What makes a website go from good to great? There is a lot of advice (or recipes) available but there are 5 main ingredients your website must have:
1) Credibility - information must be current, accurate, edited, and valuable.
2) Clarity - clearly communicate your organization's mission and have a clear call to action. Be clear about who you are and how others can be part of your vision.
3) History - briefly but concisely explain where your organization came from, why it came into being and where it is going. This enhances the first two ingredients - credibility and clarity.
4) Simplicity - allow users to easily find information they are looking for. There is no use in having tons of information on your site if users can't find it. This is especially true of the "donate" section of the website. Make it easy for people to give and to understand how their donation will be used.
5) Engaging elements - Looks do matter. Websites need to have images, colors and a layout that makes them interesting and easy to look at. This doesn't mean you can't have sad or graphic images just use them wisely and creatively. Know your audience, tell a story, present the issue, what you are doing about it, and how they can help. Pictures really are worth a thousand words.
Check out these other tips and inspiring examples.
What Makes a Website "Good?"
Non Profit Websites: 10 Keys to Success
19 Best Non-Profit Websites (And Why They're Awesome)
31 Beautiful Nonprofit Websites