15 UK organisations competing for 2009 Non Profit Website of the Year

The Twitter feeds are starting to run hot with requests for Followers to vote for the various sites nominated for the 2009 People’s Choice Website of the Year Awards, with the full line-up of shortlisted nonprofits looking like this:

2009 markes the sixth time these awards have been organised by online research agency MetrixLab and they are apparently the  “largest annual ‘people’s choice’ website awards” around, with members of the public ranking the sites based on ‘design’, ‘navigation’, and ‘content’.

Awards aside, it’s also interesting from a general online engagement perspective to browse the shortlisted sites to see just what the different organisations are doing to make their websites especially attractive to online consumers.

Unfortunately, what is most striking is that so many of the landing pages deluge you with so much information and so many calls to action that you end-up with an engagement opportunity overload likely to lead to option paralysis for all but the most focused visitor. I’m not going to name and shame the worst offenders – as I’m sure you’ll spot them if you have a browse.

However, there are some noteable exceptions. British Heart Foundation goes for a cleaner approach, with clear integration with its current advertising campaign and iPhone-like buttons for “quick links”. Likewise, WWF’s homepage goes for simple clarity from the outset – with a wonderfully striking close-up of a Tiger staring out at me and then two columns entitled “We do…” and “You can…”, alongside four clear engagement buttons.

Greenpeace’s blog-style landing page with calls to action in the sidebar also works for me, helping me focus on the key things they want to tell me about the UN Climate Summit (including a great embedded YouTube video) while still making clear the range of personal responses I can make.

Voting in the awards is open until 8th December and the winners will be announced on 15th December.




5 thoughts on “15 UK organisations competing for 2009 Non Profit Website of the Year

  1. Hm, please remind me, ya’ll… We’re talking about the “best” NPO websites, right? Not about an advertising award or a Twitter popularity contest?

    Should the criterion for a functioning NPO website not lie in how many real donors, supporters, interest, reactions a site gets – from regular people?

    What is this contest supposed to prove? Who does it help?

    1. To be honest Gabriele, I think awards like this are probably best just seen as a bit of end of year fun – and, as suggested, an opportunity to easily compare and contrast a range of different sites and see what can be learned from the way they are trying to engage with online consumers.

      They are certainly very different from more formal and results focused (and thus far more prestigious) awards like the International Echos (http://www.dma-echo.org/index.jsp)


  2. I find it intersting to see JustGiving in the list for this category

    Its been well discussed online that they are a profit making organisation (and I’m not really wanting to start that debate again here) so I’m not sure by definition how they fit in this category.

    To me it just feels a little odd, as they don’t really fit/compare with the rest of the sites up for selection, and yes I know they provide a “valuable” service to charities, but compared to the other entries in the categery they just stand out as odd to me.

    I agree with Gabriele Bryant’s comment too, its really just a popularity contest without a panel/focus group prize that’s awarded to one of the web-sites.

  3. @Netutgamer, I can say that we (at JustGiving) were surprised to be nominated too. Obviously we ourselves are not a not-for-profit business, yet we provide our service to not-for-profit organisations. I asked the organisers why we were in that category, and this is what they said:

    “Though you are not an NGO, we did list you there since you are working for them on a daily basis and in the end help the world make a better place.”


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