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The Best Association Websites We’ve Seen in 2019

This is part of a series highlighting our 2019 top website picks across mission-driven industries. Check out our favorite nonprofit and higher education websites, and stay tuned for more as we close out the year!

We’ve worked with enough associations to know that no two are the same. In fact, associations tend to wear a few hats that encompass the rest of the mission-driven industries that we work with. There’s a mix of business, nonprofit, education, and policy in the DNA of most associations.

Any organization that balances conferences, event planning, recruitment, and advocacy has to have a website that can handle it all. With so many associations with different missions and goals, their websites need to be concise and clear to drive engagement.

So, without further ado, here are the best association websites we’ve seen in 2019:

National Association of Scholars

Sometimes, less really is more. The National Association of Scholars website is simple, yet effective. It’s a testament to the fact that a website doesn’t need to have a million bells and whistles to drive engagement. There isn’t a page on this website that looks too busy. The homepage has good-looking colorways that are understated. The very top of the page presents the mission plainly: We uphold the standards of a liberal arts education.

There are clearly divided sections that use louder colors to drive the user to other important pages highlighting reports and projects, ways to get involved, news and media, and a donation page. Speaking of, the donation page follows a minimalist aesthetic while still incorporating what we consider to be aspects of a dynamic donor page, like suggesting donation amounts in descending order. It’s refreshingly easy to make your way around this website, and their mission and purpose are clear within seconds of reaching the site. NAS has cognitive ease down pat, and the result is a clear, responsive, accessible, and clean website.

NAS’s mission is clear from the moment you reach their homepage.
Sections are clearly divided with good-looking design elements for links to other pages.

The Teachers Guild

We love good branding, and it’s clear that The Teachers Guild does too. The first thing you’ll notice on the homepage is that distinct yellow, which you’ll also see in their logo. It doesn’t flood every inch of the page but is used subtly to create continuity and strong brand presence. It reminds us of the Pencils of Promise website that made our best nonprofit websites list.

The biggest challenge of association website design is that this important question has to be answered: is the website intended to serve potential or existing members?

Spoiler alert: it’s a balance, but one should be favored over the other.

The Teachers Guild caters to both audiences between their messaging and resources, which is impressive considering the amount of information this requires. The top of the homepage incorporates a simple mission statement as well as a call to action to join. As you scroll, you learn more about the organization and the work they do without being overwhelmed with content. The branding and design lend to an enjoyable experience for the user, which for an association could be the catalyst for a new member or donation. One feature we love about this website is the “solutions” section, which hosts teacher-designed solutions for the classroom that are sourced from members of the community. They’re downloadable as PDFs, which continue the same branding you’ll find on the website. The consistency is eye-catching and effective, landing The Teachers Guild on our list of best association websites of the year.

The Teachers Guild’s yellow is consistent throughout their website.
The “Solutions” section houses community-sourced best practices and solutions for the classroom.

Texas Association of School Business Officials

The Texas Association of School Business Officials (TASBO) came to Mighty Citizen with a vision: to create an online experience that helped foster a real, dynamic, statewide community of professionals. TASBO felt that their website could better tell their story, from the tools they provide to the lesser-known aspects of the association—like their advocacy and government relations efforts. It was clear that non-members (and even some members) had difficulty identifying the value of the organization.

The new TASBO website is a refreshing experience for members and non-members alike. We were able to consolidate an abundance of content into an intuitive website, better sharing the TASBO story. Important training and educational content isn’t buried, and single sign-on works across platforms to integrate the various learning opportunities that bring value to existing and potential members. We also added an events filtering system after learning that one of the primary uses of the website is to search for and register for educational opportunities.

We’re proud to have worked on this website to strengthen the heartbeat of Texas public education.

TASBO’s new website is the go-to place for resources and community.
The events filtering system makes it easy to sort through and register for conferences and other educational opportunities.

United Food and Commercial Workers 770

UFCW770 is California’s union local that, this year, both kicked off and won a campaign that secured the most significant wage and benefit increase in 30 years for union grocery workers in Southern California. If you think that’s impressive, check out their website. Not unlike fashion and music, there are trends when it comes to website design. There are tried and true elements that are visually appealing, characteristics that just work. UFCW770’s website meets the trend, then takes it to a level that feels so intentional and curated that we can only be impressed.

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Let’s start with the art direction. It’s magnificent and cohesive. Every page feels like the same iteration of some truly dynamic branding and visual design, almost like a magazine come to life. The custom iconography and visualizations elevate the feel of the website. The photography is of real people that are affected by the work this organization does, providing pathos-packed appeal for the powerful yet matter-of-fact storytelling that’s happening here. The URL slug for their “learn more” button at the top of the homepage includes “victory-lap”, which is a delightful touch. That whole page uses statistics and infographics to depict the magnitude of their victory and the work that went into it. There’s a good amount of information on this website as a whole, but the information architecture keeps it simple and easy to navigate. We’re big fans.

The UFCW770 website is full of bold design and storytelling.
The information is separated distinctly, lending to a clean structure and easy-to-navigate website.
The infographics elevate the website by adding visual appeal to the storytelling.

National Parks Conservation Association

The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) has a homepage that works very well. The earthy colors contribute to the feel, message, and mission of the organization. There’s a donate button in the top right that catches the eye, resulting in a clear call to action right upfront. The content is succinctly organized into drop-downs where the user can easily access all the information they need, like today’s issues facing park conservation, a list of national parks sorted by state, and ways to get involved or give.

Scrolling down the page, you’ll see NPCA’s mission statement about protecting and enhancing our national parks, clearly sharing why their web visitors should care to get involved with the association. There’s a section that features a specific park (right now it’s Yellowstone) with more links to the insiders’ guide, further bringing visitors into their work. This information primes the user for the next section that includes a newsletter sign-up and another link to donate.

This homepage is visually appealing and informative, which is key for driving donations, membership, and event attendance.

NPCA’s website clearly outlines their mission and works comprehensively to draw the user to their call to action.
The purpose and message is incorporated throughout the homepage with opportunities to get involved, donate, and sign up for the newsletter.

Be on the lookout for our final “best of” list for the year highlighting our favorite government websites! You can help define the overall effectiveness of your current website with Mighty Citizen’s free Website Evaluation Kit.

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