Nonprofits that need a website have a dilemma: A website can be great for raising the profile of the organization, but a website built on a shoestring may fail to deliver its message nor get traction for the cause.
There are basics needed for all websites:
- A front page: the intro and the summary of what your nonprofit does.
- A contact us page: a way for the public to contact your organization.
- Social sharing: make the content appealing and engaging when shared via social media.
For non-profit website should have (at a minimum):
- A mission statement, telling visitors what you’re all about.
- Details on what you do and why it matters.
- News and/or a blog: keep people apprised of the most recent updates and successes.
- Bio sections for your organization’s key members, staff, or partners.
- Compelling imagery, incorporated throughout your site.
- A way to accept donations, if you solicit donations from the public.
- Calls to action (CTA): prompt visitors to sign up, email, volunteer, donation or share information about your non-profits’ goals.
Putting together a site with these elements isn’t all that hard. With some organization and some work, it’s easy to put together an effective site.
How To Fund A Nonprofit Website
Nonprofits are chronically underfunded: they need to put their money into the work they do. Nonprofits need to save money but some expenses are unavoidable: electricity, phone bills, office supplies. Website development and web hosting could be something solicited for as a donation, but there is an alternative: a sponsored website.
Websites can be expensive, but they’re an investment in a nonprofit’s outreach and marketing. When done right, they can help to achieve organizational goals: publicizing accomplishments, attracting new support, raising awareness, and publishing key documents (budgets, AGM reports, etc.).
Fundraising campaigns have typical avenues. Pleas via email, website and social media but there are a few other options when it comes to fundraising for a subscription-based website service.
Here are seven ways to cover off both ongoing expenses of a nonprofit and the costs directly associated with running a website:
Accept Online Donations
Before fundraising online, there needs to be a mechanism to accept donations: a bank account, a payment processor, and linkage to said payment processing. That linkage can come as a link to an established system like Canada Helps. It can be a recurring donation through a system on a website (ie. GiveWP). It could also be a payment form linked to the charity’s bank account via Paypal or Stripe.
Getting a process in place to accept donations directly through your online marketing makes it easier on donors.
This one is an oldie but a goody: ask people for money. Phone them or email and ask for the money needed. If this is a fundraiser to afford the website in the first place, understand the costs associated with the web design and the hosting. Make that your goal to reach.
Use any established donors and supporter lists. Craft an appeal to email and send the request through to them with a means of donation: via eInterac, via Paypal or whatever system you may have in place to receive donations.
This one is a given for most non-profits: there are grants available from government and foundations who want to see an organization use the Internet to achieve their goals. Working with a designer will let a non-profit get a firm number for the grant application and provide assistance with the application process.
Crowdfunding has surged in popularity: platforms like GoFundMe and IndieGogo can be used to both collect donations, update donors, and share your message. We have helped with a number of campaigns. In one case, it was to raise money for a cancer victim’s family; in another, it was completion money for the first in a book series. There are different sorts of campaigns available. A campaign could be “all or nothing.” If it doesn’t reach its fundraising goal all of the donations revert to their donors. Crowdfunding needs its own set-up and the level of effort can be great, but so can the payoff.
Sponsored Web Pages
Does the website need some community champions? When little league teams need support, they canvas the local business community. They ask for support and in exchange, they put up banners of the businesses and make mention of them. The pages of a nonprofit’s website can be sponsored by businesses with a recognition and link through to their business.
If the site has some very handy information, maybe it draws a lot of traffic. If that’s the case, it could be a good candidate for banner ads. Google Adsense is more strict in its application process, but it is still a decent way for a popular site to earn an income.
If Google Adsense doesn’t appeal for whatever reason, it is easy to set-up a banner system in a website to link through to your own list of advertisers. Often that takes more upkeep than tasking it off to an advertising service.
How do you raise money to fund your subscription-based nonprofit website? Have any other fundraising ideas? Anything that we missed? Contact us.