Non-government organizations (NGOs) play an important role in advancing advocacy. From protecting wildlife to helping impoverished communities, NGOs help make the world a better place.
However, to accomplish their objectives, NGOs will need to build an online presence that allows them to engage with their stakeholders and encourage funding. For this, they will need to develop a WordPress website that helps educate people about their mission, recruit volunteers, and build active civic communities.
Building a WordPress Website for NGOs
Why Use WordPress for Building an NGO Website
If you are the head of an NGO with specific advocacy, building an online presence shouldn’t be difficult so long as you use WordPress.
As one of the most popular website-building platforms, WordPress has become necessary for organizations and businesses of all types. Starting as a blogging platform, WordPress is now an essential part of any digital marketing campaign.
Aside from the fact that a WordPress website is highly customizable, the platform is user-friendly as well as search engine-friendly. It’s ideal for NGOs that want to build an online portal for volunteers and donors.
To make the most out of WordPress, you will need to follow the right approaches. There’s a learning curve to master, but learning how to build a great WordPress website is definitely worth the time and effort. Here’s how to build one for your NGO
Know your goals
The first thing you will need to do is to define the main reason for building a WordPress website in the first place. For this, you may want to review your organization’s overall vision. Regardless of your advocacy, the purpose of having a WordPress website should depend on the targets you want to hit.
Are you looking to generate more donations? Do you need to attract motivated individuals to join your cause? Perhaps you want to spread awareness about your advocacy and the problems that your organization seeks to solve? Answering these questions should help you define what it is you need to include in your WordPress website.
Set up a web host
If you are already clear with your purpose of building a website, you need to look for a web hosting provider. The job of a web hosting service is to launch your website and provide the digital space you need for the various content you will be creating, such as blogs and videos.
If you are looking for a web hosting provider, you need to settle for one that provides the space you need for all of your website assets. You also need to find one that offers high page speeds, advanced web security, and 24/7 customer support in case your website experiences performance issues. It should also help you with securing an SSL certificate and handling website maintenance.
With the number of web hosting companies that are currently active, it can take you some time before you find the best one. Fortunately, you can ease the process by getting a web host trusted by many non-profit organizations. InMotion and HostGator are often preferred, but try comparing their services and pricing to make sure you are making the right choice.
Build an online identity
Like any organization, an NGO has to have a unique identity that’s recognizable across all platforms, including a WordPress website. Your NGO likely already has a brand kit that sets the aesthetic style and tone of messaging of the organization.
However, if you are still starting your NGO, consider crafting an identity that your audience can readily connect with. You can start by creating a logo for free or getting a designer for the job. Once you have everything you need to form your brand identity, you can now create a WordPress website that captures the essence of what your NGO is all about. At this point, your brand kit will serve as a guide for crafting the appearance of your website and writing content that’s in line with your advocacy.
Pick a theme
A theme establishes the look and feel of your WordPress website. Every theme offers a unique set of features, so you must pick one that’s in line with your NGO’s brand identity. As a good rule of thumb, you need to look for a theme that has a simple and easy-to-use interface.
There are countless WordPress themes to choose from at different price points, but you can always get a web designer to make a custom theme. Just be sure that you settle for a theme that’s mobile-responsive so your website can cater to smartphone and tablet users.
Install the right plugins
When it comes to building any WordPress website, you will need to get plugins. These are software that sets up the features you need. There are countless that are available and you need to pick the ones that can optimize the functionality and performance of your NGO’s WordPress website.
If you want to accept donations, consider installing fundraising plugins like WP Simple Pay or Charitable which offer a seamless way for people to contribute to your advocacy. For donor queries and volunteer applications, you can use WP Forms or Contact Form 7. Apart from these functionality plugins, you will also need security plugins like Wordfence or Bulletproof.
Know what content to create
What content should you include in your WordPress website? Depending on the objectives of your NGO, you might want to include a blog documenting the activities of your NGO and discussing specific issues related to your advocacy. Just make sure that each blog article you publish has been search-optimized so they become easily visible on the search engine results pages.
In addition to a blog, you can also add video testimonials from the communities you helped and an online PR kit that includes infographics, whitepapers, and brochures. To be sure, you can check out other NGOs and see what content they are producing so you will know what to incorporate in your WordPress website.
If you want your non-profit or charity organization to thrive, you need a WordPress website that has all the features you need to grow your volunteer base, expand your network of public and private stakeholders, and inspire action.