Can Your Nonprofit Afford a New Website?

  • by Shala Graham
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As much as we would love to assure you that you can, the simple fact is that there isn't any one set answer to this question. Just as in the business world, every nonprofit has its own bottom line and ongoing costs to figure in. Getting those numbers to work out the right way isn't just a talking point; it's critical to keeping the doors open.

But with that being said, if you're taking the time to look through this blog, there's a good chance that your nonprofit can not only afford a quality, custom-designed website, but could do a lot more good work with one than you could putting that money elsewhere.

How can we make that claim? It all comes down to simple math. For most men and women, the first place they're going to look when deciding whether or not to contribute money to your organization – regardless of how they came to know you, be it from a referral, a fundraising event, a direct mail piece, or some other means – is on your nonprofit website. That means that it is going to set the tone for how they feel about your organization in the future.

It also means that your nonprofit website is going to get a lot of mileage. To put some numbers to an example, let's say your website only gets 200 hits per week. That might not seem like a ton of visitors, and it isn't, but it works out to more than 10,000 visits per year. Is there any other marketing or promotion effort that you're going to put on that's going to consistently reach that many potential donors? Probably not. For a smaller nonprofit, that's a number that isn't likely be matched by direct mail or other fundraising methods.

Only you know what the financials look like for your nonprofit, and whether you can afford to have a professional web design team work on your site. For most of the directors we meet with, however, the real question is whether they can afford not to impress thousands of new potential donors every year.