Having a digital presence is one thing. Growing that digital ecosystem to a higher level as a nonprofit is another thing. With WordPress powering about 40% of all websites in the world, chances are your nonprofit website runs on WordPress too.
While WordPress is a popular content management system (CMS) among nonprofits, you can’t get the best out of it by doing what everyone does. The best way to achieve its full potential is to leverage the many plugins that the platform provides. But as a nonprofit, the myriad of plugins can be confusing – and time-consuming trying to decide which plugin to go for.
Which is why we’re doing the hard work for you. In this guide, we bring you some of the best plugins you need as a nonprofit organization running on WordPress, and how to leverage these plugins for success online. Whether you’re looking for a great nonprofit online form maker or donation-related plugins, there are lots of plugins at your disposal.
WordFence – for security
Your first step after building your nonprofit website is to keep it safe from bad actors. This is where the WordFence plugin comes in. It’s a tool that will scan your website and make sure that any security issues are dealt with. Here are some of the most important features that WordFence has to protect your nonprofit website:
- It monitors your site’s live traffic in order to detect unusual activities or hacking attempts.
- WordFence is able to block attacks in real-time and also use previous attack attempts to create rules based on the attacker’s range to prevent future breaches.
- Its premium version also allows you to block visits from certain countries. If you’re a nonprofit focused on just a certain country or region, you can use this feature to help you filter your traffic.
- WordFence tracks live security events on your websites, including logins and wrong password entries, as well as any other suspicious activity.
- Apart from scanning the entire site, it also scans URLs, files, posts, comments, and any other content activity for chances of a breach – and gives you a report.
WordFence has over 3,000 5 Star reviews, so it’s surely a great tool. It also gets regular updates from its developers, making it up to date with the latest security protocols. It has a free and premium version for those who need more features and power.
Other great security plugins
- Sucuri Security
UpdraftPlus – Backup
Things happen and your website could go crashing anytime. That’s why it’s necessary to have a backup of your entire site so that when something happens and you can’t find your content, you can restore from your backup and have all your content back. One of the best plugins on WordPress for backup is UpdraftPlus. Here’s what you can do with this plugin on your nonprofit website
- Backup your entire website to the cloud
- Be able to restore your content whenever you have a security breach
- You can also schedule automatic backups and restorations – and the plugin will take care of everything once the time set is up.
- It allows you to backup your site with a cloud provider of your choice – including Google Drive, DropBox, Microsoft Azure, OneDrive, Google Cloud Storage, Rackspace Cloud, Amazon S3, and many other cloud service providers.
UpdraftPlus is a free plugin with over 3 million active installations and more than 4 thousand 5 start reviews. These many people can’t be wrong.
Other Backup Plugins on WordPress
- Jetpack Backups
- WP Time Capsule
- BackUp WordPress
YOAST – Search Engine Optimization
As a nonprofit, you would want your WordPress website to be among the most viewed out there. However, there’s a lot of work to be done before you get there – and the YOAST plugin is great for the job. Here’s what’s possible with YOAST on your nonprofit CMS.
- Yoast helps you review your content for search engine friendliness and readability – helping you create and edit your content for the visitor even before you publish.
- You can use Yoast to add a table of contents that can rank your site on Google Searches, as well as help you do subpages, internal linking, and a lot of other stuff.
- With Yoast, you’re able to see how your blog post or site’s content looks like on Google Search even before you publish.
- Helps you handle your site in a way that’s good to search engines, including helping your site solve canonical, meta tags, and XML sitemap issues.
YOAST is said to be the most used WordPress Plugin with more than 5 million active installations, over 25,000 5 star reviews, and comes in about 50 different languages.
Other SEO plugins (YOAST alternatives)
- All in One SEO for WordPress (AIOSEO)
- Google Search Console
GiveWP – Donations
Donations are your lifeblood as a nonprofit, and being able to accept these donations on your website is a great way to get funding for your projects. The GiveWP plugin is one of the most downloaded tools on WordPress that’s built purposely for nonprofits to raise funds. Here’s what you can do with the GiveWP donation plugin:
- Build custom donation forms, with access to great templates even for the absolute newbie.
- It gives you the power to add and configure donation amounts, terms, and conditions, as well as integrates seamlessly with your WordPress theme to make giving simple.
- With GiveWP, you can view a complete report of the donation activities on your website, export data, and reports, and measure performance through several campaigns.
- GiveWP also allows you to integrate with third-party services via their API.
The plugin has more than 100,000 active installations and over 400 5 star reviews on WordPress. If your nonprofit needs donations, you can’t go wrong using GiveWP.
Other donations related plugins
- Easy PayPal Donation
- WP Crowdfunding
- Seamless Donation
The Events Calendar – planning events
Events happen throughout the year in the nonprofit industry and you wouldn’t want your organization to miss any. The Events Calendar plugin is a great way to display events on your website – be it the ones that you’re creating or the ones you want your audience to attend. The plugin allows you to:
- Simply create and manage events
- Get a view of your events in different formats – day, list, monthly, or weekly views
- Integrate with Google maps to give people directions to the venue
- Easily integrate a search feature. This is especially useful if you’re running multiple events during a period.
The Events Calendar is used by a lot of organizations on your WordPress website. Its responsiveness makes it possible to be viewed on tablet, mobile, or desktop without distractions. With over 1,400 5 star reviews and more than 800 thousand installs, this is a great tool for building and managing your nonprofit events.
Other event plugins
- WP Event Manager
- All-in-One Event Calendar
Smush – image optimization
Images on your website are great in communicating your offering as a nonprofit and keep your users glued. However, images that are too big or have low quality can affect how visitors see or interpret content on the website and even also affect your website’s loading time. The Smush plugin can solve this.
- The Smush plugin helps by compressing images but still retaining the quality on your WordPress website
- The plugin allows you to compress multiple (up to 50) images at a time.
- It can process all your images – PND, GIF, or JPEG, etc.
Whether you’re uploading an image to use on your website or on your blog, this plugin is great for your WordPress site.
WP Forms – form builder
If your looking to build forms on your website, then WP Forms is the best plugin out there for the job. It comes with great features, allowing you to build any form of your choice, from donations and contact forms, to email forms.
The WP forms has a free version, which is the WPForms Lite, which is ideal if you’re a small or medium nonprofit. If you have the resources however, you can go for the paid version.
Both allow for great integrations with email marketing services such as Constant Contact, MailChimp, and AWeber among others.
Other form builders
- Formidable Forms
- Contact Form 7
- Jetpack Form
- Caldera Forms
From donors to nonprofits, you need some social proof on your website to show visitors what you’re doing. This can be done by featuring testimonials from your volunteers, corporate partners, and donors, and the Testimonials Widget is one of the best plugins for this.
This free WordPress plugin will allow you to display testimonials anywhere on your website, including in blog posts, widget areas, footer, sidebar, or on any page of your choice. It’s easy to set up and the interface is simple for even a non-technical person to grasp.
Polylang – language plugin (accessibility)
Part of your responsibilities as a nonprofit is to operate an inclusive and accessible website. And doing so means that those who don’t understand the primary language of your website should still be able to view it in their language of choice. This is the job of the Polylang plugin.
With Polylang, you can create a bilingual and multilingual website so visitors can read your site in their language of choice. It also allows visitors to switch from one language to another on your website.