Free Websites for Non-Profits: The Crucial Elements

Raising awareness, soliciting donations, managing volunteers, creating a website — the list of duties that go into starting a nonprofit organization can feel like a long, logistical nightmare.

Thankfully, WordPress.com lets you create free websites for nonprofits. With this resource, you’ll be positioned to rally troops, communicate your mission, collect charitable contributions, and keep your audience and donors informed about your activities.

Here’s how you can take advantage of these tools to build your nonprofit’s online presence, and what to include to keep that list of duties manageable.

Communicate your cause

Your nonprofit website should be treated like a for-profit website in that whatever you do (and why you do it) should be made apparent as soon as a visitor lands on your page. After all, people are more likely to support and donate to a cause they resonate with.

In addition to dedicating an entire page of your WordPress.com website to explaining your mission, why you’re passionate about it, and how you’ll go about addressing it, you can use a free theme like Ixion to highlight featured content pages (like your nonprofit’s blog or a volunteer sign-up page) and prominently display a call-to-action button that you can use to streamline the donation process.

Demonstrate your efficacy

As a nonprofit organization, you exist to make an impact. Your audience wants to know what those impacts are, and what you’ve been able to do with the money they’ve donated.

Proudly show off your results and praise your volunteers with a page or blog post dedicated to the work you do. When people understand what their donations are used for, they’re more likely to donate again or free up their schedules to volunteer.

Collect donations

Even though they’re not in the business of turning a profit, nonprofits still need to collect funds in the form of donations. One of the easiest ways to do that on your website is to set up a PayPal donation button.

You can embed a button on your homepage, About page, within a dedicated donations page, or even within the footer area. Use the Custom HTML widget so that it’s within reach no matter what page your visitors are currently viewing.

Garner volunteers

If there’s one thing that nonprofits need more of (besides funding), it’s help.

Get more hands on deck with a volunteer page that clearly describes the time and location of volunteering opportunities, the duties that volunteers will be responsible for, how long each shift is, and how many participants you’ll need.

Don’t stop there, though — adding a contact form to your volunteer page allows you to collect volunteer applications and obtain information like names, email addresses, the types of volunteering opportunities a given applicant is interested in, and other pertinent details.

Update your audience

According to The Content Marketing Institute’s 2016 Nonprofit Content Marketing Report, 82 percent of nonprofit marketers claim that engagement is an important goal for them, along with increasing their brand awareness.

A website is vital for growing your nonprofit’s engagement and brand awareness efforts, but your audience might not spend very much time on it before leaving. Once they leave your site, you can no longer communicate with them — unless you’re able to connect in another way.

Incorporating social media into your engagement strategy will allow you to connect with people on their terms and enable your volunteers to share your organization with their respective networks. One way to allow people to follow you is by adding social media buttons to your website. Don’t forget to add a link to your website from your social media platforms as well. That way, people know where to go if they want to donate.

You can also invite website visitors and social media followers to subscribe to your newsletter. This will enable you to keep your brand fresh in their minds, whether or not they ever return to your website.

There can be a lot to consider when it comes to getting an organization off the ground; however, as far as free websites for nonprofits go, this list of pointers is more than enough to get you started. Once you get the ball rolling, you’ll be able to harness that momentum to achieve your goals and conquer other organizational duties.

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