Web Development for Nonprofits: The Essential Guide
Murad Bushnaq on May 30, 2019
Your nonprofit ’ s web site serves several all-important purposes depending on your site visitors ’ previous relationship with your organization. For those companion with your nonprofit organization ’ s beneficial work, your site is a convenient location for making gifts and staying up-to-date on your latest projects. For visitors who are not even familiar with your organization, your web site is your most accessible and valuable educational resource .
To create the most effective website for your nonprofit and your visitors, begin by identifying your goals. These may include :
- Attracting new supporters.
- Increasing online giving.
- Promoting event attendance.
- Any other area in which your organization would like to boost engagement.
once you ’ ve identified your web site goals, you ’ ll be fix to determine how to accomplish them through nonprofit organization web development .
Great nonprofit organization web design is important to your organization ’ s success. Follow this essential template to find out how your nonprofit can approach the vane exploitation process :
The summons may look daunting, but with aid from the other members of your nonprofit ’ s team and web development specialists, you ’ ll be on your way to design and running a web site that visitors will return to again and again .
1. Determine your web site exploitation needs .
Whether your nonprofit organization is creating an entirely new web site or redesigning your current one, the first base step you ’ ll want to take before you embark on the world wide web development process is to determine your needs for the web site. With input from the other members of your nonprofit team, decide which features will be necessary to help you achieve your goals.
While every nonprofit ’ s goals are different, there are two common overarching needs in web development projects for all organizations ; the locate needs to be engaging for visitors and easy for your team members to update. To achieve these broad goals in addition to your nonprofit ’ s more specific objectives, ensure that you ’ re taking into circumstance :
- Web design. The layout of your site should encourage both new and return visitors to explore your nonprofit ’ s study and make contributions to support your mission. Among the top nonprofit web invention features you ’ ll want to include are signups for mailing lists or newsletters, sociable media widgets to facilitate interaction via these popular platforms, and big links to your on-line contribution page .
- Membership perks. If your organization has different membership levels or you want to share certain content with your staff or team members, make sure that your web growth project takes membership perks into bill. Choose a membership web site builder that offers an Intranet portal vein and password-protected pages to keep members or staff-only subject secure without having to create a separate web site for this information .
- An on-site donation page. Your contribution page is one of the most authoritative features of your nonprofit ’ second web site. To encourage visitors to complete their transactions and provide them with an improved giving have, make certain that your contribution page is easy to access from anywhere on your web site and bare to use. Your contribution page should be branded to your organization and look just like the early components of your web site .
- SEO features. Search engine optimization features help your nonprofit organization ’ mho web site appear more prominently in search locomotive results, drawing more visitors to your web site. Your team will want well editable SEO features built into your subject management system ( CMS ), as your staff members are probably not coding experts .
- API integrations. early in your nonprofit web development march, determine the integrations you ’ ll necessitate for your web site. If your organization is already using a part relationship management ( CRM ) arrangement or extra donor management software, make surely you build your web site using a CMS that integrates with that software. Additional software systems you ’ ll want to integrate with your web site include a requital processor for your on-line contribution foliate, event registrations and on-line store .
Determine the most crucial features you need from your nonprofit CMS and the ways in which you ’ ll use these features to highlight your administration ’ randomness function. When your nonprofit ’ mho staff members collaborate with web exploitation experts, you ’ ll be able to create an hire and highly functional web site that visitors are sure to enjoy .
2. Assemble your nonprofit organization ’ mho web development team .
One of the most authoritative future steps you ’ ll take in the nonprofit world wide web exploitation process is to divide up responsibilities for the project. To ensure that your process is both effective and capable of producing the highest quality web site, you ’ ll want to assign unlike tasks to members of your nonprofit ’ sulfur team. then, you can identify positions that you ’ ll motivation to hire others to fill .
Most likely, your nonprofit ’ mho team members have chosen to work at your administration because they ’ rhenium dedicated to furthering your mission in the communities you serve—not because they ’ ra engineering experts ! This is why choosing a non-technical CMS is much the best choice for nonprofits who are n’t familiar with coding languages .
Using a platform that doesn ’ thymine require coding cognition, your team members can easily create an engaging layout that showcases your organization ’ randomness shape and spreads your message army for the liberation of rwanda and wide .
You ’ ll profit from the expertness that specialists can bring to your plan, particularly if your nonprofit organization is new to web development. To help launch your new or revamped web site, you ’ ll likely want to consult a :
- Web designer. A site layout that is both attractive and easy to navigate is the initiation of an effective nonprofit web site. Your team members can collaborate with a web designer to translate your nonprofit organization ’ mho goals and vision into a site layout that developers and graphic designers will help you create .
- Web developer. The role of the web developer is to take the ideas your team has created in reference with the web graphic designer and turn them into a functional site. The vane developer will bring their CMS and coding expertness to your network development project .
- Graphic designer. Compelling images can help tell your nonprofit ’ mho fib arsenic well as encourage visitors to explore more of your web site and make donations. A graphic designer can help you create and incorporate effective images on your site and incorporate your nonprofit organization ’ second logo and other brand elements throughout .
- Other specialty roles. Your nonprofit may besides want to look into hiring SEO specialists, serviceability testers, web analysts, and other experts during the vane development serve to ensure that you ’ re creating the most effective and user-friendly site potential .
While your nonprofit ’ second team can accomplish a bunch of the network exploitation process on your own, particularly if you ’ ve choose to use a non-technical CMS created with organizations like yours in mind, you ’ re still likely to benefit from individuals working in web development-specific roles .
If your arrangement doesn ’ metric ton have these specialists on your team already, it may be fourth dimension to look into partnering with a nonprofit web blueprint means or world wide web development firm .
3. Conduct research on network development firms for nonprofits .
The right network development firm can help your nonprofit transform your goals and ideas into functional components of an effective fresh web site .
Make sure that your team conducts comprehensive research on all of your possible options so that you choose the best firm to meet your organization’s specific web development goals.
You ’ re looking for a vane development firm that :
- Understands your nonprofit’s overarching mission as well as more specific goals.
- Acknowledges the needs and preferences of today’s website visitors.
- Has experience and proven successes with nonprofits.
Finding a fast with all of these attributes doesn ’ t have to be a daunting as it sounds ! To choose the right world wide web design and development firm for your organization, begin by :
- Talking to other nonprofits. Reach out to other organizations whose websites you admire or whose missions are similar to yours. What web growth firms did they use, and how were their experiences with those firms ? Reading reviews of the firms you ’ ra considering is besides an important footprint in the research procedure .
- Talking to your team members. Before you begin researching web development firms, you ’ ll want to have a effective agreement of the roles that your nonprofit organization ’ sulfur team members are able of taking on. This means, you ’ ll know what skills you ’ rhenium missing so that you can hire a web development firm that specializes in those skills, leading to more effective collaboration .
- Looking up firms online. You can well begin your research process by conducting on-line searches for web growth firms that specialize in nonprofit websites. Take time to visit and explore some of the sites created by the firms you ’ ra considering. Identify the aspects of these sites that you like and dislike .
once your organization has identified respective firms you would like to reach out to, you ’ ll continue with the survival process by submitting requests for proposals ( RFPs ) to your top firms. Submitting your RFPs initiates conversations about your stick out between your nonprofit and the web development firms you ’ re most concerned in .
4. Submit RFPs to your top nonprofit web development firms .
An RFP is a document that provides prospective nonprofit web exploitation firms with all of the necessity information on your web site project. After receiving your RFP, the firms that are concern in partnering with your organization will respond with their proposals for your world wide web exploitation project .
ideally, your nonprofit organization will want to send your RFP to the top five nonprofit network growth firms that you ’ ve identified through your research work. To increase the likelihood that your top firms respond with their proposals and are enthusiastic about proceeding with your project, you’ll want to make sure that the RFP you send out is clear and to the point.
An effective RFP contains essential elements such as :
- A description of your project. What does your nonprofit organization intend to achieve by redesigning your current web site or creating a new one ? What are the primary purposes your new web site will serve for your organization ? Answers to questions like these should appear early in your nonprofit vane design RFP .
- A timeline for your project. Providing a timeline will help the web development firms you ’ rhenium considering determine whether it is feasible for them to collaborator with your nonprofit. To help firms determine whether your intended timeline is realistic for them, your RFP should contain enough of information on the setting of your project .
- A budget. many nonprofit vane development firms won ’ triiodothyronine respond to an RFP that doesn ’ t provide budget information, and your constitution doesn ’ thymine want fiscal concerns to become an hindrance to the project later in the process. Include a budget so that your prospective firms can determine whether they ’ ll be able to work with your nonprofit .
- Roles for members of your organization. If some of your team members will have significant roles in the vane exploitation march, include this data in the RFP so that your prospective firms will know where your administration is already strong and where their services will be most needed .
With an RFP that clearly delineates your plans for your nonprofit organization web development project and provides information on how the stick out fits into your organization ’ south larger goals, you ’ re certain to get responses from several of your top firms. cautiously evaluate each rival to make certain that you select the tauten with the best understand of your nonprofit organization ’ randomness web growth needs .
5. Meet the top web development firms for your nonprofit .
The best direction to ensure that you make the right choice for your nonprofit ’ south vane development plan is to familiarize yourself angstrom much as possible with the web growth firms that respond to your RFP .
The more communication and research that occurs at this stage in the process, the more likely it is that your nonprofit will be prepared for and happy with the final product of your web development process.
After your team has cautiously considered the proposals you ’ ve received in response to your RFP, it ’ sulfur time to reach out to the web development firms who are most likely to help your nonprofit achieve your goals for the project. At this stage in the process, you ’ ll want to :
- Ask to see previous work. While you may have seen samples of your prospective network development firms ’ exploit during your initial research serve, you now have the opportunity to revisit that make and other samples in conversation with the firms. What web design features do they highlight when showing you their previous cultivate, and how will those features be applied to your nonprofit ’ mho vane exploitation summons ?
- Ask for references. Reach out to other nonprofits that your prospective web development firms have worked with and discuss those organizations ’ experiences with your prospective firms. Select a tauten with a history of being helpful, timely, and understand .
- Meet in person or via online conferences. communication is of central importance before you agree to get started on a network development process in partnership with a web design agency. Make indisputable that members of your team meet members of the firm in person or through on-line services such as Google Hangouts or Uber Conference before agreeing to begin work .
The proper firm for your nonprofit organization ’ mho world wide web blueprint stick out is one that has a demonstrated record of choice exploit, a reputation for professionalism and understanding, and a willingness to collaborate with your team members to produce the best potential web site. Once you ’ ve found this firm, you can sign a narrow and embark on the web growth process to create your ideal nonprofit organization web site .
6. Choose the firm that best fits your web exploitation needs .
Identifying the properly web exploitation firm for your nonprofit organization ’ south future web invention project is a major skill, and your team should feel proud of what you ’ ve accomplished and excited about what ’ s ahead !
After selecting a firm from those that submitted proposals in response to your RFP, your nonprofit will be ready to sign a contract or statement of work with them and begin putting your web development plans into action.
The firm that you choose should be the one that :
- Has a strong understanding of your nonprofit’s expectations and goals. Whether your new site is chiefly intended to encourage more supporter engagement, draw new visitors, partake updates on your most holocene work more effectively, or achieve early goals, your tauten should understand your priorities and reflect them in the site they help you create .
- Provides your team with the assistance and resources you need. Your tauten should have a good understanding of how tech-savvy your team members are and provide everyone involved with the appropriate level of aid. A vane development tauten that uses a nontechnical CMS is already providing your team with one of the most crucial tools you can use to maintain and update the web site as necessary .
- Can work collaboratively with your team throughout the web development process. Your web development firm should be highly capable of transforming your team ’ sulfur creativity into the diverse components of an effective web site. Choose a web development firm that is capable of communicating and working well with your team members .
Creating a new or revamped web site presents an excellent opportunity for members of your nonprofit ’ mho team to think through different aspects of your mission and how you can best communicate them to new and return audiences .
7. Partner with your chosen firm to create a great nonprofit web site .
An ideal nonprofit web site is one that is both engaging to visitors and easy for your arrangement ’ south team to keep update with all of your most holocene information .
When you partner with a web development firm that specializes in working with nonprofits, your firm will help you create a website that not only looks great but is also easy for you to use.
As you and your chosen web development firm work together to create a beautiful site for your nonprofit organization, you ’ ll benefit from features like :
- A CMS that your visitors and your team will find easy to use. A custom CMS like Morweb ’ randomness is designed so that nonspecialists without across-the-board coding have can update the web site easily. Look for a web development tauten offering a CMS that allows non-technical users to jump right into the march !
- A drag-and-drop interface. once your locate is up and running, you ’ ll want to update the layout of versatile pages on juncture to refresh the locate ’ s appearance and keep visitors engaged. A CMS that features a drag-and-drop interface is slowly for any of your team ’ s members to use, careless of their charge of technological background .
- A mobile-responsive site. As we become more attach to our smartphones and increasing numbers of supporters prefer to make their gifts online, it ’ south substantive that the site you create is mobile-responsive. sour with your world wide web development firm to create a site that looks and functions equally well on mobile, tablet, laptop, and desktop devices .
collaboration is key to a beautiful and effective nonprofit organization web site. When your administration works in concert with your chosen web exploitation tauten to bring your alone strengths to the project, you ’ ll create a web site that will spread your nonprofit ’ south mission and encourage increased giving.
Partner with a web development firm focused on nonprofits. Book a free consultation!