21 Best Nonprofit Websites of 2020 That Truly Make a Difference
This post was last updated on June 11, 2020.
Day in and day out, through much hard work and perseverance, nonprofit organizations do their part in spreading good around the world. These groups promote causes that they truly believe in, often with limited budgets and resources.
Even on a budget, a nonprofit website should be designed in a way that highlights your work and attracts people to your cause. A strong online presence can help in raising awareness to the organization’s cause and activities, bringing in donations, and recruiting new volunteers. The main points to keep in mind when creating a website for your nonprofit are:
01. Tell a story: Get site visitors excited about your cause and work by showcasing your main activities and highlighting their positive impact.
02. Encourage donations and support: Make it easy for site visitors to contribute to the cause with prominent call-to-action buttons and clear prompts.
03. Build a community: Reach the community you support and recruit like-minded volunteers. Help them stay up-to-date with your work via social media links, a newsletter subscription, and more.
Below we’ve handpicked 20 of the best nonprofit websites out there, created with Wix, for your inspiration. Read on to discover what it is that makes them work so well - and look this good. As a bonus, we’ve added a few free nonprofit website templates to get you started:
Best Nonprofit Websites of 2020
Wix Stands with Black Lives Matter
Know Your Rights Camp
Black Lives Matter of Greater New York
Culture of Solidarity
Ocean Data Alliance
Kode with Klossy
Dreams Have No Boundaries
The Give Work Challenge
The Africa Narrative
Hold Your Fire
Good Bitches Baking
Travel with a Purpose, Inc.
Wix is currently matching donations for each special edition t-shirt sold to organizations empowering the Black community. All proceeds will go towards fighting racism and supporting the Black community, and will be matched by Wix with an equal donation. If you’d like to get involved, purchase a BLM t-shirt and share the page with others.
This fundraising initiative is part of a broader effort to highlight Black artists and business owners and support of their work. If you’re a Wix user and would like to submit your website to get featured, visit our Explore page.
02. HERoines Inc.
HERoines Inc. is a women’s empowerment platform that motivates and supports women in achieving their dreams. The bright website color scheme of pinks and purples conveys warmth, positivity, and a powerful, strong-knit sisterhood.
This striking website maintains visitors’ attention with all sorts of high-quality media features, from photographs to icons, animations and more. It also includes a page dedicated to upcoming events, where guests can easily register and RSVP using Wix Bookings. There are testimonials of satisfied members of the community, and a blog for sharing anything from empowering lifestyle tips to interviews with HERoines members.
The website is scattered with call-to-action (CTA) buttons that invite visitors to either donate or become a member. In case you happen to miss any of those, there’s a supplementary Donate button on the right. This button stays put throughout all of the site’s different pages, with a heart icon that adds a fun and subtle appeal to visitors’ emotions. Down at the footer of the website are a newsletter subscription form and social media links so that visitors can stay in touch.
Know Your Rights Camp’s mission statement is to advance the liberation and well-being of Black and Brown communities through education, self-empowerment and mass-mobilization. Their website promotes their initiative starting with a video of civil rights activist and football quarterback Colin Kaepernick, and by clearly laying down the rights that they support and stand behind - from the right to be free to the right to be alive.
Their bright red Donate call-to-action button stands out against a black background, and stays put on all pages using a frozen header. This enables visitors to easily reach it from any point on the website.
Black Lives Matter of Greater New York uses their website as a hub for their social activism and cause. Their homepage invites visitors to Join or Donate with two prominent CTAs. It lists actionable steps that people can take with the click of a button, from purchasing a t-shirt from their online store in support of their work, to downloading their agenda and list of demands to read and learn from.
By adding a Facebook Page Like Box, the organization automatically shares their latest updates directly on their homepage, while also allowing visitors to like their page with a click and endorse their content.
05. GEM, Inc.
Girls' Empowerment Matters GEM, Inc. provides a safe space for urban girls from the Bronx, where they can turn for personal attention, guidance, and mentoring programs. The values at the core of this initiative - from self esteem to expression - are proudly displayed on the website’s top fold, rotating in a typographic animation.
The website boasts a well-defined color palette of purple and teal, which is repeated in its design with geometrical vector art and duotone photography. The purple acts as the primary color, dominating the majority of the webpage, while the teal serves as the accent color. Due to its more limited use in the design, the teal truly stands out when inviting site visitors to ‘Donate,’ ‘Get Involved,’ and ‘RSVP’ to events.
Culture of Solidarity is a growing community of volunteers who, from the start of COVID-19, came together to collect surplus produce and dry food from farmers and restaurants, as well as donations from individuals. They also deliver food packages and home-cooked meals to seniors, refugees and others.
Their website creates a sense of optimism with a vivid color palette, and is quick to explain their work with a large VideoBox on the top fold. The website footer calls for site visitors to take action by providing links for making donations, volunteering or similar initiatives.
The Ocean Data Alliance is a nonprofit organization that utilizes ocean data in hopes of addressing the climate crisis and helping ocean ecosystems. This organization’s work is apparent in every aspect of its web design. For example, maps of coastal cities from around the world, from New York City to Shanghai, are featured in the background, gently gliding on top of one another as we scroll down the site.
The titles tie into the same idea by using an animated pixelated font, bringing to mind the data work the alliance does. The concept is further enhanced by the use of website animations as we enter the site. The logo design is just as fitting with the organization’s expertise, with wavy lines that represent the ocean. When clicked, the logo leads back to the homepage for easy navigation.
On the top fold are prominent CTA buttons, inviting site visitors to buy tickets for an upcoming event or to join the organization. These buttons stand out against the overall design of the site, with a bright green color and an underline that draws extra attention.
08. Kode with Klossy
Kode with Klossy is a not-for-profit initiative by supermodel and entrepreneur Karlie Kloss that aims to teach young women to code. The website launches into a fullscreen video showing young women coding, cheering, learning and taking selfies with Karlie.
Right below the video is the program’s mission statement, in vivid and fun colors. The website’s design is cheerful, filled with images of smiling teens. This friendly approach makes the STEM disciplines feel more accessible, helping to inspire young women of all backgrounds.
The website navigation here is made up of three parts: a classic menu on the website’s header, accompanied by two sidebars. On the left is a bar for social media links, and on the right are the Donate and Apply CTAs.
09. Literacy Inc.
From its very first fold, Literacy Inc. is quick to deliver every detail site visitors need to know: the name of the organization, three words that describe what it does, and a prominent CTA for donations. Combined with a fullscreen photo of children reading and badges that add credibility and reliability, this website’s homepage ticks all the right boxes.
10. Barco Sorriso
This nonprofit organization, whose Portuguese name translates to The Boat Called Smile, provides free dental care and health education to isolated coastal communities in Brazil. Barco Sorriso’s multilingual website is colorful, bright and fully illustrated, with the organization’s logo (a boat which doubles as a winking, smiling face) repeated throughout.
Note the ingenious use of the parallax scrolling effect, which creates a smooth transition between the first two folds. As we scroll down, the ocean view of the first fold is gradually obscured behind the greenery of the second, making room for a beautiful animated video that introduces the organization's activities.
Lower down the page are a slideshow of photos of the individuals and communities that Barco Sorriso have helped, as well as testimonials by both dentists and volunteers. These diverse types of content are all tied together under the same feel-good, optimistic visual language and digital illustrations.
Dreams Have No Boundaries’ mission is to provide extended education for underprivileged youth in Bangladesh. Their website design employs cohesive visual language that combines photography, hand-drawn doodles and brush strokes. Together, these visual elements bring to mind the scribbles of a child’s notebook.
Because this website is rich with information and CTAs, it splits its various elements into bite-sized, easily digestible sections.For example, potential volunteers can pick between options such as teaching classes pro-bono to helping out with their skills as web designers.
The application process is separated into stages; only once a category is picked using the ‘Apply’ button, the next stage pops up as a lightbox. This ensures that the screen doesn’t appear cluttered and forms a smooth overall experience.
Arte works with young people to create visual art projects centered around themes of human rights. Their website includes inspiration and tips for raising awareness of different social causes through art, such as via mural painting or zine making.
With an easy-to-navigate design and a seamless user experience, this nonprofit website is well-thought-out down to the last detail. They’ve also included a favicon (the small icon at the top of your web browser), abbreviating the organization’s name into its first initial, which makes it readable in favicon size. The site also has a carefully crafted domain name, with a .org domain extension to signify that this is a noncommercial entity.
The Give Work Challenge is a business plan competition, supporting social entrepreneurs in Kenya and Uganda. As the signature program of the Leila Janah Foundation, it strives to fight youth unemployment by providing capital and mentorship to talented individuals in East African countries.
The website presents this information with short, bite-sized paragraphs that visitors can quickly skim read and learn from. With the help of photographs, videos and large, visually appealing statistics, it’s easy for users to get familiar with this nonprofit’s important work.
The Africa Narrative is a project of the University of Southern California’s Norman Lear Center in partnership with CrissCrossGlobal. It sets out to broaden awareness of the 54 African nations and their diverse cultures, innovation and entrepreneurialism and an overall “richer telling of Africa’s story,” drawing attention to the continent’s growth rather than its conflict and poverty.
The initiative’s website features a wide array of content, from photographs of past events to videos of conversations by and about people from Africa. The photos and videos are displayed using the Wix Pro Gallery, which enables for this large amount of visuals to look equally good on this nonprofit’s mobile website, too.
15. Hold Your Fire
Hold Your Fire is a personal project led by illustrator and designer Kristina Filler in memory of her father, a school teacher killed by gun violence. This initiative raises money for gun safety through the sale of illustrated t-shirts. The Hold Your Fire shirt merges a dove with an open hand into one beautiful design, exemplifying the use of illustration for a social cause.
By using a hand-painted illustration, alongside a very personal story and a minimal website design, Hold Your Fire treats what is often a controversial topic in a light-hearted and genuine manner. To date, the project has raised $11,000 for its cause.
Through mountaineering and leadership training, Ascend aspires to empower young women in Afghanistan. The physical challenge of mountain climbing, followed by the sense of accomplishment at summiting the peak, are mutually evident on the fullscreen photo on the top fold.
The website displays many photos of Ascend’s different mountaineering feasts, telling the program’s story in a highly visual way alongside text and video. The homepage also embeds the program’s Instagram feed, so that their newest content always shows up on their website.
Brooklyn-based creative collective and agency Artepreneurship, helps local artists jump start their careers through workshops, tools and personalized training. The website’s asymmetrical design is colorful and creative, all the while retaining full readability.
The Donate button is prominent in the upper right corner. At the left is a navigation bar that allows for easy access to the website’s menu, a logo leading back to the homepage, the collective’s social media links, and an online form for leaving them a note.
Based in Minneapolis, MIGIZI nurtures the development of the Native American community. They hold many youth programs, from journalism to leadership to school partnerships, in order to help youth achieve success economically, educationally, socially and culturally.
MIGIZI, which means “bald eagle” in the Ojibwe language, was founded in 1977 as a radio production. With their history so rooted in media production, it only makes sense that they’ve used their website to start a blog in which they share updates and reportings relating to their community.
The MIGIZI nonprofit website also enables visitors to donate and support the cause, register to upcoming events, sign up to one of their programs and much more.
This New Zealand-based charity is on a mission to spread kindness through home-baked goods. With over two-thousand volunteers and 25 chapters around the country, this organization bakes for communities going through a rough patch such as families with loved ones who are ill, or individuals dining in soup kitchens.
Good Bitches Baking’s website greets visitors with large, delicious looking photos, and uplifting written website content that calls kindness, sweetness and cake. Together with a fun font pairing of a classic serif with a modern sans-serif type, the result is an irresistible homepage design.
Travel with a Purpose, Inc. donates school supplies, clothes and shoes to less fortunate children around the world. Their website utilizes a combination of photography, animation, and illustration to lay out their vision and activities.
Note, for example, how a photo of worn-down flip-flops on a child’s feet, barely held together with plastic bags, is transformed through animation into a shining new pair of sneakers. It’s a fun and imaginative way of instantly explaining what this nonprofit organization is all about.
As soon as this website opens, a pop-up lightbox welcomes visitors with an important message, asking them to support the organization through donations or contributions.
The site itself recreates an old-fashioned look, immediately reminding us of days of yore. With sepia photography and vintage type, the website is in line with the CharacTours’ theatrical walking experiences, introducing audiences to the history of New York City.
Free nonprofit website templates
When creating a nonprofit website of your own, you can start from scratch or customize one of these designer-made website templates to fit your organization’s style and needs. These three nonprofit website templates will get you on the right path:
Women Empowerment NGO: This template is filled with all the features needed for a nonprofit website. Starting with a large and eye-catching Donate button at the top, it also includes a blog, a testimonials section, a list of upcoming events, and even its own podcast.
Food Charity: This charity template features a fullscreen video on its first fold, so that visitors can be clear on what it is that you do early on. There are many ways for site visitors to get in touch, from live chat to social media links, donation buttons, and a newsletter.
Environmental NGO: Express your message loud and clear with animated typography on a video background, encouraging site visitors to support your cause. This template is neatly organized, with a blog, podcast, photo gallery and more, each on its own designated page.
By Eden Spivak
Design Expert & Writer