More Effective Nonprofit Websites in 2 Simple Steps (part 2) | npENGAGE

More Effective Nonprofit Websites in 2 Simple Steps (part 2)

By on May 10, 2012


Effective Nonprofit Web Design: Share Your MIssion

Part two of our four part series on Effective Nonprofit Websites. Make sure to read part one if you missed it: Create a More Effective Nonprofit Website Using These 2 Simple Suggestions

“The Web is a world of first impressions, and quick ones at that.  Users form an opinion of a website within the first few seconds of loading it.” Jason Gross, “The Role of Design in The Kingdom of Content,

Makes sense, right? On to the next two nonprofit website best practices …

Best Practice #3:  Share Your Mission

60% of all donors check out your nonprofits website before donating so you should tell them why they should give and what impact it will make…quickly before they change their mind.  Share your mission clearly, succinctly and make it actionable!

EX:  Helping People. Saving Gorillas.  Not just a tagline.  Not just a mission.  Rich links to compelling content that shares with site visitors what the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund is about, how they help and who they serve.

Effective Nonprofit Web Design: Share Your MIssion

Best Practice #4:  Use Compelling Imagery

“Regardless of what your content actually says, the design around it controls what the users see first and how their eyes move across the sections of the page.”  Jason Gross, “The Role of Design in the Kingdom of Content, 

Compelling imagery can comes in many forms, but is an essential part of creating effective nonprofit websites:

  • Infographics are my personal favorite.  They allow you to VISUALLY show all types of content –  from stewardship to impact to mission fulfillment to campaign progress – clearly and succinctly.  They are attractive and engaging, which are two key elements to successful imagery on any website.  Charity Water does an excellent job using icons and infographics to tell their story. Not just on their homepage, but throughout their site, check them out.
Nonprofit Infographics
  • Effective Nonprofits Websites: Eye ContactEngage with eye contact.  Photography that uses eye contact will allow you to make a personal connection with your user.  You’re a nonprofit, you know that personal connections, trust and emotional engagement are keys to fulfilling your mission!  For example, which would better share the amazing impact Habitat for Humanity has on the community – an image of 5 volunteers building a Habitat Home with their backs to the camera?    Or the eyes of the man for whom the house was built?
  • Share real stories of impact.   Sharing stories of how others are affected by your work, your outreach and your mission will build credibility and encourage empathy.

So far we’ve discussed that your nonprofit website should:

  1. Resonate with Your Audiences
  2. Have a Focused Homepage
  3. Share Your Mission
  4. Use Compelling Imagery

The best is yet to come. Thanks for reading and I hope you’ll check back for part three next week.

Was this helpful? Do you have more examples to share? Please comment and share your successes!



Kelley Jarrett has built her professional career around a combined passion for creating compelling marketing strategies and helping nonprofits achieve optimal mission impact. Prior to her current role as head of marketing for Blackbaud Nonprofit Solutions, Kelley served in many service-oriented positions at Blackbaud as a solutions consultant, solutions engineer, and in customer success leadership, learning first-hand of the challenges and opportunities nonprofits face, and helping to create solutions for success. Kelley enjoys balancing her home life, living near the beach in Charleston, SC as a wife and mother to 2 independent girls, with her passion for social good, both at Blackbaud and as a Board Director of Palmetto Goodwill.

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