Opinion: What Makes or Breaks a Nonprofit Website

Nonprofit Lansing Web Design

I have developed and designed many nonprofit websites. With every website I build I become more aware of what I would like to see as an end user and what functionalities I would prefer as an administrator. Below are a few things I believe could make or break a nonprofit website.

As an end user I would like to see these things first…

  • The purpose of the nonprofit website must be easy to pinpoint: what is the nonprofit about? Helping people in poverty, researching diseases affecting children, or raising awareness…etc.
  • Where can I donate and how user friendly the donation process is. If I have to spend more than 5 minutes filling out information to give money away, I’m 99% not likely to donate.
  • The website must be secure to encourage confidence that financial information will not be hacked.
  • Lastly, I would like to see what the nonprofit is doing to push their cause forward: marketing campaigns, events, volunteering.

As an admin, the functionalities that would help manage my nonprofit website and my users…

  • A content management system (CMS) that would let me easily update content to my website.
  • A customer relationship management (CRM) platform that offers extensive reporting and analysis tools to help better understand the donors, and allows for effective management of campaigns.
  • A marketing automation system – such as MailChimp or AWeber – that would allow relevant information to reach donors and subscribers in a matter of minutes.
  • A robust calendar for events.

These are the things I look for in a nonprofit website, and I would like to hear insight from people in the nonprofit industry about what they consider as must-haves.


Written by P.T. Phan, Web Developer and Digital Designer