Thursday, July 21, 2005

Top 10 nonprofit web sites

Amazon is having a contest to name the best nonprofit web site. They have 10 finalists:

Amazon.com Nonprofit Innovation Award

The interesting thing about it from a WebKEW perspective is that these are 10 good web sites. Let's look at the sites and ask some questions. How do they feel? When you first open each site, does your gut say "good" or "bad"? "Interesting" or "boring"? "Cool" or "Uncool"? How do the sites orient first-time visitors? What features are available? What would you do differently?

Also look at the sites as a source of business ideas. Each site is choosing a problem to solve -- what new business ideas do these sites spawn in your head?

If you have any thoughts that you would like to share, or if the sites prompt any questions, please email them or post them in the comments.

6 Comments:

At 4:00 PM, Anonymous nathan said...

I thought it was interesting that the two sites that made the quickest sense (KaBoom! and DonorsChoose) had more seemingly illogical names than the others. From the opening quick statements, I got a firm idea of what each did and ways in which a donation would help. On initially seeing the site, I thought that Community Voice Mail would be the most effective, but it actually took longer to think "oh, right. people who don't have phones have no way to receive messages". Plus, evoking "community" with communication technologies invariably makes you think of internet-related ones.

All in all though, I didn't feel that the story they were telling was effective enough to consider a donation or learning more. I would have been totally into DonorsChoose if I could buy an individual item (rather than be part of a larger purchase) or if they had a regional category closer to where I live. From a donor/concerned citizen perspective, I thought that they all focused too much on explanation. I would rather the site showed how they helped or how I could help rather than simply give details about the programs they provide. That said, I did really like the KickStart stories on the sidebar.

On an aside, why is Amazon making you copy and paste the site addresses rather than providing links? Talk about unfriendly.

 
At 10:53 PM, Blogger pat said...

I think the sites that are the most compelling, aside from the initial impression of how pleasing the layouts are, are those that provide a lot of information about real people.

I've not gone through all ten, but of the ones I've looked through

http://kickstart.org/

and

http://www.cvm.org/ (Community Voice Mail)

do the best job of conveying the effect that the programs have had on individuals.

http://www.firstbook.org

Could have benefited greatly from similar additions.

 
At 10:54 PM, Blogger pat said...

Oh, and I totally agree with nathan's comment that Amazon should have provided actual links. It's so annoying. They're clearly serious about helping these organizations, how would it hurt Amazon to drive traffic to those sites?

 
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This can't have effect in actual fact, that is exactly what I consider.

 
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