4 Reasons to Consider a Nonprofit Specific CMS

Whether you’re new to the nonprofit world or you’ve been a nonprofit professional for quite some time, you’re probably aware that it’s nearly impossible to accomplish your mission without a strong online presence. 

That’s where your website comes in. Your nonprofit’s website is the anchor of your digital strategy. One that’s well designed serves as an important fundraising tool, empowers you to communicate with your supporters, and represents your organization’s brand on the web. 

Creating a great website starts with selecting a website builder, also known as a content management system (CMS). You could opt for a popular open source platform (like WordPress) that’s well-known and offers familiar editing tools. However,  it’s well worth your while to consider website builders designed specifically for nonprofits

Why? Here’s our answer: A nonprofit specific CMS comes equipped with the specific features your nonprofit needs to raise funds, connect with supporters, avoid website hiccups, and succeed in the long run.

In this post, we’ll give you four reasons why you should consider a nonprofit specific CMS, including: 

  1. Ease into website building with an intuitive interface. 
  2. Accept donations directly on your website.
  3. Manage events from your website.
  4. Utilize intranet and private page capabilities.  

Your organization’s website is a tool meant to work for you, not to make it more difficult to manage your online presence. The reality is that some CMS providers just aren’t equipped to provide nonprofits with all the tools they need, requiring you to put in lots of effort to make the site work. That’s why choosing a nonprofit specific CMS will help your organization thrive in the long run. 

  1. Ease into website building with an intuitive interface. 

You probably didn’t go into nonprofit work because you’re a tech-savvy coder, and neither did your staff members. A CMS that was designed specifically for nonprofit professionals keeps that in mind and offers a website builder that’s easy to use. That means you won’t have to spend hours getting any special training to design a perfect website

With a nonprofit specific CMS, you’ll have an easier time with the following: 

  • Making changes directly to your live pages with front-end editing tools.
  • Sizing, shaping, and moving images to the desired locations. 
  • Adding dynamic page layouts using templates and widgets. 
  • Publishing and sharing blog posts.

Also, the right CMS will provide you with plenty of support as you move through the process of creating your nonprofit’s website. From training for your staff to offering you access to a dedicated support team, you’ll never be on your own when you have questions about how to make your website work. 

Another great thing about a CMS built for nonprofits is that providers understand that you want your website to be a one-stop shop for everything your organization does. That’s why they make it incredibly easy to incorporate the right widgets for collecting donations, managing events, and setting up intranet and private pages, all of which we’ll cover in the following sections. 

  1. Accept donations directly on your website.

Your donation page is arguably one of the most important parts of your website. According to 360MatchPro’s top nonprofit fundraising statistics, 63% of donors in the U.S. and Canada prefer to give online using a credit or debit card. 

Since a majority of your donations will be flowing in through your website, why not make the experience more user friendly? Choose a CMS that allows you to create a donation page right on your website. 

According to Morweb’s list of tips for donation page design, there are a few advantages to having control over your design, such as: 

  • You can create a simple, easy-to-use donation form. The right CMS will give you the flexibility to create a donation form that donors will actually complete. When you have complete control over the design, you can implement best practices such as reducing the number of required fields that donors need to fill out, asking only for necessary information, condensing your donation appeal, and optimizing for accessibility and mobile use. 
  • You can brand your donation page so that it matches the rest of your website. Donors don’t like to feel like they’ve been kicked over to a third-party donation page that seems disconnected from your organization. That makes the donating experience feel sterile, and the page might seem untrustworthy to donors, even if it isn’t. Make sure your donation form uses familiar images, colors, and logos that donors associate with your nonprofit. 
  • You can offer multiple ways to give. Donors may want to give using a credit card, debit card, or PayPal. You can build your form so that it offers these options. Additionally, you can include suggested giving amounts and a recurring donation option, which makes giving now and giving in the future easier on the donor. 

Having control over what your donation page actually looks like allows you to step into your donors’ shoes and do everything you can to ensure that their giving experience goes smoothly. Designing your donation page on a nonprofit specific CMS will eliminate the need for you to follow the complicated steps of creating a form with a generic or open-source platform.  

  1. Manage events from your website. 

It’s no secret that nonprofits of every size encounter fundraising challenges. And one of the most challenging but necessary methods of fundraising is hosting a fundraising event. 

Between managing registration, marketing the opportunity, and sharing results with your supporters, there are many points in the event planning process where your team can get overwhelmed. Even when you don’t have to worry about catering or selecting a venue, online events can cause stress, especially if you’re dealing with frustrating technical difficulties on top of running the event. Luckily, managing the event from your CMS can help you stay organized and on schedule so that you’re ready well before the day of the event. 

Instead of letting stress be the norm during event planning, invest in a CMS designed for nonprofits that offers dedicated event management tools. You’ll be able to create a specific page for the event on your website so that site visitors won’t have to go far to learn about the event. That means your branding can carry over to your event page, which will make your organization look more professional and consistent. You can also manage participant registration and ticket purchases.

Keeping everything for your event centralized on your website will set you up for fundraising success and help you connect with supporters who already use your website to make donations or find volunteer opportunities. 

  1. Utilize intranet and private page capabilities.

Most nonprofits need a CMS with a password-protected intranet network that can keep some sensitive website content secure. This is useful for staff, volunteers, and members who need access to private content, like member directories or restricted resources. 

Through a nonprofit specific CMS, you should be able to keep certain parts of your site secure by doing the following: 

  • Approve or deny account registrations
  • Grant specific individuals access to particular pages or parts of the site
  • Organize PDFs, documents, and multimedia in a protected and searchable database 

On top of the extra precautions your CMS puts in place, an important part of keeping your website secure is being proactive in encouraging users to do their part. You’ll want to regularly remind your users to update their passwords and make sure those passwords meet certain requirements. You might also consider requiring a two-factor authentication sign-in process, so you can always verify your users’ identities. 

Keeping private information secure is important to the health of your organization. When your supporters know they can trust you with their contact information on a member directory or their payment information on a registration form, they’ll continue to see you as a reputable nonprofit that they want to be involved with. 

The Gist

One of the common mistakes nonprofit leaders make is purchasing nonoptimal software solutions for their organization, like a CMS that isn’t built for nonprofits. Investing in a nonprofit specific CMS can make your job easier, allowing you to manage all of your organization’s operations from one platform without having to be a technical expert in all things code. 

Plus, the right CMS frees up time in your organization that you can spend fundraising and furthering your cause, so it’s well worth pursuing. Now is the time to start discussing your nonprofit’s specific website needs with your team so that you can select the perfect CMS for your organization. 

Similar Posts