Website Structure

Structure #6 – Driven By Research

This structure works well for:

  • Nonprofits that primarily focus on conducting or funding research instead of delivering services or offering programming
  • Organizations looking to educate foundations, an industry or the public about the need for research in a particular field and get them involved in supporting it


Driven by Research Website Structure

When using this structure, be sure to:

  • Provide Relevant Background Info – Helping visitors to understand the context of your research is essential if you’d like to convince them to get involved in supporting it. That’s the key to the “Learn About XXXXX” section. This is a chance for you to explain the need for the work you’re doing and present background information that’s necessary to understand the research you’re producing or funding.
  • Use the “Our Research” Page as a Broad Overview – Think of the “Our Research” page as a place to restate why you’re passionate about your work combined with a table of contents for the research you’ve produced. Include headings that correspond to the research topic subpages within the section. If it isn’t overwhelming, consider adding a one-sentence description of each individual piece of research and a link to it. That way visitors can see the full spectrum of your research as well as jump to an individual report if they’d like to.
  • Leverage Your Blog to Share Updates and Insights – You have a great opportunity to use your blog to engage your community. Share updates on the research you’re conducting as it’s coming together. Showcase major progress and changes in your field of study. Use the blog to answer common questions you hear about your field or dispel widespread myths. You can also link visitors from individual blog posts to your research whenever it’s relevant to the topic of the post.
  • Use Clear Language Whenever Possible – Research often gets complicated. It’s alright to use precise, technical language when you need to. But whenever possible, it’s beneficial to explain your work and findings in language that’s easy to understand. Doing so will broaden the base of visitors who are excited about your work and eager to help out.
  • Avoid Jargon in Topic Page Names – You may have some jargon in the titles of your individual research initiatives, but try to avoid jargon in your topic page names if possible. Doing so will help visitors with less knowledge find the topics they’re most interested in learning more about.