Here at Oyster we’ve worked on quite a few charity website designs now and we think we’ve got the winning formula to boost support, raise profile and increase donations. Designing a building a charity website should be a well considered task; every image, word, button or header can change how the site is received. Of course it helps if you have the right components to start with, so we’ve put together a shortlist of the key elements that must be included in a charity website from a marketing point of view:

Make it easy to donate!

You need to make it as easy as possible for people to donate to your charity – they shouldn’t have to dig to find the button! Make sure your donate button is big and bold and put it somewhere really obvious. The top of every page is a good idea, even if its included elsewhere on the page as well, and make sure it always looks the same so that it’s easy to identify throughout the site.

Show photos of who is being helped – be that man, beast, flora or fauna!

It’s really important that potential supporter can make a connection with who/what they are helping and photos are the best way to do this.  They must be good photos too – well shot, well lit and well composed. The right photo can really make a charity website and be the difference between a big donation or no donation.

Show how sponsors help

People like to see how their money is being spent or their time is being used. There’s a reason people donate and that’s usually because they want to see something happen or change, so make sure you provide them with evidence that good work is being done.

Tell them what your mission is

It needs to be clear, concise and emotive. It must explain enough in a small paragraph to capture the visitors attention and persuade them to read more. It needs to be well positioned too so that new visitors can quickly understand what you’re trying to do.

Set a goal and a deadline

Any donations are good, but let visitors know exactly how much you’re looking to raise and by when. This will make people more inclined to act within this deadline and to check back and monitor progress.

How much you’ve raised or what you’ve achieved so far

Not only does this reinforce how donations help those in need, it was shows that others have helped and the scale to which others have helped.

Give many ways to be involved

People like options – maybe they can’t afford to give a donation, but maybe they can do something to raise money for the charity. Provide supporter packs, setup supporter email newsletter signups, list events that they can be involved with. There’s usually more than one way people can help…

Encourage people to keep in touch

Provide the option to subscribe to supporter newsletters, if they donate remember to send them an email and ask if they mind being added to your email newsletter list. After all, people who support once are more likely to support again.

If you’re a charity considering building a new website or revamping an existing one, Oyster would love to help. We work with charities of all sizes and from across the UK. We based our expertise on results and making the most of what is available in a charity’s marketing budget. For more information, please give us a call on 01243 389713 or email