You’re in the beginning stages of a website (re)design and are thinking, what pages should a nonprofit website include? 

We reviewed 80+ nonprofit websites to see what the most common pages were. From that research we found the basic pages a nonprofit website should have were:

  1. Homepage

  2. About us

  3. Our work

  4. Get Involved

  5. Donate

  6. Contact us

  7. Blog

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I’m here to tell you that which pages a nonprofit should include is not the right question to be asking. Give me a moment to explain. 

3 types of pages that will drive conversions

A website is a tool used to carry a particular function. So what function does your nonprofit website serve?

For most nonprofits, a website is used to capture leads and generate online donations (If you don’t care about conversions then look at the list above and move on). You do this by intentionally designing the website to nurture potential donors and move them down the funnel so that eventually they support your cause. Now, more than ever, your organization must do this so you can continue making an impact. 

You need to provide different pages and content that serve those people at whatever stage they are on. If we are able to meet users’ needs at their different stages then we’re improving their user experience. But, the purpose of your nonprofit website is ultimately to serve your organization. It does this by attracting and turning potential donors to actual donors. That means we need to adjust our thinking of user friendly by focusing on the goals that are unique to your marketing. 

We need to focus on users taking a primary call to action rather than just making it easy to do anything. What do you want the user to do? How do you make this interaction easy to find? Web designers do this by designing for specific users and encouraging specific interactions for a well defined outcome. So what pages do we need to create to move the needle forward? 

Positioning pages

Position pages help website visitors understand why your organization does what it does and how it does it. Each page should offer a clear, primary call to action that will guide the prospect forward to the eventual outcome you would like e.g. capturing their email address. 

Marketing pages

Marketing pages help site visitors better understand the nature of your organization in a more educational setting. Each of your website’s content marketing pages should also offer a clear, primary call to action to take. 

Conversion pages

Conversion pages help your organization turn prospect donors into donors or lets your organization learn more about them. 

Content examples for each page type

Homepage (Positioning)

Your main goal
Move users to your what we do pages

Call to actions to include
Learn how we do it”

Important content to include
Positioning statement above the fold explaining what you do and for who

Your homepage is not a place a prospect should spend a lot of time. It’s a launching point to learn about who your organization is and start their journey to learn more about your mission. Your homepage message should include your positioning statement — Why should I give to you, rather than some other organization, or at all?

Homepage example — Breakfast Club Canada
It’s very clear what they do and for who. It’s also clear they differentiate from other food charities by giving breakfast for children.

What we do (Positioning)

Your main goal
Get visitor to read more about individual programs

Call to Actions to Include
Learn more about each program, donate call-to-action

Important Content to Include
List of all the things you do (e.g. programs/​services/​issues) along with a short description about them 

A page that explains the purpose of your organization. You can help donor prospects better understand what you do and what their money will be put towards. Depending on your organization, this page could be called Programs, Services, Issues, How We Help, etc. 

What we do Page Example — KidSafe Programs
They make it clear what they do and for who. They follow up their statement by listing their programs (how they do it) along with descriptions.

Impact (Positioning)

Your main goal
Convert visitor through donation or lead generation form

Call to actions to include
Donate call-to-action, Newsletter or Lead magnet form

Important content to include
Communicating the results of your organization’s efforts is crucial to winning over supporters. Businesses show testimonials or case studies, nonprofits can use impact pages in a similar way to show how their organization is working towards their mission.

Impact Page Example — Make A Wish
A great example here! Highlights their impact by sharing each children’s story. In the top header they share their value proposition explaining what they do, for who and why their cause is so important.

Blog (Marketing)

Your main goal
Read blog article

Call to actions to include
People visiting lower level pages are not necessarily looking for your organization but rather about issues or problems they are trying to solve. Including calls to action for people researching issues or evaluating nonprofits would entice them convert. 

Important content to include
Visitors should not be spending lots of time here. A useful blog means that they can quickly discover something relevant to them and move on to read about it.

Blog article (Marketing)

Your main goal

Call to actions to Include
Similarly to above, people visiting lower level pages are not necessarily looking for your organization but rather about issues or problems they are trying to solve. Including calls to action for people researching issues or evaluating nonprofits would entice them convert. 

Important Content to Include
A good prospect is far more likely to begin their session on your website on a lower-level page like blog articles than on a top-level page like your home page. Examples of content include stories about your work or about the issues your organization is trying to solve. 

Blog article example – The Elephant Sanctuary
While not exactly a blog article, The Elephant Sanctuary showcases stories about the elephants they care for and how they got into their care. This helps people understand what these animals go through and how The Elephant Sanctuary is coming to their aid.

Donation (Conversion)

Your main goal
Collect donation

Call to actions to include

Important content to include
How their donation will be used

Arguably one of your most important pages, a nonprofit’s donate page needs to establish credibility, maintain the trust you’ve gained and reinforce the urgent need for support. 

Blog article example — SAINTS Rescue
Saints Rescue donate page explains how your money will be used and provides a quick and easy way to donate.

Get involved (Conversion)

Your main goal
Fill out lead generation form

Call to actions to include
Many — varies for each organization but could be Give, Pledge, Volunteer, etc

Important content to include
Impact areas and list ways to help

Similar to donation pages, the get involved pages are designed to convert prospects into donors, volunteers or advocates. These pages encourage people to support your nonprofit’s cause.

Get involved example — Ocean Wise
Ocean wise provides multiple ways for someone to support their cause for healthier oceans with some interactive filters to quickly find an area of interest. 

Lead magnet landing pages (Conversion)

Your main goal
Fill out lead generation form

Call to actions to include
Varies based on type of lead generation

Important content to include
What are the benefits of someone filling out the form. What do they get in return?

A lead magnet is something that offers value to your donor in exchange for their contact information. Some ideas of lead magnets include webinars, giveaways, surveys, ecards and educational resources. 

Get involved example — Nevada Humane Society
Nevada Humane Society allows their website visitors to send fun ecards with personalized messages. In the process, they are able to collect emails that can be used for marketing purposes down the road (as long as you are creating proper opt-in forms).

Newsletter signups (Conversion)

Your main goal
Fill out form

Call to actions to include

Important content to include
Explaining the benefits of signing up will go a long way to increase conversion rates. What can I expect from these newsletters?

People sign up to stay up to date with your organization

When designing your next nonprofit website, let’s not start the discussion with what pages we should include but rather what outcomes we want to see. From there, let’s design interactions and pages that will guide our intended user to reach that ultimate goal.