News Feed to show full-size vibrant images, offering more real estate to visual content and a set of new sub-feeds.
According to Facebook, the same stories will appear as did before, meaning that Facebook has not adjusted Edgerank, the algorithm that determines what content is posted on your News Feed. However, the design will be much more vibrant and colorful, centering around larger images.
Facebook says that this change will provide a more seamless experience between mobile and desktop viewing, but we surmise that this is an attempt by Zuckerburg to position Facebook as the premiere advertising platform for digital marketers.
With the redesign, companies’ promoted posts and sponsored stories that use images will be given more real estate in individuals’ News Feeds. So what does that mean for marketers in charge of managing organizations’ Facebook page?
Up until now, many marketers have seen huge ROI in promoted posts and sponsored stories, partly because of Facebook’s lower-than-market-value advertising rates.
Advertising experts expect that Facebook’s shift in focus on visual content will allow them to gain higher ad prices in the future. This means that the days of cheap advertising on Facebook will likely be coming to an end. We expect ad costs on Facebook and other social networks to significantly rise in the future, so plan your budgets accordingly.
Facebook already favored visual content, but this News Feed redesign further reinforces that focus. When planning your editorial calendar, try to figure out how you can share your information visually, through a photo or photo album.
Infographics are a great way to share information (and have high virality), as are images with overlaid text (think memes). If you are using text in your images, make sure you follow the <20% rule!
With the new sub-feeds, Facebook users will now have the ability to choose to filter content more heavily. As with many of the changes to News Feed, this will positively affect some marketers view rates and negatively affect others. Among other options, users can now view content posted by only their friends, effectively opting out of content from organizations who they aren’t friends with but may follow.
Users can also see content posted by all the pages they follow, content just relating to Games or Music, as well as a variety of other filters. You’ll be able to advertise in any of these feeds, but you’ll want to be mindful of the context. For example, an advertisement that shows up in the “All Friends” feed may be viewed as more disruptive as one that shows up in the “Pages You Follow” feed.
Regardless of these changes, competition for space on Facebook’s News Feed is becoming more and more cutthroat. Not only do you have to compete with other organizations, you now have to compete with larger and more prominent ad spaces integrated into the main News Feed.
On average, about 15% of your followers will see the content you publish for any given post. That means that the chances of spamming your followers is nearly impossible, unless you are posting more than 10 times a day.
Digital campaigns have come a long way! Promoting up and coming products, services, and/or campaigns is now more readily available through Kickstarter—“a funding platform for creative projects.” At Social Driver, we help clients Get with the Future by supporting both entertaining and revolutionary social projects. Check out 6 of the best Kickstarter video campaigns that caught our attention:
Campaign #1: Kickstarter Open Source Death Star
The force is definitely with the team behind the Kickstarter Open Source Death Star campaign! Based in London, the project has received worldwide recognition & support. While creation of an actual Death Star may be bleak, the Kickstarter Open Source Death Star campaign is momentous. Steadily growing towards it’s goal to gain “more detailed plans and enough chicken wire to protect reactor exhaust ports.”
Campaign #2: Dog Days
Local directors Laura Waters Hinson and Kasey Kirby set out to document the successes and tribulations of two uncanny hotdog stand owners in the Washington, DC area. Coite, a former industrial engineer, and Siyone, a former East African refugee, join forces to keep street vending alive despite the new popularity of “food truck” vendors. The gain for pledging towards this campaign ranges from donating $5—which will allot you special thanks on the movie website, to $5,000 (or more)—which will grant you the credit of Contributing Associate Producer in the film and more perks. With under a month to go the campaign is almost halfway to their goal!
Campaign #3: LiveCode
“If you couldn’t code before, LiveCode is the answer.” The application—Live Code—is already available to a fourth of Secondary Schools in Scotland. Of those schools, students using the program for a year have shown a significant increase in computer science interest. LiveCode is produced by RunRev Ltd. (app developers) and is described as the “next generation hyper card” program. The Kickstarter campaign was created to help fund the program to run on every popular device and code in English. By mid-March the program will be available and free to schools and universities globally. The initiative of LiveCode is to encourage digital literacy by helping young minds write interactive software.
Campaign #4: /Crowdring
Through /Crowdring, Deepa Gupta, Adriana Valdez Young, Carina Molnar, and Leonardo Eloi planned to unite the world on social justice issues. In 2011, a movement in India gained 35 million petition phone calls from supporters to a local number. However, the supportive phone calls did not suffice because there was no system maintain and organize the data. /Crowdring is an application that is developed to allow those supporting any movement around the world to use their phone call as a petition signature. These “mobile signatures” will then be presented to politicians and lawmakers as encouragement for change. With developing partnerships in Rio, Nairobi, and Bangalore, /Crowdring is on it’s way to revolutionizing involvement in social movements.
Campaign #5: GPS Art Poster
This non-traditional art form has caught the attention of many. Although the campaign isn’t over the poster art exceeded its goal by over $7,000 dollars. Collected from thousands of impressions from GPS users around any city, each piece embodies layers of traveled routes. When finished the artistry shows a layout of a city with interconnected lines, some denser than others, which conveys areas highly traveled. The finished product, a frame-able poster, can be made from any area in the USA as well as the UK, Germany, Netherlands and Denmark.
Campaign #6: Embrace+
Say goodbye to interrupting meetings or movies with phone alerts! Described as a “fashion accessory with true functionality,” Embrace+ (for androids and Iphones) is a bracelet which alerts it’s wearer with color coded alerts. From incoming calls and texts to email, Facebook, or Twitter notifications, Embrace+ keeps you in sync without having the phone directly in your hand. Each notification has the possibility of being to be color coded letting you know exactly which type of notification your receiving. Even down to your girlfriend/boyfriend or boss calling you. The campaign for the sleek notification design is still underway to release the final product of the Embrace+ with the 5ATM waterproof grade.
Share in the comments below your favorite Kickstarter campaign!
To find out more how Social Driver can aid your upcoming campaign contact us at Info@SocialDriver.com.
Relationship management is the key to creating and sustaining success between a nonprofit and its constituents. It is critical to understand how much your organization has raised, who is donating funds, and how the organization can maintain these relationships and create new ones through various campaigns. Along with having a defined digital strategy, nonprofits can improve their organization’s constituent relationships with a Customer Relationship Manager, or CRM.
In this article we’ll take a look at some of the best CRMs and how they can work for your nonprofit.
Blue State Digital’s BSD Tools can support you with anything from engaging target audiences to executing calls to action. The company’s suite of fundraising tools uses innovation and experience to reach organization targets. Among the many unique features in BSD Tools is The Mailer which can segment and target specific audience groups for email campaigns based on a list of variables including past actions and demographics. BSD Tools also includes Canvass, a way to effectively track and manage all your organization’s offline outreach.
NeonCRM provides numerous options that are very reasonably priced for systems of all constituent sizes, from 500 records to over 500,000. NeonCRM is an All-in-One solution that allows tracking of fundraising, membership, event registration, online store purchases, email communications, and volunteers within one system. The integrated online forms also make it easy for donors to set up recurrent payment schedules and see the impact they’re making in real-time with real-time payment processing.
Ideal For: Nonprofits looking for a user-friendly, one-stop-shop for their organization’s needs.
Salsa’s platform provides options that are not only great for tracking the bottom line, but for organizing data that’s crucial to growing your organization. Salsa offers different pricing options based on the number of campaign managers using the product. Some unique features with Salsa include access to Salsa Commons, a network of over 100 partners committed to helping you succeed, and options to add and manage organization chapters.
Ideal For: Nonprofits looking to track and organize fundraising and donor data, as well as better organize communication at every level within the organization.
DonorPerfect is a widely used CRM that can either be installed as software on your computer or accessed online from anywhere, even your mobile devices. DonorPerfect’s system allows anyone within your organization to track and organize constituents. The DonorPerfect CRM comes with over 100 reporting options, or options to create your own reports, so any metrics your organization could need are right at your fingertips.
Ideal For: Medium to large nonprofits wanting an extremely customizable product to work alongside your organization’s accounting software.
For organizations with a large constituent base, Convio Luminate provides a robust system, accessible from anywhere, that can be used by everyone involved in fundraising for your organization. Some key attributes for Convio Luminate include tons of customizable application add-ons, and TeamRaiser. TeamRaiser is an online application through Luminate which mobilizes and engages peer-to-peer fundraisers.
Ideal For: Large nonprofits seeking an enterprise level, customizable CRM to manage large and expanding amounts of data.
Salesforce’s Foundation CRM system for nonprofits is a cloud-based system with up to the minute reports, real-time tracking, and analytics. The CRM platform for Salesforce provides scalability to grow with your members and donors. Your organization can also customize your CRM with specifically designed and developed apps for the Salesforce platform.
Ideal For: Medium to large nonprofits analyzing large amounts of constituent data who want to pick and choose specific CRM features to meet the organizations needs.
Need more help figuring out which solution is right for you? Email us at: email@example.com
Associations, unlike some non-profits, typically have a very clear, well-defined audience that they are trying to reach. However, they are faced with the challenge of offering content that meets the needs of a wide range of companies within their industries. We searched through hundreds of association websites to present you the 19 best examples of web design for associations.
This website is all about clean lines and bright colors with images that not only look pretty, but tell GMA’s story. It’s always best to tell your story through your constituents and that’s what this website does so well.
Too much information can often clutter a website and overwhelm the audience, yet FMI was able to separate lots of information into relevant categories to create a clean, user-friendly appearance.
The earthy scheme presented here pulls you into beautiful park scenery that you can’t help but check out. One of the first things you see is a message making viewers aware of the dangers National Parks face and a clear call to action of how we can help, which is the most important point for them to get across!
The color scheme, high quality images, and enhanced layout of this website are both functional and beautiful.
Want to see examples of great nonprofit website designs? Download our list of the 38 Best Nonprofit Websites of 2013 and be inspired!
EDRA welcomes you with an updated edge offering unique sketches instead of images. From there you will find information chronologically listed for you to learn the latest happenings of what’s going on.
With a futuristic appeal, Village Alliance created an engaging site with large images and text. When you scroll to the bottom, you will find a Village Tour that allows the user to create their own story – exploring things to do, sites to see, and places to go.
PMBA is eye catching with vibrate colors and plenty to look at. All links are easy to find, especially the quick “about” blurb as one of the first things you see, along with a list of news and events on the right, and social media feeds at the bottom.
This site combines several eye-catching features into one website with loads of great images, interactivity, clean organization, and a scrolling list of recent news and updates for the latest information.
WSWA has a very different look to it, which makes it great for separating the brand from the crowd. The interactivity with the mouse also makes things interesting as you poke around for information.
NWFA offers a fresh look with complementary colors and an interactive feature to design your very own room, allowing the user to test out different types of wood flooring in a variety of settings.
If you’re looking for engagement, this site has got it. To find what you’re looking for, you’ll need to do some clicking. But ASLA sets it up in a fun way that makes you want to click on all of the icons to see what else is hiding!
The American theme is strong in this website’s design. From there, the vast amount of information is organized into much smaller categories, creating a positive user experience complete with up to date press releases and links to all social media channels.
There’s always been something striking about gold and black, especially when combined with a great layout, rotating icons, and large images. This site immediately lured me in and made me want to explore.
This site is a beauty! The vivid image of the sunshine against the grass gets the solar point upon landing. When scrolling down, the ‘sticky note’ layout adds a nice touch without overpowering the site with information at first glance.
Real motion picture images against a fantastic color scheme make this site memorable. We like the drop-down tabs with the bars of links, as well as the checkerboard pattern of information and resources at the bottom.
This site screams exploration, representing a map and an adventure, which is exactly what the Peace Corps should be doing!
ACE took a lot of information, but categorized it in effective ways so the viewer isn’t overwhelmed at first glance. The more you scroll down, the more you’ll find, but instead of being overloaded you can easily look for a specific header to get exactly what you need.
As a health food fanatic, this site could not be more appealing! Images of produce take over the entire background with powerful facts about labor, politics, economic harm, and timeliness to ensure the most important messages are seen by the viewer.
Do you have any association in mind that didn’t make the list? Let us know! Need to talk to someone about designing a website for your association? Shoot us an email.
We visited our friends over at the Capital Area Food Bank during their open house the other week. We were both inspired and excited about the incredible work that CAFB is doing for our community. We had the honor of working with them on their new responsive website this year and we look forward to seeing what else they accomplish in the years to come.
We are so happy to welcome Julia Rocchi, the Managing Editor for the National Trust for Historic Preservation back to the Social Driver blog (see her previous post 5 Essential Tips for a Successful Nonprofit Website Redesign). At our most recent Social Driver’s Ed, Julia shared 5 tips for finding and engaging influencers through social media.
Julia talked at our event about a multimedia documentary project called “Buffalo Unscripted.” They initially wanted to do a documentary of Buffalonians talking candidly about their city, but what started out as a marketing piece just for Buffalo turned into a great marketing piece for the Trust because of the incredible engagement they found with the people of Buffalo. Here are the 5 tips that Julia talked about in her talk:
Writing an RFP (request for proposal) can be an arduous process to say the least. Organizing your entire company and trying to agree on what your website will look like is not an easy job. However, if you are about to engage in a website redesign, providing an RFP to your prospective vendors helps you clarify your own goals and gives the vendor a better sense of the project so that they can provide you with an accurate cost and time estimate. Imagine trying to write a research paper without first drafting an outline. You need to know where you are going before you can get there.
A good web design agency will ask you all these questions before sending you a proposal. Make sure that whoever you are working with clearly understands what you are trying to accomplish before you pay them to build you something. You wouldn’t hire an architect without a detail project plan and web design is no different.
Want to see examples of great nonprofit website designs? Download our list of the 38 Best Nonprofit Websites of 2013 and be inspired!
We’re providing 75 questions to help you guide your RFP process. Not all of the answers to these questions need to be included in the final RFP, but we urge you to think through all of them carefully. Some of your answers may be “I don’t know!” and that’s completely okay.
Looking to request a proposal? Get in touch with us here and we’d be happy to help you with the RFP process.
Photo credit: The Koncrete Pigs
The Capital Area Food Bank distributes 30 million pounds of food annually, half of which is fresh produce. They are an incredible organization and when they came to us looking to refresh their website with a new brand identity that they had developed, we were honored to be able to help. They had limited resources and a quick timeline, but needed a website that reflected the incredible programs that they run in the DC area, like the Governor’s Bowl and the Map the Meal Gap. Many of the people that they help don’t have access to a computer, so the website also had to be accessible through mobile devices. The new website that we helped them design and develop highlights the work they are doing in our community. It is also a responsive design, so the same content is viewable across any type of device (try dragging your browser window to see).
Congratulations to the Capital Area Food Bank on a successful launch! You can read the official announcement here (thanks for the shout out!) We support the Food Bank’s mission and look forward to the exciting opening of their new food distribution center.
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.
Interested in seeing more than just 19 examples? Download our list of the 38 Best Nonprofit Websites of 2013 and be inspired!
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.