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Competitive Analysis: Habitat for Humanity 4 May 2010

Posted by jannaq in Websites.


  • Nonprofit
  • Community based
  • In-kind donations
  • Design Criteria
    • Pictures of nonprofit work
    • Counter – gives numerical value to accomplishments
    • Easy access in relevant information
    • Ease of navigation
    • Not overly cluttered/ good use of negative space


Competitor: Charity Water

  • URL: http://www.charitywater.org/
  • Audience: The likely audience for Charity Water are well educated young adults, perhaps ages 18-35 who pay attention to world issues and want to get involved. This website has a sophisticated look with particular products, events and marketing that suggest the viewer who visits this site consistently is hip and trendy, but also cares about world issues appealing to the “hipster philanthropist/activist.”
  • Analysis: Charity: Water uses various photos and imagery to tell the story of their organization and their cause, which seems to work really well. They also provide a myriad of ways for people to get involved by, donating, volunteering, participating participating in the blog and/or social media, or by simply making it easy for someone to post a banner or ad on their own website, which effectively promotes the cause on a broader scale.  In fact, the ease of ad placement is a really interesting feature on this website that isn’t commonly on other non-profit sites.  The ads are obviously marketed toward a younger demographic but are nonetheless effective in their approach.
    • Sites Strengths: Overall, this website effectively displays the call to action for the viewer, creating a multitude of ways for the viewer to get involved or donate that are prominently place throughout the website.  It also effectively states why the viewer should choose water over other charities and provides visual aesthetics combined with concise explanations that explain the organization’s mission well.
    • What’s most interesting about this website and organization are the high profile events that the organization is involved in such as New York Fashion Week, the Sundance Film Festival, various art exhibitions pertaining to the topic, charity balls, all with celebrity involvement bringing attention to the cause. This organization and website has made it appear ‘trendy’ to care about world water supply.

Competitor: Starlight Children’s Foundation

  • URL: http://www.starlight-washington.org/
  • Analysis: This organization is aimed at assisting children with serious illness. The foundation through linked activities of many other organizations, partners and donation support offers a way to dedicate energy towards improving the quality of life for children with chronic and life threatening illnesses and life -altering injuries. This healing method is through activities for both families and the child themselves and include entertainment, education, and connectivity via their outstanding website’s interactivity.

Competitor: Un Techo Para Mi Pais

  • URL: http://www.untechoparamipais.org/
  • Audience:
    • College and high school students who are interested in helping vulnerable communities with housing needs. This audience is willing to offer their free time (weekends and vacations) to invest their time in building “emergency houses” for these communities.
    • Companies and individuals that are interested in solving the housing problem in these communities, but want to do it through a donation.
  • Analysis: Un Techo para mi País (UTPMP) is a Latin American non-profit organization that mobilizes youth volunteers to eradicate the extreme poverty that affects more than 80 million people in the region. We work together with Latin America’s most marginalized populations, constructing transitional homes and implementing social inclusion programs to empower slum residents with the tools to improve their quality of life.
  • In a way, UTPMP’s product is to provide college and high school students and opportunity to impact lives of the less privileged low income families in their countries.

  • Site Strengths:
    • In the website you can easily visualize the benefit of UTPMP’s product: happy college and high school students having fun and working together with low income families.
    • Clear list of sites by country
    • Site Weaknesses:
      • Given that the primary audience is students who want to volunteer to build houses, the link to learn how the program works. There needs to be a “call to action” link/button in a privileged position with the website.
      • In the Participate tab the only 2 alternatives are: “Corporate partners” and “Make your contribution”, both related to donations. A link such as “Get Involved” or “Build a House” should also be included in the participate tab.

Competitor: Susan G. Komen for the Cure (Puget Sound)

  • URL: http://www.komenpugetsound.org/
  • Audience: Susan B. Komen for the Cure targets Seattle-area residents who care about helping to find a cure for breast cancer.  These include cancer survivors, their friends and family, and many others who want to rally behind the cause. Since the main fundraising event is a street race, the site additionally targets runners.
  • Analysis: Susan G. Komen for the Cure is dedicated to fighting breast cancer through education, research, screening, and treatment programs. One of its well known fundraisers is an annual 5-K road race called the Komen Race for the Cure. The organization also operates a national help line and a Web site impregnated with resources for those with cancer and those choosing to rally against it.
  • The Susan G. Komen website links users to information on understanding breast cancer, getting involved in the cause, the research and grants efforts of the foundation, their partners and sponsors, donating, and where to purchase Komen branded merchandise. The most trafficked portion of the website is the “Get involved” tab that features information on how to participate in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. The site also notably includes a blogging section where survivors and co-survivors can share their stories to serve as motivation and support for others whose lives have been affected by breast cancer.
  • Site Strengths: The Susan G. Komen for the Cure site makes navigating to relevant aspects effortless with clearly labeled navigation. The site is well marked, and the purpose is obvious.  Large inspirational images that in itself create a call to action, paired with “Donate” buttons placed in evident locations make contributing to the cause easy.
  • Site Weaknesses: Though easy to navigate, the homepage of the site is fairly intimidating with its poor use of negative space. Simplifying the homepage would make it more aesthetically pleasing and easier to digest.

Competitor: Live Strong

  • URL: http://www.livestrong.com
  • Audience:Livestrong.com targets cancer survivors, cancer patients, family/friends of those affected by the disease, and other individuals looking to donate/get involved with the cause.  The site has 130K unique visitors worldwide with an average time of 5 minutes on the site per visit.  The average age of the typical visitor is 35-44 skewing mostly female (36% male vs. 64% female).  Household income averages $50,000-$75,00 and the target audience has an affinity towards interests surrounding cycling, charities/non-profits, sports and recreation. (*Source: Google Ad Planner)
  • Analysis: Livestrong is an organization started by champion cyclist Lance Armstrong.  Lance was diagnosed with testicular cancer at age 25, and his battle with the disease inspired him to create the Lance Armstrong Foundation, marking the beginning of Lance’s “life as an advocate for people living with cancer and a world representative for the cancer community” (livestrong.org).  Despite his diagnosis, Lance chose to “Live Strong” and continued his successful career as a cyclist, proving that anything is possible with the right mind-set and attitude.  He is an inspiration to cancer survivors and continues to fight for his cause – improving the lives of people affected by cancer.
    • Site Strengths: Livestrong.com has strong brand awareness and recognition, especially after the well-known fundraiser with Livestrong bracelets back in 2004.   The colors and fonts are consistent throughout the site and it’s easy to recognize and associate the style with the Livestrong association.  A little bit below the fold, there are clear and obvious opportunities for the user to take action (by receiving support or getting involved with the organization).   Additionally, the site hosts an internal search engine along with “shareability” features.
    • Site Weaknesses: Livestrong is a wonderful organization that has a well-known, respected and inspirational athlete as its spokesman.  The site is informative, however, there are some updates that could be made to enhance the user experience.  First, the tabs at the top of the page, letting the user choose his/her action, is somewhat unorganized and unclear.  There are almost too many options which can be somewhat overwhelming for someone just looking for basic information.  Additionally, at the bottom of the home page, there are several columns containing categories on which to click, but the organization and layout of those links seems unclear.  Lastly, there lack a section where survivors and volunteers can add their own testimonials.
    • Criteria:
      • Nonprofit: Yes
      • Community based: Yes
      • In-kind donations: Multiple options for donating:
        • Gifts in Honor or Memory
        • Employee Giving Programs
        • Corporate Giving & Sponsorship
        • Planned Giving
        • Named Endowments
        • Wedding Gifts
      • Easy access in relevant information: Livestrong is full of information and resources to cancer survivors and their loved ones.  However, the homepage greeting the user is a bit overwhelming and text heavy and could benefit from being condensed.
      • Easy to navigate: Information isn’t ‘overly easy to find.  Navigation could be more structured/intuitive.


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[…] Seattle Habitat for Humanity 2 – Marc, Janna, Toni, Nicole, & Holly […]

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