Web Design

The Young and the Restless
February 1, 2007

Someone 20 years old, or 30 or 40 — even 50 — might never become a direct-mail donor. He or she probably will give online from the beginning. And there’s evidence that online donors might act quite differently than their direct-mail responsive parents and grandparents.

Avoid Web Site Stagnation
January 1, 2007

If you worked in corporate America before you decided to help make the world a better place, you probably experienced the Internet revolution of the ’90s first-hand. If so, you probably chuckle today over the sweat you and your colleagues poured into those first basic Web sites: “Should the navigation go on the top? Left? Right? Where can I find a 13-year-old who can program this thing?”

Blog Heaven
January 1, 2007

Should we launch a blog?” That’s what forward-thinking nonprofits everywhere are asking.

There’s a short answer to that question. (Hint: It’s yes.) But there are some complicating factors you need to think through.

They’re Doing What?
January 1, 2007

Results from end-of-year giving campaigns are still coming in, but one fundraising trend was clear in 2006: nonprofits’ growing expertise in integrating campaigns across multiple communications channels.

The increasing costs of acquiring new donors through traditional methods, the continuing challenge of donor fatigue and the exponential growth in online donations has spurred many organizations to bring online outreach into the mix.

Rebuilding a Home (Page)
December 1, 2006

“Keep it simple!” is the general recommendation of the pros who took a look at this month’s featured site, which belongs to Rebuilding Together Alexandria, a Virginia-based organization that repairs homes at no cost to qualifying, low-income community members.

Our analysts — eTapestry Web professionals Wesley Street, Web site developer; Josh Esslinger, manager of Web site services; and Phillip Allen, manager of Web services/sales — applaud the site’s strong black-and-green color scheme and good use of the vertical navigation bar on the left-hand side.

Speed and Relevance Key to E-Newsletters
October 31, 2006

According to the report “Email Newsletter Usability: 165 Design Guidelines for Newsletter Subscription, Content, Account Maintenance, and RSS News Feeds Based on Usability Studies” by the Nielsen Norman Group, a firm that helps companies develop customer-centered strategies and processes, individuals have stronger reactions to e-mail newsletters than they do to Web sites. For one thing, e-newsletters are more personal than Web sites because they arrive in recipients’ inboxes. They also have a social aspect in that they can be forwarded to friends and colleagues, according to the report. Because of this, e-newsletters present an opportunity to create a greater bond between recipients and

A Bloomin' Success
September 1, 2006

Flowerpetal.com, an online storefront that sells floral arrangements and gifts, is offering nonprofit organizations a service through which it will build them online storefronts that allow them to keep a portion of the proceeds from flower sales.

Snap to Focus
August 1, 2006

On reading our February WebWatch featuring the Save the Children Web site, a member of the development staff at Surgical Eye Expeditions International, a Santa Barbara, Calif.-based organization that provides medical, surgical and educational services to disadvantaged blind people worldwide, requested that we critique SEE’s site.

I enlisted the help of Sarah Durham, principal and founder of NYC-based communications firm Big Duck, which works exclusively with nonprofits.

Accentuate the Actions
June 1, 2006

Responding to our invitation in the February issue of FundRaising Success, Lacy Ward Jr., executive director of Court Appointed Special Advocates of Central Virginia, an organization that advocates for abused and neglected children in court, requested that her organization’s site be analyzed here.

Far from an expert on Web design and functionality, I enlisted the help of Domenic Spinosa, vice president of creative for Wakefield, Mass.-based relationship-marketing firm Epsilon.

Shop ‘Til It Helps
January 1, 2006

Can a dozen dogs find shelter in a leather briefcase? They can if the briefcase was purchased through Benevolink.

No, the Atlanta-based company isn’t in the business of selling amazing expandable briefcases. Rather, it allows consumers to direct corporate dollars to the causes of their choice just by shopping online at more than 200 retailers such as Gap, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble, Harry and David, and Staples.