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Choosing to create a nonprofit website can help your organization promote your mission to a broader audience, increase volunteer engagement, and further support your fundraising efforts.
Here’s how to build a philanthropic website in a few simple steps.
Start by choosing a WordPress.com plan. Keep in mind that each paid plan includes a free domain name credit for up to one year of registration.
Next, you’ll need to register your domain. Go to My Sites, then select Manage and Domains, and then click the Add Domain button. Enter your domain into the search box; if it’s available, click Select to finalize.
Finally, be sure to check your inbox for a verification email. If you do not verify your email address, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) will suspend your domain until you do.
For more information about registering or changing your domain, check out WordPress.com Support.
Your new WordPress.com website will default to a blog view, so you’ll need to set up a static home page. To do this, go to your main menu and choose My Site → Site→ Pages. Click Add New Page to design and publish your new page.
Then, from the main menu, choose My Site → Design → Customize. Find Home Page Settings, select A static page, choose your newly created page from the Home Page drop-down, and click Publish to save your settings.
Finally, it’s time to choose a theme. There are hundreds of options, including both free themes and premium options. You can also search “nonprofit” to find themes designed specifically for organizations similar to yours.
High-quality content is essential to your organization’s success. It’s important that your copy is clean, well-written, easy-to-read, and clearly communicates your organization’s mission. Additionally, you need to make sure you optimize your content for search.
Visual content, such as your graphics and imagery, should also be high-quality and representative of your brand.
Online charitable giving has grown consistently year-over-year and now exceeds $30 billion annually, according to 2018 data from Nonprofits Source. Giving visitors the option to donate through your website can significantly boost fundraising efforts.
WordPress.com offers several features for accepting donations, and plugin options for Business and eCommerce plan websites include Give and Charitable. You can also use the Simple Payments Block to quickly and easily add a PayPal payment button to any page on your site, or consider Recurring Payments if these better match your fundraising goals.
To keep visitors, donors, and volunteers engaged, it’s crucial to regularly create and share relevant content through a blog or newsletter.
If you have a blog, you can encourage visitors to click the Follow button that’s located in the admin bar for users who are logged in, or the lower right-hand corner of the home page for logged out users.
You may also want to add the Follow Blog Widget to your footer or sidebar. When someone subscribes, they can choose to be notified via email each time you post, or you can choose to receive a weekly digest of all of your latest blog content.
If you have a newsletter, you can create a contact form that allows visitors to sign up for your emails.
WordPress.com offers several features that make it easy for your nonprofit website to thrive. By using these steps to create a nonprofit website, you can build your organization’s online presence fast.