non-profit website

When you start a new business, you would probably come across different phrases like ‘non-profit’, ‘not-for-profit’ and others, for selecting your business type. It is often hard and confusing to differentiate between these terms and understand what a non-profit website is. It is, in fact, easy to assume that ‘non-profit’ and not-for-profit’ mean the same thing.

Nonprofits and not-for-profit organizations have different tax implications, functions, and governance. They contrast with each other and also with the for-profit organizations.

In this post, we will be discussing what such terms mean, s that you can better understand each of their structure and functions and select the right type of business for yourself.

What is a Non-Profit Organization?

A non-profit organization is a business that is exempt from paying taxes by the IRS. Its main objective is to implement a social cause and conduct activities that teach a public benefit. Examples of non-profit organizations include national charities, hospitals, universities, and foundations.

To qualify as a non-profit organization, an organization needs to serve a public benefit in some shape or form. These organizations do not distribute profits to any stakeholders, or for any causes other than furthering the development of the entity itself. They are required to make their operational and financial information public, so that donors can access it and view how their contributions are being utilized.

Individuals or organizations that make donations to non-profit organizations are permitted to deduct them from their tax returns. On the other hand, the non-profit entity must pay no taxes on the funds it receives via fundraising.

What is a Not-for-Profit Organization?

These are similar to non-profit organizations because they also do not make a profit for the owners. All the revenue generated through their business activities and operations is reinvested back into the business and consumed in running the organization.

However, these are different from non-profit organizations because they do not function for the sole purpose of the public good. A not-for-profit organization operates for the benefit of its members. Its objective is to serve the interest of its members.

An example of a not-for-profit organization is a sports club. A club exists to serve the entertainment goals of its members. It needs to apply for tax-exempt status to get exempted from paying property taxes and sales taxes. This means any funds it receives as donations cannot be deducted on the donor’s tax return.

Why Create Website for Non-Profit Organization?

The success or failure of non-profit organizations depends on the entity’s ability to communicate its cause and message to its audience. If it can build a community around it that believes in its purpose, it has a higher chance of success.

Building a non-profit website plays a crucial role in helping the organization achieve this. It is a great way to spread its cause and share information with the public about its main activities. A non-profit website design should convey a persuasive argument and convince its audience to get involved in it. If it is done correctly, building a non-profit website will cost a lot less than expected.

Essential Elements of a Non-Profit Website

If you are running a non-profit organization, you need to build and run your non-profit website uniquely. The website has to be based on your niche, business objectives, and available resources.

A non-profit (church) website built on Strikingly

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

However, as you start working on your non-profit website design, you need to keep a few things in mind. A typically strong non-profit website must include the following.

  • A vision and mission statement to convey to the visitors what your organization is about.
  • Detailed information on what activities you perform and how they make a difference
  • A news or blog section to keep people engaged and informed about the latest updates
  • Contact information and means of getting in touch with your organization
  • Short biographies of your key members, partners, and staff
  • Compelling imagery that needs to be incorporated on all your web pages
  • A means to accept donations, especially if you solicit funds from the public
  • A call to action that prompts visitors to donate, volunteer, or take some other desired action that matters to your organization.

A nonprofit website built on Strikingly for an organization that empowers social programs

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

These seem like a lot of things to include. But when you build a website using one of the ready-to-use templates on a website builder, it isn’t really difficult to put all these elements of a non-profit website together. All you need is a little bit of patience, some good tools, and features, and a means to contact the customer support team of the website building platform if required.

How to Build a Non-Profit Website?

A non-profit organization would typically not have much time or money to spare on web development. But it is important to have a non-profit website, so that the organization can have an existence and presence over the internet. It needs to have a website that’s attractive, easy to use, and fully functional. There are steps you can take to create a non-profit website in a time-saving and cost-effective manner.

Another church website built on Strikingly

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

Here are the six steps to follow when building a non-profit website.

1. Choose the Platform

The first thing that needs to be done is the selection of a suitable website building platform. You might want to go for a platform that offers most of the features for building a basic non-profit website in its free plan.

Strikingly is a website builder that will enable you to create a non-profit website in just a couple of hours. Its tools are simple to use, and its editor is quite self-explanatory. It allows you to add different sections to your landing page, making your website easily navigable and appealing at the same time. It will also give you full control over your non-profit website.

A simple description of Strikingly - a feature-rich website builder

Image taken from Strikingly

2. Purchase a Domain Name and Hosting Plan

The next step to create a non-profit website is to purchase and register your domain name, and get a suitable hosting plan. If you build your website on Strikingly, you can simply register a new domain with us or transfer your domain from another provider if you have already purchased one in the past.

The domain name will act as your non-profit website’s primary URL. It is best to name your site after your organization. If your organization name is too long, however, you can use a short and catchy phrase as your domain that grabs the gist of your mission.

You will also need to select a top-level domain, such as .com. Using .org is recommended for a non-profit website. People normally trust non-profit organizations that use this TLD. If you have some extra budget, you can consider purchasing the .com version of your selected domain name.

For getting your non-profit website online, you'll have to register for a hosting plan. Web hosting acts like the engine that gives power to a site and makes it accessible to other people.

3. Choose a Website Template or Theme

The next step is to create your non-profit website design. If you start the website on Strikingly, you will be taken to our template selection page right after signing up. Here you can choose a template that suits your preference and meets your requirements the most.

Showing thumbnails of some of the templates available on Strikingly

Image taken from Strikingly

The interesting thing is that we have a few templates that are designed specifically for a non-profit website.

4. Key in Your Website Content

Now is the time to type in all the information into your non-profit website that you want to give out to your audience. Tell your site visitors what your organization is about, the purpose it serves, why it exists, how it operates, and what it expects from the public. Don’t forget to include your contact details. Add good quality pictures to reveal your internal environment. Keep the information as transparent as possible.

Using a combination of text, images, videos, and links makes your website look interesting and keeps the readers engaged. You can easily add videos, social media icons, call to action buttons, and even a blog to your non-profit website on Strikingly.

5. Add a Donation Plugin

One of the most helpful features of plugins to use for a non-profit website is a donation plugin. This plugin will enable you to accept donations and conduct fundraising campaigns.

Showing how a nonprofit organization accepts donations through a website built on Strikingly

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

If you build the non-profit website on Strikingly, you can select from the multiple payment gateways we offer, and accept donations through them.

6. Work on the Site’s SEO

To promote your non-profit website, you would need to work a little bit on its SEO. Use the relevant keywords throughout your content. Include headers, tags, and keywords everywhere. Write a precise and clear site description. Upload good-quality images.

Building a non-profit website that’s both functional and stylish is quite straightforward. When you use Strikingly to create a non-profit website, you will have our 24/7 customer support through our live chat feature.

Success of a Non-Profit Website

The success of your non-profit website would largely depend on your ability to attract the public’s attention to it and build an online community around it. The purpose of a non-profit organization or initiative needs to be conveyed to the public through different means. Its non-profit website can become the main means of conveying this message, as long as it is attractive and can get a sufficient amount of traction over a short period.

People like to interact with websites that look good and are easy to navigate. By using Strikingly to build your non-profit website, you’ll be able to create a professional and good-looking site in a short time and a simple manner. That pretty much solves the problem for all parties! In other words, we support you in all technical matters while you create your website with ease, and your audience finds it appealing and easy to navigate, which will make your website as well as your non-profit initiative successful.