Ten Website Design Trends for Nonprofits in 2022

by Lynn Gregorski

As with all things marketing, website design trends change over time. What works for the for-profit world in terms of website design may not be what gets users to click through for more information on a nonprofit website.

An effective nonprofit website design engages visitors with the mission, encourages donors, and invites volunteers to get involved, as outlined below.

Lynn Gregorski
Lynn Gregorski
  1. Soothing color palettes. More subdued colors convey warmth and security as in this design for the Mental Health Clinic of Passaic. Look for earth tones that are accented with bright, bold neon or primary colors. The latter could be used for icons or design elements for a nice contrast, without competing with the primary earthy or dusty hues. Of course, your color palette should complement your logo design for effective, cohesive branding.

  2. Video storytelling. Video is being used more and more in social media marketing with strong results. Embedding videos on your nonprofit website helps tell your story in a compelling way that draws in visitors and keeps them on the web page.
    • Videos could be of your board president talking about an initiative or a recipient of your services sharing how your organization has changed her life.
    • Place videos on your Home page, Services page, About page—wherever they are relevant to help donors understand who they are supporting.
  1. Share statistics and stories. Counters that show the number of people served, dollar value of your programs, and other pertinent statistics are a great way to share that information with donors. Success stories will demonstrate your impact. Supporters want to know where their money is going; stats and stories are a powerful way to show that before visitors get to your financial and impact reports.

  2. Authentic representation. If your clients will authorize your nonprofit to use their photos in your marketing, do so! Using real people who represent who you serve, as well as using “action shots” of your team working with clients provides authenticity and credibility. If you must use stock imagery, search for images that best represent your clientele and mission. Additionally, always be sure that you have the proper permissions for any image to avoid potential copyright infringement.

  3. Reflect diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). It is more important than ever to show your organization’s commitment to DEI. The website design can demonstrate your values and support of underrepresented and marginalized populations with your choice of images (as noted above), color palette, and language, which includes a genuine diversity policy statement. Stakeholders (both internal and external) will feel seen and understood with a website design that shows you value diverse backgrounds, viewpoints, and experiences.

  4. Minimalist design/large images and titles. Promote your mission and enhance the user experience with compelling images and large titles (short and to the point). These large images and titles are placed at the top of the page and throughout the site. This minimalist approach catches attention and telegraphs your message quickly. You have plenty of space on the page to provide more detail or link to supportive materials.

  5. Clear navigation. What you do and who you serve must be readily accessible to website visitors. It’s all about your case for support! Also make it easy for people to get involved (more below). Make sure your main navigation tabs clearly indicate these important aspects of your digital marketing.

  6. Make donating easy. Nonprofit organizations rely on monetary and manpower donations. Therefore, make it easy for prospective donors, sponsors, or potential partners to navigate to the information they need to support you.
    • Make the Donate button prominent in the website’s header to make it easy for supporters to give without hunting around. Include Donate buttons where relevant on other pages as well.
    • If you use volunteers from the community, have Volunteer boldly placed as well.
    • Make sure the lead generation forms that link to these buttons are simple and quick to fill out, and that those landing pages spell out the opportunities in clear language.
    • Provide opportunities to donate in honor or in memory of someone on the form. This may help encourage repeat donations, and will help share the love when those you honor receive acknowledgements.
    • Share your fundraising events. Be sure to include an Events page and promote them boldly on the Home page for maximum effect.

  7. Make it accessible. It’s also vital today to make your website accessible and easy to navigate for more users. This means aligning with ADA compliance measures as a “place of public accommodation.” Accessible websites are developed with an internationally recognized set of guidelines for digital accessibility in place. While not yet legally mandated, website accessibility is becoming increasingly important to users with vision, hearing, or mobility impairments—and an important element for nonprofit organizations to engage with all site visitors. There are features you can implement if your website developer is doing custom coding, or you can use third-party platforms to add compliance features.

  8. Integrate your social media. Having a digital presence today means being on all digital channels, including social networks. Include the icons and links to your social media pages and be sure to update those pages frequently.

Lynn Gregorski is founder and president of Rapunzel Creative Marketing, an award-winning, full-service strategic marketing and advertising agency that builds brands and drives sales through imaginative campaigns, digital marketing, and advertising.