How good design can boost your online presence

With 2013 just around the corner, we know a lot of not-for-profits are thinking about priorities – and budgets – for 2013. Jason Sew Hoy, COO of 99designs explains how important it is to invest in good design is for your online presence.

web designIt can be hard to balance the needs of your organisation with the needs of the business, but having a well-designed website and attractive logo is important if you want your not-for-profit to increase its presence in both the online and offline world.

If you're looking to boost your online presence, here are three ways your not-for-profit can get ahead with your design in 2013:

1) Leave a lasting impression

When you think of the most successful businesses, charities and not-for-profits, chances are they excel at design. Back in the day, design was seldom viewed as a major part of any business, but the development of technology and increasingly competitive nature of business has moved design from the superficial stakes to being part of the bottom line of any major organisation. You aren’t selling bricks and mortar, but innovative ideas that are backed up by beautiful visuals. The way you design your organisation leaves a lasting impact on the perception people have about what you do.

The Big Feed website makes a bold first impression with simple colours and graphics that aligns itself with their target community – organisations that care for children and young people. 

Big feed website

2) Provide a consistent experience

Cancer Council VictoriaA memorable and consistent brand is fantastic but if you’re able to weave great design right through your website and logo to create a beautifully designed experience, you’ll have a major legup. While the word “evangelist” is tossed around a lot, good design can help you get to the top of your game and give you the chance to be viewed positively by those who interact with your not-for-profit. By providing them with a stellar experience online, your stakeholders and customers will rave about your service offline and recruit the best kind of new customer - a free one.

This flier designed by a 99designs designer for the Cancer Council Victoria is a good example of how consistent branding (colours, logo and fonts) helps to tie all your not-for-profit’s activities together. [picture from blog]

3) Get free help with the 12 Days of Design Giveaway

If a new logo, website or graphic design work for an upcoming event or campaign is currently on your to-do list, “free” likely sounds pretty good! We’re excited to announce that 99designs is now accepting applications for 99nonprofits’ special 12 Days of Design Giveaway.

While we give away several free design contests each month to deserving not-for-profits and you’re able to apply for these at any time, this holiday season we’re giving away a free contest each day through until the 21st of December valued between $199 and $599 each.

The first recipient of our free design contest in our 12 Days of Design Giveaway, is US based Good Mews Animal Foundation; Georgia’s oldest cage-free, no-kill cat shelter providing shelter for abandoned, abused and neglected cats until a permanent loving home is found.

Entries close at the end of this week, so visit the 12 Days of Design Giveaway for more info.

About Jason Sew Hoy

Jason is the Chief Operation Officer at with experience spanning general management, product strategy, sales, delivery, recruitment, team inspiration, PR and all-around evangelism. A webby-award winning service, 99designs is the #1 online marketplace for crowd-sourced graphic design. We connect businesses needing design with 150,000 talented designers all over the globe.