A website is a must-have tool for any non-profit organization. As far as its major objective is to spread the word about your mission and encourage investors to make donations, it doesn’t have to be complicated.
Thus, it doesn’t make any sense to hire a web designer to launch and manage a website for your organization. This will be quite expensive. The use of website builders is a much better option and here is why:
- Website builders are easy-to-use even for newbies;
- They come with ready made niche templates (many of which are responsive) and a set of design customization tools to give them the desired look and functionality;
- They are SEO optimized;
- They are affordable.
Are you interested in the most popular options? Then have a look at the comparison chart of the most popular website builders available out there.
Website Builders for a Non-Profit Organization – Overview Chart:
|Best for:||Newbies||Small Business||Creatives, Non-profit organizations, artists, students|
|Easiness||WYSIWYG editor, Drag and drop functionality, Tutorials and guides||Drag and drop editor, Variety of blocks, Intuitive web building process||Block-based service, Drag and drop option, Polydom technology|
|Features:||App Store, WIX ADI, Blogging and eCommerce options||Versatile widgets, SSL Certification, eCommerce and blogging features||White Label solution, Mouse-over effects, Stripes ad widgets|
|Designs:||Over 550 mobile-optimi-zed templates, Mobile editor, Video background||Over 350 responsive thematic templates, Template change option, Parallax scrolling||Rich gallery of responsive templates, Extensive design customization features|
|Pricing Options:||Free to $24.50/mo||$4 to $12/mo||Free to $21/mo|
Now that you have the notion of the major features website builders offer, it is high time to discuss their benefits and characteristics in details so that you could choose the best website builder to launch a website of your non-profit organization.
1. Wix – The Best Website Builder for Non-Profit Organization
Wix is a universal website builder used to create different website types, including those of non-profit organizations. The service has the following benefits:
- Templates for Non-Profit Organizations. Wix has a collection of religion and non-profit templates you can choose from. Some of them include Food Charity, Kids Charity, Teen Volunteers, Non-Commercial Projects, Community etc. Many of them come with integrated “Donate Now” buttons and other features that are a must for these websites.
There is also a rich set of design customization tools to give your website desired look and functionality. Mind, however, that Wix does not allow changing the template on the go. If you decide to do that, you’ll have to resubmit the content.
- Membership. This is very convenient for organizations that develop and manage several projects and need to assign certain members to specific projects. With a membership feature, you can grant access to hidden website sections to those users, who have made donations and may be offered special rights.
- Forum. Wix allows adding a forum to your website, which is quite an extraordinary feature for these services. This is a real advantage for any non-profit organization website as it makes it possible to get in touch with users, encouraging them for participation. You can create any topics and branches in a forum to find out the ideas of other members and let them share their opinions with other users.
- Blogging. This is a surefire way to keep users informed about the recent news and events happening in your organization as well as about other related info. You can write and publish posts concerning the mission and statement of your non-profit organization, share your objectives and provide arguments to persuade readers to join your organization.
- Multilingual Website. As an owner of a non-profit organization, you may be interested in creating several language versions of your website. This is how you can encourage foreign investors to make donations and support your organization in different ways. This is also a nice way to attract more users, who share your objective and wish to join the organization.
Wix has a free never-ending plan you can use to build a website for you non-profit organization. This is a nice option to test the features of the other plans, but if you intend to run and manage an effective website, then you’ll face certain restriction standard for a free plan (Wix ad, disk storage and bandwidth limitations etc.).
Mind that Connect Domain plan has the same limitations as the free plan, but it offers a connect domain option. This isn’t the best value for your money.
If you intend to develop a website for non-profit organization, then it makes sense to upgrade to Combo or Unlimited Plans. eCommerce Plan, in its turn, will work best for those non-commercial organizations that are involved in charity sales, for example.
Anyway, you should always consider the options based on the specialization of your website and the objectives you pursue. All the plans offer free hosting and domain connection, Premium Customer Support, integrated Google analytics, storage space and other privileges.
2. uKit – The Easiest Service to Create a Non-Profit Website
uKit has gained worldwide popularity as a small business website builder. Its ease-of-use, convenience and affordability has made it one of the best solutions for users, willing to run and manage different types of websites.
Non-profit organizations are not an exception. Listed below are the benefits you will avail when using this website builder.
- Simple and Intuitive Interface. uKit can boast one of the simplest and the most intuitive interfaces ever. Whatever web design skills and experience you have, you will easily get used to it and explore the basic elements and features it offers.
It’s very convenient, easy-to-navigate, modern, exciting and understandable for everyone. What’s more, such interface simplicity eliminates the necessity to hire a web designer. You can do everything yourself, so, why waste the money you can invest into your organization development?
- Responsive Templates. Responsive templates automatically adapt to any screen sizes and resolutions of different mobile devices. This allows users to visit your website whenever they need and wherever they are. With uKit, you can experiment with different templates included into the collection of the website builder.
uKit allows changing the themes on the go, thus choosing the one that comes up to your needs and preferences most of all without the risk to lose your content. uKit has a rich collection of thematic templates, which are geared towards the needs of different user categories.
- Variety of Widgets. Some of the widgets that may be a nice addition to a website of a non-profit organization are Social Networking Buttons, LiveChat, CallBack, User Comments, Google maps, email forms etc. Any of them can help you fulfill a certain task like offering real-time help to people, who are in need (via the CallBack option or a LiveChat, for example). Due to the Google maps widget, investors and people, who wish to visit your organization, will be able to find it much quicker.
- Secured Website. SSL certification will make it possible to accept money donations without any risks. It is possible to connect a SSL certificate absolutely for free.
uKit doesn’t have a free plan, but it still makes it possible to choose and test any of the paid plans for free for 14 days. This is more than enough to decide what plan exactly works best for your website.
If you intend to launch a simple website of a non-profit organization, then a Premium Plan ($4/mo) will work well for this purpose. However, if you plan to organize regular charity sales or accept donations at the website, then it makes sense to use the eCommerce Plan ($9.6/mo). Anyway, the prices are very affordable for everyone, even if you choose an advanced plan. This is definitely worth the feature set offered by the website builder.
3. IM XPRS – Free Website Builder for Non-Profits
IM XPRS is a website builder, which definitely deserves the attention of non-profit organizations, creatives, students and other users willing to create functional websites at affordable cost or absolutely for free. Here are the major advantages of the service.
- Variety of Blocks and Stripes. The website builder allows creating block-based websites, making use of a variety of stripes and responsive blocks. They can be modified and repositioned with regard to your needs. No coding skills are required to do that. What you need is to choose the blocks and their positions at the page, adjust image settings, fonts, icons, create image galleries or slideshows to get the preferred design.
- Almost Ready Website. IM XPRS templates are almost ready to be used. What you actually have to do is to update the content and images with those of your own, add the required effects and publish a website. The template collection is pretty impressive and there is certainly decent variants for a website of your non-profit organization. All the themes are responsive.
- Mobile App. IM XPRS has recently introduced a new mobile app, which allows designing and editing your website on the go. By using the app, you can edit your website content, upload images, add and manage blog posts and perform other actions from your mobile device. This is very simple, convenient and effective.
IM XPRS is absolutely free for non-profit organizations. This is the major advantage of the system, which makes it one of the best solutions for this category of users. The plan is devoid of the system ads and offers free unlimited access to all the templates (except for the Premium themes), unlimited hosting, adequate amount of disk space, unlimited hosting and other advantages.
To be able to use this plan, you should get in touch with the tech support team of the service by email in order to provide your domain name or other proofs of your compliance with the terms of the loyalty program.
How to Set Up a Website of a Non-Profit Organization
1. Define the Purpose of Your Website
Non-profit organizations differ and so do the goals they pursue. Prior to creating a website, you should define the purpose of your website.
Whether you are going to collect money donations, popularize certain ideas etc., a website should present the organization and its mission to the advantage to catch the attention of visitors.
2. Choose the Domain Name
The domain name should present your website specialization or mission. It should be understandable from the very first sight and it should also be memorable so that it would be easy for users to remember it. Try not to make your domain name too long and try not to make it similar to well-known domains.
3. Select Hosting
There are many hosting companies out there and all of them offer their terms and services. The prices differ as well. It is recommended to make a profound research prior to choosing the hosting that comes up to your particular needs.
If you are going to use a website builder, though, you don’t have to worry about that as these services offer hosting for free. This simplifies the web building process for you.
4. Choose a Platform to Build a Website On
As we have already mentioned, ordering a website of a non-profit organization from a web studio or a web designer is a waste of your money. This is too expensive, especially taking into account that there are cheaper yet effective options.
Thus, you can use CMS like WordPress to launch and manage a website, but if you lack time and coding skills, it’s better to avoid this option. A website builder is a more preferable and simple solution for building websites of non-profit organizations. They are specially created with the needs of non-techies in mind, providing a set of features and tools needed to launch a quality, well-structured and user-friendly website.
5. Customize Your Website
If you have given preference to CMS or website builders, you’ll need to choose a template for your website and customize it with regard to your needs. Website customization and filling it with content does not generally take much time (although, this may depend upon the platform you use, your coding skills, expertise, amount of time etc.).
6. SEO Optimization
Prior to publishing your website, make sure you have taken about its proper SEO optimization. This will contribute to higher ranking of your website in the search engines.
If you develop the project on your own, fill out the meta tags, keywords and titles. By the way, most website builders allow creating SEO-friendly websites right from the start.
7. Publish Your Website
Having completed all the above mentioned steps, it is high time to publish your website now and watch the result!
A non-profit organization is unthinkable without a website that will spread the ideas, popularize its mission and encourage users to join it. There are different web building tools you can use to launch a website of your own.
The simplest and the most convenient solution is a website builder. These services focus on the needs of users and allow building websites that work best for various purposes. Wix, uKit and IM XPRS are the niche leaders that are the best solutions for non-profit organizations. Their features, characteristics and pricing policy ensure the unsurpassed web building experience, allowing to reach the desired result.