As a nonprofit organization, you understand the importance of having a professional website, but you just don’t have a budget large enough to pay for it. You might consider having a volunteer create a website for you. If you are interested in building a Wix nonprofit website, then be sure to read my article “Do I Need Techy and Other Skills To Build A Wix Website?”
Whether you use an online website builder or WordPress for your first nonprofit website you might run into a conundrum as your organization grows. Either your volunteer is no longer available to update and maintain the website or your website no longer meets your needs.
I’ve had many conversations with nonprofit organizations on this subject. It usually goes something like this: “Hi, we looked at your website and love what you have done for so and so organization. We had a volunteer update our website, but she is no longer available to maintain it. Our website is just a mishmash right now and the information is all over the place and just isn’t organized anymore.”
Your organization is at a crossroads to attract more and larger donors, but you realize your original website just doesn’t cut it anymore. You want to hire a website designer, but the funds just aren’t in the budget. It’s a challenge to find the funds, but it can be done, and here is how.
Plan Your Website For The Future
Before you start raising money you’re going to know how much you will need. Have a brainstorming session with your staff and or board of directors and come up with a must-have list and a wish list for your new website. Do your research and find some website designers you like and ask for a price. Be sure to ask if the website designer offers a nonprofit rate and see if web hosting and WordPress maintenance is included in your quote. You might want to read my article about comparing website prices and how to test drive a website designer.
Once you have an idea of what the project will cost you, you should add an extra 10-15% above the quote to cover unexpected project expenses, your web hosting, and WordPress maintenance fees (if there not included with your quote). With a price in mind now you can run your fundraising campaign. Be sure to include some nice visuals, like a mockup of your new design, as well as explain to your donors how their money will be spent.
Ways To Get A Free Nonprofit Website
#1 Run a Crowdfunding Campaign
Crowdfunding is a practice of funding a project or venture by raising small amounts of money from a large number of people. You can use websites like GoFundMe.com, JustGiving, or even Facebook. Be sure to post your campaign on social media websites, your website, and send an announcement to your email list.
#2 Seek Out Donations
Send out an appeal letter to your donors and business owners about your new website project. Explain to them how your nonprofit has outgrown the current site, including a story or two about who or what benefited from your organization, and how the new website will help your cause even more. Instead of asking for any amount, you could specify three different levels of giving so the donor can decide which level is best for him or her.
#3 Find Corporate Sponsors
This is a variation of your appeal letter. Target local businesses if you are a local nonprofit or ones that are related to your nonprofit if you are niche-oriented. You could include a page on your new website for corporate listings to help promote your sponsors. Include their logo, business information, and a link to their website. Linking to their website is referred to as a backlink and helps with their search engine ranking, especially if you have a lot of visitors to your website. You can also set up a banner ad or link on the footer of your website to promote your sponsors. If you send out email campaigns, you could say this edition is sponsored by so and so.
Securing the funds for new website design is just another challenge for your nonprofit organization. I’m sure there have been other challenges you’ve overcome before. Collaborate with your staff and board members on ways you can raise the funds. With a bit of creativity and brainstorming, you can overcome this challenge too.
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