If you are president or just a part of an association, a non-profit organization, a non-profit organization, and you haven’t created your website, then it’s time to get to work!
First of all, thanks to a site you can reach a much larger audience of people interested in your own cause, who may decide to become your supporters.
Second, it is a serious and reliable way to present your initiatives to funders or entities of any kind.
Finally, it will help you to spread the objectives of your association, to promote your events and your initiatives, to involve the whole community in the realization of a project.
The first steps to create the site of your non-profit organization
Before you blindly venture into the creation of the website for your non-profit organization, there are some basic preliminary activities.
First and foremost, absolutely avoid free website builder services, including wordpress.com (which isn’t the same WordPress I’ll tell you about shortly!), Blogger, Wix, or other similar platforms.
These systems may seem very convenient to you, but in reality they will only waste your time and then have to do it all over again later on.
In fact, free platforms have a lot of disadvantages. Eg:
- Major limitations in the customization of the site
- Inability to link a domain of the type it, but having to rely only on a format like mysite.wordpress.com
- Extremely limited functionality
- Unlikely to get visibility on search engines
- Risk of high page abandonment rates by users, because they are not loaded from their device
- Limits in the activation of an SSL certificate that marks the site as safe (with the consequent rethinking of any supporters interested in making a donation)
- Blackout moments in which the site is not available
- Not having the necessary technical resources to make the elements present on the site work properly
To avoid all these problems, you will therefore have to rely on quality services.
Choice of domain and hosting
The first thing you will have to do, therefore, is to choose a domain, that is, the address of your website.
I suggest you use your association name followed by the extension .org. If this name has already been used by others, you could use a word or two that briefly summarize what the non-profit organization is about.
Example: if onlusdelfini.org is not available, then use salviamoidelfini.org!
Find helpful tips in my guide on how to choose a domain for your website.
Once you have chosen the domain, you can buy it together with the hosting, that is the web space in which to create your site.
I repeat my suggestion to stay away from free or particularly cheap services. Your website, even if built with the minimum of resources, must still be safe, efficient and fast.
Therefore, my advice is to rely on a high quality, secure hosting that provides assistance in Italian 24 hours a day.
The best hosting for your non-profit site
The best of all is definitely SiteGround, which also allows you to have the domain free for one year. If you buy from this link, you will immediately get 53% discount!
SiteGround is the best choice as it includes tons of important services. Other hosts don’t provide such complete packages, or they are options that you should add for a fee.
In SiteGround’s WordPress Startup plan, ideal for your case, for example, you will find:
Furthermore, it is also a green service: the energy consumed by the data centers is 100% balanced with renewable energy.
With SiteGround, you will surely have an excellent service that will allow you to get all the visibility your project deserves.
But I also propose an alternative. Keliweb offers a floor dedicated to those who want to create the site for a non-profit organization. To support associations like yours, which devote all their energy to important social issues, he thought of an inexpensive but rather complete WordPress plan.
Keliweb’s Social Hosting plan includes:
- A free domain of your choice between .it and .org
- 10GB of web space
- Unlimited email boxes
- Unlimited databases
- SSL certificate
- CPanel management panel
- 24h support
Among the plans offered by Keliweb, this is certainly the most convenient to create the website of your association, although it is not as comprehensive as the one offered by SiteGround.
Using WordPress for your non-profit site
Once you’ve purchased hosting and domain, it’s time to install WordPress and start building your site.
As I mentioned above, this is WordPress.org, the unrestricted version we are talking about here on Websites Are Us. Find out the differences between wordpress.org and wordpress.com to understand everything you can do with this tool.
Installing WordPress on your hosting space is very simple. I’ll explain how to do it in this video. Watch it now because you will also find advice on subscribing to a hosting plan!
Choose the WordPress theme for your site
The next step concerns the choice of the theme. The theme is the set of graphics and features that will make up the site of your non-profit organization.
The right theme must be chosen on the basis of some fundamental characteristics:
- It must be responsive, that is, it must adapt perfectly to any device, desktop or mobile
- It needs to be lightweight and have a good foundation for search engine optimization
- It needs to be followed closely by developers, with frequent updates that fix bugs or security issues
- It must have great reviews from users who have used it
I have selected some of the best for you themes for non-profit organizations. Here’s what they are:
This theme includes 30 different website templates for non-profit organizations and associations that you can install with one click and then customize with your content and style. It is a performing site, with a good SEO base and fully responsive.
Included are useful plugins for creating your pages, and also the WordPress Donation tool, which invites supporters to send a donation through a popup or slides.
If your non-profit organization deals with issues relating to the environment, Eco Nature is the ideal topic.
The creation of pages is facilitated by the use of shortcodes that allow you to insert various elements anywhere on the site. The design has a clean and tidy look.
A PayPal donation tool is included.
Great for associations that deal with social and fundraising issues, Charity allows you to accept donations with different payment systems.
Depending on the topic your association deals with, you can choose a demo site already configured, ready to insert your content.
The control panel is full of customization options and includes Visual Composer for creating pages and Premium Slider for creating slides.
There are also some free themes that you could use, but their functionality is very limited and you may find it difficult to customize the style. However, I recommend that you take a look at the LZ Charity Welfare themes, dedicated to NGOs, voluntary associations, non-profits, and to Green Eco Planet, designed for associations dedicated to environmental protection.
What to insert on your non-profit site?
Now that your site is set up, it’s time to put your content in. Here are some suggestions.
First of all, on your homepage explain the cause you support and which projects are currently active, with beautiful photographs that show particular events in which your association was a protagonist. Also include a section for memberships and donations.
The pages that you will need to create for your non-profit site are:
- Who we are, where you will introduce the people personally involved in the non-profit organization
- Projects, to show active projects, past ones and those that will start in the future
- Testimonials / Stories, where you can enter the stories of the people you have helped, or of volunteers who have collaborated with you
- Donations, the page from which you can send your support
- Contacts, with a form to fill in to request information, telephone number, address and a map to get to your office
- Blog, because a blog is always useful to create a community of loyal readers and to promote your activities
Important features should not be missing, such as the ability to change the language in case you operate internationally, and for this I suggest you use the WPML plugin.
An interesting way to raise funds can be the sale of gadgets, which you can do using WooCommerce.
Finally, you can create a newsletter to keep your supporters updated with the latest news, achievements and projects that you carry out, and therefore I recommend that you use a service like those presented in this guide.
Create a website it is an undertaking that may seem impossible, and perhaps for a non-profit organization it seems even more complicated.
In reality, just knowing the right tools and the project is absolutely achievable. Plus, it’s the most effective way to raise awareness of your cause and carry out your initiatives.
If you are in trouble, remember that you can always count on our help!
What does your non-profit organization do?
Do you think that creating a website can help you make your projects come true?
Let’s talk about it in the comments!