Yes, your nonprofit or foundation should have a website. A website is one of the best ways to tell your own story accurately and in a context of your own choosing. At the very least, a website can provide users with updated contact details and the mission and vision behind your organization. A well-designed website is also great for improving communications, spreading your reach beyond local advocates, and for building legitimacy and public trust. And the good news is you don't necessarily need a lot of money or technical skills to design a professional looking website.

If your nonprofit organization currently lacks a website, consider using Candid’s GuideStar profile as a place where your audiences can go to learn more about your work and purpose. GuideStar profiles provide a free platform where charities can share their mission statement, activities, finances, outcomes, and more. And if you do already have a website, GuideStar will issue you a Transparency Seal so you can display your commitment to transparency on your website.

Foundations interested in learning how to design effective websites can refer to Candid Learning for Funders, which was designed to encourage greater foundation transparency.  Specifically, this free self-assessment tool provides a handy checklist of content to consider including on your foundation website.

Below is a round-up of helpful resources to help both nonprofits and foundations design effective websites. To get started, here are some excellent articles to help you create your organization’s website:

Websites and Foundation Transparency

You might be surprised to learn that only approximately 10 percent of U.S. foundations have websites. As a result, information about foundation grantmaking, program areas, and purpose are not readily available to grantseekers or even to those working in philanthropy. Below are some resources to help you ensure your foundation’s website is designed with transparency and effectiveness in mind:

For Foundations

Foundations can take control of telling their own story by sharing information about the grants they've awarded through a free Candid profile account. You'll get a compelling data visualization map of the work you're doing that you can share with your board, staff, media and supporters. See a map sample here.

Any foundation (including operating foundations), grantmaking public charity, or corporation that provides funding or engages in direct program work can register for a Candid profile account.

Visit Candid's Use Our Data page for more tools and resources.

For Nonprofits

To get started, here are some excellent articles to help you create your nonprofit's website:

A website isn't the only way that potential donors and supporters can learn about you online. Request access to your nonprofit's GuideStar profile and update it for free with information that describes what you do, where your money goes and how you evaluate your work.

Tens of millions of people around the world have access to your profile's data directly at Guidestar or through other websites, such as AmazonSmile. You can even add a "donate" button, just like on your website.

Your GuideStar data also appears on 16 community foundation sites and all U.S.-based donor-advised funds, such as Fidelity Charitable. Donor-advised funds are the nonprofit sector's fastest-growing fundraising source.

This video explains more and helps you get started.

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