Best union and non-profit websites of 2013


For the past few years, I’ve written up an article listing what I think are some of the best union and non-profit websites from the previous 12 months (2010, 2011, 2012)

This year we are seeing a large growth in unions and non-profits who are melding great design with powerful digital organising tools.

The most important feature on many of these websites is that they are responsive. I’ve written a lot this year about the importance of mobile for unions. An increasingly vast number of people are surfing the Internet on their mobile device, whether a smartphone or tablet. A responsive website means that the site will display beautifully on a mobile device as well as a desktop device.

If your union’s website isn’t responsive, then you are potentially dissuading a growing number of potential members, activists and supporters from engaging with you online.¬†Most of the websites in this list are responsive.

ROC United

ROC United

The mission of ROC United (Restaurant Opportunities Centers) is to¬†improve wages and working conditions for the USA’s 10 million restaurant workers.

I like this website because of its bold, bright design, strong call to action based on their mission, and the tight integration of advocacy tools. (The actual petition pages could be better, but that’s a problem with the CSS from Salsa Labs.)

Freelancers Union

Freelancers Union

The Freelancers Union has been going since around 1995, and their new website is much better than their old one. Although it isn’t responsive, there is a strong design focus and the site is geared around being useful and intuitive for members and prospective members. They especially have a strong focus on events, which for their members, would be important networking and collaboration opportunities.

Lord Mayor’s Charitable Fund

Lord Mayor's Charitable Fund

The LMCF is one of Victoria’s pre-eminent philanthropic funds, and they’ve recently gone through a face-lift and brand refresh. Although the site is not responsive, it does re-size for different desk-top screen sizes. I particularly like the clear and simple navigation.

Mistakes Kids Make

Mistakes Kids Make


Mistake Kids Make is a story-telling project by a charitable organisation which aims to remove the “one-size-fits-all” policies targeting kids that break the law.

World Concern

World Concern

World Concern is a Christian charity that focuses on alleviating poverty in the third world. They particularly focus on climate impacts, social instability and lack of infrastructure. While some progressives may be wary of the Christian mission of World Concern, in Africa the Christian charities are often the most active and willing to go into conflict zones. This site is also delightfully responsive and looks amazing on mobiles and tablets.

Save the Arctic

Save the Arctic - Greenpeace

This is my favourite site, not just because I’m on the board of Greenpeace Australia Pacific, but because of the story it tells. Each step of the way, as you scroll down, is another prompt to sign up to the campaign and help save the Arctic.

Penguins in Peril

Penguins in Peril

While Save the Arctic focuses on the North Pole, the South Pole is where the penguins live; unfortunately many countries are playing games with Antarctica and putting the penguins in peril. This website is a really amazing example of how to tell a story simply by scrolling, and it has two simple asks: share the site and sign the petition. It even prompts you to share on Weibo (the much-used Chinese social network).

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