Non-Profits: How to save money on websitesNovember 9th, 2015

If you are running a nonprofit then you know that one of the most difficult things is managing your budget. You absolutely need to save money in order to benefit your cause. So you look for a ways to save cash. Like most nonprofits your staff typically is made up of a lot of volunteers and some staff members. While I am not an expert on running a nonprofit, I am an expert on websites. We at RooSites like to help nonprofits. We like to say that we “help those who help others”. So the idea came to me to write this post, which can give you some ideas on how to save money with your non-profit website.

  • Web design and development. One of the places you can save a lot of money is on building your website. While it’s nice to have shiny fully custom designed website, you don’t have to have to have this. With content management systems, such as WordPress you can buy a premium theme for under a hundred dollars that will give you a great look and feel and look great on all devices and suit all your needs. Development of these types of websites is much less expensive and time to market is much quicker.  And these type of sites have so much customization available, you can match your branding and marketing so you to have a unique looking site. This will save you thousands of dollars.
  • Website management. If you are paying a hosting fee as well as paying someone to update your website, you are probably paying too much. Hosting is very cheap and no one should be charging you for hosting. It should be part of any maintenance plans you have with your website management company. We gives free hosting and only charge people for a predetermined amount of support time each month. This saves companies and especially nonprofits money and allows them to keep the website up-to-date 24/7/365. Also as we use content management systems like WordPress, we create the sites so your staff can add posts and save you even more money on site management.
  • Photos. At times people build a site and invest money in stock photography. While stock photography is good for filling in places where you need a generic photo, it can get very expensive and your site begins to look cheesy if overused. This is also a place where you can save money and actually improve your site. Today cell phones are good enough quality that you can take your own photos. Staff photos can be taken against a nice background as well.
    Please note, I am not saying there isn’t a place for professional photographers, they add value.  But when you want and need to save money, forego the stock and pros.
  • Content. Content is king for websites, we hear that every day.  In order for your website to do well in searches, you have to consistently add quality content.  Fortunately this is something you can do yourself.  Have volunteers write stories about your cause, or post upcoming events and fundraisers. The beauty is that this won’t cost your organization any money. Paying for content typically isn’t a great strategy anyway, as many times the articles are re-used many times, and Google and other search engines will penalize you.

Bottom Line: When running a non-profit, having more money going to your cause is key. The less money paid out to vendors and administrative costs, the better. I have tried to present some ideas in order to help you.  If you have any questions, please contact us, we are happy to help.