Website Structure

Structure #8 – No Programs, Just Policy

This structure works well for:

  • Nonprofits that focus solely on policy and don’t offer direct services or programming
  • Organizations that publish research or reports in their policy area and want to be known as leaders in their field


No Programs, Just Policy Website Structure

When using this structure, be sure to:

  • Tailor “Issues” Language to Your Audience – If you’re trying to broadly appeal to visitors with a variety of familiarity in your field, use as little jargon as possible when laying out the issues you focus on. If you’re primarily targeting experts in your field who are well-informed when it comes to the topics you cover, you can potentially use a bit more industry-specific language. But only do so when it’s necessary to more precisely communicate your information.
  • Include a Subpage for Each Report, Not Just a PDF – For each individual report, include an overview page. On this page, include a summary of the report as well as details about when it was released, the key takeaways and information about collaborators or funders. Then include a prominent button that allows visitors to download or open the PDF of the report. These individual pages give you a link to send directly to interested folks, offer a better chance to rank in search engines and are often easier to track in analytics.
  • Use Topic Headings on the “Research” Page to Organize Reports – Instead of just including all of the reports you have available in a big list on the “Research” page, consider grouping your reports by topic. You can then include a heading for each topic group on the “Research” page with a one-sentence summary of each report and a link to that report’s subpage.
  • Break “Research” into Topic Areas When You Have Enough of It – As outlined above, we don’t have subpages for individual research topic areas. But if you have more than ten or so individual reports, you could consider further subdividing the “Research” section by topic. Providing that extra level of organization will likely make it easier for visitors to find what they’re looking for.
  • Tailor the “Take Action” Section – There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to this section. Be sure to adjust the pages within the “Take Action” section to match the key actions you’re asking your visitors to take in support of your cause.