Free Charity Website Design Guide

Charity Website Design - Practical Web Design To Build Your Website

Charity Website Design - How To Create Your Website

A charity web design guide to create your own website.  If you're getting website developers to build your website for you, it will enable you to create a design specification for your them to ensure your new website works the way you want it to.

Charity Web Design - What's The Purpose Of You Website?

The first thing you must be clear about in when you design your charity website is what is it for?  Specifically, what do you want your website visitors to do and, based on that, who are they, what will you say that engages them and how will you encourage them to visit your website.  Trying to engage everyone about everything won't work, so be clear on your key objectives. Here are some examples:

Website Purpose.  What are the purposes of your charity website and which are the most important to prioritise in your design?

  • Donate.
  • Engage with your charity.
  • Volunteer.
  • Use your services.
  • Learn about a subject that will help them.
  • Contact you about any of the above.

Website Audience.

  • Existing staff, volunteers and/or beneficiaries.
  • Potential new ones.
  • Potential funders.
  • Potential supporters/influencers, such as politicians.

Engaging Visitors.  Provide your website visitors with content that will be of interest to them and using language/terminology they will engage with.

Encouraging Visitors.  For the vast majority of charity websites, visitor numbers via internet searches will probably be very low.

  • If you're a registered charity, with national reach and a cause that appeals to the public, the Google Ads non-profit grant of £90k pa is a gift.
  • If not, use social media to drive visitors to content on your site that they will want.  If your following is low, join suitable social media groups and use those.
  • When talking to people on an issue, make them aware of the additional, useful information on your site, so that they will want to visit it.
  • Include your website in relevant materials, such as social media pages, e mail footers, posters and presentations.

Charity Web Design - How Good Are Charity Websites Generally?

The Charity Excellence Sector Data Store tracks every aspect of sector performance, including websites.  Five of the six metrics are at amber.  The lowest rated?  Website fundraising.  That is the majority of charities report they are not doing these well.  Your website is your shop window and making it work well needn’t be expensive nor difficult and even small changes can have a big impact.

Complete the comms health check and the system will assess your website for you and connect you to a huge range of resources and help.  Plus its 3 online directories Funding FinderHelp Finder and Data Finder, and 60+downloadable funder lists.

A one-stop shop for everything you need

Simple, quick and everything is free - Register Now

But we can do better than that.  For anything to do with running a non profit, click the AI Bunny icon in the bottom right of your screen and tell it what you need by asking short questions, including key words.

Website Design Tip - How Do I Increase Website Visitors?

Website design questions to ask yourself.

  • Is your website mobile compatible and does it load quickly?
    • Paste your website address into this free Google tool to find out and what you can do to improve that.
  • Is your site Search Engine Optimised (SEO)?
    • Doing this really well, may require some technical expertise.
    • However, the basic questions to ask your website manager are - do page titles, section titles and content include the search terms people use when looking for what your site provides?

Web Design Tip - How Do I Engage Website Visitors & Encourage Them To Take Action?

Design your website, so that when visitors arrive, you engage them and encourage them to take the action you want them to.  Ensure your website:

  • Is simple to navigate.
  • The content is up-to-date;
  • It conveys your key messages in an easy to understand and engaging way;
  • With a clear, prominent call to action.

Website Design Tip - How Do Increase Online Donations?

How to design your charity website to maximise donations.

  • Does your fundraising messaging appeal to your target audience;
  • And demonstrate your impact.
  • Is the fundraising page/donate button prominent and;
  • Ideally, do you offer donors choice in what they are donating to/for?

And having got them all the way to your donation form, don't lose them because it's poor.  Check that your website donation form is mobile responsive, quick and simple to use, with a minimum number of fields in the form and, ideally, does not require donors to login or create an account.  Here are 10 easy fixes.

How Do I Monitor & Manage Our Charity Website Traffic?

  • Use Google analytics to get the metrics you need to get the most from your website?
  • Better still, using conversions, enables you to see not just who's visiting, but also what they are doing, which is much more valuable.

Check out the Analytics Academy and become an analytics ninja in no time.

Website Legal Compliance & Cyber Threats

There are a range of regulatory requirements and we are all at risk of cyber attack.

  • MOT 1 - security patching and broken links.
  • MOT 2 - accessibility, compatibility, data protection and software updates.

Free Charity Website Hosting

  1. British Telecom - community web kit
  2. WordPress: blogs & websites
  3. White Fuse - website hosting platforms
  4. Kualo – website hosting

Grant Funding & Free Support

To find free support to help you and grant funding for your website, use this Charity Excellence resource.

What To Do Now - Your Charity Website Contract

You may not understand it all, but you'll have the questions you need to ask your web people. Speaking of which;

  • Is your website contract delivering what you need and;
  • Offering you value for money?

How Can I Find A Charity Website Designer?

I rarely recommend companies but this website was built by Dan Marsden of DJMWeb.  He was fast flexible, did a really good job and was very affordable to the extent that we've take him on, on an ongoing basis.

How To Achieve Even More

A registered charity ourselves, we provide 8 online health checks, the huge information hub, Quality Mark and 3 online directories.

  • Funding Finder - click through to more funders than any other grants directory, categories for Crisis Funding, Core Funding and Small Charities & Community Groups and 100+ downloadable grant lists.
  • Help Finder – find advice, pro bono support and free services and products, including for web and digital, and companies that make financial donations.
  • Data Finder - finds data for funding bids, fundraising research, impact reporting, planning and campaigning.
Register Now
We are very grateful to the organisations below for the funding and pro bono support they generously provide.

With 40,000 members, growing by 2000 a month, we are the largest and fastest growing UK charity community. How We Help Charities

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