On a basic level, websites for non-profit organizations aren't much different from any other site on the Internet. They should be user-friendly, easy to navigate, and follow good design principles. However, sites for nonprofits have a few other requirements that should be taken into consideration in the design— they need to attract donors and volunteers and provide information to the media.
A non-profit site should be donor-friendly with a clear call to action for donating. It should be easy for volunteers to find information on how they can get involved. In addition, the site should make it easy to get more information so they don’t have to contact you or wait for a response.
The purpose of the organization should be immediately apparent. This can be accomplished by having an abbreviated mission statement on the home page or having a prominent link that takes visitors to the about page. The about page should have concise and plainly written information about the organization.
Below are a few examples of nonprofit sites that accomplish these tasks and aesthetically communicate the organizations goals.
This site has clear calls to action for donating and getting involved. It also has a short summary of the organization's purpose with a link to the about page.
Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research
The sites design and layout communicates the organizations purpose.
WISER: Investing in Health and Education
WISER’s site is easy to navigate and provides a clear sense of purpose on the home page. Calls to action for donating and volunteering are prominent on the home page.
Charleston Parks Conservancy: Connecting People with Their Parks
Using a clean design, this site uses color to structure the sites content. It’s well organized and it’s easy to find information about the organization.
This site uses a bold design to communicate its purpose. Call to action is clear and easy to navigate. Their mission is summarized on the home page.
Network for Good: Web Site 101
A good overview of website design and development for non profits.
(Some) Best Practices for Nonprofit Web Site Design
A rundown of best practices in nonprofit web design.
Web Design and Development: Top 20 Best Practices
A thorough list of best practices in general website design.
by Jason Holland, Interactive Graphic Designer