Everyone loves the charity: water website! What makes it so great?

April 5, 2017

If you’re involved in nonprofit communications, then you will be familiar with the charity: water website. A treasure trove of inspiration for content and strategy organizers, this is one site that comes up especially frequently during Cornershop’s creative discovery sessions, and for good reason.

For smaller nonprofits, the beauty and effectiveness of the charity: water site may feel unattainable. Given that this incredible site continually comes up in our discovery process, we wanted to detail some of the best elements of this site that you can borrow for better engagement on your site.

Simplify Your Calls to Action

You’ve probably heard of the ladder of engagement. This is one thing that charity: water does especially well. The site’s calls to action are crystal clear, setting site visitors on clear paths for how they can easily get involved and then return for more donating or personal fundraising.

Even their top navigation is crisp and clean, prioritizing key pages while the footer navigation handles the more robust full site menu.

Additionally, there’s no question about charity: water’s mission or purpose. From the very moment you’re on the site, you know what you’re being asked to do and why.

Think of your own site and how you could simplify and clarify your own content: What are you asking your supporters to do? Will they be inspired to click? Or are you possibly distracting them by providing too many options or too much information?

Show (and Tell) Your Work

All nonprofits should know how to ask for money, but not all have mastered the art of showing where that money goes. charity: water makes their donors feel connected to their cause, repeatedly and specifically reminding supporters how their donations make a difference.  

Consider the ways that you can be more specific about what your supporters are funding. Even a simple pie chart can help supporters see their impact and feel more confident in donating.

Keep It Fresh

There’s no doubt about it: charity: water has powerful graphics, images, and design at their disposal, and they make the most of it with frequent home page updates.

Even if you don’t have the same stunning resources, you can use similar storytelling tactics to refresh your own website.  

And you don’t need to be a professional photographer or writer to capture great stories from the work that you do.

Interview someone who’s impacted by your work. Attend a related event and take photos with your phone. Simple actions like this can help you refresh your approach and further personalize the content on your site.

And of course, if you’d like some assistance with refreshing your design or content, contact us! 

By Chelsea Bassett

Chelsea has over a decade of experience with progressive nonprofits, social change, and nonprofit technology, thanks to nine years working at Salsa Labs in technical support, product development, and marketing before joining the Cornershop team. Her passion for quality communication, authentic relationships, and creative nerds serves her well as project manager at Cornershop.