Design is a dirty word for many non-profiters. The idea of an organization spending time money making something look polished and clean, some think, is a sign that organization is spending time and money where they shouldn’t. All resources should be funneled into the cause.
That’s not saying much for design. Design may be artistic, but it’s not art. The design process is calculated and defined. It follows methodologies and steps that support the objectives of a website and is there to help the viewer accomplish tasks.
While your focus should definitely go into your cause, you should also explore every outlet you can to help support what you do. Think about how you look at websites and how quickly you make judgments. In a snap, you decide if that organization is trustworthy. You decide if the donation process makes sense. You evaluate how easy it is to pledge support – if that Donate Now button isn’t easy to find, you might assume donations aren’t important.
If you have a scrubby website that looks like your favorite niece built it between classes, people will think that you’ve got an equal organization. Inspire trust in your visitors. Show them respect. Trust that design serves a purpose other than to look pretty, and let your website shine.