How to Create a Low-Cost Web Presence for Your Nonprofit
Having a presence on the web for your nonprofit organization is as important as being listed in the telephone book or printing a brochure. A basic website isn’t difficult to create either. You want an overview of your agency on the home page and a few additional pages where people find out more about your organization’s leaders and programs.
Be sure to include a contact page with phone numbers and e-mail addresses. Not only does a contact page suggest that you’re available to provide more information, but it’s a means by which your organization can begin gathering e-mail addresses for further communications about events and programs as well as fundraising. And, while we’re on the subject of fundraising, you’ll also likely want to include a “donate now” feature for collecting contributions.
In good time you can add bells and whistles to your website: a gallery of photographs or short videos, articles about your field, a blog or discussion board, and much more. But do keep in mind that as you add features to your website, you’re also increasing the number and types of things that need to be maintained.
If you’re looking for assistance with creating a website, you may find free or low-cost help at a local college or university. Often students majoring in graphic arts, web design, educational technology, or technical writing are required to complete internships or culminating projects as part of their degree programs. You may find a talented, eager designer by contacting their department or by reaching out to the campus’s community service learning program. Another option is to search online for a graphic artist through Volunteer Match.
An unattended website leaves a bad impression. Broken web links and out-of-date information tell the reader that your organization isn’t paying attention to communicating with its constituents. If you’re going to have a website, assign someone in your organization the task of checking on and updating it regularly. If your budget allows, consider hiring a web design firm or web-savvy individual to create and maintain your site.