WordPress is a versatile Content Management System that can be used to run a wide variety of websites, including websites for non-profits and charities. Owing to the large collection of plugins and themes that can help you get more out of WordPress, setting up a charity website using WP has become an easy process.
So, how do you get started with WordPress when building a website for a non-profit organization or a charity group? This WordPress guide shall answer all your questions.
Setting up a website for a charity or non-profit body is different from setting up an eCommerce store. Most charity organizations come with unique needs and requirements — if you are selling t-shirts and the sale proceeds are used for a charitable cause, your requirements would be different from someone running a volunteer-based organization about medical aid. In the first case, you would need an eCommerce solution in addition to a donations’ management plugin, whereas in the second case, you probably would not be needing an eCommerce plugin.
Similarly, most charity organizations are required to adhere to a specific set of laws that govern the land where they operate from. This can involve showcasing your physical address to anyone donating funds to your organization, or clearly defining your purpose and motives behind the charitable tasks. As such, any WordPress theme that you select should have room for such information and be flexible enough to suit the varying needs of non-profit websites and blogs.
This means you need to pay special attention to the WordPress themes that you select. Further, you also need to rely on a good collection of WordPress plugins to help you properly set up your website.
What to Look for in a WordPress Theme for Charity and Non-Profit Websites?
You cannot simply pick any random theme for your charity organization’s website. Instead, you need to make note of your requirements, and then find a suitable theme.
For instance, the WordPress theme that you pick should, by all means, be minimal and clean. This is because charity organizations tend to showcase their work on the site — pretty much like an artist. As such, your WordPress theme should be able to let the content do the talking.
Beyond that, the WordPress theme should showcase links to social networks very prominently. In today’s era, many people prefer networking and connecting with charity organizations by means of Twitter or Facebook. Similarly, integration with charity-centric plugins is a good feature to have.
Whether or not your non-profit organization has a blog, your WordPress theme should support a clean blog layout. This is because if you ever need to post updates about your field of work, your blog would be a good place for the purpose.
Custom widget areas and custom page templates are another features that you should look for in a WordPress theme meant for non-profits and charity groups. Such widget areas can prove useful for providing that odd piece of information, such as charity registration and contact details. Similarly, custom page templates mean you have ample room to innovate and feature your content on your site.
Take, for example, Maisha. It come loaded with custom page templates, custom widget areas, and offers a clean layout. You can easily see the links to social networks, as well as learn more about the charity group’s field of work from the homepage itself.
Along similar lines, Zeko is also a worthy WordPress theme that comes with a clean and minimal layout meant ideally for charity organizations.
WordPress Plugins for Charity and Non-Profit Websites
In addition to the standard SEO, security and other such plugins, there are some useful WordPress plugins that can help you extend your charity website.
If you are looking to accept donations on your site, a plugin such as Give or Charitable would be an ideal fit. Both of these plugins support multiple payment gateways (including PayPal), and can help you setup custom donation amounts or allow your donors to decide the amount.
For adding events to your website, a plugin such as The Events Calendar is perfect. It comes with various features, such as the ability to create events, add venues and organizers, invite volunteers, integrate with Google Maps, and place custom widgets showcasing the details about your events.
On the other hand, if you need some advanced functionality, such as a forum on your non-profit website, bbPress is the de facto standard solution. If, for the sake of transparency or just details, you wish to post a lot of heavy data in the form of tables, accordions, comparison columns, and other formats, a shortcode plugin can help you do that easily. Shortcodes Ultimate is a very popular plugin for this purpose.
As you might have noticed by now, it is fairly easy to create a charity or non-profit website using WordPress. You just need to pick the right WordPress theme. Then, with the help of the requisite WP plugins, you can build your website easily.
You should also bear in mind that setting up a website is just one part of the picture. Following that, you need to be proactive in promoting the good work that you do. Having active social networks’ presence is one such step. In this case, be sure that your website is in order and ready for any traffic that your social networking ventures might bring. It will be of little use if your donations page is not working when people come from Facebook, isn’t it?
If you want to find more about this topic check this in-depth article “Creating a charity WordPress site: Your complete guide”
How do you find this WordPress guide, is it helpfull? Share your views in the comments below!