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Creating Nonprofit Websites Within in Your Budget!

August 9, 2019

12 Min Read
Nonprofit Websites
Reading Time: 12 minutes

Every business needs recognition and nonprofits are no exception. The best way to get recognition is by creating a digital presence. This is especially true for nonprofit organizations that would like to spread their message far and wide.

Whether they need to raise funds, build awareness about a particular cause, or just want to create an online presence, this article is about them.

In this article, we will discuss why nonprofit businesses need to create a digital presence and the right way to do it. But first…

Why Nonprofits Need a Website

A website alone is not the only option available for nonprofits. They can also go for social media pages/accounts to spread their message. The only problem is that these social media accounts will limit them to a selected medium.

A few reasons why a website for nonprofits will be a far better option instead of a social media account include:

  • A website gives more exposure to the brand
  • Interested people can learn more about the nonprofit brand through its website
  • Nonprofits can use their website to collect donations by setting up year-round donations forms, full-featured donation plugins and safe to use payment gateways.
  • They can share their regular activities including seminars, events, press releases, presentations, and much more
  • They can also create a community where others can engage and come up with better solutions
  • They can also use the website to promote a particular cause

A nonprofit website should look simple and attractive. Here is the basic structure of an introductory page of the website. This type doesn’t even require a huge budget.

Example of nonprofit

Source: Npengage

Set a Website Budget

Budget: $500 to $1000

To create your nonprofit’s website. You should have an estimated budget in place. Let’s say you are starting a small nonprofit business and you have a budget of around $500.

In this budget, what type of website will suit your business? The type of website you choose depends on the content you need to publish on it.

Let’s make a list of content types that you would possibly want to publish on the site.

  • Recent updates, blogs, and press releases
  • Gallery section for pictures and videos
  • Posts such as causes, campaigns, and events
  • Collecting donations with a real-time change in collected donation amount (crowdfunding script integration)
  • The payment gateway for donations, purchases, and event registrations

These are just some of the elements that can make a website an asset for the nonprofit business. Though the website will work with just blogs and press releases, it is important to have a payment gateway to accept donations/funds as that helps website visitors easily navigate and donate their money/funds for a particular cause.

However, considering that not all NGOs have the budget to add all these features to the website, they can start small.

Type of Nonprofit Website

Here is a list of various website templates that nonprofits can choose from.

1. Small Business Website

Budget: $100 to $500

Nonprofits are only interested in creating a digital presence can opt to create a small business website. This type of website is also called a portfolio website. It doesn’t cost much, and most developers will charge around $100 to set one up for you. Host the website on a host of your choice but be wary of traffic surges.

Structure of a nonprofit website

Structure of a classic five-page website

2. Blog

Budget: less than $500

All those nonprofit companies that are interested in updating their followers about their progress can create a blogging website. A blogging website requires a Content Management System (CMS) such as WordPress, Magento, Drupal, Joomla, etc.

Our recommendation is WordPress because it is the most widely used CMS platform and completely free to use.

Structure of a WordPress nonprofit blog

Structure of a WordPress nonprofit blog. Source: lorelle.wordpress

3. Crowdfunding Website

Budget: $1000 or more

Next, we have crowdfunding platforms for nonprofit companies. Most established nonprofit companies like to collect funds directly on their website. This requires them to integrate ecommerce payment gateway and crowdfunding functionality on the website.

The end result would be something like a GoFundMe or Kickstarter platform. The benefit of having such a website is that it allows them to get donations in real-time without any significant effort.

Crowdfunding Website Example

4. Ecommerce Website

Budget: $1000 or more

Finally, we have ecommerce websites for nonprofit companies that would also like to sell products through their website(s). Just like a crowdfunding website, the ecommerce website also requires payment gateway integration, a checkout page for information of the buyer and product listings. This is a complex website and usually requires the service of a developer.

ecommerce websites for nonprofit companies

Choose a Nonprofit Website Platform

Once you have decided upon the type of website you will need for your nonprofit company, the next step is to select a platform. A few platforms that you can choose for your website include:

  • WordPress
  • WooCommerce
  • Magento
  • Ghost

We will be discussing WordPress, WooCommerce, and Magento in detail.

1. Selecting WordPress – Is It the Right Choice for Nonprofit Websites?

WordPress is a widely used CMS platform and pretty easy to set up. Anyone with no experience can start a blog on WordPress by watching a few videos over the internet.

For nonprofits website, WordPress provides a simple, clean, and friendly interface that allows its users to customize, curate, and publish WordPress websites by themselves.

Step by step process to Install a WordPress website:

1. Download WordPress on your hosting server. If you are using Cpanel based web hosting panel, you will have a software called Softiculous available on the server. It offers one-click installation for WordPress.

Download WordPress

2. Now install a theme for your WordPress installation.

install a theme for your WordPress

3. Add relevant plugins like Disqus for comment moderation, All-in-one SEO for on-site optimization, and more.

Nonprofit websites plugin

4. Choose the layout of your website so that it looks appealing. If you have purchased a paid theme for WordPress, you will get a tutorial video with it to adjust the layout of the theme.

Nonprofit WordPress Site Theme

5. Your nonprofit website is ready for publishing. Start posting relevant content to it.

Nonprofit WordPress Site backend

2. Selecting WooCommerce – Is It the Right Choice for Nonprofit Websites?

WooCommerce is used to manage small and mid-sized ecommerce platforms. WooCommerce is a plugin for WordPress CMS by Automattic. It is a complete ecommerce platform and allows users to set it up in minutes. WooCommerce can be downloaded from

For nonprofits, the WooCommerce platform offers multiple options and the ability to add crowdfunding and payment gateway functionality to their websites.

Here is how nonprofits can create a WooCommerce store.

1. First of all, install WordPress. You can see the whole process of installing WordPress in the above section.

WooCommerce for Nonprofits

2. Now, download the WooCommerce plugin and optimize it. This blog has written a complete article on how to add crowdfunding functionality to WooCommerce.

3. Selecting Magento – Is It the Right Choice for Nonprofit Websites?

nonprofit websites don’t really need a Magento ecommerce store for their digital presence. But let’s say that the nonprofit site wants to transform its services into a crowdfunding platform like GoFundMe. In that case, they can benefit from Magento. Magento powers around 10% of the internet and is a highly scalable, sustainable ecommerce platform. Installing Magento is not easy, especially when you are on a cloud server. For that purpose, you will need to go for a managed solution like Cloudways or you can hire a developer to install it. The complete tutorial to install Magento on a cloud server is available for you to read.

What’s Next: Marketing & Maintenance Costs

The cost of maintenance varies for each type of nonprofit website. Let’s discuss the substantial points that you should keep in focus.

1. Maintenance Cost

Nonprofit websites don’t require much maintenance. An update every year is fine for most small business websites and blogging websites. However, ecommerce websites require technical support from time to time. You may have to hire a developer to make some changes to the site as well. Therefore, the maintenance cost of an ecommerce website is higher.

A WooCommerce developer may charge $500 for maintenance per month, while a Magento developer may charge $1000+.

It is better if you choose WooCommerce for your nonprofit website if you plan to start a crowdfunding platform as that will be low cost.

2. Marketing Cost

Marketing is essential for any startup, may it be profit or nonprofit. For the marketing of your nonprofit, keep a separate budget. In the beginning, you may only focus on search engines and social media. This will require around $500 for the first year. The cost will increase further with time, so you must ensure to increase the budget by at least 20% per year.

Technical Details for Nonprofit Website Set up

A few essentials for your website include domain, hosting, and relevant plugins and themes that serve as the base. Let’s learn how and where to find them.

i. Buy a Domain

Get a domain from any trusted domain provider. A few good ones are Godaddy, NameCheap, and, and The cost of a domain varies from $15 for a .com or a .org domain to $18 for a .net domain to $20 for a country level domain.

ii. Buy Hosting

You can choose from shared, dedicated or cloud hosting. Shared hosting isn’t a good option since it is slow, has a higher downtime, and doesn’t have good support. You would not want your website to experience higher downtime.

Similarly, a dedicated host would cost a lot for hosting the website. Also, if your platform gets a lot of traffic on a daily basis, choosing a dedicated hosting server will be heavy on your pocket.

A better option is to select a cloud hosting solution. Cloud hosting is cheap, scalable, and fast. We recommend that you choose a managed cloud hosting platform. This way, you won’t have to start everything from scratch. Managed cloud hosting for nonprofits on will also allow users to install CMS solutions like WordPress, WooCommerce, Magento, and others on a single click. There are many cloud hosts like DigitalOcean, AWS, and Google Cloud or you can go for our very own managed cloud.

iii. Create a Nonprofit Website Pages

Once your website is set up, you will need a few pages that will convey to visitors what your website is all about. You can add the following pages to your website.

  1. Home
  2. About Us
  3. Projects
  4. Partners
  5. Team
  6. Contact Us

These are the essential pages of your website. However, if you want to limit the pages, then simply remove ‘Partners’ and ‘Team’ from the website.

iv. Add Helpful Plugins

You must add plugins that can help your website get indexed in the search engines faster. A few plugins you can use on WordPress and WooCommerce include:

Start with these plugins while setting up your website. Later, add more plugins that suit your needs.

Your website is finally ready. Congratulations!

10 Best Nonprofit Websites for Inspiration

Developing a website that attracts visitors and makes them donate for the social cause is a dream of all non-profit companies. While this task is not only hard but almost impossible. To understand why people donate, we have to understand their psyche, how they feel about a cause, or are they even ready to give?. Some donate out of fear. Some donate because they care. But everyone donates in some way or the other.

Here are 10 of the best designed non-profit websites to get inspiration for your own site design.

1. Gofundme

GoFundMe Non-profit Website

Category: Donation, CrowdFunding

If you want to create a donation or fund-raising platform, then the best website design for inspiration is the GoFundMe platform. The website design is simple and provides all the necessary details about a campaign on the page itself. The homepage is minimally designed with recent campaigns on top, followed by best performing campaigns, and then old campaigns. This creates a just distribution on the GoFundMe website.

The site uses WordPress CMS with a custom theme.

2. Just Giving

Just Giving Non-profit Website

Category: Donation, CrowdFunding

Just Giving is another remarkable crowdfunding platform that allows campaign creators to get funds for their respective campaigns easily. Unlike Gofundme, JustGiving has a simple homepage designed to welcome fundraisers.

The site is still in its infancy. With a homepage catering to campaign creators, it can easily get more signups and therefore more engagement. However, it is actively promoting itself on social media, search engines, and donation platforms to get funders. Most of these funders are targeted via email lists and social media pages. It is custom-designed and uses a PHP framework.

3. Fundly

Fundly Non-profit website

Category: Donation, CrowdFunding

Next, we have Fundly, a fundraising platform. This platform markets itself as a fundraising platform for non-profit campaigns, and entrepreneurial projects. But we will still count it as a non-profit crowdfunding platform because most of its projects fall in the non-profit category.

Fundly platform is based on Ruby on Rails framework. As for the blog, it uses WordPress CMS with a custom theme.

4. Care

Care Non-profit website

Category: Portfolio Website

Care is another non-profit organization working to uplift the situation of the poor in third world countries. It has a major footprint in African countries where it is working on numerous projects encompassing education, health, and area-specific emergencies. It has a great portfolio website built on the ASP-based custom framework.

5. Case Foundation

Case Foundation Non-profit websites

Category: Portfolio Website

Case Foundation is a non-profit organization focused on solving the financial problems of entrepreneurs working in third world countries. It is a diverse and dynamic institution that invests in people working on social impact projects. Case Foundation has an exemplary website that offers complete information on the home page. It is built on a custom stack with Varnish for improving site speed, and Let’s Encrypt a free SSL certificate to limit preparators.

6. Adopt a love story

Adapt Non-profit website

Category: Portfolio Website, Ecommerce

A simple yet attractive design speaks for itself. And, for NGOs, specifically, those working on social projects, creating an eye-catching design is highly important. Maybe that is the reason why Adopt a love story (AALS) has garnered so much attention in a short span of time.

AALS focuses on helping families adopt a child even if they have financial limitations. Through its site, the organization allows visitors to adopt a child or to donate for the cause.

7. Convoy Of Hope

Convoy Of Hope Non-profit website

Category: Portfolio Website, Ecommerce

Convoy of Hope helps young men get back on their feet. Its core focus is on education, health, and survival. The non-profit organization has been working with government agencies, businesses, and churches, to help the impoverished, hungry, and weak individuals.

Convoy has a simple portfolio website from where it gets funds for its upcoming projects. The site has easy navigation and offers a smooth user flow. Its portfolio site is based on WordPress.

8. David Shepherd Foundation

David Shepherd Nonprofit website

Category: Portfolio Website, Ecommerce

There are only a few non-profit organizations working to protect the wildlife, and the David Shepherd Foundation is one of them. It works with local governments to protect wildlife especially the Rhinoceroses, White Leopards, Chimpanzees, and Pangolins.

David Shepherd has a simple portfolio website that allows visitors to donate to its cause. The site uses WooCommerce for its backend.

9. Opportunity

Opportunity Non-profit website

Category: Portfolio, Ecommerce/Donation Platform

What is the intent of a non-profit website? To appeal to the public. To arouse interest in their cause. And, to make them donate for the cause, the non-profit is working on. That’s what Opportunity is all about.

The site has a simple, yet attractive homepage featuring its latest events and projects in a fold-by-fold setting. You can find almost every noteworthy detail on the homepage. And, if you feel like donating, that’s also possible with the click of a button.

10. Give India

Give India Nonprofit Website

Category: Crowdfunding

Give India is a non-profit crowdfunding portal that helps various NGOs and individuals to collect funds for the social cause. Because of its simple design and powerful functionality, users can easily create campaigns or donate to different campaigns based on their needs. Give India is developed using a custom PHP framework for both web and mobile. The site is completely responsive and works as a PWA on mobile.

Test & Go Live

Now it is time to take it live. So, start first by posting relevant, attractive, and shareable content. It is better to create a content calendar that can streamline your processes and remove any bottlenecks that can hinder progress.

Once you are done with the technical changes, it is time for the promotion of the website on all mediums. Therefore, start promoting your website through social media, search engines, and even paid ads. You may need to hire a few marketing experts and some digital consultants, in the long run, to bring your site in SERPs and soon you will be getting the attention you want.

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Sharjeel Ashraf

Sharjeel loves to write about startups and ecommerce. In his free time, he is on the road or working on some cool project in his den.

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BFCM 2019