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How to Build a Non-Profit Website

Person donating coins with a note

There is no better way to share the good work of your non-profit than by creating a website for it.

A charity’s website succeeds or fails based on how well they can communicate their own core values to their visitors. This is why paying close attention to web design is important for a charitable organization’s website. 

Unlike eCommerce stores or websites dedicated to affiliate marketing, the key to a successful non-profit website is simplicity

Working with a high quality website builder that has all of the features for a fast build and a beautiful website will save you lots of time and resources. 

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There are a few key differences between non-profit websites and all other types of websites. 

You can look for inspiration all over the internet, e.g. how to design the best nonprofit logo, Zyro’s logo maker but there are a few main features that will help you build a strong case for your website: 

  • Branding. Keep your branding consistent across pages, since it’s proven to increase donations.
  • Landing page. It’s important that your landing page reflects and highlights the mission of your charity clearly.
  • How to get involved. Make it crystal clear to your visitors how they can get involved, and how they can donate. You want to use a platform that supports as many payment options as possible.
  • Clear CTA buttons. Clear calls-to-action will encourage people to act. Place them strategically by using the AI Heatmap by Zyro
People working together over a laptop

Non-Profit Websites: A Step-by-Step Guide

With the right tools, the setup process for your non-profit website from A to Z is an easy, painless, and fast experience.  

We’ll talk you through all the steps and will be cheering you on at the finish line. 

1. Choose the right platform

Generally, non-profit organizations have to keep a close eye on the money that comes in and goes out. Needless to say, many of them might not have the resources to hire a freelance web designer.

That’s why choosing a website building platform that supports a content management system (CMS) is a natural choice. 

Most non-profits will need a website that allows them to:

  • Provide a clear indication of their mission
  • Receive donations
  • And engage directly with their visitors
Laptop on a glass table displaying statistics

2. A few technical bits

If you’re new to the world of websites, you might not have a clear idea of what things like uptime and web security are. 

Let us point you in the right direction. There are a few technical things that you should look for in a website building and publishing platform: 

  • Maximum uptime. Uptime is the time that your website is available to visitors online, as opposed to downtime, in which your website cannot be accessed. You want 99.9% uptime. 
  • SSL security. You want to make sure that everyone visiting is safe when browsing your non-profit website. An SSL-certificate keeps your website data and the data of your visitors safe by encrypting it. It’s the industry standard that helps build trust with your visitors and secures your website
  • It’s scalable. Chances are, you will need to rework your website every few years. Partnering up with a platform that can grow with you will save you a lot of time in the future.
  • Reliable hosting. Finding a trustworthy brand that can host your website on their serves can feel like a tall order. Look for a hosting company that focuses on simplicity and website speed. If you want to learn more, you might want to check out some in-depth reviews of the top Australian web hosting companies.
Light room with a desk and a laptop and screen

3. Write a crystal-clear mission statement

Be open and honest about what you’re trying to achieve with your non-profit. 

Research shows that the second most important thing potential donors want to know off the bat is where their donation is actually going

This means that your mission needs to be communicated clearly, and it needs to be obvious to the visitor that’s just landed on your home page.

Ideally, the visitor should be continually reminded of the goal of the organization. 

Tip 💁 – You can achieve this by placing different banners across your website, or by highlighting key quotes on each page.

This is really the key difference between non-profit sites and more commercial websites, like eCommerce stores. 

Giril working on a desk computer

4. First impressions matter

You have 50 milliseconds to make an impression on people visiting your page. 

Sounds a bit daunting? With good themes and styles, you can grab anyone’s attention and make that important first impression as good as possible.

Focus on:

  • Quickly communicating your identity. It’s especially important for a non-profit to be able to quickly communicate their nuanced and complex identity to the visitor. You want your organization to be taken seriously since you’re trying to solve complicated issues.
  • Being professional. One of the major reasons why visitors end up not donating is to do with a lack of trust. They don’t want to give their money away if they have no idea what the non-profit will do with it. Achieve this by using fonts, images, and themes that make the website look as professional as possible.

5. Donations made easy

As a non-profit, donations most likely make up quite a bit of your cash flow. 

After all, you’re trying to change the world and spread awareness about the causes you’re fighting for.

There are two key points when it comes to building a donations system: 

  • Donations page. This page should be easily reachable. Visitors should never be more than 1 click away from being able to donate to your cause.
  • Support multiple currencies and payment methods. Non-profits should accept donations in as many currencies and through as many different payment systems as possible. Don’t tie yourself down with a website builder that doesn’t do this; it’d be like leaving money on the table. 
People working on laptops together on a table

6. Continuous engagement is key

The thing is, even after your website is published, your work has only just begun.

Non-profits should be continuously building their online presence and engagement opportunities with their visitors and patrons. 

Thankfully, that’s easier to do than you think, since the number one reason anyone joins an organization is because they want the opportunity to network with like-minded individuals.

Make sure that those visiting your website are able to get a hold of you with any questions they have. 

Using contact forms makes this convenient and fast for everyone, and more often than not the initial query leads to a donation.

Person writing a journal with a coffee and pastry

Define your cause online

Having a website for your non-profit is essential nowadays, but creating it successfully can be much more difficult than building an eCommerce store. 

With non-profits, what you’re offering the visitor is much more nuanced than listing all the available products and placing them in categories. 

This is all the more reason to invest in high-quality tools like Zyro. Good tools will make the design of your site appealing and ensure that it’s easy for visitors to make donations. 

Need help building your website?

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Matleena is a seasoned eCommerce writer, with a particular interest in emerging digital marketing trends, dropshipping, and growth hacking. She’s addicted to coming up with new eCommerce business ideas and making them a reality; she deserves her nickname of ‘print on demand business mogul.' In her free time, she enjoys cups of good coffee, tends to her balcony garden, and studies Japanese.

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