Nonprofit Web Design: Everything You Need To Know
A website is your organization’s home base on the World Wide Web. When visitors arrive on your platform—whether they’re potential donors or eager volunteers—you want them to instinctively know where to go. That means you need your website design to be organized and informative to the target audience.
But that’s not all a website has to be. A website is often your organization’s first impression for brand new potential customers. The first interaction with your site can make or break that potential donor or eager volunteer’s user experience.
So, how can you create a cohesive, structured user interface that’s welcoming and warm (just like your organization)?
Enter: the power of nonprofit web design.
Here’s everything you need to know when it comes to making your nonprofit’s website shine while having a strong online presence with content marketing:
#1 User-Friendly Web Design is Smart Web Design
Think of your brick-and-mortar office. When a potential donor comes to check out your operation, you want them to have a simple and pleasant journey to find out more about you.
You don’t want to have to give them directions like, “Take the second elevator to the 14th floor, then the third left from the water fountain. If you see a gang of rabid raccoons, you’ve gone too far!”
The same holds for your website. You want visitors to easily:
- Learn who you are
- Find more information about your projects, events, and services
- Contact you
There are a few ways to achieve quality website design.
A Savvy Menu Bar
A menu bar on your website will help users find what they’re looking for on your site. You don’t want to clog these up with too many page titles—that’s why drop-down menus were invented! Instead, boil it down to the essentials and expand from there.
Here’s an example of a basic menu bar template:
- About – A page in which you’ll describe the origins of your organization. The drop-down menu could include pages like:
- Our Founders
- Mission & Values
- Awards & Accolades
- Sponsors & Partnerships
- Sponsors & Partnerships
- What We Do – Arguably one of the most important parts of your website, this page will go into detail about the incredible ways your nonprofit helps others and changes the world. Your drop-down menu here may include more specific pages like:
- Programs and Services
- Lecture Series
- Lecture Series
- Get Involved – Invite visitors to take action on your site by learning how they can support your cause. You can add additional drop-down items like the following:
- Work for Us
- Press – This is where your mentions in the media will go, as well as a press kit for any journalists who are doing a story on your organization.
- Blog – Blogs are a website must-have, whether you’re a pizza chain or a nonprofit. They help boost your site’s search engine optimization value and provide users with current information about what’s happening in your organization.
- Contact Us – The Contact Us page is crucial, of course. Whether a potential sponsor has questions about your services or a volunteer wants to ask questions about hours, a Contact Us page guides visitors to further interactions with your organization.
Mobile browsing—or looking stuff up with a phone—is becoming more common than using a tablet or a computer. In 2019, 52% of website traffic was sourced from mobile phones! By ensuring sure your website is as easy to navigate on a phone as it is on a desktop computer, you can expand your website’s reach and visitor retention. It must have a responsive design so that no matter the interface your target audience is using, they will have a good experience.
Nothing’s more user-friendly than a secure website, especially for a nonprofit website. You want donors to feel safe with every action, from signing up for email alerts to inputting credit card information to your donation page.
Work with your web developer and web designer to put safety measures in place like:
- Installing security plugins
- Using a secure website hosting service
- Ensuring your site’s SSL certificate is updated
- Running regular website security checks for malicious code
- Creating a secure way to take payments
#2 Tell Your Story
The most valuable asset for both business web design or nonprofit web design? An organization’s story. You want every page to speak to your mission and values.
Here’s how to tell your story on every part of your website:
With Consistent Branding
Nonprofit web page design lives or dies on consistency—okay, a little dramatic… but you get the picture. Consistent branding and layout creates a sense of sophistication and professionalism as soon as a visitor enters your homepage.
Be sure to consider:
- Color schemes
- Spacing conventions
What can we say? People like pictures! The images you choose can help illustrate your organization’s amazing story.
Here are a few tips for making the most out of your website’s visual design with images:
- Choose high-resolution images – When images are high quality, the website will look high-quality.
- Mix-up the candid photos with the posed photos – The most valuable currency in the nonprofit marketing world? Authenticity. Your images should feel like windows into the extraordinary work you do.
- Use a combination of busy shots and simple shots – If your organization is an afterschool sports program, don’t just fill your website with busy team picture-day shots. Include images of a child holding a bat with a big grin on her face or a coach working with a young pitcher. These simple images tend to evoke strong emotional connections with users.
They say a picture’s worth a thousand words. But your website will probably have thousands of words on it. And every one should support your organization’s voice and mission.
Work with your content team on creating a consistent voice for your website. Ask questions like:
- If your organization was a person, what would she be like?
- Do you want to be scientific in your approach to create a sense of thought leadership?
- Do you want to be warm and friendly, using humor to attract donors?
#3 Work With Web Design Pros
From the technical to the creative, web designing is a unique opportunity that can provide warmth and depth to your organization. But it takes an expert in all things digital marketing to help your organization reach its full potential.
At Puzzle Pieces Marketing, we know that your website is a chance to share your story with the world. Which is why we’ve built our brand on a deep understanding of nonprofit web design and development as well as digital marketing tactics in:
- Social media
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Content marketing
Are you ready to share your story? We want to help you do it with Puzzle Pieces’ web design services. Let’s talk about your dream web design for your nonprofit today.
Broadband Search. Mobile vs. Desktop Usage (Latest 2020 Data) https://www.broadbandsearch.net/blog/mobile-desktop-internet-usage-statistics
Double the Donation. 14 Essential nonprofit Web Design Best Practices. https://doublethedonation.com/tips/nonprofit-web-design/
MorWeb. Web Development for Nonprofits: The Essential Guide. https://morweb.org/post/nonprofit-web-development