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

Free Resource:

We know that planning a website can be overwhelming, so we reached out to some of the experts on this list to help create a free ebook to help nonprofits plan their next website. Grab your free copy here.

The 20 Best Nonprofit Websites List:

The following 20 best nonprofit websites are listed in alphabetically. Scroll to the bottom for more details on how the list was compiled.

Note: Some of these websites include animated elements, parallax scrolling (different elements scroll at different speeds), as well as things like hovering menus and social bars. These can be hard to capture in static screenshots and can also can make things a bit awkward as we try to stitch together a comprehensive view. We encourage you to check out the live websites to get the full experience.

1 Billion Nets (Malaria No More Campaign)

URL: 1billionnets.org

Web design by: Creative Science Labs

Best Nonprofit Campaign Website

Acumen

URL: acumen.org

Web design by: BriteWeb

Acumen - Top Nonprofit Websites

 

Adopt A Love Story

URL: adoptalovestory.com

Web design by: Bionic Giant

CARE

URL: care.org

Web design by: Unknown

Case NGO Website

Case Foundation

URL: casefoundation.org

Web design by: Creatve Science

 

Charity Water

URL: charitywater.org

Charity Water - Nonprofit Websites

Conservation International

URL: conservation.org/

Web design by: Viget

Conservation International - Best Nonprofit Websites

Convoy of Hope

URL: convoyofhope.org

Web design by:  Jeff Hedrick (in-house)

Convoy of Hope - Best Charity Websites

David Shepherd Foundation

URL: davidshepherd.org

Web design by: PHA Media

Wildlife Conservation Website

Gates Foundation

URL: gatesfoundation.org

Web design by: Unknown

Gates Foundation Website

Greenpeace USA

URL: greenpeace.org/usa

Web design by: Echo & Co. and Teal Media

GreenPeace Website

 

Invisible Children

URL: invisiblechildren.com

Web Design by: Brandon Bone & Maurice Rosemond (In House)

Invisible Children - Best Nonprofit Websites

Nashville Zoo

URL: nashvillezoo.org

Web design by: Speak

 National Aquarium

URL: aqua.org

Web design: In House

National Aquarium - Top Nonprofits Websites

Room to Read

URL: roomtoread.org

Web design by: Unknown

Room to Read Charity Website

Rotary International

URL: rotary.org

Web design by: Unknown

Rotary International Website

Save the Storks

URL: savethestorks.com

Web design by: Bionic Giant

Save the Storks Nonprofit Website

Teach For America

URL: teachforamerica.org

Web design by: Unknown

Teach For America Website

Valley of the Sun YMCA

URL: valleyymca.org

Web design by: Big Marlin Group

Valley of the Sun YMCA Website

 

World Wildlife Fund

URL: worldwildlife.org

Web design by: Viget

WWF - Best 20 Nonprofit Websites

 

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.