Websites, social media, mobile devices, email, videos and many other applications means people can do far more than they could have imagined even a few years ago. Simply getting someone in to design a site no longer hacks it for many organisations. You need to be ready to dig a lot deeper if you are seeking to take advantage of all the online world has to offer.

The headings below are links to more detailed pages.


Raising finance in various ways is important for many organisations and it is important to understand the relationship between finance and the social aims of third sector organisations.

Building relationships with your visitors is essential whether or not your purpose is financial.  You need a clear grasp of how you want your visitors to respond to your site and then to design your site to meet your purpose.


Why do organisations have websites with no purpose?  I’m sure the problem lies in the relationship between organisations and their website designers.  They need to guide each other into understanding the emerging purpose of the site.  At the beginning of their relationship, neither  knows the purpose of the site and design should not start until they understand and agree the site’s purpose.

So, I will explore the nature of non-directive consultancy as it relates to web design.  I will cover the roles of consultant (designer) and consultor (you) so that both get the most from the relationship.

A consultancy relationship might result in a range of online approaches, possibly not including a website.  Various uses of social media may be all an organisation needs.


An effective web presence implies a conversation between your visitor and your organisation. This may be implicit as the visitor follows a route through your site, clicking your links and finally reaching a destination, if their interest carries them that far.  Or else it may be more explicit, such as where the visitor responds to comments and debates the issues your site raises.

However you approach this, you need to understand in any conversation transforms both parties.  Exploration of this will lead us into some interesting philosophical and spiritual by-ways because if we’re serious about our online presence, we need to appreciate its impact upon real life.

Core to this is the role of conversation as an encounter with the other.  It is through developed conversation that real change happens.


This topic explores how organisation theory informs website design.  It addresses five ways in which organisations can lose sight of their purpose when they work online.

It goes on to explore several common issues third sector organisations encounter.  Most of these issues relate to their tendency towards bureaucratic approaches to organisational practice.