As I’ve mentioned before, non-profit websites are some of my favorites. While Squarespace isn’t right for all non-profits, for smaller organizations that want beautifully websites with some features but uncomplicated data management, Squarespace can be a great solution.
We recently launched a new website for a wonderful organization, The National Lutheran Choir, an incredible choir based in the Twin Cities are of Minnesota that performs nationwide. Their old website was built on an old version of Drupal and was simply too cumbersome to maintain for the small staff. They wanted a solution that they could take care of day to day and build upon in the future.
Additionally, they wanted to showcase the huge amount of rich media they had at their fingertips: photos, videos and a huge library of mp3s. Additionally, they needed a solid way to accept donations, including recurring donations (which is not possible with Squarespace’s donation button).
To solve that second challenge, we implemented MoonClerk instead of the native donation button. MoonClerk is great for any company, non-profit or individual who needs to be able to accept subscription-style payments. The cost is low if you just have a few subscribers and it works with Stripe. It’s a great, scalable service and in my experience, they also offer solid customer support. For non-profit organizations who already have a donor database that works for them, so they don’t need something like NeonCRM (used by my client PAW Team) or MembershipWorks (used by my client Friends of the Library) just for donation processing, this is solid choice.
As a designer, one of my favorite things about MoonClerk is how easy it is to create a “theme” for your forms that matches your website and then you can apply that to any forms. The code is super simple and I haven’t had the issues with conflicts with Squarespace that I have some of the other similar tools.
To address the first challenge, we created a rich media page that’s built to grow. This is where you can really get an immersive experience with the choir, whether you want to watch a performance video, stream some of their favorite performances or check out candid shots of the choir. It’s really cool! (Check it out here.)
I also am really pumped about their homepage–it’s just not like a lot of non-profit homepages. Sometimes organizations can be a bit conservative in their design ethos, which is totally understandable, but the Choir wanted to really push their look into something contemporary and cool (but not alienating). We created an unusual “rule of thirds” layout for the homepage and several of the secondary pages that packs a lot onto the site, and also made the entire look pop with a brushed watercolor icon set that I just love. (You can explore that page here.)
The National Lutheran Choir did what many of my non-profit clients do during their work with me, which is also weave in what I call “lightweight branding” work into their process. We created a new typography scheme, a vibrant new color palette and a general direction for their brand–all that fit with their existing logo. It’s a bit more than a refresh but nothing that would shock or confuse their longtime choir super-fans.
Check out the screenshots below and visit nlca.com to see the fresh new Squarespace site in action.