With over 1.5 million charities and tax-exempt organizations in the United States alone, it’s not that hard to see why you might need a website for yours.
We see it everyday. Charities compete for airtime during sporting events. New social media challenges seem to pop up every week, pushing different causes.
Then we have charities that get in trouble, making it even more difficult for the morally-sound charities to keep their footing in a cluttered and uneasy market.
A website tends to help quite a bit with the problem, seeing as how you can prove your credibility and give people a way to donate without any issues.
Therefore, we want to walk you through the process of building a charity or NGO website with WordPress.
Problems You May Encounter When Accepting Donations
We’ve already covered two problems you may encounter when asking people for donations: First, they may not trust your organization. Second, people may have a hard time finding your organization online.
Luckily, a WordPress site is fairly easy to setup, and it offers custom pages for proving your credibility, along with SEO tools for gaining more visibility.
As for constructing your charity WordPress site, these are the elements you’ll need:
- WordPress – Download the open source content management system here.
- A hosting account – Hosting is how your website database and files are stored and delivered to end users. It’s essential to find your own hosting, figure out how much server speed is required, and if you might end up needing your own dedicated host. Typically, a charity only needs to get a shared hosting account from a place like Dreamhost, Bluehost, or WPServeur. All three have WordPress one-click installations.
- A domain name – Buy a domain name from your host or wherever you want. This is the name of your website, like www.xyzcharity.com. Once you buy a domain you can transfer it to any host.
- A charity or NGO WordPress theme – We’ll cover some of the required elements of a charity theme below, but in general, a WordPress theme makes your site look pretty. A theme removes the need to hire a designer, and seeing as how so many themes for charities are available, it wouldn’t make much sense to get a designer in the first place.
- A donations WordPress plugin – Sometimes the themes provide donation systems, but other times you may need to get an extension to make that happen.
- A payment gateway – The gateway is how you process donations and get them into your organization’s bank account. For example, PayPal and Stripe are both completely reliable payment gateways.
- Multilingual capability – If you want to make an impact in global causes that reach across borders, you need to ensure your site has capability with many languages.
Choosing a Reliable Charity or NGO WordPress Theme
The whole point of choosing a WordPress theme is so you don’t have to spend any time developing the technical elements of your website. In turn, this means your charity won’t have to spend a bunch of money on an experienced developer.
Overall, WordPress themes make this process easier and cheaper without sacrificing quality. That begs the question, what features should you be looking for in a charity or NGO WordPress theme?
- A donation system – Sometimes you need a plugin for this, but the majority of charity themes have full donation systems for collecting through PayPal and accepting recurring donations.
- Volunteer pages – This often includes volunteer management tools and forms for people to submit that they’re interested.
- A monetary goal ticker – This way users see how much money is needed to reach a goal. It creates urgency.
- Plenty of media support – No one’s going to donate to a cause they can’t see. Therefore, photos of victims and volunteers are encouraged.
- An events calendar – For keeping in touch with your contributors and notifying people when you’re holding anything from a pancake dinner to a clothing drive.
With those features in mind, these are some of the best charity WordPress themes you can find on the market:
You also might find some other options at the following websites:
Find a Donation WordPress Plugin
Like stated before, sometimes you won’t need a donation plugin depending on your theme. But if you’re trying to convert a current WordPress site into a donation portal, or your charity theme doesn’t support donations, the following plugins should come in handy:
Another thing to consider is where in the world your donations would be coming from. If you anticipate a global initiative, multilingualism is vital. I mean, it’s important even within single countries, wherein your neighbor down the street might speak a different language than you do. The last thing you want to do is deter a donation because someone can’t understand what’s said on your charity website.
As causes generally affect people regardless of nationality, multilingual support could be important to you and your cause. The Weglot plugin offers a turnkey and performance solution to do just that. Weglot follows Google SEO multilingual best practices and supports over 60 languages (something you’ll be hard pressed to find in a regular theme). It also provides a first layer of machine translations you can modify, fine-tune, or replace yourself by ordering professional translations.
Beautiful Examples of Charity and NGO Websites Made with WordPress and Powered by Weglot
Now It’s Your Turn
The process of building a charity or NGO website with WordPress is not without its challenges. But you’re much more likely to gain exposure with a website, and the average person should be able to launch a WordPress-based site within a day or two (without the need to hire an expensive developer).
We encourage you to have fun building your charity website, and let us know in the comments below if you have any questions. We’d also like seeing other charity themes and examples of captivating websites.