DIY Guide to build a free charity website
As a Charity you want to maximise your impact which often means increasing your donor or volunteer base. Online is now a great way to reach a global audience. However many charities I talk with are uncertain how to “Go Online”. Even for those that do manage to build their website often they miss vital steps which limits their success.
A charity I helped recently was a good example. They had built their own website but it was difficult to use, was not ranked highly in google and you were unable to make donations.
This guide outlines the steps and resources I used to build a new website (https://www.newmindministries.com/) and market it to potential donors.
You do not need deep knowledge in website development. You just need to know the pieces of the puzzle and how they fit together.
Once you complete the steps in this guide you will have:
…a website that appears in google
…that can take donations via PayPal
…integrates with social media
…and gives you data on how well your website is performing
1 – Setup Accounts
Initially you will need to setup various accounts and profiles to support later steps in this guide. I have also included the time taken to complete these setup steps. For several of them you will need to wait for approvals.
Register for PayPal Giving Fund (2-4 weeks)
Register for Facebook Charitable Giving Tools (2-4 weeks)
2 – Design & Build
You will not need any special technical skills at this stage if you use a website builder such as wix.com
3 – Configure SEO, Social Media & Monitoring
You will want to ensure people visit your new site via Google and Social Media. In addition, you will want monitoring so you can see who is visiting and their behaviour.
4 – Testing
Obvious step prior to launch is to make sure all aspects of the site is working correctly. Importantly on mobile which is likely your main avenue for traffic.
Ensure all core functionality works, especially any payment integrations and subscriber/contact options
Test across multiple devices for formatting and visual issues
Identify any non-essential content that can be removed
Ask a small group of people to test drive the website
5 – Marketing & Launch
At this point most traffic will be directly via the link or through social media. It can take up to 4 months for your website to be indexed fully on Google. Even then it’s likely you’ll be lower down the list. It’s vital one your basic site is up and running you do the following:
Continue to add rich, engaging content that draws people in. Consider a blog or other ways to regularly build content. Also think laterally about content that may draw people in which is connected to your charity but not directly asking for donations.
Build a social media presence through two-way engagement. Don’t just spam people with a one way message.
Find trusted people with high quality websites who will link to your website (backlinks)
Hope this guide has helped you build and market a website for your charity.