The landscape surrounding nonprofits has changed drastically over the last several years. No longer can you rely on cold calls, direct mails, and events as your only means of building your donor pool. Everyone from young adults to those who make tribute donations have access to the internet and will most likely look up your nonprofit before deciding to give. Those of you who have an outdated site or measly social media page stand to lose out. Those who invest in their websites are the ones most likely to see their giving increase. Below we will show you why nonprofits need a website, along with how to go about it.

1. Put Your Best Foot Forward

According to Statista, there were over 1.56 million nonprofits located in the United States alone in 2015. They listed “donor cultivation, acquisition, retention, and communications” as one of their biggest challenges for 2019. Your website should be able to perform all four on a 24 hour a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year basis. For example, The National Trust for Historic Preservation currently does all four from the homepage alone.

  1. The banner at the top cultivates donors by employing a strong call to action.
  2. The Explore & Act section beneath it helps acquire new donors by raising awareness on their mission.
  3. There is a section to help locate historic areas, as well as get text updates to retain existing donors.
  4. The regularly updated blog and photos section are great ways to communicate the latest happenings.

2. Easier Marketing

Your website should allow you to market yourself online easily and directly. This method is less costly and more time-saving than old fashioned means of communication. When done correctly, digital marketing can be more effective when engaging new donors, collecting donations, and increasing awareness. This can be done through videos, slideshows, testimonials, and much more.

3. A Myriad of Online Donation Options

Online giving went up 10.6% from 2017 to 2018, the latest data available according to Nonprofit Source. In fact, they cited that over half of all donors prefer to donate online with a credit card, with $128 being the average online donation. Yet only 67% of all nonprofits are set up to accept online donations, which means they could be missing out on thousands of dollars in donations each year. Best of all, online donations can be programmed to be set up as one-time donations, monthly donations, or any other configuration you like. One final statistic: nonprofits who used a custom branded donation web page increased their online giving by six times.

" A nonprofit organization, also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is dedicated to furthering a particular social cause or advocating for a shared point of view. The key aspects of nonprofits are accountability, trustworthiness, honesty, and openness to every person who has invested time, money, and faith into the organization. Nonprofit organizations are accountable to the donors, founders, volunteers, program recipients, and the public community. Public confidence is a factor in the amount of money that a nonprofit organization is able to raise. The more nonprofits focus on their mission, the more public confidence they will have, and as a result, more money for the organization. "

— Wikipedia

4. Website Security is Key

With so much money exchanging hands, it is critical to make sure your website is 100% secure. This means utilizing secure hosting to keep intruders out, advanced email capabilities that reduce spam and phishing attempts, with all tools updated on a regular basis. Just one slip can mean a huge hit to your nonprofit’s reputation. Remember you want to make your online giving process as easy and safe as possible. The same also goes for any time a visitor fills out a form, signs up for email updates, or engages with your site in any way.

5. Don’t Forget to Plan

None of the good nonprofit websites were built in a day. Feel free to take your time in planning what you want to do with your site before you launch. Items to consider for your nonprofit website include but are not limited to:

  • Your main message to the community.
  • The program(s) you want to highlight and their order of importance.
  • Who your target audience is.
  • What social media platforms to utilize.
  • How you want to accept online donations.
  • Forms for newsletter signups, volunteering, requests for more information, etc.

Don’t be afraid to shop around when considering who and how to build your nonprofit website. Remember when the site is built, it is crucial to update all your plugins on a regular basis, run constant security checks, and keep backups on hand just in case the worst happens.