3 charity micro-sites to be inspired by

While the bulk of our work is developing organisations' main charity website, over this past year we’ve also designed and built several microsites. These are separate self-contained websites often used to feature campaigns or stories that would otherwise get lost amongst the other content in a standard website.

They are usually graphics-heavy with straightforward copy, inviting actions such as signing a petition, social media sharing or donating.

If built the right way, microsites can get better results due to having clear calls-to-action and a lack of distracting information. They can also allow charities to reach a wider audience, work outside traditional organisational branding, and are much more shareable and likely to go viral (if located within a comprehensive marketing strategy).

So, if you’re thinking about commissioning a microsite, here are our top 3 from 2013 to be inspired by.

An animated story about credit unions

Credit Unions Microsite

This microsite, created by a collaboration of credit unions throughout the US, tells the story of the current banking system and what credit unions do differently. Using parrallax scrolling the website takes users on a journey through the story of banking with key statistics and carefully crafted copy supported by bold animation. It’s also fully responsive.

Part way through the story is the chance to fill in details about your banking to be told how much shareholders made from your banking deposits, before telling you all about credit unions. The calls to action focus on joining a credit union.

This site does a great job of breaking down complex information in layman’s terms and keeping users engaged with the story from start to end.

Multiple stories told through interactive documentary

This multi-language interactive documentary tells stories from Transparency International’s work in the MENA region fighting against corruption. The site features videos telling personal stories from in Palestine, Yemen, Egypt and Morocco, flowing seamlessly from story to story and country to country, painting a picture of the individuals in the region involved in challenging corruption.

“Every day ordinary people stand up, challenge corruption, and demand to know the truth. They are an inspiration to us all.” - Transparency International

Transparency International Microsite

Each section also has a resources button leading to downloadable reports, and customised twitter and facebook feeds for each country, along with ways to get involved.

A light-hearted illustrated look at technology

We built this site for Forum for the Future, a nonprofit working globally with business, government and other organisations to solve complex sustainability challenges.

Look Up Microsite

Featuring Frankie, a freelancer thinking about how he uses technology, the site takes the user through four main sections with different tips on how to better harness technology.

Its clean and simple design reflects the messaging and concept behind the site, and the five key calls to action are supported by separate web pages highlighting the work of Forum and what users can do practically to engage with each action point.

Look Up Microsite

The site is fully responsive and built on Drupal - with lots of potential for future customisation.

Hopefully, that gives you a taste of three very different approaches to microsite design. Let us know if you come across other distinctive examples and we'll happily add them to this list!

18 December 2016