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The Awesome Guide to WordPress for Nonprofits

WordPress For Non-Profits

Considering using WordPress for your nonprofit’s website? WordPress is the most powerful, flexible website builder and content management system available today. Website builders are software platforms that allow you to design and develop your own website through an easy to use interface. With a website builder like WordPress, non-profits can produce beautiful, functional websites without having to understand all of the technicalities and code. Better yet, WordPress is open source software, making it a more affordable option than proprietary nonprofit software. That’s why WordPress is the best choice for non-profits.

Why Should Organizations Choose WordPress for Nonprofits?

Have you heard that 30% of websites on the internet today use WordPress? That’s an amazing figure when you think about all of the website builder platforms that are available – including Joomla, Wix, GoDaddy and Weebly, not to mention custom design and other proprietary software options. For the same reasons why so many people and companies choose WordPress, here are the reasons why WordPress is a great option for your non-profit organization.

WordPress for Nonprofits: User Friendly Interface

WordPress Is Known for a User Friendly Interface

One of the most well-known features of WordPress is that the website editor is intuitive and user-friendly, allowing for almost anyone to create a website. This means that a non-profit organization can have the autonomy to update their website with new developments at any time, without the need and expense of a webmaster or designer. Keeping website content fresh is key to engaging your audience, after all.

WordPress Has Tons of Powerful Integrations and Plug-Ins for Nonprofits

Since WordPress is an open-source software platform (open-sourced means that developers can modify the code to create new tools and features), this opens up the doors for WordPress to have a library full of helpful tools that are available at the click of a button.

DoJiggy has implemented the best features of WordPress for nonprofits and schools. The default functions that come ready-to-use with the website templates include complex donation functionality (tribute giving, recurring monthly giving), membership management, an eCommerce store for product or school spirit sales, on-page tools to implement SEO (search engine optimization), integration with Google for website analytics, blog features and social media sharing.

For any solution that your website needs, there is likely a plug-in ready to install to help solve it on WordPress. DoJiggy can assist with these custom integrations to meet your organization’s needs. The WordPress library is rich with different plug-ins and integrations that can help meet the needs of a non-profit organization website:

  • Utilizing Google Analytics
  • Newsletter content and subscription management
  • Form and survey management
  • Collecting one-time, recurring and tribute donations
  • Booking appointments
  • Managing and displaying an events calendar
  • Lead generation and conversion
  • Language translations
  • Accounting integrations

With so many integrations and plug-ins available, designing your WordPress non-profit website to meet your organization’s goals becomes simple to do.

Powerful Integrations and Plug-Ins for WordPress Nonprofit Websites
WordPress for Nonprofits: Offers the versatility that nonprofits need

WordPress Offers Versatile Administrative Functions for User Management

If you’re working with a team that will manage your website, it’s simple to create users with different administrative roles and functions. If you have several people on your team that contribute content to your website or blog, you can even give them rights to only manage their content without visibility of other user’s content. Building and managing a website doesn’t have to be a one-person team with the administrative functions available on WordPress for nonprofits.

WordPress Automates Website Optimization for Mobile Phones and Tablets

When designing a non-profit website, keep in mind that many of the users viewing the website will be doing so from a mobile phone or a tablet. Seeing a website through these devices require different specifications to assure that the content of the website fits on the page and is easy to read and interact with. Instead of having to configure and optimize your website to other devices, our WordPress nonprofit templates have these optimizations ready to go. This means that you can assure that no matter if your supporters are seeing your website on the go, in the office or from their home, they can see and interact with everything in the best format for the device that they are using.

WordPress for Nonprofits: Website Optimization for Mobile Phones and Tablets

Creating a Nonprofit Website with WordPress

Now that we’ve discussed the reasons why WordPress is an ideal solution for a great non-profit website, let’s tackle the steps on how to get a non-profit WordPress website started. Even if your organization has a website that you are planning to migrate, now is the time to start at the beginning and create the optimal website for your organization.

WordPress for Nonprofits: Website Goals and Target Audience

Step 1: Determine Website Goals and Target Audience

The most important step to begin with is to determine what you want your non-profit website to accomplish. Determine the top two to three goals that the WordPress non-profit website should achieve, ideally with tangible outcomes to measure the success of your results. For example, educating prospective donors is a very broad goal. A more tangible goal is to educate prospective donors by consistently increasing newsletter subscribers by 5% per month. Another goal can be to effectively show the impact of the organization’s mission by creating impactful campaigns that result in $10,000 in online donations. These will help establish the website design and layout to determine the call-to-actions needed to achieve your desired goals.

While deciding your goals, it may also be important to establish your target audience. For example, if the website is for a school, the target audience are the prospective and current students, parents or caregivers and community donors. Perhaps your goal is to recruit new students for the school. The audience would differ if you were an organization targeting young professionals seeking to mentor students within inner city schools. While many non-profit websites generally target a general audience, if the audience of the non-profit is more targeted, the website design should speak and appeal to your target audience.

Branding and Design for the WordPress Non-Profit Website

Step 2: Develop Nonprofit Branding and Design 

After establishing the key goals of your website, decide the brand and theme of your website. The brand of a non-profit website includes the color schemes, logo and font that will be consistently used throughout the website to imprint your organization’s “look” when website visitors see your website. There are certain fonts and color schemes that are easily associated with such themes. WordPress has plenty of themes available that can fit the brand and image that works with your non-profit organization. The theme should be cohesive with your brand, such as classy, modern or youthful.

Read more on non-profit website branding practices.

Nonprofit Design Best Practices

Here are some helpful best practices to help maximize your non-profit website’s goals.

Creating a Non-Profit Website with WordPress: Present Clear Calls-to-Action

Present Clear Calls-to-Action

A call-to-action is a website button or function that drives the website visitor to perform a desired action. Having prominent call-to-action buttons are one of the first basic principles of non-profit website best practices. If a desired call-to-action is to make a donation, make sure that DONATE NOW is on the header of the website. All of our non-profit website templates prominently display the Donate Now button, because every organization wants to raise money. Another popular call-to-action is to subscribe to the non-profit newsletter, which should also be noticeable within the footer of the website.

Creating a Non-Profit Website with WordPress: Saying Less Means More

Saying Less Often Means More

Have you ever seen a website page with no visuals and heavy content? Changes are, you didn’t stay around to read it all. Saying less with words and more with images and photos can be more effective in communicating your mission to website visitors. Be sure to use beautiful, impactful images on your website.

Creating a Non-Profit Website with WordPress: Funnel Results into a Nonprofit Donor Management/CRM System

Funnel Results into a Nonprofit Donor Management/CRM System

Your nonprofit website is the face of your organization, but the data that you get from the website is really the key. Streamlining is the magic word here, and being able to aggregate all of the call-to-action data results into a strong non-profit CRM and donor management system is vital to your non-profit’s success. Not to mention making life easier for you and your non-profit’s development team down the road when it comes to managing fundraising campaigns.

Use Social Media for great non-profit websites

Use Social Media Often

Social media is a great way to further engage your supporters as well as establish an initial point of contact with new prospects on your website. These visitors can eventually turn into donors, event participants or volunteers, if kept in the loop on your non-profit’s campaigns and mission. Displaying social media icons prominently on your website and keeping social media content fresh (with short, daily posts is best) is a non-profit fundraising strategy that leads to success

Creating a Non-Profit Website with WordPress: Website Sitemap

Step 3: Plan the Nonprofit Website Sitemap

Creating a website is like taking a trip to a destination by car. To get there quickly and effectively, it would help to have a map on hand to know how to get there. Designing and navigating websites work similarly, with the help of a sitemap. Sitemaps can often be seen in the footer of many websites and show the tree of how the website pages are laid out. Having the sitemap planned out makes it simpler to plan out the content needed for each page. Here are some web pages to consider including when using WordPress for nonprofits:

  • Home Page
  • About Us
  • Gallery
  • Testimonials
  • Donation Page
  • Fundraiser Support Page/Marketing Support
  • Get Involved/Volunteer
  • Contact Us
  • Meet the Staff
  • Events/Calendar
  • Blog
  • Online Store

Some of these will be sub-pages under certain web pages, such as About Us can further break out to Our Organization, Gallery and Meet the Staff. Get Involved can further break out to Volunteer, Events/Calendars, Fundraiser Support Page and Volunteer. While this can be overwhelming to plan, DoJiggy has plenty of great WordPress nonprofit themes and layouts that already do the hard work for you. Even if your website is for a school, there are plenty of layouts that DoJiggy offers that are created to achieve the website goals specific for schools.

Read more on how to create a non-profit organization website.

Creating a Non-Profit Website with WordPress: Stellar Website Content

Step 4: Create Stellar Website Content

If you want your WordPress nonprofit website to be found, the website needs to provide great content that people are searching for. Content includes the website copy, graphics and images. As well, you must present the website content in the manner that search engines need. This is called SEO – search engine optimization. Click here for a helpful guideline on SEO tactics for non-profit websites.

Here are some helpful tips when creating non-profit website content.

 

Website Copy

Website Copy

Website copy should be inviting, concise and effective. When a website is too wordy, especially on the home page, this can deter new website visitors from clicking further. However, there are certain pages that can go in further depth with more copy, such as blogs and newsletters. When writing more text-heavy pages, make sure to implement SEO practices to optimize placement within search engines.

Graphics

Graphics

Graphics not only include your logo, but also graphs and infographics. With helpful pie charts, bar graphs and other helpful graphics, there are easy-to-understand ways of clearly communicating the impact of your organization in as few words as possible. Infographics should also be created using the same branding scheme (color scheme and font) and shared widely.

Images

Images

Images and photos can perhaps be most effective in storytelling. Using thoughtfully photographed images that are high-resolution can captivate your website visitors on your home page. Some helpful kinds of images to use are photos of the audience that your non-profit organization helps and volunteers during an effort or special events (such as your walk-a-thon fundraiser).

Here are some more helpful content and design tips to consider when creating the content for your non-profit organization.

Features of Our Non-Profit WordPress Websites

While your team is busy planning your website design and content, there are many technical features and recommended services that a WordPress nonprofit website needs to include. Let us handle the techie stuff!

Secure and Protected Transactions

Secure Transactions

An extremely important factor when handling personal and payment information are website security features. You want to assure your donors feel safe when giving to your cause. This includes encryption when processing credit card payments, an SSL certificate for your website to secure connections during sensitive transactions and securing a trusted merchant partner to process payments. DoJiggy is a PCI compliant provider, so your transactions are always secure.

Website Hosting

Reliable Website Hosting

Hosting is like the website’s home – it’s where your website lives. The website host stores all of the memory and data within your non-profit website and allows it to be viewed online. Not all hosting services are created equal. Some key features to look for in a non-profit website hosting platform include fast and reliable website connection speeds and great technical support. Our servers are hosted in the industry-standard Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud, with over 99% up-time.

Donation Software Support

Functional CRM Integrations 

Streamlining all of the information that is gathered from your WordPress nonprofit website into usable data for your development team is key to sustainable growth. Your constituent data includes information gathered from donations, memberships, newsletter subscribers, event attendees and volunteers. Do you have all of this information directed towards your CRM or are you continually pulling it together from different silos of information? We can help with our nonprofit CRM integrations.

Getting Started with WordPress for Nonprofits

Getting Started with WordPress for Non-Profits

If you’re looking to get started on creating a WordPress non-profit website for your organization now, DoJiggy can help with all of the steps to get your organization up and running. Instead of tediously going through all of the hard work of creating a layout for your non-profit, DoJiggy has WordPress templates that already execute the best practices in a website design for non-profit organizations. To learn more about our WordPress websites for non-profit organizations, click here to view our WordPress packages and pricing tiers.

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