Nonprofit Website - Why You Need One & How To Get One

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Why Your Nonprofit Needs a Great Website

Nonprofits need a website in order to become more visible. Great nonprofit websites are a nonprofit organization’s online address and it is used for everything from fundraising to event planning, no matter how large or small your nonprofit may be. At Team 218, our process is derived from the skills and experience we have accumulated during our many years in business.

Nonprofit Websites

Nonprofits can benefit from websites in many ways. A website helps nonprofits connect with potential donors by providing inspiration and information about the mission and programs that they offer. They also provide an opportunity for people who care about your cause to donate online via a donation page. And when you need volunteers, having a website is essential—because the first place people go these days is Google!

Top Nonprofit Websites

We all know that websites are not just for big companies or corporations anymore – they’re important to any business (especially nonprofits) looking to make connections with their customers, create awareness of their product or service, and establish credibility. A website draws visitors to a nonprofit’s brand and great nonprofit websites can do much more. Is your nonprofit website ready to promote your brand and serve your organization? Does it display correctly on mobile devices? In today’s world, in order to be taken seriously as an organization you need a website. Your site’s homepage is the first impression for potential donors, volunteers, and other stakeholders. Top nonprofit websites all have one thing in common – they make it easy for their target audience to find out who they are, what they do, and how to become involved with their cause.

These impressions need to be positive, or else potential donors may be discouraged from giving or volunteering. A donor may see a poorly designed website and immediately turn away, because the nonprofit looks unprofessional. A nonprofit should be aware of their reputation, and should not want to appear unprofessional. A top nonprofit website provides the E-A-T (Expertise, Authority, Trust) signals Google is looking for.

If a nonprofit’s website negatively affects its reputation, it is important for the nonprofit to fix it. A poorly designed website can lead to a decrease in donations. It is possible that the donation request that a nonprofit presents on its website may not appear to be genuine. And we all know the extent of Spam and fraudulent online predators out for every dollar they can grab. You don’t want to be mistaken for an illegitimate entity. Your online presence needs to portray a rock solid, legitimate organization. Someone who is trustworthy and provides value to the cause they serve. Again the E-A-T signals come into play.

A Good Nonprofit Website Example: A Story of Functionality and Impact

As a nonprofit organization, your website serves as the hub for all of your online activities. It’s the place where people can learn about your mission, donate to your cause, and get involved in your work. But with so many different elements to consider, building a good nonprofit website can seem like a daunting task.

Enter John and Sarah, two nonprofit professionals who were tasked with creating a new website for their organization. They knew that they needed a site that was visually appealing, easy to navigate, and packed with helpful information. But most importantly, they wanted a website that would inspire people to take action and support their cause.

The Search For a Good Website

With these goals in mind, John and Sarah set out to build the perfect nonprofit website. They began by researching the latest best practices and studying the websites of other successful nonprofit organizations. They learned that a clean and modern nonprofit web design was key, as was a clear and concise messaging that conveyed the impact of their work.

Next, they set about organizing the content of their website in a logical and intuitive way. They knew that people would visit their site with a specific purpose in mind – whether it was to learn more about their mission, make a donation, or get involved in their work. So they created clear calls to action and made it easy for visitors to find what they were looking for.

One of the most important features of the perfect nonprofit website is a strong and compelling storytelling element. John and Sarah knew that the most effective way to inspire people to support their cause was by sharing stories about the real people and communities that they were helping. So they included a section on their website dedicated to sharing these stories, complete with photos and video to bring their work to life.

Finally, John and Sarah knew that they needed to make it easy for people to take action and support their cause. They included a prominent donate button on every page of their website and made sure that their donation process was quick and secure. They also included information on other ways that people could get involved, such as volunteering or hosting a fundraiser.

In the end, John and Sarah’s hard work paid off. They launched a beautiful and functional website that inspired people to take action and support their cause. And thanks to their clear messaging and strong storytelling, their organization saw a significant increase in donations and volunteer participation.

The lesson here is that the perfect nonprofit website is more than just a collection of pretty pictures and well-written content. It’s a powerful tool for driving impact and achieving your organization’s goals. By following best practices and focusing on functionality and storytelling, you can create a website that will inspire people to support your cause and make a difference in the world.

 

Solon Area Community Foundation

Here are a few of the ways having a website can impact your nonprofit organization.

  1. Stand out from the crowd: just like with any business, nonprofit website design gets you noticed by people who would normally never hear about your nonprofit before, especially if they aren’t involved in anything related to what you do. This means that your organization will get more support since it can reach so many different kinds of people and bring in new donors and volunteers. Your website should inspire your website visitors to take action, contribute, volunteer and lend their support to your organization.
  2. Online marketing: once you have a nonprofit website up and running, you’ll notice that your nonprofit gets more attention; it boosts your nonprofit’s credibility because people will see you in a different light. Nonprofits websites lets you present yourself to donors, volunteers and other nonprofit agencies in the best light possible, which means that you definitely stand out from the crowd online.
  3. You need SEO (Search Engine Optimization): without it your nonprofit isn’t likely to come up in any search results at all – not even when someone types in the name of what you do or who to call when they need help with something related to your nonprofit’s work. This is why it’s critical to incorporate Search Engine Optimization so that people can find you when they search for what you do in their area. That way, they know exactly how to get in touch with you and your nonprofit’s website can become a direct line to getting what they need.
  4. Say goodbye to PAPER: paper is becoming obsolete in our day and age when there are so many digital options out there that nonprofit website design can replace – from online email newsletters to keeping your community informed with a blog. Websites have been seen as the most effective way for nonprofit agencies to reach their target audience since they are available 24/7.
  5. Donor retention: just like with any other business, a good web design helps you retain donors because you can easily inform them about upcoming events or ask for their feedback. It also offers the chance for nonprofit agencies to show how the money from each donation is being used especially if they are thinking about donating in the future. Nonprofit websites makes it easier for a nonprofit organization to do all this because donors don’t have to go somewhere else or call another number. They can get all that information from one place – your nonprofit’s website! It brings everything together under one roof, so to speak, which saves nonprofit agencies money and labor hours.
  6. Your nonprofit needs a website if you want all of the above benefits! There’s no reason why your nonprofit can’t have all these things. It doesn’t matter how big or small your nonprofit is – having a website is an absolute must nowadays since there are tons of people who trust what they see online more than what they hear on the street or read anywhere else!
  7. Ease of operations: Not only will a great nonprofit website help your nonprofit organization get more support for their causes, but it also makes running a nonprofit much easier! If you want your nonprofit to become even bigger and better, then nonprofit website design needs to be taken into serious consideration.

Can a nonprofit get a free website?

Yes, there are several options available for a nonprofit organization to get a free website. Here are a few options you may want to consider:

  1. Use a website builder: There are several website builders that offer free plans specifically for nonprofit organizations. Some examples include Wix, Weebly, and Google Sites. These platforms provide templates and drag-and-drop tools to make it easy to create a website without any technical expertise.
  2. Use a content management system (CMS): CMS platforms like WordPress and Joomla offer a range of free templates and plugins that you can use to create a website. These platforms may require a bit more technical know-how than website builders, but they offer more customization options.
  3. Use a hosting provider that offers free plans for nonprofits: Some hosting providers, such as Bluehost and HostGator, offer free hosting plans for nonprofit organizations. These plans usually include a free domain name and website builder tools.
  4. Use a free website template: If you have some technical expertise, you can use a free website template to create a website from scratch. There are many free templates available online that you can customize to meet the needs of your organization.
  5. Use a platform specifically designed for nonprofits: There are several platforms that are specifically designed for nonprofit organizations and offer free website services. Some examples include Network for Good and CauseVox.

Regardless of which option you choose, be sure to read the terms of service carefully to ensure that the service meets the needs of your organization.

How to Get a Free Website For Your Nonprofit from Team 218

If you are involved in a nonprofit organization and are in need of a new or redesigned website, please get in touch with Team 218 Web Services. We work with nonprofits all the time and have discounted pricing in place to help with the cost of a website.

Once a year we donate our web design services to a nonprofit. If you are interested in being a recipient of this free service, just click the button to make a nomination and we’ll take it from there.

The following article was published in the North Liberty Leader Newspaper in January of 2020 and provides information on Team 218 Web Services and our efforts to help support some of our favorite charitable organizations. (some minor edits for clarity)

By Doug Lindner – North Liberty Leader Newspaper

Kim & ChuckNORTH LIBERTY– Team 218 Web Services is not your typical website designer. “We’re not out to be the biggest or have the most clients,” explained co-owner Chuck Hersey, of North Liberty. “We’re a little more selective in the projects we get involved in. We like projects that are interesting to us.” And once a year, that includes offering free services to a non-profit organization.

“It’s not something we really publicize, it’s more just a way to give back every once in a while and kind of help people out who could benefit from a website or some technology assistance,” Hersey noted. Team 218 Web Services started officially in 2014 when Hersey and his wife Kimberly lived in Port Byron, Ill. The “218” was a reference to their home address, but when the couple moved to North Liberty in 2019, the moniker fit right in with Highway 218. “We lucked out,” he said.

Hersey grew up along the Mississippi River. Born in Savanna, Ill., he moved down river to Clinton and then spent much of his adult life in Port Byron, just north of the Quad Cities. His interest in computers and technology dates to the late 1980s. Hersey was captivated by the Charlie Chaplin ads for IBM and Bill Cosby schilling Texas Instrument products. “I looked around to try and find training during that time and there really wasn’t anything specifically in the personal computer realm, so I pretty much took it on myself and just kind of trial by error and learned it all myself and look where I am now,” he chuckled.

Although the interest was personal, it translated to his business career. The company he worked for at that time had no computers at all; the entire business worked on a paper system for filing. In cooperation with the owner, Hersey created a set of software programs for accounts receivable, accounts payable, general ledger, fleet maintenance and billing to covert the company from all-paper to the computer generation. “That’s kind of how I got my feet wet,” he recalled.

By the early 2000s, he took notice of the emerging Internet and recognized its possibilities to grow and develop. “It was kind of a continuation of the interest I had already built up,” he said. His first site for QC Volleyball, a sports club with leagues and tournaments all over the Quad-Cities area, went live in 2004.

He continued dabbling off and on while working for an equipment rental business. His office was in Moline, but he also spent a lot of time at a regional office in Nashville and traveled around the country quite a bit. “Once I retired, I kind of took it on full time,” he explained. Team 218 Web Services primarily creates websites for small businesses, nonprofit organizations and clubs in the Eastern Iowa area. He and his wife co-operate the business “She’s the sounding board for everything,” he said.

The couple moved to North Liberty in 2017 to be closer to their daughter and a 3 1/2-year-old grandson. “We love it,” he said. “Just love it here.”

The nature of the business allows Hersey to work from just about anywhere. “It’s pretty convenient to be able to just pick up and go and still be able to work on things wherever you are,” he noted. “As long as you have an Internet connection and some power, you’re good to go.”

Team 218 is Mac-based, and 99 percent of its websites are created on WordPress platforms. The company does some hand-coded scripts but only when it inherits a site designed in another framework. The advantage of WordPress, he said, is that it’s so common. About 35 percent of all websites are running on a WordPress platform, he observed. “It’s so prevalent that if there is an issue with it or a bug or a security problem, it gets fixed right away,” he added. “There are so many people using it that there’s a huge community of developers that are kind enough to share information and help solve problems. We haven’t found anything that we aren’t able to do with it.”

A typical website takes four-to-eight weeks to develop, depending on the size and the complexity of the organization, he said. “I like to do one project at a time from start to finish, so we can focus on that and not have three or four different projects going on at the same time where you’re jumping around from one to the next,” Hersey said. “I think that allows for a better end result and a quicker turnaround.”

Toward the end of the year, the Herseys look for a nonprofit group or charity in need of an upgrade. They don’t always create a new website, sometimes they’ll just provide consultation or tutoring like the work they’ve done recently in support of the Battleship Iowa Museum in Los Angeles.

The USS Iowa (BB-61) launched in August of 1942 and immediately went to war in the Atlantic. It was decommissioned in October of 1990, and the State of Iowa donated $3 million to assist with the creation of the museum. It’s one of the few remaining battleships and since it’s named after the state, the Herseys thought it was a good cause.

In other cases, they will work with a group to design a website from scratch. Team 218 assists in acquiring the domain, launches the site and provides maintenance and hosting for 12 months at no cost. The couple tries to put out a couple of feelers for nominations but sometimes the connections just happen organically.

Such was the case with Where 2 Adventure Consultants, run by a couple from the Muscatine area, whose website seeks to help people with family and children plan unique travel experiences. Team 218 had already done business with the couple, who were working to build their own site and just needed some questions answered and a nudge or two in the right direction.

The Herseys are happy to share information and post web development tips for do-it-yourselfers on their own business site. Whether it’s a donated service or not, Hersey enjoys learning about each new group or business. You can drive past a business a hundred times and not know what they do, he explained, but it’s always intriguing to talk with owners, learn how a business fits into the industry and how they differentiate themselves.

Team 218’s clients run the gamut from childcare centers to clubs, government websites, bridal boutiques, boat marinas, beauty salons and machine shops. “It’s an interesting mix,” he said. “It’s never the same thing.” The same applies to learning about the groups selected for free services. “It’s a feel-good thing,” Hersey explained. “Our intent in doing this is just to give a little something back to the people in our communities and Eastern Iowa, the areas we provide service.

“So many of the nonprofits in the area have such great things that they do for the community, it’s fun and rewarding to donate our services to help them do what they do.”

  • Learn more about what a nonprofit is on WikiPedia.

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About The Author

Team 218 Web ServicesHi, I'm Chuck Hersey. I'm a partner at Team 218 Web Services and I created this content. I've been building websites and working with SEO projects for over 20 years. I started Team 218 in 2014 with a goal of offering quality, affordable websites to Iowa small businesses and nonprofit organizations. I wanted to provide a complete website package solution to make getting a website easy and fun.

You can contact me by email (puhpx@grnz218.pbz), through our Contact Form or by text or phone at 319-333-0815.

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