Get in touch

5 Design Best Practices For Nonprofit Websites


A website is essential to the long-term success of a nonprofit organization. You can raise money and engage new and existing donors by having an excellent online presence. In this article, we cover the 5 design best practices for nonprofit websites.

5 Website Design Best Practices For Nonprofit Organizations

It’s no secret that the majority of the donations for nonprofit organizations come from live events, fundraisers, and general in-person donations, but that doesn’t mean that online contributions should be overlooked—quite the contrary. 

This post-pandemic era shows us that people have gotten used to giving out donations online, and the numbers are backing it up. Around 12% of all donations come from online giving. This number gets even higher to almost 18% if you are a small nonprofit organization. To not miss out on those donations, we compiled a list of top 5 design tips that you can implement on your website to collect the most donations and help your organization succeed. 


Follow Industry Trends

See what the top nonprofits are doing. They are usually staying ahead of the curve. Of course, they will probably have much more resources and top-tier website designers on their team, but that doesn’t mean you cannot copy what some of them are doing. Take the time to visit some of the more popular and well-established nonprofits to get inspired and implement ideas that you find interesting. See how they set up their donation pages, check how easy it is to navigate the website, notice what color scheme they are using, see what pops up first, and determine what you didn’t like. 

It will help you establish a skeleton upon which you will be able to build. Don’t be afraid to experiment, and don’t feel ashamed to copy the things you like from them. As the famous saying goes- good artists borrow, great artists steal. 

With that being said, don’t fall into the trap of making your website look perfect before going live. Every day that your website is offline, you miss out on potential donors, new visitors, and contributors to your cause. 

Make it Easy to Donate 

It’s your most valued metric, how many people donate to your cause at the end of the day. So by making it simple, you will increase your chances of getting more donations. You can do this in several ways. The first and most important one is having the Donate button visible on every page. The most straightforward solution is to integrate it directly into your navigation bar. This way, you won’t have to worry about it being intrusive or where it’s positioned on every single page. It’s essential to make it easy to see, so make it colorful and big so that no one will miss it. 

Email and social media also play a significant role in the decision-making of a donor, so you can use this to your advantage by having a newsletter opt-in and your social media channels visible. The footer is the best choice if you can’t fit them in the navigation menu since it’s the usual spot on many websites. 


More Media, Less Text 

Utilize pictures and videos over text. A text block might seem informative but could also be an information overload, increasing the chances of people leaving the website without even understanding your purpose. Keep the messaging short, and add vivid images and empowering videos to convey your mission better. If you are looking for free images to use on your website, check out Unsplash.

Find a balance. Your website shouldn’t look like a collage. Utilize white space to give your content room to breathe and focus on your mission and purpose. Tell a story. This will captivate the viewer and make it more compelling to align with your goals. Convey and provide an emotional context, show not tell, and make the viewer feel the need to donate. 

As a general rule of thumb – never use autoplay or have any music automatically playing without consent on your website to ensure you do not scare any potential viewers. Having audio or video automatically play will also rank you lower by Google, so don’t do it.

Large Fonts And a Clear Call to Action 

Having less text on your website gives you a great option to increase its size and make it obvious to viewers what your goals are. Keep it short, sweet, and large, with a clear call to action. 

Sure, the donation is the ultimate goal, but there are more ways that people can contribute to your cause. Have a share button for social media. This will increase the chances of being exposed to more people. Give your viewers more information if they want, “Learn more” button will ensure that they have an option to read more and get informed about your mission, which will make them understand and align with your work.

Prioritize Security 

Cybercrime is no joke, especially in 2022. Globally, 30,000 websites are hacked daily, and 64% of companies worldwide have experienced at least one form of a cyber attack. Chances are, someone will try to hack into yours as well. That’s why it’s essential to invest in cyber security. 

Whenever there is any payment or a donation option, it creates a bigger mark for hackers. Have that in mind and always be vigilant, test every step of the way daily to ensure nothing suspicious is going on, and consider hiring a cyber security consultant. 


Best practices for nonprofit websites – Conclusion 

There are a few key things we wanted to point out for your nonprofit website. If you followed our instructions, you should have a trendy, easy on the eye, and secure website with a clear call to action that will improve your donations and increase the number of visitors.

Keep it visually pleasing with more pictures and videos and less text, and make the one that stays pop out to convey your message. There are many more things that you can do to make your website better. Keep reading more about the new trends, compare to other nonprofits and invest time and money into making it better every day and you will surely succeed. 

Why Clio Websites

Clio Websites is a full-service website design and marketing company in Calgary. We have loads of experience with responsive website design, website maintenance, WordPress development and support, and SEO. Clio offers free consultations and free website evaluations and we receive glowing reviews from our clients.

Clio is always available and happy to answer any questions you may have about our best practices for nonprofit websites, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you need help.

What sets us apart

Clio offers interest-free payment plans and we receive glowing reviews from our clients. Here are a few things that set us apart from the competition. Clio Websites:

  • Offers competitive pricing and flexible payment options
  • Is a premier Calgary web design company with WordPress development expertise
  • Has years of experience helping small businesses achieve their online goals
  • Spends the time to understand your business needs and requirements
  • Has a very high customer satisfaction and retention rate (over 98%)
  • Prides ourselves on the quality of service we provide to each and every client
  • Is responsive and won’t leave you hanging for days when you need support the most
  • Creates custom websites for each project to separate you from your competition

About the author

Nat Miletic is the founder of Clio Websites, a Calgary-based web design company. Nat writes about WordPress, SEO, and responsive web design.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

If you liked this article, sign up for our newsletter.

Our Latest Posts