Social web design: non-profit websites
A web site isn’t only a visit card to present one’s online business: first of all it’s a wide range of opportunities, made of social relations, communications and initiatives to promote. This is why in addition to the traditional web showcases of commercial websites of the moment, a new different realty is gaining ground: the social web design, full of no-profit organization websites and humanitarian associations. Non commercial business, with more prosaic purposes than the normal selling that are the 90% of the sites on the web, they hope, with a good site, to capture the attention and the public opinion and achieve solidarity and empathy for their cause.
What are the features of a “social” website?
A humanitarian site has to address the users in a simple and direct way, trying to establish a relation and to give them as much information as possible about the cause to support. Sites are very usable and intuitive, the linear graphic with no particular graphic excess that risk to distract the user, the details about the mission of the association are always put in evidence and supported by intense images that visually represent who (human causes in favour of determinate populations or categories of people, like the associations against domestic violence) or what (material causes, like the construction of schools or hospitals) will really benefit of the initiative.
If the site offers the possibility to make a donation, it’s important that this type of action is somehow highlighted, via the apposite call-to-action. A way to motivate users to support economically the cause could be to show on video the number of donations (or the total amount of donations) received: to demonstrate that there is already one who had confidence in the mission enough to put hands in the pocket and share in a clear and concrete way the economical side of the activity, will certainly help to give a positive and serious image of their work.
Inspiration: the humanitarian web design
Recommended readings and resources
Considerations of a web designer
Designing a website for a no-profit association can be very stimulating and it’s also a good starting point for those who are beginning to move their first steps in the web design world and want to increase their experience and add some works in their portfolio. Unfortunately in this area funds are very scarce and rarely a humanitarian association can invest a decent amount in an effective and appealing website; what many organizations can do is hope to reach the heart of any good web designer who decides to support the cause working under cost or completely for free.
What do you think? Would you create or have you created a site for a charity association? Would you do it for a pure human spirit, with no profit or do you think that also the organizations, as business activities, should begin to invest funds in order to present on the web in an effective way?
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