Should my nonprofit or foundation have a website? If so, where do we start?
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. Tens of millions of people around the world have access to your profile's data directly at Guidestar or through other websites, such as Facebook Fundraisers. You can even add a "donate" button, just like on your website. 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.
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.
To build your own website, here are some excellent articles to help you get started:
- Tips for Designing (or Redesigning) a Nonprofit Website | TechSoup
- How to Choose a CMS for Your Nonprofit | TechSoup
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, our free self-assessment tool and Transparency Challenge provide foundations with a handy checklist of content to consider including on your foundation website.
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.
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48in48 connects local nonprofits and skilled marketing and technology professionals. At the end of these 48 hours, 48 local nonprofits have new, professional, websites as well as a fresh marketing strategy. Before the main event, each nonprofit takes part in 6-10 weeks of marketing, branding, and impact training.