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Five Creative (and Smart) Uses of Social Media Icons on Nonprofit Homepages

May 19, 2011

[tweetmeme] While writing Social Media for Social Good: A How-To Guide for Nonprofits, I visited over 500 nonprofit homepages looking primarily for links to their social networking communities. A rough guesstimate would be that less than 30% of those homepages included links or icons to their Facebook Page, Twitter Profile, YouTube Channel, etc., and of those, many placed them along the bottom of the page or on secondary “Connect with Us” pages that were often not easily to find. Granted, my job is to research how nonprofits use social media, but it’s not that far of a stretch to assume that supporters and donors often go to nonprofit’s homepages looking for links to their social networking communities as well and more often than not have difficulty finding them. That said, I am big believer in the power upper right-hand corner of your homepage, and seemingly so are the five nonprofits listed below:

Defenders of Wildlife ::

National Park Foundation ::

National Peace Corps Association ::

Special Olympics ::

Stay Teen ::

Related Link:
Social Media and Mobile Technology Webinars for Nonprofits

10 Comments leave one →
  1. May 19, 2011 7:12 am

    These are all great examples. Thanks for sharing, Heather.

    I especially like how the social media icons are consistent with the brand personality of

    ~ Allison

  2. May 19, 2011 12:48 pm

    I agree and these are all good examples of strategic placement of the icons! Thanks!

  3. May 24, 2011 11:11 pm

    Thanks for this heads up! Adding to your findings, Jakob Nielsen F-shaped pattern theory ( say that we scan pages in few sec and in a specific pattern. These would be the things to have in mind for non-profit orgs if we really want to make sure that our webs are read and act upon. So, reflection: visits per month may not be the best measurement as the reader may not have seen what we have published.
    -horizontal reading from left to right starting in top left corner (western audience)
    -secondly, readers move down the page, read across horizontally but shorter area
    -then scans left side in a vertical movement.
    The rest is not looked at…

    So, the icons in the top right are great but according to the scan image maybe top left would be even better?
    What would you say about a home page structured like this?
    -2 paragraphs with the most important messages
    -Call for action/social icons in left top corner
    -Menu headings in left column that leads to more info with the same structure

    Patricia (

  4. June 1, 2011 6:25 am

    Great post! I definitely agree with the upper-right-hand placement. It would help if more orgs did this–it might help establish it in the audience’s eyes as the place to find social media links.

  5. June 11, 2011 1:10 am

    I am not quite sure whether these are great examples of using socials. When you solely look at online fundraising I think there are too many call to actions that distract the visitor. I personally am not a big fan of socials on a page meant for fundraising. You can use them but think of the right size, color and position. The National Park Foundation & The Special Olympics have succeeded pretty well visually though.

    • nonprofitorgs permalink
      June 13, 2011 8:18 am

      These aren’t fundraising pitches…. just simple examples of social media icons on website homepages. That’s pretty 101 at this point. 🙂


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