What makes a great performing not-for-profit website?


As a busy not-for-profit or charitable organization, your website is your most important online presence. It is likely one of the first places a user will find out information about your organization and engage with your organization. As such, we put together this short list of items that will help you audit your own website and put your organization on track to build user engagement, build trust and convert visitors into being active with your not-for-profit.

A Good Content Management System

Being able to quickly make website updates and changes is crucial. As your key online presence, it’s vital that your website is always as up to date as possible with events, news and information. Having to set aside large chunks of time to make a few changes means that it will often be something that gets pushed down your to-do list as seemingly more critical tasks take priority. We cannot stress enough how important it is to prioritize your website to ensure that your organization is always building engagement and meeting your lead generating needs.

A good content management system is a fundamental way to ensure that website tasks are less time-consuming, easy for staff to handle and, ideally, add value to your workflow by building in functions that streamline your processes. An example of this might be a website that also keeps track of publications and media, and can give you metrics like who’s opened your latest newsletter. A popular content management system that we like to work with is WordPress. WordPress is used on over 74 million websites, is incredibly customizable to suite your individual website’s needs and there is an incredible amount of additional software available that any not-for-profit organization would find useful.

A Mobile Friendly Design and Layout

There are two reasons you want a mobile friendly layout, also commonly referred to as responsive web design. The first and most obvious one is usability: if a user on a cell phone lands on your website and it is not responsive, the content will not adjust to display optimally on their device. In this scenario, according to Google, over 60% of users will leave and not even continue to navigate through the website. As more and more website visitors actively browse the internet on mobile devices, that accounts for an absolutely huge loss of traffic.

A woman on her phone, smiling

Secondly, an un-responsive website layout hurts your ranking with Google. It is always ideal to have a website that is prioritized by Google when users search for your relevant keywords, ensuring that your website is one of the first ones to be listed. One of the metrics that Google ranks critically is if your website has a mobile friendly, responsive layout. Websites that meet this requirement will have a huge ranking advantage with Google over websites that are not responsive. If you find that your website is not ranking well with Google, this would be the absolute first place to start. And while it is not the only metric that Google looks at, it is easily one of the most important.

A Working Phone Number and Listed Address

People need to get a hold of you. Contact forms are great for usability, but not everybody wants to send an e-mail to an unknown address. Phone numbers are great to mitigate this, and also build validity to your organization. Likewise with a listed address: adding this information builds your organizations credibility and establishes that you are a legitimate not-for-profit. Furthermore, this will be information you should ideally list in your footer on all pages, not just on a contact page. It is vital to make it as easy as possible for any visitor who wants to engage with you to be able to do so with the least amount of work as possible.

Social Proof

A great way to build trust is with social proof – show that your organization is active, helpful and doing great work. There are a few ways to accomplish this. Firstly, having testimonials, case studies or even just stories about what your not-for-profit has achieved goes a long way. Secondly, leverage your social media accounts! Not only should you keep Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (or whatever your platforms of choice are) relatively up to date to increase your brand’s reach and recognition, but integrate those streams into your website. Users want to know what you’ve been up to, and you don’t want to make them click to have to do it.

The power of a good call-to-action

Calls To Action

We’ve covered this a few articles for further reading, specifically in an article called The Science Behind a Strong Call To Action. But to summarize: Think of what you want a visitor to do while their on your website; your number one goal. Do you want them to sign up for a newsletter? Read a report? Donate? As a charitable organization or non-profit, think about these important actions and design large portions of your website around getting users to perform these tasks. Big bold buttons, great conversion language, supportive copy and imagery and most importantly: high visibility positioning on your website. If your home page doesn’t have an important action for a user to commit when they land on your page, you are missing out on a huge opportunity.


Without a doubt, analytics are a fundamental part of building a great performing website that converts users into leads, and it is important to integrate analytics functionality into your non-profit website. Google’s own analytics suite, simply called Google Analytics, can show you where users are coming from (referrals), what pages on your website are getting the most views, and how long users are staying on your website. This is so powerful because this information can show you what pages are pushing people away from your website and what pages are driving your organization forward.

Weight Creative specializes in doing great web design and development work with not-for-profits and charitable organizations. If you think you might be interested in how you can increase your website’s performance please feel free to give us a call at +1-855-500-2725 or use the form below. We’d love to hear more about the work you do, and learn if we would be a good fit to help your organization grow.

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