By Jeff Kline


4 Hot Web Design Trends For Nonprofits

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

New ideas for web design are emerging everyday.

Really cool ideas.

In today’s blog post, discover four of the most interesting web design trends that have emerged so far in 2014. You'll also see some of the nonprofits who are putting these techniques to incredible use.

Background Videos

As you’ve probably noticed by now, a lot of websites are featuring a full-screen hero image on their homepage.

But the newest trend is a hero video.

Background videos can be very powerful, if done correctly. They can add drama and evoke strong emotions, or illustrate how something works.

Visit The Obakki Foundation website to experience the profound impact a background video can have on a viewer.The Obakki Foundation website 


Geometric Elements

Geometric design elements are popping up all over the Web. And we’re not just talking classic rectangles.

Squares have been flipped on their sides to form funky diamond-pattern grids, as seen on the Unfold website. This layout could really freshen up your nonprofit’s staff page.  


Triangles in varying colors, shapes and sizes create a cool background pattern. Check out how GitBook uses a triangular pattern to add some extra oomph to its website design.


The Oxfam website uses a geometric pattern in the narrow bar along the top of the page, as well as in the large text area.


Manipulated Photos

Photo manipulation—or "photoshopping"—is the art of editing a photo to make it more interesting and engaging. Currently, the filtered look is very popular. (We suspect this is a result of the Instagram craze.) We've also been seeing a lot of color overlays.

Different types of filters/overlays create different looks and moods:

A filter that mutes color creates an aged, retro look.

A gradient overlay creates a soft and dreamy feel.

Adding a color overlay to an image creates a monochromatic look. The use of monochromatic color—multiple shades of the same hue—is another popular trend right now.

The Waller Creek Conservancy’s design competition website features a beautiful blue photo overlay that matches the logo color.

Waller Creek Conservancy design competition 

The filter added to this photo on The Roadtrip To End Poverty website creates a dramatic look. This same photo without the filter would not have the same impact on the viewer.

The Roadtrip to End Poverty website

Adding a filtered photo to your website is a quick way to update your look. If you’re ready to take the plunge, check out these resources for free manipulated photos:


Geometric Overlays

This cool technique combines two of the popular trends mentioned above.

Rather than adding an overlay to the entire photo, some designers are creating geometric overlays that cover just a portion of the photo.

The geometric overlay on the Acumen website is refreshingly bold. In fact, this entire website is full of cool geometric elements.

Acumen website


Is your nonprofit website using one of these design trends?

Does your website have a cool geometric background? Filtered photos? Cool overlays? A video background?

If your nonprofit website features one of these up-and-coming design trends, we'd love to see it! Share your URL in the comments section below!


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