15 Best Nonprofit Websites to Get Inspired – Online Donation Sites
Nonprofit websites must clearly communicate their values, explain their impact, and encourage viewers to engage and take action. In many cases, nonprofits must do this on a tight budget. In this post, we’ve listed the best 15 nonprofit websites that show how effective design can make a difference in how we perceive a cause.
All great nonprofit websites use typography, design, and content elements to put across a clear message. However, nonprofit and charity websites are often different from corporate brands and need to be designed with the following in mind –
Clearly communicate their values
Explain the impact they’re making
Encourage viewers to engage and take action
Create a presence that is appealing to potential donors
Make online giving easy and secure
Be accessible to those who need to use their services or want to work with them
Appeal to a wide range of demographics
And, in many cases, nonprofits have to do all of this on a tight budget.
These challenges are not impossible to overcome if you think strategically and have some empathy for the user. That means not overloading them with choices or too much text. Instead, make “calls to action” obvious and ensure that users can easily find further information. Website users are generally impatient, so nonprofit websites need to deliver a clear and engaging message immediately. Otherwise, they run the risk of losing potential supporters before the site has had a chance to make its case. As per Nonprofit Tech for Good’s latest statistics, 68% of nonprofits have redesigned their websites in the last 3 years. So, you see it is never too late.
In this post, we’ve listed the 15 best nonprofit websites that show how effective design can make a difference in how we perceive a cause. We’ve also included comments on what they do well. If you’re designing a new site or want to refresh your existing site, it’s often best to begin with inspiration.
15 Best Nonprofit Websites To Take Inspiration From [Updated for 2022]
Irish Red Cross was established in 1939 with the sole aim of providing first aid services during wartime and peacetime. They’ve been here for a century and a half while upholding their core values against the changing demands of modern society. The nonprofit organization is always looking for solutions in areas such as migration, health, and social care. Their website instantly gives people a peek into everything they can possibly want to know and find about the nonprofits’ mission and services. Here’s a list of their best website features –
navigation is the easiest on their website. Everything is just a click away.
The website homepage is rich with calls to action. Anywhere you look, you’d find an array of options you can click on and find out more.
Any urgent crisis or need for donations is highlighted on the homepage, so people looking to help will not need to go any further.
The donation page is simple-looking, has concise content, and a 3-step donation form that is easy to give with. No unnecessary questions/fields added to it. Clean-looking and simple UI.
The website does focus on converting visitors into donors but also puts effort into increasing awareness and acquiring more involvement.
2. Underdog International
As they say themselves, Underdog International is a unique charity that aims at improving the lives of children as well as dogs. They want to impact one million of these lives by the year 2025. Their programs actively endorse kindness, empathy, resilience, and confidence among the public for these vulnerable, innocent lives. The nonprofit also conducts specific campaigns around any urgent needs/appeals such as that for Ukraine. We love their website for the neat design that looks inspiring and soothing to the eyes. Let’s have a look at some of its best aspects –
From the hero image to the tagline on it – the homepage is inspiring and evokes emotions in people.
The navigation menu looks simple and lists down everything one may need to know or help with.
The homepage highlights their important programs and campaigns that need help. One doesn’t need to scroll forever to find how and where to help.
The contrast of color on the website is striking and it immediately catches eyeballs. We love how the big, appealing logo is placed uniformly on every page.
You know what their goal is as soon as you land on the website and the donation page. This gives clarity and transparency to potential donors.
lastly, the choice of images is spot on (for every page). We wouldn’t expect to see anything else or better on a website like this.
3. Dogs on Deployment
Dogs On Deployment provides “an online network for service members to search for volunteers who are willing to board their pets during their owner’s service commitments.” The website allows service members and volunteers to register and search for each other online. So, their nonprofit website is not just a PR/fundraising tool but actually how their work gets done. Dogs on Development has a great charity website. Here’s what their website does well:
Navigation is simple, clear, and organized.
The calls to action are uniquely written and are sure to grab attention.
Impact statistics are prominently featured on the homepage.
The bright colorful graphics of the site combined with photos of soldiers’ pets and their stories are upbeat and heartwarming. This provides an immediate emotional incentive to give and get more involved, or simply explore more.
4. Charity: Water
Charity: water is a non-profit organization that brings safe, clean drinking water to people in developing countries. They are among the top 10 nonprofits fighting the global water crisis. Charity: Water has one of the simplest and most inspiring nonprofit website designs. Here’s what their website does well:
Impact statistics are featured on the homepage. They are prominent and catch the eyes easily.
The homepage prioritizes calls to action (like joining “The Spring”, a monthly giving community).
The donation form is right on the homepage and it is one of the first things people see as they open the website. A very simple and efficient way to draw attention to what matters.
Colorful graphic elements allow you to easily navigate to sections of interest.
We love the video on the homepage – a very relevant one. It is quite in contrast to what you usually find on nonprofit websites – just images.
The navigation menu is less complicated and simple. They are highly focused on one thing: converting visitors to donors.
5. Church At My House
Church At My House is an online/virtual church for those who cannot come to the church. Be it an ailing child or a busy single mother or a caregiver. Anyone and everyone. Their aim is to spread God’s word among people who for some reason cannot reach and be present in the church. Their design is the simplest for a church website that gives you every possible option you’d possibly look for in a virtual church. Let’s have a look at their best features –
Firstly, it’s an eye-catching church website. The design is simple, they’ve used a colorful and customized background image that speaks of their mission.
The focus is on calls to action that would matter to the visitors. They have used big, catchy buttons on the homepage to draw attention.
The navigation menu is at the top and it lists everything one should find on the website.
The video in the heart of the website and that animation on it made us instantly click and give it a watch. What’s better than someone briefly telling you what they are instead of you going through two-three pages to find out about it?
We loved their unique approach to a nonprofit website – a user-friendly design that won’t let you scroll infinitely and bombard you with unnecessary information.
6. Memphis Zoo
The Memphis Zoo is home to more than 4,500 animals. Ranked the “top zoo in the country” by two independent surveys, their mission includes preserving wildlife through education, conservation, and research. Their conservation programs circle the globe – from cooperative programs in China for giant pandas to local efforts to save the Louisiana pine snake.
Some highlights from their nonprofit website that stands out:
Look at this image on the homepage! This is sure to make visitors stop and have a closer and longer look at it and the options nearby.
They have live animal cams on their website, that makes people want to click and take a look at the animals. It’s like a virtual experience of the wildlife.
A “Support the Zoo” button at the top right includes volunteering, donating, corporate partnerships, and other important options. There’s also a donate link on the topmost menu to make getting to the donation form a one-click job.
Donors can choose whether to support daily operations, a Building Fund, or the zoo’s endowment fund.
All of the learning and visual elements are combined with easily accessible functional information on the homepage for visitors to the zoo. This includes a daily schedule, exhibits, events, a map, and information on planning a visit, etc.
7. Lonely Whale
Lonely Whale stands for community and caring with the ocean at the heart of what they do. They have inspired industry shifts from single-use plastic water bottles to more sustainable alternatives. The nonprofit has inspired thousands of youth to come forward and make a difference for ocean life. The first thing we’d suggest is that you go to their website yourself and experience the beauty of it. The image above can do no justice to it. Now, let us have a look at some of the many things we loved about it –
The website is focused on their movement and provides ample calls to action for visitors to take action.
The navigation menu is the shortest we’ve seen on a nonprofit website and accurately takes people to all the right places.
It’s a visually pleasing website that has loads of short videos and yet, manages to maintain a fast response time.
They understand storytelling is the key to donors’ hearts and have many stories on their website on plastic pollution, successful collaborations, and more.
Their donation page is another thing we loved. The donation form is right on the video (alongside a powerful piece of content) and inspires people to give one-time as well as monthly. It also highlights other ways of giving.
8. Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS (DIFFA)
DIFFA “raises awareness and grants funds to organizations that provide HIV/AIDS awareness, prevention, and direct care.” Here’s what their website does well:
The website’s graphic design is clean and cohesive. The form follows the function.
All pages feature their striking black, white, and red logo. This color palette extends throughout the site.
The site uses lots of white space, which gives it an uncluttered feel.
The main design element on the homepage is a revolving series of photo banners with headlines demonstrating impact.
The large red donate button on every page leads you to the donation form.
The navigation features smooth floating menus that drop down when you mouse over a section.
The Get Involved section has many ways to participate in the organization including different kinds of volunteering.
The Events section calls attention to the social nature of this organization.
9. Hungry for Life
Hungry for Life aspires to bring physical and spiritual change into the world. Their team offers passion and commitment to global projects supporting communities in need. The website has a simple and straightforward design, highlighting things that matter the most to visitors. Let’s have a look at some of their best design features –
Lots of white space, making the design look uncluttered and soothing to the eyes.
No hefty animation, direct calls to action.
Concise content. A simple list of menu options.
The Donate button stands out for its color and takes visitors to an informative and simple donation page.
The design remains uniform and clean throughout the website, thus maintaining good branding on it.
10. Make-A-Wish International
Make-A-Wish International has been granting life-changing wishes to children with critical illnesses and their families for 40+ years. They have reached 50 countries outside of the US to help kids and families with their 43,000+ volunteers around the globe. Their website speaks of their mission and beneficiaries loud and clear. Let’s see what we loved the most –
They have used inspiring images of kids and parents, colorful fonts, and shapes all over the website to give a sense of positivity and joy.
Facts and impact stats on their homepage stand out amid other details.
The color combination of the website is uniformly maintained and looks stunning.
The nonprofit website has a separate page to highlight their impact and journey in detail. Focus on this boosts transparency for donors.
The charity has ample options on the website to encourage more involvement among people.
Founded in 1976, Habitat for Humanity works in all 50 states in the U.S. and in more than 70 countries. They’ve helped more than 22 million people achieve strength, stability, and independence through safe, decent, and affordable shelter. Here’s what their online donation site does well:
This is a mature nonprofit with a complex website, but it’s well-organized and easy to navigate. This inspires confidence in the organization.
The Volunteer menu features 2 main ways to volunteer, all of which provide FAQs, information, links, and forms to pursue further.
Information is presented in colorful blocks laid out in a grid format to help make it user-friendly.
The homepage has a call to action in the form of a donate message and the donation form is one click away from any page.
Links to all the major social media outlets run across the top of each page, allowing visitors to share and engage further.
Sexual assault is very common but often never reported. According to Callisto’s website, “The process of reporting can feel isolating—or worse, retraumatizing. Reporting also comes with personal and professional risks.” This project is a unique tech start-up that attempts to change this by creating technology that combats sexual assault, supports survivors, and advances justice.
They have an option on their website “Create a Record” that lets survivors log into the site to record details of an assault anonymously. The site saves and time-stamps those records. That allows them to decide later whether they want to download their information and take it directly to the police.
Here’s what their donation website does well:
This very simple site is beautifully designed using a “less is more” color scheme and line images of people. White text ensures a more aesthetic feeling.
Their homepage is filled with facts and stats of sexual assault among young college students.
In very few words, the homepage text covers the problem, the solution, and their impact statistics.
The donate button is easy to find and it takes visitors to a donation page that talks of the issue and lets people donate one-time and monthly.
13. Shanti Bhavan
The Shanti Bhavan School in Tamil Nadu, India, was founded with one mission — to take India’s most deprived children and prove that if you give them access to the same technology and education that have enabled other Indians to thrive in globalization, they can too. The children come from families that make less than $2/day, mostly the “untouchables” (Dalit) caste who are denied education. Shanti Bhavan is the subject of the documentary film, Daughters of Destiny. Here’s what their donation site does well:
This site is a spin-off website designed to raise funds for their second school. It is designed for that purpose alone — nothing other than this goal is included.
The homepage headline overlaid on a looping video banner makes the mission clear in 2 sentences.
When you click on the Netflix link, you are taken to Netflix which starts playing the documentary. The YouTube trailer for the documentary is embedded on the homepage.
Clicking on “Learn More” takes you to a page with detailed information on the building project. This includes a 5-year timeline, architectural designs, and a link to request a blueprint or line-item budget.
You can choose to donate to many designated purposes (vans, furniture, etc.) or donate an entire classroom that comes with naming rights.
14. Word on Fire
Word on Fire is an initiative to reach millions every year by sharing the Gospel through podcasts, videos, books, articles, meditations, etc. Their website is filled with similar resources, an online bookstore, a collection of videos to watch, and more. Let’s have a look at what grabbed our attention –
The website maintains the branding, colors, and themes throughout all the pages.
The design is more like an online store – you get everything you’d possibly look for right on the homepage.
Many calls to action, simplistic animations but eye-catching, a compact navigation menu, and to make finding it all very easy, also a search icon at the top.
What grabbed our eyes the most was the design of the donation page. The donation form remains on the hero image alongside a powerful tagline. The background image they’ve chosen looks perfect against the font colors of the text on it. They’ve also listed other ways of making a donation on the page.
15. The New Zealand Public Television Trust
The New Zealand Public Television Trust is a public programming hub where film and television makers from New Zealand can screen NZ-oriented content. With their help, New Zealanders and others around the globe can find and watch programs for free. Here’s what their website does well:
Programs are presented Netflix-style in colorful image squares filling the homepage.
Visitors can click on a program to watch it directly from the site.
The donate link takes visitors to an online donation page to support their operation.
The about page clearly explains what they do, why, and how.
The site lets visitors “Submit a Video” to their site.
Bonus Resource to Help Inspire Your Audience through Your Website
Your nonprofit website is a 24-hour donation machine that never takes a break from inspiring people to support your cause and make donations. In the below webinar, Colin Grist and Jena Lynch discuss the 5 easy-to-implement changes you can easily make to your website without professional help. Give this a watch for more a more effective nonprofit website –
Some of these online donation websites obviously have bigger budgets than others, but they all manage to do an excellent job of promoting their organizations online. Whatever the budget, the keys to an effective and stunning website are the same:
Use a combination of media. These sites blend animation, photography, video, text, and graphic design to engage users in diverse ways and tell motivating stories.
Avoid clutter. Open any of these sites, and you’ll almost always see a large banner image with some overlaid text. A single image, video, or animation grabs the spotlight — and also makes it easier to resize the website for different screen sizes.
Make high-priority information easily accessible. While the banner images or videos grab users’ attention, the more practical content doesn’t require much searching to find.
If you’re in search of a powerful and simple-to-use online fundraising solution, Donorbox is here to help. We have features ranging from recurring donations forms and donation pages to crowdfunding, peer-to-peer fundraising, text-to-give, membership campaigns to even-ticketing forms, and more.
Check out our nonprofit blog for more resources and helpful tips on fundraising and nonprofit management.