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This version of VolResource is no longer being updated. Please use the revamped site instead:

To access the old pages for any reason (e.g. smaller file sizes):

and do check all information thoroughly.

Web in Practice

Updated 30/7/12

Follow the trail

This page

Covers 'customer-facing' web sites (aimed at the general public), including those promoting the charities, their merchandise or seeking to engage the public in some other way.



The page is in Listings style, and is part of Taking Action grouping.


This page was originally started in 1999 when many charities and voluntary organisations were still struggling to set up functioning and effective web sites. While things have moved on, visiting other sites can allow you to compare and learn from how they work (or don't), and even get inspired.

This also a resource for those wanting to find particular products. We've dropped the listing of sites which have come and gone - the turnover of commission generating sites etc is less of an issue than it was a few years ago!

More suggestions of exemplar sites welcome, particularly those engaging with a particular target audience or client group.

For suggestions on how to get started on the web, podcasting etc, see main site Web Tips page.

Engaging people

Suggestions from VolResource visitors:

Also see Campaigning on the web.

Next steps for the web

Or they were when we wrote this.


Or weblogs. Online journals or material written in that style, often with short entries, links to other blogs and 'favourite sites'.

RSS/News Feeds

'News feeds' are a way of distributing 'headlines' (linking through to a summary and/or full article) which can be picked up by email or web plug-ins, or via specialist aggregator facilities. It is potentially an easy way for websites to keep in touch with readers, as they can learn of updates without remembering to visit. Feed Burner's definition of RSS: "a standard for publishing regular updates to web-based content". See that link for more, and suggestions for news reader software and online services.

Techie note: there are a number of different versions of RSS, with version 1 being the odd one out! 0.9x or 2 would be better, and there is an alternative Atom format.


These are audio (and potentially video) 'broadcasts' in MP3 format which can be downloaded via iTunes and other facilities to portable MP3 players (of which the iPod is the most well-known), or played via a computer or other digital device. With the technology to make these becoming cheap and fairly easy to set up, expect more. While podcasts are often seen as a cheapo version of radio or TV series, they can be used as one-off educational/promotional resources too!

Podcast producers will be on the Media Services page; take a look at WebTips for starting points on doing it yourself.

Finding products and charities

Cards, Gifts

Specific Charity 'Retail opportunities'

Wider Catalogues, Shopping Malls, Guides and Giving

NB Most of these charge charities/organisations to appear, and/or take a cut of each transaction generated. Also see general charity directories.

There is a continuing turnover in new and failed sites trying to generate charity funds using commission on sales, usually through referral to established online retailers. We don't check/update this list very often!