As a firm one of our focuses is on building websites for charities and non-profits.  In an effort to find some inspiration, we recently looked through the sites of   Forbes list of 200 Largest U.S. Charities. We picked our favorites based on web design and how well we think they communicated the mission of their nonprofit organization. It was interesting to see the difference between the marketing needs of humanitarian groups and those of other charity groups. World Wildlife Fund, for example, used powerful photography to solicit sympathies, where the Metropolitan Museum of Art utilized a streamlined art showcase to represent the sophisticated museum style.

Following you will find ten great sites we came across.

American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee

Placing the photo near the action toolbar on the right is a smart way to draw attention to where nonprofits want it most. They also do a great job of making the donation tab stand out.


American Museum of Natural History

Vibrant photography in the slider beautifully shows the museum’s various concentrations.


American Red Cross

One large emotional photo and a call to help makes this site appealing and direct.


Art Institute Chicago

Using the artwork as a background for the entire site and the stacking of the toolbar tabs gives this a very contemporary feel — a feel true to the museum itself.


Food for the Hungry

Their black and white design is crisp, and their use of relevant photography that matches the color of their logo is a nice touch.


Direct Relief

The site has little going on besides a vivid, compelling image and a donate button, which is not a bad thing at all.


The Metropolitan Museum of Art

This is another example of an art museum doing a great job of incorporating elements of the museum’s style into its site.


Robin Hood

The grey and white with lime green accents looks good, but it also suggests a break from the norm, much like the organization’s mission statement.


Teach for America

They present easy navigation and great photography.



World Wildlife Fund

They not only had high quality photography, but their choice of images was especially powerful. The picture itself is a call to action.