These charities make the most of the internet’s infinite ability to showcase their mission and wares.

In terms of raising funds and awareness, the digital age has done pretty great things for the charity sector.

A recent report on global giving found that 74 per cent of donors are inspired to give via digital channels. But, as Grant Morgan, chief executive of Louis Kennedy, a corporate social responsibility and cause-based marketing consultancy, recently told The Guardian:

“We have a disenfranchised millennium community, not brought up on giving but on technology, so we need to find ways to engage and encourage them to give using the devices they understand.”

Therefore, the digital presence of any of the UK’s 200,000 charities needs to be as strong as it possibly can be – with memorable branding, arresting photography and, crucially, straightforward ways for supporters to donate.

Here, we pick out ten charities that tick these boxes and more with their brilliant websites.

The Kindly Collective

This charity’s website, branding and vibe chime perfectly with the aesthetic of the Instagram generation. Pops of pink, splurges of leopard print and a jolly good aim (to fund grassroots charitable projects across three key areas – women, kids and creatures around the globe) make for an eye-catching online proposition. Paloma Faith is an avid supporter. Launched in 2017 by radio presenter Liliana Bird (Birdy), The Kindly Collective is a site for our times.

The Felix Project

Set up in the name of teenager Felix Byam Shaw, who died suddenly of meningitis in 2014, this dynamic organisation collects good-quality surplus food from suppliers – such as Eat, Fortnum & Mason and Gail’s – and distributes it to vulnerable people in need of healthy food and snacks. It saves food and it changes lives. The charity’s green and vibrant website makes volunteering and donating simple and appealing.

National Trust

The National Trust, which conserves the environment and heritage of England, Wales and Northern Ireland, is the largest membership organization in the UK. We feel this must be attributable in part to the quality of its website. With stunning photography and truly useful suggestions for days out, art exhibitions and holidays up and down the country, the site puts a spring in the step. The online shop – where every purchase made helps the charity look after its special places – is lovely, too.

The Mayhew

Winner of the 2018 Good Web Guide Award for Charity of the Year, The Mayhew is a 132-year-old animal welfare charity that knows how to use the digital boom to its advantage. The team is proud of its cutting-edge website, which is user-friendly, has a pleasingly streamlined donations process and is their primary tool for brand awareness and growth. Caution: this site contains a plethora of super-cute cat and dog pics.

Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity

Every day, 619 children from around the UK arrive at Great Ormond Street Hospital, one of the world’s leading children’s hospitals. Its excellence relies heavily on the donations harnessed by its charity arm. Packed full of information on how they spend the money they raise and how to support their various campaigns, the Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity website is an inspirational and thought-provoking resource. Particularly impressive is the immersive film that brings supporters into the hospital from the comfort of their own homes or offices.

Choose Love

This ingenious charity sells real products for refugees via its cool, modern and wildly efficient website. Visit Choose Love and take your pick from a selection of items – priced from £5 to £500 – that address the most basic needs of the world’s refugees.
Your purchase (and any Gift Aid contribution) will be used to fund the purchase, transport and distribution of a similar item (blankets, socks, school bags, etc) or service (counselling, hospital costs and accommodation) at one of 80 projects operating in Bangladesh, Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Serbia, Turkey and the UK.

Article 25

Article 25 is an architecture charity that uses excellent design to improve health, livelihoods and resilience to disasters worldwide. Its website is so inspiring, it makes you want to retrain as an architect just so you can join the team. There is gloriously colourful photography and a clear mission statement. But the thing about the site that packs the greatest punch is the way it explains its global impact in bold, simple, numerical visuals.

BBC Children in Need

The sunny nature of this website will not surprise loyal viewers of the charity’s annual TV extravaganza. Pudsey is a persuasive fellow, and his website follows suit. Brimming with fundraising ideas, an online shop and easy ways to donate, this perky platform puts a smile on your face. The child-friendly motifs on the wallpaper add a giddy cheerfulness that isn’t often associated with charity sites.

Royal Horticultural Society

With half a million members, the UK’s leading gardening charity probably has a few bob to throw at its website – and it shows. With a smart green and white design, the RHS site is a treasure trove of amazing garden advice. It is just what it should be: a digital embodiment of the charity’s vision to enrich lives through plants and to make the UK more beautiful. You will find it pretty hard not to click on the bright red button inviting you to sign up for annual membership...

Buttle UK

For a charity founded in 1953 with an endowment created by East End clergyman Frank Buttle, this one sure has kept itself up to date. Its mission is to improve the lives of children and young people in the UK by issuing maintenance grants to the most deprived. On Buttle UK’s site, lively infographics communicate jaw-dropping statistics. The message is loud, clear and compelling.

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A-Z OF Websites for 2019

April 2019