In keeping with TopNonprofits mission of “Learning from the Best Organizations and Leaders,” we set out to find and study the best nonprofit websites from around the world. Below is the resulting list of the top 20. Details on how the list was compiled can be found at the bottom.

There are all sorts of nuggets you can glean from these great websites, but a few common themes stood out.

  1. Responsive (automatically adapting to different screen sizes) is non-negotiable.
  2. The long home page: Provide a 10,000-foot view without having to click.
  3. Fewer options for primary navigation.
  4. Animated backgrounds are growing in popularity. See Invisible Children or the National Aquarium for examples.
  5. Subtle and clear infographics communicate more than text.
  6. Good photos and graphics are a must.
  7. We also compiled a list of 13 Donation Page Best Practices

The 20 Best Nonprofit Websites List:

Acumen

URL: acumen.org
Web design by:

Adopt A Love Story

URL: adoptalovestory.com
Web design by: Bionic Giant

charity: water

URL: charitywater.org
Web Design By: In-house team

Convoy of Hope

URL: convoyofhope.org
Web design by:  Jeff Hedrick, in-house creative director, development by 40Digits

David Shepherd Foundation

URL: davidshepherd.org

Web design by: PHA Media

Gates Foundation

URL: gatesfoundation.org

Web design by: Unknown

Greenpeace USA

URL: greenpeace.org/usa
Web design by: Echo & Co. and Teal Media

Invisible Children

URL: invisiblechildren.com
Web Design by: Brandon Bone & Maurice Rosemond (In House)

Nashville Zoo

URL: nashvillezoo.org
Web design by: Speak

National Aquarium

URL: aqua.org
Web design: In House

Room to Read

URL: roomtoread.org
Web design by: Free Range

Rotary International

URL: rotary.org
Web design by: Viget

Save the Storks

URL: savethestorks.com
Web design by: Bionic Giant

Teach For America

URL: teachforamerica.org
Web design by: In-house (Stephanie Yancone & Suzi Speedling) + Phase2

Valley of the Sun YMCA

URL: valleyymca.org
Web design by: Big Marlin Group

World Wildlife Fund

URL: worldwildlife.org
Web design by: Viget

How the List Was Compiled

As we are updating our database or performing research, we note traits related to the organization. If we see a well designed nonprofit website, we make note of this in our database which adds it into the running for this list. When it comes time to update the list, someone on the team takes full-page captures of the home pages. These are then reviewed by multiple people on the team and rated by each. The top 40 make it to the final round where additional scrutiny is placed on mobile friendliness, donation user experience, contact pages, creative use of content, and other factors. The Top 20 nonprofit websites were published to this list.

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