While building a nonprofit web development project is difficult and time-consuming, it’s no doubt a website is a necessity if you want to succeed as a nonprofit. Whether small or large, your nonprofit needs to communicate your causes, programs, and impact to a wider audience – and your website is undoubtedly the most important place to do so.
Which is why it’s important to invest a lot into building your nonprofit website – from design and content to creating profiles and integrating payment solutions.
Problem is, many nonprofits find it difficult to get started.
Where do we start from? Are we using an in-house team or do we go for a nonprofit web development agency? These and many questions make many nonprofits delay building or redesigning their websites.
Thankfully, this guide is here to help.
We’ll take you through the ins and outs of nonprofit web development, where to get started, and the information you need to create a stunning digital presence.
Here’s the outline
- Factors to consider before starting a nonprofit web development project
- Finding the ideal nonprofit web development agency
- Adopting a collaborative approach to web development
- Taking delivery of the final work
Let’s dig in.
Factors to consider before starting a nonprofit web development project
Before your build your nonprofit website, these are the factors you need to consider for success.
Defining your needs and goals.
The first step to creating a nonprofit website is to identify what your needs are and where you want to go with the website. This is essential whether you’re using an in-house web development team or an agency.
Not only are you able to align your designs with the overall company goals, but you’re able to get a sense of direction as to where you want to take the website. It helps your team to build great digital presence without guesswork.
While each nonprofit may have its own needs and goals, these points would help you gauge what you want and where you’re going:
- Increase online donations
- Get people to learn more about our organization
- Able to recruit and manage volunteers online
- Drive engagement and market your events
These specific points give your team a sense of direction. It informs the kind of dashboard to build and the different personas that your nonprofit web development project would have to satisfy to be useful.
While everyone’s needs differ, these are some of the most important things you’ll need for the website:
You’ll need to align your nonprofit’s branding with that of the website. This would include your choice of colors, website layout, fonts, and content.
Dedicated donation page
Donations are crucial to a nonprofit’s survival. So when building your website, you need to pay more attention to creating a dedicated donation page. Make it professional and convincing. Show how impactful donations are and what you’re going to use them for.
Memberships and volunteer profiles
If you’re a nonprofit that has members or runs volunteer programs, you would want to have these features built-in. This helps track volunteers and members in real-time.
Consider the algorithm
Your focus in developing a nonprofit website should be for the users. But that doesn’t stop you from considering the search engines that are supposed to present your website in front of the visitor. So take time to inculcate best SEO practices into your nonprofit website so it gets a better ranking.
When building a website, you also want to consider easy integrations. You should ensure that whatever third party software you need is able to integrate and work with your website’s dashboard without programs. Because you will need this integrations to handle payments and more.
Once you’re done with your needs and goals, you need to present the work to your team. Many organizations go with a development agency, so we’ll proceed on how to get going from here.
Finding the ideal nonprofit web development agency
Your next step is to find the right team that will build your website to your needs. Today, it’s very easy to find nonprofit web development agencies online through a simple Google search, but of course, it is still a necessary step. However, not all results on a search engine page are good. So this is how to actually get the best agency.
Asking your team
As your nonprofit employees about web development agencies they can recommend. You could ask them to help you search and narrow down on the proper agencies.
Talk to other nonprofit organizations
Look for nonprofit organizations with great websites, ones that you admire, and talk to them about your need for a web development agency. You can get 3 to 5 recommendations from this and add to your list of prospective agencies.
Once you’re done gathering a few, up to 10, you can sit down with your team and plan on which one to go with. You could also meet with some of these organizations at firsthand to get a demo of how they will go about building your website before committing. You should also read their case studies and ask to see their previous works.
Presenting your work to the team
Once your goals and needs are set for your nonprofit website, you need to present your goals and needs to the web development team. If you have an in-house IT department that can work on this, they’ll probably all be part of the planning process – so little presentation is needed.
However, many organizations go with web development agencies. With this, you need to outline your nonprofit goals and what you want in your website development or redesign.
Some organizations prepare a brief, documenting their needs and presenting it to the web development team. Of course, there will still have to be an in-person or video meeting session to learn more about your organization.
While the nonprofit web development agency or team will take the project from this point, it doesn’t spell the end of your responsibility as a nonprofit.
A collaborative journey
Once you select the firm that’s best suited to build or redesign your organization’s website, you need to work with them throughout the process to build or redesign your website.
The agency will go through your brief, create mockups, and start building. They will present their first prototypes for review and testing.
After your organization provides the necessary review, they proceed to create the final works. While it helps them build a great website, collaborating with your web development agency does the following as well:
It helps them determine the tech-savviness of your nonprofit IT team (if any) or your organization’s employees that will be managing the site, and how to make it simple for them.
It also helps the team to create a simple CMS that will help with updating.
Receiving your final work
By the time your website is ready, there would have been a lot of iterations and back and forth with your web development agency.
These iterations are to ensure that the branding, content, layout, and CMS are on point.
Once everything is ready, you’re good to receive your nonprofit website and get it to the world.
Build your nonprofit website now
Whether you’re building a new nonprofit website or redesign your existing website, IndieTech Solution’s team is here to help. Please reach out and we’ll get started working on your next project.