Seven of the best charity websites: An inspirational round up

Posted by
Tess Bullen
Seven of the best charity websites: An inspirational round up
There’s lots of different ways of telling stories, sharing impact, and driving visitors to support missions online, so we’ve outlined a few approaches to get you thinking and creating a new website or optimising your current one. we’ve curated a list of some of our favourite nonprofit websites as examples of different ways to achieve your goals.

When someone wants to find out more about your non-profit or charity, the first place they’re likely to check is your website. It’s your hub for information about what you do, your community, your mission and how they can get involved or help.  Getting involved might be donating online, volunteering, fundraising for you, attending events, or further spreading your work and message to others. If you are providing community services, your website will also be directly helping these people online or informing of local services in their area.  With all this riding on your charity’s website, are you making the most of this powerful resource?

A strategic, well-crafted and easy-to-use non-profit website will draw people in, instil a sense of trust, and inspire people to take action. 

There’s lots of different ways of telling stories, sharing impact, and driving visitors to support missions online, so we’ve outlined a few approaches to get you thinking and creating a new website or optimising your current one. We’ve curated a list of some of our favourite nonprofit websites as examples of different ways to achieve your goals.

 

What makes a great NGO or charity website?

A great non-profit website is a powerful tool for engaging with supporters, raising awareness and driving people to take action. While there's no magic formula, here’s our checklist of key elements that contribute to making a great non-profit website and enable you to best leverage it to make positive change:

1.    Clear mission and impact: The homepage of the website should clearly and concisely communicate your organisation's mission, values, and impact. Visitors should immediately understand what the non-profit stands for and what it aims to achieve. This is your ‘elevator pitch’– a succinct introduction to your work, mission and it’s impacts.

2.    Compelling storytelling: Use story telling to connect with users on an emotional level and showcase the real-world impact of your organisation's work. Share stories of beneficiaries, volunteers, and donors to illustrate the importance of your mission and help people ‘feel’ what it would be like to join or help in your work.

3.    Easy navigation: Ensure that your website is well-organised with clear navigation menus that make it easy for visitors to find information quickly. Use logical categorisation and a user-friendly interface to enhance the browsing experience.  Test your navigation with real people to ensure they can find what they need, in the way they want.

4.    Visual appeal: Use high-quality images, videos, and graphics to create a visually appealing website that captures attention and conveys the non-profit's message effectively. Visual content can help engage visitors and make a lasting impression.

5.    Clear Calls-to-Action (CTAs): Include prominent and clear calls-to-action throughout your website to guide visitors on the actions you want them to take, such as donating, signing up for newsletters, volunteering, or contacting the organisation. People want to help, so make it easy for them!

6.    Mobile optimisation: Ensure your website, and all its functions, work well on  mobile devices. You can typically expect over50% of your traffic to come from mobile, due to high mobile phone use in New Zealand. So ensure that it provides a seamless browsing experience across different screen sizes and devices. Mobile responsiveness is crucial, test it out and make sure key functions like online donations work.

7.    Donation functionality: Make it easy for visitors to donate to the non-profit by including secure and user-friendly donation forms. Clearly explain how donations will be used and the impact they will make to encourage support.

8.    Transparency and accountability: Provide transparent information about the organization's finances, impact reports, and governance structure. Demonstrating accountability and transparency builds trust with supporters and donors.

9.    Engagement opportunities: Offer ways for visitors to engage with your NGO and it’s people. Offer options, such as signing up for newsletters, volunteering, attending events, or joining advocacy campaigns. Encouraging engagement can help foster a sense of community around the cause. People may only want a small engagement first, such as a newsletter, to get to know you, before making a bigger commitment or donation.

10. Accessibility: Ensure that the website is accessible to users with disabilities, following accessibility standards for web design. This includes providing alternative text for images, readable font sizes, and other accessible features.

When people have a positive experience with your website, they are more likely to remember you (achieve brand recognition!), and take action such as donating now or in the future.

 

Improving visibility of your charity online

Having a solid nonprofit website is one thing, but enabling potential supporters to find it online is another! Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a whole other topic, but here’s our top 3 tips:

Create and share more content regularly

When you regularly update and create new content, Google crawls your site more and gives you back more love in google ranking. Often, charity websites are created and forgotten, but it’s well worthwhile ensuring someone is available to add it it over time, even if you can take turns as volunteers to create an article or new page.

Optimise content for search engines

When creating blog posts, service pages, or other website content, consider what terms or keywords people might search for to find pages like yours. Then, strategically add those keywords to your pages(without going overboard) to help search engine algorithms discern what your page is about and display your page in search results.

Apply for the Google Ads Grant. 

Digital advertising can further expand your website’s reach, especially on search engines, although these ads can be expensive. Eligible NZ NGOs and charities can tap into the Google Ad Grants program to create Google Ads for free. Once your organisation is approved, you can receive $10,000 in advertising credits every month that you can use to boost important pages on your website to the top of Google search results in a designated “sponsored” section. This is a wonderful program, that you can read about in Google Grants the gamechanger for charities.

 

Six of our favourite nonprofit website designs

 

Here’s some of the best charity websites in New Zealand and overseas. Each of this six, are different types of charities and offer different learnings from how they've designed their website to achieve their goals. Lots of inspiration here, if you're planning to revitalise an older site or build a new charity website.

 

Oxfam Aotearoa

The Oxfam Aotearoa website invites and mobilises supporters around specific campaigns, such as the East Africa Drought. They offer varying ways to get involved and take action, to meet the needs of a broad range of people across New Zealand, with varying ways to contribute and donation levels.

We particularly like the strong calls-to-action buttons on the home page, just 3 clear options and succinct messaging makes for easy and quick decision making to take the first step. We also like this example of bedding a donation widget directly on the home page.

Their ‘what they do’ section (working together to change lives) clear conveys their mission and what they do with strong visual cues. Including testimonials, also provides ‘social proof’ to donate or take action isa worthy and credible thing to do.

 

Sad Girls Club

The Sad Girls Club website is a great example of really understanding your audiences, and their needs, and creating a website to serve to meet these. The website is engaging with young women of colour needing mental health support and attracting donors who support this mission.

It’s a beautifully designed website specific for young people. It clearly conveys its mission and purpose and a strong sense of authenticity and positivity through the design elements, content tone and real photos of the founders, the young people it serves and it’s community.

It can be difficult to serve 2 different audiences well, but this website does this well via design and strong information architecture and navigational elements.

 

Red Cross NZ

The Red Cross is a relatively large charitable organisation and it’s website manages a diverse range of services and information really well. If you go back to our checklist above, Red Cross achieves it all from clear mission, easy navigation, accountability and compelling storytelling to mobile responsiveness and accessibility. The Red Cross website even enables a range of different languages on site.

The website design is thoughtfully crafted to be professional yet warm, authentic and very welcoming. The website is very well structured and brand is applied to content tone, design and colours consistently.

 

WWF NZ

The WWF website features a gorgeously rich visual design that engages visitors with beautiful and inspiring imagery, carefully curated content and clear navigation and ‘calls to action’.

It is a content-rich website, that enables people to read, engage and consider the work and issues that WWF is engaged in, as part of their mission on is education and inspiring socio political change. The calls to action are very clear (love the 3 top banner buttons), yet it’s not pushy and allows people to read and engage with a big variety of content on different issues and news items.

 

Cuso International

The Cuso International website does a great job at making visitors feel like they are an integral part of the solution at hand. Their emphasis on long-term partnerships, programming, and support is prominently displayed across the website, solidifying their position and difference in a crowded market competing for donor support.

 

Fair Food Network

The Fair Food Network is a great website that uses illustrations and photography with some simple animations to convey a strong community, dynamic and interactive feel to their work. Whilst quite a simplified and small website, audiences are invited to engage with their mission in many ways and quickly learn about new initiatives. Even donation messages are simplified done to a single ‘give’ button in the top banner. The line of ‘figures’ on the home page is also a great example of how to convey impacts in a simplified form.

Only One

Only One’s nonprofit website is built to inspire change and encourage supporters to get involved in solving the ocean pollution and climate crises. Once a user creates a free online account, they can immediately gain access to exclusive interactive content, give to initiatives they connect with, register for events, join mailing lists, sign petitions, and more with ease.

It's an innovative website, not only in the website design itself, but the way in which they have fully leveraged the site and a range of digital tools to do their work with their wider community. The website really is the online hub for their work programmes, equipping its community with the tools to support relevant initiatives, communicate with their team and each other.

Charity website design packages

We hope you've found the above 7 examples interesting and inspiring.

At Well Good Creative, we specialise in web design for non profits, charities and social change initiatives. We offer a range of affordable web design packages as well as fully bespoke website design in Wellington or anywhere in New Zealand. Our sweet spot is building smart and visually-rich websites which are fun, thoughtful and engaging. You can see some examples in our current work portfolio. Please give us a call to discuss, we are more than happy to discuss what you might need.