Setting up a website for your not-for-profit organisation (NFP) or charity may seem like a large task. Between writing effective text, and setting up a secure site, there seems an endless array of tasks to do.
The following 7 steps are designed to help you in your mission to create a wonderful website for your NFP, without the stress or hassle.
Dollars & Sense
An important first step is to make sure that you’ve set out and planned a budget for your website. There’s no use committing to a site or a plan that has costs which can’t be met, especially if you’re relying on funds donated by others.
Create a budget based upon what you can afford to spend in a year, and make sure it allots money towards the following:
- Buying a web domain
- Paying for web hosting
- Allowing e-commerce (if you’re selling products, or accepting donations online)
- Professional email hosting
- Website design
- Website SEO and SEM (if applicable)
- Website marketing
Finding Your Host
Once you’ve set aside enough money to fund the entire process, it’s time to decide on a host. Not all businesses who offer hosting are made equally – some offer packages (including a domain name, email hosting, e-commerce and more), while others specialise in bare-bones essentials.
Host Geek, Singapore’s most trusted web hosting company, can provide all of the above services, while also offering SSL certification – an essential addition if your NFP is selling products or accepting donations online.
You may also wish to purchase a domain which is specific to charitable organisations and NFPs. These end in .org, and are more tightly controlled than other domain types. The use of a .org address can help to signify to potential supporters that your organisation is an authentic and certified charity/NFP.
Creating effective and compelling copy and imagery is another large part of setting up your website. Some basics (like correct spelling, grammar and turn of phrase) will help to ensure that your site is taken seriously. Documenting the origins of your charity or NFP is a good start, and sharing stories which reflect on the work you do (and intend to continue doing) in a positive light is a great way to encourage involvement and support for your NFP/charity.
Outline Your Mission Statement
As a follow on from having good copy and content, it’s also wise to try to outline succinctly what your overall mission statement is as an NFP. If your goal is to be the foremost organisation of its kind, outline how you aim to achieve this, and outline why you wish to achieve this.
By setting a clear mission goal, you make it easier for potential supporters to engage with you, and for them to see how funds and support will be directed.
As with any consumable or tangible product, effective branding plays a part in how your NFP is perceived. Having a clear and repeated theme, with unified visuals and supporting content will help you to present consistent content across multiple platforms (if you have them) and will also help if you have multiple staff or volunteers.
To Market, To Market
Once your website is up and running, you may be interested in setting up SEM and/or SEO. Search Engine Optimisation and Search Engine Marketing are techniques your NFP can employ in order to be more easily found via search engines (such as Google). Your web host may be able to provide help with setting up a campaign, or you can choose one of thousands of Google resellers. Setting up an effective keyword based campaign takes time – so make sure to allot a decent amount of budget into this task.
Sharing Is Caring
Another effective and overlooked way to spread the word about your new website is through cross-platform promotion. It’s easy to create Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages for your NFP at the same time as your website, and integrate the content from these platforms into your site (and vice versa). Many of your potential supporters may only use one platform, so it’s important to spread your marketing across multiple platforms in order to engage users.
Setting up a website for your NFP or charity is much simpler than you think. By setting out the budget and following a few easy steps, you’ll be well on your way to creating a website worthy of your cause.