Nonprofit organizations must effectively convey their message and cultivate an audience for them to flourish or fail. A nonprofit website may significantly aid both of these objectives.
A fantastic method to spread the news about your organization is to create a nonprofit website. In addition to sharing information and updates, you can also use it to build a compelling case and persuade others to join in. It's also a lot less expensive than you would expect if you take the appropriate approach.
Don't be concerned if you've never operated your website before. We've put up a comprehensive guide to help you create a nonprofit website and make your nonprofit website user-friendly.
What is a Nonprofit Website?
A nonprofit website is a website that is not in the business of making a profit, and it nevertheless needs to persuade its visitors to donate money to their cause. Nonprofit organizations use websites as an essential means of attracting new donors.
The importance of maintaining a positive brand image cannot be overstated. A visually appealing website may help nonprofit organizations expand their audience and compel site visitors to become involved in their missions. As a nonprofit website serves a variety of functions, so nonprofit website design must be by best practices in web design to present their target audiences and supporters with the essential information.
A nonprofit website should be well-structured and straightforward to use. Their aesthetic attractiveness and upbeat tone are also important considerations. You don't need to be a coder to make a robust, high-quality online presence today, and you don't need a large grant to do it. We'll explain how to build a nonprofit website easily and understandably.
1. An Appropriate Platform
To create website for nonprofit organization, choose an appropriate platform first. Options come into one of three broad categories.
Design a website from scratch
Join up for a website builder
Utilize a Content Management System (CMS)
Unless you already have a team of competent engineers on board, starting from scratch is generally an expensive and time-consuming process. The opposite is true for website builders, which are inexpensive and easy to use. However, they don't provide much flexibility or control over your site, which is a significant drawback.
A content management system (CMS) is the ideal solution. Open-source implies that you may download and use the software to develop your nonprofit website for free. If you're looking for an easy-to-use CMS, go no further than a well-established platform. One such platform to use for building a nonprofit website is WordPress. However, there are plenty of other, relatively newer, website builders available in the market, too these days. We will discuss one of these below.
Even though many website builders these days are free to use, building a nonprofit website isn't cheap. As part of the registration process, you'll need to choose a domain name. Your nonprofit website's URL begins with your domain name. When choosing a domain name, it's ideal to name the site after your organization or use a short, snappy phrase highlighting your objective. Once your site has been built, you'll want a hosting plan, the "engine" that drives your site and makes it accessible to the public. Bluehost is an excellent choice for newbies. When you join up for a Bluehost hosting account, you'll also get a free domain name that you can select from.
3. Choose a Theme for Your Website's Design
Your nonprofit website should be up and running by now. You'll now want to give it a look that highlights the purpose of your nonprofit. Fortunately, you can 'speed up' this process by picking the appropriate website theme or template. Your nonprofit website's theme controls all of your nonprofit website design and layout. There is no need for you to be a designer to create the look and feel you want. If you search for "nonprofit" in the theme directory of whichever platform you’re using, you'll find a wide variety of free alternatives.
Image taken from Strikingly
4. Create the Foundational Pages of Your Site
WordPress makes it simple to create a page, and you'll likely have plenty of sample material to work with when you first install the theme. Following are the at least elements of a nonprofit website:
A welcome page that explains what your business is all about (preferably with a strong mission statement and lots of visuals).
Access to different methods of contacting us is provided on a single contact page.
A page detailing what your group does and why it's essential.
The page to archive your blog or news updates.
Headshots and profiles of your organization's most influential members or partners, if feasible, should be included.
Make sure to include a call-to-action (CTA). Donation buttons, newsletter signup forms, and volunteer application forms are examples of this. Place it clearly on your nonprofit website, but don't let it blend in.
5. Add the Donation Plugin
Using these plugins, you may receive money and organize fundraising events. That's only the beginning; they'll also assist you in handling donations, providing an easy-to-use database and the capacity to prepare tax forms for them.
6. Enhance Your Website's Visibility in Online Search
Finally, think about how visitors locate your nonprofit website. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) will be the primary mechanism for this. Getting your nonprofit website to appear higher in local search results means making it more visible to individuals in your immediate area. Using the free Yoast SEO plugin and knowing how to utilize it is a great place to start when it comes to optimizing your nonprofit website.
3 Tips to Make Your Nonprofit Website User-Friendly
Following are the elements of a nonprofit website that make it user-friendly.
1. Quick Loading Speed
Make sure that everything in your nonprofit website loads in a reasonable amount of time. SEO benefits from a fast-loading website. Visitors want fast access to information, so they may leave your site if they are forced to wait for a page to load. Search engines rank those websites that load quickly because they give a better user experience. You may improve your nonprofit website's load speed by compressing your photos and limiting the usage of third-party plugins.
2. Evoking Solid Emotions in Others
Your nonprofit's present and future supporters will feel more connected to your cause if you use effective visual storytelling techniques on your nonprofit website. Using photographs of actual recipients and presenting their stories is a great way to convey your message.s very uncommon for NGOs to post success stories on their website to showcase their vital work.
These stories will act as emotional triggers for the audience, and they will feel like joining your cause. These will also make them spend more time browsing through your web pages, which will increase its value and might push it up in terms of its search rankings as well.
A memorable logo boosts your nonprofit's online presence. Using the same header on every page is a simple method to include your brand. If your nonprofit website logo requires an update, remember to add aspects that define the organization's goal without making it difficult to read. A logo should always be included on the top or on the header of your site’s homepage. It represents your brand’s visual theme.
A Suitable NonProfit Website Building Platform
Besides the other factors mentioned above that complicate the process of website development, nonprofit organizations do not have access to large amounts of funds to spare on activities like this. That’s why it is usually not feasible for them to hire expensive and skilled web developers who can work for hours to create an attractive web design and do the programming work to build a website from scratch.
But that doesn’t mean a nonprofit organization cannot get a website made in a cost-friendly and time-saving manner. As mentioned above, there is a relatively new and rising, user-friendly platform that’s perfect for building a nonprofit website, and that is, Strikingly.
Image taken from Strikingly
Strikingly offers features that allow you to easily add all the essential elements of a nonprofit website discussed in this post above. It has a drag and drop interface, making it simple to add images, videos, infographics, and other content components. The templates we offer are responsive and easy to navigate.
We have several users who have created a nonprofit website on our platform. We regularly update our features based on customer feedback to provide you with more ease and smoothness in your website building experience.
You can create a nonprofit website on Strikingly absolutely for free, and that too without writing any code. You don’t even need to bother working on your domain registration with Strikingly. As long as you have a name for your organization or cause, you can use our free plan to use that as your domain name, with the addition of Strikingly branding within the domain. This means, for example, if your organization or brand name is ‘XYZ”, your website URL will become ‘xyz.mystrikingly.com’. Once your organization grows or your cause becomes big enough to get you access to more funds, you may choose to upgrade to one of our paid plans and use an entirely custom domain, which will remove our branding from it.
If you are striving for a nonprofit or social cause, you can build a website with us to showcase your cause and start promoting it through your site today.