The ability of nonprofits to communicate their message and cultivate an audience determines whether they succeed or fail. Developing a nonprofit website can assist your organization in achieving both of these objectives.
Creating a website for your organization is an excellent method to spread information. It may be used to disseminate information and updates, create a persuasive case, and persuade people to participate. It will also cost a lot less than you expect if you take the appropriate strategy.
Let’s get started! Don’t worry if you’re new to the idea of owning your website. We’ll cover all you need to know to get your nonprofit website up and running in this guide.
How to Create a Website For a Nonprofit Organization (in 6 easy steps)
You probably don’t have much time or money to spare as a nonprofit organization. Regardless, you want an appealing, practical, and simple website to navigate. The following steps will walk you through rapidly and inexpensively constructing this type of site.
1. Select a website platform for your nonprofit organization
The first step is to choose a platform to develop your website. There are numerous options, but they primarily fall into three categories. You can design a website from the ground up, use a website builder, or employ a Content Management System (CMS).
Unless you already have a team of proficient developers on board, building a website from the ground up is usually expensive and time-consuming. On the other hand, website builders are inexpensive and simple to use. They don’t offer much flexibility, and they don’t allow you much control over your site.
A CMS is an ideal compromise. This type of platform is usually open-source, which means you may get the software for free and use it to create your nonprofit website. Furthermore, a good CMS would have an intuitive user interface that allows you to design your site without technical knowledge.
2. Get a domain name and a hosting package
Although WordPress is free to use, a few minor changes are associated with creating a nonprofit website. You’ll need to choose a hosting plan and register a domain name.
The primary URL of your website is the domain name (i.e., mynonprofitsite.org). When choosing a domain name, you should name your website after your group or use a brief, memorable phrase highlighting your objective.
You must also select a Top Level Domain (TLD), such as.com or.net. We strongly advise using.org because people are still more likely to trust nonprofit organizations that use this TLD. However, if your budget allows, you should consider purchasing the.com version of your domain name and redirecting it to your website.
3. Select a theme for your website’s design
You should have a simple WordPress site up and running by now. Now you’ll want to give it a design that reflects the mission of your nonprofit. Fortunately, you can speed up this process by selecting the appropriate WordPress theme.
In a nutshell, your site’s theme determines how your site appears and is organized visually. This means that you can choose the style and appearance you desire even if you’re not a designer.
The next step is to develop the foundational pages to make up your website. Building a page in WordPress is simple, and your theme will most likely have lots of examples of content to get you started. The following pages should be included at a minimum:
- A home page that informs visitors about your organization’s mission (preferably with a strong mission statement and lots of visuals).
- A contact page with several ways to contact us is easy to discover.
- One or more pages describe what your group does and why it is crucial.
- An ‘archive’ page where you can keep track of your blog or news updates.
- If possible, a page with headshots and bios of your organization’s important members or collaborators.
- A CTA encourages visitors to join an email list, volunteer, give, or do whatever else is vital to your organization.
- A WordPress page builder plugin will help you construct your pages using a visual, drag-and-drop editor if you want a little more flexibility over how they look.
5. Think about using a donation plugin
Above, we discussed the word “plugin.” Plugins help you add functionality to your site, whereas themes change how it looks.
There are plugins for everything, but a contribution plugin is helpful for a nonprofit website. These plugins will assist you in accepting donations and organizing fundraising events. They’ll also assist you in managing contributors by providing an easy-to-use database and the capacity to generate the tax paperwork that donors require.
6. Make your website search engine friendly
Last but not least, think about how people will discover your nonprofit website. This will happen primarily through search engines, necessitating some Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
This is simply a collection of ways for improving your site’s search engine ranking. It’s worth mentioning that ‘local SEO’ will almost certainly play a significant role for a nonprofit website (especially for a smaller, locally-based company). This entails optimizing your site to appear in searches conducted by people who are physically close to you.
Many nonprofits capacity to draw attention and establish a following online is critical to their success. Your nonprofit website will play an essential role in this process, serving to both inform and urge your audience to act.