Kudos to the designers of non-profit membership organization websites in general. Professional, interactive and intriguing are just a few of the words that begin to describe them. It’s important for non-profit organizations to create their websites with design and style in mind because the website is likely the main point of contact members have with the organization on a regular basis. Including any or all of the following 9 web design MUST haves on your non-profit membership organization’s site will give your organization a modern touch and ultimately help to attract members to the cause you’re supporting.

1. Donate, Donate, Donate

To name just a few, Make-A-Wish, UNICEF and Teach for America are organizations already implementing this web design tactic.

To name just a few, Make-A-Wish, UNICEF and Teach for America are organizations already implementing this web design tactic.

Non-profit organizations are able to exist because of the monetary support members donate. Without those donations, the organization may not be able to achieve its goals of helping out an important cause. Due to the high level of importance that donations play in a non-profit organization’s functionality, there is no shame in making a donation button a dominant part of the home page layout. Within the navigation bar, non-profit organizations often choose to highlight the “donate” tab in a different color to make it stand out. Using color to call attention to making a donation is a great way to remind visitors how important their contributions are.

2. Get Involved! Events and More

Donating time can be just as important as donating money. In addition to including easy navigation to a donation landing page, non-profit membership organization websites often provide easily accessible information detailing more ways members can help out. Displaying a calendar of events and outlining additional volunteer opportunities can inspire members to get involved in the cause by offering their time and support. Suggesting ways members can fundraise for the organization on their own is another great use of space within the website.

Invisible Children

3. Blogs. News. Videos.

Blogging is a MUST for non-profit membership organizations to include in the website if they want to meet the web design status quo. Not only is blogging a fun way to disseminate information and news to members, it’s also a great way to interact with members on a more personable level by allowing them to respond to topics and events that they’re interested in. Additionally, sharing the most up-to-date news and videos on the website gives visitors a reason to stay on the website right then and also revisit in the future. News articles and blog posts make for the perfect medium to highlight the impacts and influences your organization is having on the world.

4. Long Pages = Lots of Scrolling

Convoy of Hope

Non-profit membership organizations often have a lot of information they wish to share with its members. By vertically elongating the website design you are able to fit a ton of information on the homepage. By having visitors scroll down through the content, they can easily get a little taste of everything the website has to offer instead of having to click and bounce around to find everything. The information found on the Convoy of Hope website is divided using a color blocking technique in order to distinguish one section of information from another on the vertically elongated homepage.

5. What We Do

The “What We Do” section of the website is your chance to explain the organization in further detail and continue to inspire involvement in the organization. Visitors interested in becoming members of the organization want to know what approach the organization takes to aid the cause as well as what concrete actions the organization takes to ensure it’s making a difference.

6. Join Us: Newsletter Sign Ups

Newsletter Signup

The Ronald McDonald House Charities website dedicates a portion of their homepage to encouraging visitors to sign up for their e-newsletter.

Non-profit membership organizations pride themselves on the large communities they are able to create by bringing together people interested in supporting a common cause. They continuously encourage more people to immerse themselves into that supportive community. By having a place on the website that invites people to join that community, you offer another opportunity for people to get involved and stay informed. Consider guiding website visitors to sign up for a subscription to receive newsletters and other informational materials. A place where members can log in to the website and receive personalized welcomes and messages may help to ignite that sense of involvement as well.

7. Mission Statement

Mission Statement

Image from the Sierra Club website.

What is it that your organization hopes to accomplish? By quickly summarizing the organization’s mission and vision into a mission statement, you provide a quick and easy way for visitors to get a sense of the organization’s purpose. The statement may be the initial spark that inspires people to be a part of the organization upon realizing that the goals of the organization line up with their individual goals. These goals may be difficult to achieve on an individual level, but with the support of an entire community those hopes can become realities.

8. Inspirational Photography

Inspirational Photography

Image from the Susan G. Komen website.

Including professional photography that tells a story and makes people feel something or think in new ways is a web design MUST have for non-profit membership organizations. Consider using images on your non-profit organization website that make people feel inspired to join. Viewing pictures of people in need triggers an emotional response from many people. Think about how people feel when they see the smiling faces of children, families or other individuals who have benefited from the help your organization provides. Seeing those reactions displayed prominently on the homepage of the website may be enough to inspire another person to join the organization.

American Heart Association

9. Spread the Word: Social Media and More

What can social media sites do for non-profit organizations? They can…

  • Act as great mediums allowing an organization to reach out to potentially thousands of people.
  • Provide an interactive platform where people can be actively involved in important, cause-related discussions.
  • Disseminate messages on high traffic websites to keep people informed and connected with the organization on a daily basis.

These organizations take advantage of almost every social media platform and include icons on their website linking out to their social media accounts. The American Heart Association uses their Facebook and Twitter accounts with such frequency that they keep a scrolling bar of updates on the side of their website homepage.

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