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options-nonprofit-website-development

Nonprofit Website Development: What Are Your Options?

Emily

Excellent nonprofit website building is vital to the survival of your organization. Your nonprofit website is recruiter, educator, and promoter. That means that it needs to be dynamic, engaging, and contain well-designed images to draw the eyes of your various audiences whether they are potential donors and other members or supporters. Nonprofit website design can be done in a variety of ways, and in this guide we will give an overview of some of the main solutions available for your organization. 

Let’s go!

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Solution #1: Develop Your Organization’s Website With an In-house Team

If your organization has a strong technical team, then creating a homepage in-house may be an option for you. This means that you would have to handle the entire project yourself from A to Z (from conception all the way through development), so be sure that your team has the right technical skills to handle it. You should have at least one expert working on it, though we definitely recommend that this website team project not be delegated to just one person (see below). 

options-nonprofit-website-development-in-houseOliver wonders "to be in-house, or not to be in-house?" That is the question.

Before your developers get started, make sure to research nonprofit website best practices to ensure that your new website gets all of the basics and new features available. Take a look at other nonprofits too, you may get some great ideas when you check out what their sites offer. 

Pros

  • Create a custom website, 100% personalized and customized to your organization’s needs

  • Your organization will always have full control of the website management

Cons

  • This option can be expensive

  • Technical responsibility falls entirely on the shoulders of staff (and this can be a heavy load)

  • You will need to be careful who takes care of the nonprofit website design

    • Do not rely entirely on one person, especially if they are a volunteer

    • There are too many nonprofit site projects that become blocked because the volunteer ended up leaving the organization

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Solution #2: Use a Freelancer to Develop Your Nonprofit Website

When using a freelancer to create a nonprofit website, you take care of all the planning, and then decide on just what your site needs. Next, you will hire a freelance developer to create that vision. A professional developer will be able to let you know what features are and are not technically possible within the timeline, budget, and proposed tool. This of course means that you should research answers to the question of "what should a nonprofit website include?"

When you have a good idea of which elements are important, you can then focus on those that are most important for the growth of your own mission.

Pros

  • Will often get your website up quickly 

  • Can be cheaper than other options

  • Developers are often easy to find on the right platforms

Cons

  • Your organization is dependent on the freelancer, and you do not internally control your own website

  • You will need to pay every time you need your freelancer to update your CMS, plugins, or other tools

  • As freelancer’s often take on multiple projects simultaneously, response time may be longer than anticipated

Pro Tip: If you are looking for freelancers, use platforms such as UpWork or Fiverr. They will help you to find the right person for your project, as you will be able to view their profile page and previous projects. 

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Solution #3: Develop Your Website With a Specialized Web Agency

Using a specialized agency is similar to hiring a freelancer, although it offers a more professional solution. Of course, this means that it is also typically more expensive. The experts will be very familiar with all of the important elements necessary to nonprofit website development, for example, an easily-accessible donations page, calls-to-action, engaging visuals, user-friendly support, and other features and integrations. If your nonprofit organization has the budget to support hiring a specialized web agency, it is well worth the cost. 

options-nonprofit-website-development-web-agencySam is in talks with a web agency to build his nonprofit's website!

Pros

  • More guarantees in terms of rending quality

  • Agencies can also help you out on the conception steps and advise you, they are not only a technical executor

Cons

  • This is a more expensive option

  • You are not always going to be sure about how the follow-up will be after the project is released. 

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Solution #4: Use a "No-Code" Solution to Develop Your Nonprofit Website Yourself 

When using a no-code web building option, you can create a website easily with no technical knowledge required. This may take some time, but in the end at least you and your members will not need anyone else’s help to use and manage it on a daily basis. Many of these options offer all the elements needed to create an effective new website for your nonprofit’s users: not just the basics, but more advanced features that can help your organization achieve its primary goal. 

Pros

  • Allows a solution that does not require a third party implementer

  • Easy to use, even for those who are not computer savvy

  • Allows you to have a quality website without a lot of effort

Cons

  • Careful research on a potential solution is required as custom features are not available

Pro Tip: There are lots of solutions you can choose from, such as Strikingly, Wix, Wordpress, or Weebly. But to make sure the features match your nonprofits needs, you can also look for nonprofit specialized solutions such as Springly! It is easy to use, made for nonprofits, and allows users to create free websites for nonprofits. 

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Final Thoughts

Whichever solution you choose, make sure that you are focusing on the best practices for nonprofit website development. One of the primary goals for these pages is increased interest, so make sure that you are adding important brand markers like your logo, and quality content like infographics, videos, and informative and authoritative articles. Using a specialized web builder for nonprofits like Springly can help guide your efforts in the right direction. 

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Springly is trusted by over 20,000 nonprofits to help them run their organizations on a daily basis. Try it, test it, love it with a 14-day free trial!

Communication & Marketing
Emily