Creating a Donor-Friendly Nonprofit Website That’s Easy for Everyone to Use

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reating a Donor-Friendly Nonprofit Website That’s Easy for Everyone to Use

Creating a Donor-Friendly Nonprofit Website That’s Easy for Everyone to Use

Marguerite McGrail

The Brookline Education Foundation (BEF) is a nonprofit organization that raises private funds to support innovative teaching, administrative leadership, professional development, and community participation in the local school system. It is one of the largest local education funds in Massachusetts, raising over $5 million for the Brookline Public Schools since 1981.

Though the BEF’s website had been successful over the years, the directors of the foundation felt that there were areas for improvement. First and foremost, they wanted to streamline the donation process to ensure that no potential donors lose their way on the site, or lose patience when clicking through a near-endless rabbit hole of links. BEF worked with Bartlett Interactive to create a donor-friendly website with a cleaner, more modern responsive design optimized for mobile devices, with edge-to-edge photography and simple navigation.

Easy to Use Website Design

The site was built on WordPress, using the page builder Avada. The BI Team started with a pre-built website theme which the client liked the design of, and customized it to fit BEF’s branding and functional needs.

The advantage of using the page-builder is that clients can make adjustments to the design over time as they see fit; there’s no need for development experience. Just a few hours of training is all it takes to learn the basics. This was especially important for BEF since they would often be adding pages and updating content. Our goal was to empower the client, giving them control over the look and feel of the site, and facilitating the editing process as much as possible.

Creating an Effective Donor-Friendly Website

We also modernized the design of the site by simplifying navigation, implementing an edge-to-edge slideshow to introduce the organization, and included event and blog feeds to engage visitors. To encourage visitors to contribute, we included a “Donate” link right in the main navigation menu dropdown, and also placed a prominent “Honor a Teacher” call to action on the upper right corner of every page on the site. This donor page has a simple form and a bold button with text to inform visitors they will have the option to use PayPal for their donation.

Much of our content strategy involved distilling the existing information into more concise and direct pages. This involved much deliberation over what to delete, and how to isolate the essence of each page. With the help of the client, we decluttered the content and reduced the complexity of how the content was organized on the site.

To build on the nonprofit’s human element we curated a collection of authentic, high-quality photographs. The ample use of white space gives visitors the impression that everything they need is within reach. BEF is a large site with lots of resources for teachers, parents, and donors, so it was important to encourage exploration of all it has to offer.

BEF is a large site with lots of resources for teachers, parents, and donors,

This new website design made it easy for anyone from the BEF team to edit and add content and imagery whenever they needed to.

They were pleased with the results:

“The resulting website is so easy to use - both for people visiting the site and for us to keep the content up to date. We are so pleased with our new website, and editing it has been a pleasure! We are still getting rave reviews about the great new design from teachers and donors who use the site.”

The new BEF website will continue to attract supporters and inspire teachers and students and promote excellence in public schools for many years to come.

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