Whitley Fund for Nature

Whitley Fund for Nature (WFN) is a UK registered charity, offering Whitley Awards and ongoing support to outstanding nature conservationists around the developing world.

Based in London, the charity aims to fund the most effective grassroots conservation leaders in developing countries and fund practical work that will have a long-lasting impact on the ground.

Visit the site at www.whitleyaward.org to take a look for yourself.

Image shows the WFN homepage


  • A redesigned, redeveloped mobile-friendly site, in time for the charity’s 25th year anniversary
  • A website that provides a positive experience for multiple users (i.e. donors, media and award applicants)
  • An improved site navigation, allowing users to find the content they need quickly and easily
  • An easier donation journey
  • Workflow and administration to be as simple as possible, to reduce time spent updating the site


  • Web design and development — The new site runs on our Standfirst platform
  • interconnect/it in-house developed custom plugins
  • Full project management and consultancy
  • Ongoing user and site support
  • Hosting

Project Background

We originally worked with Whitley Fund for Nature to develop their first site back in 2012. The initial site proved effective for many years, but it was decided the 25 year anniversary of the charity would be a good time to relaunch the site, with a new responsive, modern design.

Image shows WFN home page

The Home Page

The most obvious part of the site that almost all visitors will see is the home page, which is designed to quickly show what WFN is all about. The home page has to work best for three types of visitor — potential donors, award applicants, and the media. The layout is straightforward but has a strong visual style — making the most of their great imagery.

Image shows WFN homepage


One of our areas of Research and Development last year focused on improving site search functionality. Site search functionality can often be poor and frustrating. We’ve worked hard, investing our knowledge into creating fast and accurate search results and implementing this technology into our Standfirst platform as standard.

Image shows search results


Using a map with filter options, a user can easily see the huge geographic range and scope of the award winners across the globe. This approach is helpful to all visitors and allows them to see how the charity operates and how it chooses successful applicants. We built a simple UI in the back-end to allow users to quickly and easily tag content by location, with visual push-pins.

Image shows map results

Underlying Technology

The site is built on our new Standfirst platform, using Custom Post Types (for winners), and Custom Taxonomies (for Award Types, Geographic Regions etc.). Many custom interconnect/it developments such as our mapping, events, media and contextual widget plugins, operate to give a high degree of control over display and functionality.

Combined with the fact the site uses Standfirst, means it’s exceptionally easy for the team at Whitley to administer. You can read more about the benefits of using Standfirst here.

Image shows Standfirst login screen

Post Launch

Sites for charities can sometimes be a challenge as resources are often stretched to their maximum. We have been an official supporter of WFN for several years and we are proud to continue the ongoing sponsorship of the support of their website.

Visit the Whitley Fund for Nature site for yourself and take a look around.