Focus: Communications - Site Visit www.ide-uk.org

International Development Enterprises UK is a charity that works to alleviate poverty among farmers in some of the world's poorest countries.

Last month, it launched its first website with the immediate aim of advertising and selling tickets for its first major fundraising opportunity, a Cirque du Soleil benefit performance at the Royal Albert Hall in February.

Main pages

The homepage is as efficient a homepage as I have seen. The charity's mission is clearly laid out next to a world map indicating the areas in which it works, and the lime green design is perfectly pleasant.

Beyond this, the rest of the site is concise but worthy. A full explanation of IDE-UK's projects is complemented nicely by case studies from Zambia, India and Zimbabwe. Each page also carries a link enabling visitors to make a donation. This site would act as a fabulous example to any smaller charity looking to create an effective website on a tiny budget. The copy, which is clear and articulate, was produced by a single volunteer, and the site was designed with the support of one of the charity's trustees.

Special features

The charity's immediate mission statement is 'Reducing Poverty through Irrigation and Market Access'. Rather than leaving it at that, however, the site includes an extremely useful - and refreshingly simple - guide to the technologies it uses in its work. These include treadle pumps, drip irrigation systems and family nutrition kits.

IDE-UK says:

"We felt we needed to develop a website to raise awareness of our work.

The site's strength lies in its clean and simple design. We believe that by simplifying the text and using more visuals, we are communicating what we do, which can sometimes seem quite complex, in a way that is easier for people to digest."

Site Visit is by Tony Hodson

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