Web Design Challenges and Solutions for Nonprofit Websites

By Ruth Hawk, Tuesday, September 17, 2019
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Nonprofits are unique among organizations. They exist to make a difference, motivate others to act, and solve the difficult problems of the world. That uniqueness is what makes them so effective at bringing about change.

That uniqueness is also what can create challenges when building their websites. A nonprofit cannot go about designing a website that is just like a regular business site. It needs different tools, different solutions, and a different approach to succeed at its unique mission. Here are three of the biggest challenges that face nonprofit websites, and the solutions that can make a difference for them.

Challenge 1: Communicating with diverse audiences

Most businesses have more than one target audience they want to reach with their website. A jewelry store, for example, may want to reach young couples looking to become engaged, as well as wealthy, established customers looking for statement pieces for an anniversary or event. Typically, though, these audiences have similarities among them that allow the business to create a single design that appeals to all of their buyer personas.

Different Directions

Nonprofits, however, often need to communicate with many diverse audiences. They need to reach volunteers and donors. They need to get the word out about their cause to recipients of their help, as well as to the people who can help them. Each of these audiences requires a different approach. Creating a nonprofit web design that speaks to all of these audiences, while remaining consistent in tone and appearance, requires creative and innovative solutions.

Solution: Emphasize dynamic content and integration

Since diverse audiences have diverse needs, nonprofits can benefit from dynamic content. One way to deliver this content is through a dynamic landing page, which customizes its content to the needs of the individual visitor. For example, a potential donor might receive access to a “Donate Now” button that links to the donation page, while a potential volunteer might encounter a volunteer registration form.

Donate Now

In addition, integration can be helpful in keeping track of the different messages your nonprofit is sending to your diverse audiences. For example, content management tools can help you track the content you are creating and delivering, where it is going, what response it is getting, and what content you plan to create in the future. Similarly, integrating registration forms, contact forms, and calendars allows you to track your diverse audiences and how they are interacting with your site.  The result is a more streamlined process of engaging and communicating with every group your nonprofit touches.

Challenge 2: Inspiring action

Nonprofits depend upon action from others to advance their cause. Donors, volunteers, and even the people they exist to help need to respond to their message in order to support the nonprofit’s work. As a result, inspiring action from their audiences is one of the primary goals of each nonprofit’s web design.

Inspiring this action isn’t always easy, however. Getting people to give up their time or money can be a hard ask. Potential donors and volunteers need to not only understand the cause but also buy into it. They need to believe in the cause. Similarly, people who need the help of the nonprofit need to believe that what the nonprofit is doing can make a difference for them. The nonprofit web design needs to create this buy-in from all potential participants.

Solution: Deliver compelling content and easy participation options

The best way to earn buy-in from potential participants is to deliver compelling content. Testimonials, facts, videos, and articles all help to capture visitors’ attention and persuade minds. Creating and managing that content, particularly for diverse audiences, requires strong content creation skills and integrated content management tools, such as editorial calendars.

Keep It Easy Sign

In addition, simple participation options should make the process of engaging with your nonprofit easy. For example, registration forms should be integrated and seamless. Forms should be simplified and streamlined. Donation tools should be secure and intuitive. The easier it is to participate, the more people you can convince to do just that.

Challenge 3: Consistent messaging

Because nonprofits have to communicate with diverse audiences, it can be easy for messaging to become inconsistent. The message for donors might look or sound different from the messaging for volunteers, for example. The problem with nonprofit web design is that consistency is key when earning trust from website visitors. They should never feel as if they have moved onto a different website simply because they moved to a different section. Building consistency across different messages aimed at different audiences, however, is often easier said than done.

Calligraphy Practice

SEE ALSO: Non-Profit Web Design and Things We Love About It

Solution: Content management tools and web design assistance

The best solution to the challenge of delivering consistent messaging across diverse audiences is to use content management tools and content creation services to develop a tone that is a brand tone, no matter who it is speaking to. You can ask for donations and offer your services to those who need it in the same tone. You simply need the right approach.

In addition, you may need to hire assistance with your web design in order to reach your consistent messaging goals. A web design service like WEBii can help to ensure consistency across both your design and your messaging. Here at WEBii, we develop solutions that allow you to communicate effectively with diverse audiences while retaining a branded look and feel throughout. As a result, you can speak to all of your audiences as one united organization.


Nonprofits face special challenges when developing a website. However, these challenges are not insurmountable. Instead, with the help of a web design company like WEBii, nonprofits can overcome these challenges and deliver compelling websites that motivate each of their target audiences to act.

Posted in: Austin Web Design, Digital Marketing, Non-Profit Web Design, Web Design, Web Design Resource, Web Development, WWW Learning Center

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