How to Create a Non-Profit Website

by Patricia O'Malley; Updated September 26, 2017
There are more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations in the United States, according to the National Center for Charitable Statistics.

A nonprofit organization is a corporation just like any other business. Nonprofits use their websites for the same purposes--to spread their message and attract clients and investors. There are two primary differences between profit and nonprofit corporations. First, a nonprofit's excess funds remain in the organization's treasury instead of being paid to owners or shareholders. Second, nonprofits usually obtain tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service. Many of the organization, management, marketing and accounting principles are similar.

Step 1

Decide what components your site needs. You may want to consider multiple-page capacity, a photo gallery, events calendar, forums, a blog, an online shop and ability to accept donations for the organization. Look at some existing nonprofit sites for ideas.

Step 2

Search for sponsors online. An Internet search for "create a nonprofit website" will yield several million results. Browse the first dozen or so results, as they will probably be the most useful. Some are free, while others charge varying fees.

Step 3

Choose a sponsor that suits your needs, based on the features and templates that each offers.

Step 4

Name your site. The website's name should reflect the organizations' name, and be short and easy to remember. Nonprofit sites commonly use the .org suffix.

Step 5

Design and publish your site. Be sure to include your organization's name, address and other contact information, mission statement, services, target clientele, and staff and board names and biographies. You may want to add your newsletters and other publications, agency events, volunteer opportunities and donation instructions.

Tips

  • A website alone will not reach potential clients or donors. Market your site through publications, directories and search engine optimization techniques.

    Your site's look should be consistent with the look of your organization's other publications--logo, newsletter, letterhead, brochures and business cards.

Warnings

  • Be sure to obtain a license from your local Secretary of State's office if you plan to collect donations on your site. You can receive a fine and a jail sentence if you solicit funds from the public without the license.

References

About the Author

Patricia O’Malley began writing professionally in 1982, while working with progressive nonprofit organizations. Her articles, brochures, commentaries and other documents advocated for social services and public policies for low-income families. The "51 Corridor Community Newspaper" began publishing her column, "Community Matters," in 2008. O'Malley has a Bachelor of Arts in economics from the University of Pittsburgh.

Photo Credits

  • http, www, icon, web, website image by creative from Fotolia.com