One of the top reasons to start an organization is to rake in a little extra cash when the going gets tough. However, a lack of cash isn’t the only reason people start an organization.

What about the people who want to give back to the community, but either don’t have the time or the means to volunteer in the traditional way? 

For these types of people, starting a nonprofit organization may be the perfect answer. A nonprofit organization may help you bring in a little extra cash, will definitely help you give back, and may place you on a path to building the type of organization you always dreamed existed.

This post will cover some of the basics of what a nonprofit organization is, why you need a website to start a nonprofit, and how you can get your nonprofit organization website up and running in less than a day.

start your business with gator website builder from hostgator

What Is a Nonprofit Organization?

The cool thing about starting a nonprofit organization is there are so many different directions you can go with your nonprofit. All you need to do is combine your desire to help others with a particular talent, and you’re ready to roll. 

Let’s look at a few examples of nonprofit organizations to give you an idea of just how broad your options really are.

1. Use your talents to make a difference

Nichola Cotto is one nonprofit organizer that uses her talents to make a difference. Cotto explains how she started her nonprofit:

“I founded a nonprofit because I wanted to make a difference with my photography talents. I started We are Not Broken to photograph women and girls who have physical scars from either domestic abuse, cancer, collisions, combat, surgeries, self harm, and suicide attempts.”

Cotto continues, “Whatever the scar comes from, I want to combat the thought process that these women and girls are now broken and should cover up. I want to highlight their beauty because of the scar. Their scars represent life, because without those scars they would surely be dead. What is more beautiful than life and living it.”

There are several potential organizations you could start with a photography talent. You could start a wedding photography business, a stock photography business, or even provide photography services for Instagrammers.

What’s inspiring about Cotto is instead of taking a traditional route, she uses her photography talents to promote awareness about survival. 

we are not broken nonprofit website

Cotto offers some excellent advice to others looking into turning a talent into a nonprofit: “Do what you love everyday to make a difference, and it won’t feel like a hustle. It will feel amazing, like you were meant to do it.”

2. Tap into local needs and resources

Another idea for starting a nonprofit organization is to evaluate local needs and resources. The needs and resources vary from locale to local, and if you can identify ways to help your community, you’ll be able to build a successful organization all while making a difference.

Jon Mattis is a nonprofit organizer that took this approach. He started Graceful Acres as a way to help people in need benefit from therapeutic horseback riding.

graceful acres nonprofit website

Mattis explains how he got started:

“I had a dream that I needed to use a gift that I was given to help individuals with extraordinary needs thrive in the community they are from by providing a unique horseback riding experience. Living in a rural area, I saw the need for a facility like this so I approached my grandfather about using the family farm to transition it into a riding facility. Many of the families in the area don’t have the funds or the support needed for their loved ones to succeed. Graceful Acres is a way that we can get them closer to this goal.”

What’s particularly interesting about Mattis is his ability to recognize a need in the community and answer that need by building from a local, even familial, resource—a family farm.

Graceful Acres has proved abundantly successful. Mattis says, “Over the last seven years, Graceful Acres has been blessed with helping 80 individuals covering five different counties in the Central Pennsylvania area. Our most recent accomplishment has been winning the Jefferson Award in 2018, and now we have been elected to represent Pennsylvania in the [2019] National Multiplying Good Ceremony held in Washington DC.”

But recognition isn’t the only reward of this nonprofit. “Even though this is a huge award for us, I have to say helping to save a young lady that was once suicidal and has now found the love of a horse and has been without suicidal thoughts in 3 years [is the biggest indicator of our success],” Mattis explains.

If you’re looking to start a nonprofit organization, consider evaluating your local needs as well as local resources, and determining what you can do to merge the two together.

3. Consider nonprofit consulting

What if you already work at a nonprofit, but want to expand your services? Another solid option for starting a nonprofit organization is to offer your services as a nonprofit consultant.

Instead of starting your own nonprofit, you can get in contact with other nonprofits that are struggling and provide resources and consulting services that will help established nonprofits regain their bearings or continue to grow. 

Regardless of what type of nonprofit organization you start, one thing is certain: you need access to the right side hustle resources, especially a website, if you want to advertise and/or grow your services.

Why Do Nonprofits Need a Website?

If you’re settled on starting a nonprofit, congratulations! You’re taking a giant steps in making a difference in the world, earning extra money, and creating meaningful service opportunities.

To get a successful start, however, it’s imperative that you build a website. Why? Let’s look at the top reasons every nonprofit should have a website.

1. To get found online

First and foremost, it’s critical to remember that people look for nonprofits on the internet, and they look to donate to nonprofits online. In fact, online giving grew by 12.1% over the last year

While it may be true that some people will learn about your nonprofit via word of mouth, it’s also true that donors will most likely go to your website to actually send financial support.

2. To establish credibility

Without a website explaining who you are, what you do, and how your funds are distributed, it’s difficult to establish credibility.

If you truly want to run a credible nonprofit, then having a website will help you. You will have one central location on the internet where you can tell your story, control the story, and allow donors to read up about you and your organization.

3. Help with trustworthy fundraising

When is the last time you made a donation to a nonprofit in person? It was probably a long time ago, right? Now, when is the last time you made a donation to a charitable organization online or via mobile device? 

Chances are it was a lot easier to remember the last time you made a charitable donation online. Having a website provides a place donors trust where they can make a donation or a place for you to advertise your fundraising efforts.

No matter what your nonprofit organization is, it’s critical to have a website. Now, let’s talk about how easy it is to set up your nonprofit website.

How to Build Your Nonprofit Website with HostGator

Are you finally ready to take the plunge and start your nonprofit? That’s excellent news. The first step to making your nonprofit a reality is to launch your website.

If you’re worried about getting a website up and running, here is the good news. You don’t need to worry for one second. Why? Because with the help of HostGator, you can get your website up in less than a day by following six easy steps.

That’s right. You don’t need to know how to code. You don’t even need an eye for design. HostGator’s website builder comes with predesigned templates, and an easy drag and drop builder.

Here are the six steps to follow to get your website live by the end of the day.

Step 1: Pick a hosting plan for your nonprofit website.

HostGator has three website builder plans you can choose from for your nonprofit website. You can pick your plan depending on your needs and how much functionality you need for your site.

hostgator website builder plans and pricing

The starter plan includes a free domain, 200+ templates that will work well for a nonprofit website, a drag-and-drop editor, cloud hosting, and website analytics. Since you most likely won’t be selling anything on a nonprofit website, the starter plan is a great hosting plan.

If you are nervous about building your own nonprofit website and want access to priority support, you can choose the premium plan. This plan provides everything in the starter plan but includes extra priority support whenever you need it.

Once you’ve picked a plan, click “buy now” and you can set up your account.

Step 2: Pick a domain name for your nonprofit website.

Good news! Every Gator Website Builder package includes a free domain, so there is no need to purchase a domain from a separate domain hosting company. To pick your domain, all you have to do is type something in the “get domain” box. If your top choice for your nonprofit website isn’t available, then select another until you find one that is available.

If you are set on your domain name, but the .com version is already taken, you can select another top-level domain such as .org. For some types of organizations, it doesn’t make sense to to select a different top-level domain, but nonprofit organizations often work under a .org. The domain name you end up selecting will depend on you and the goals of your nonprofit, but don’t be afraid to explore both .com top-level domains as well as .org top-level domains.

choose .org domain name for nonprofit website

If you need help picking the perfect domain name, here is an article on how to choose the perfect domain name for your business.

If you already have a domain name, then you can connect it to your HostGator account by clicking “connect it here.” 

Step 3: Create your account.

Once you have a domain name, it’s easy to connect your HostGator account. All you need is an email address or Facebook account to connect. Then, enter your payment information, and you’re all set.

Step 4: Pick a template for your nonprofit website.

Did you know the Gator Website Builder comes with templates? All you have to do is pick the one that matches your nonprofit. That’s right! You don’t have to know how to code to get your nonprofit website up and running.

Once you create your account, HostGator will direct you to the “choose a template” page. You can scroll through more than 200 professionally-designed templates, and select the template that works for you. You can also customize any of the templates to match the colors and theme of your nonprofit.

Gator Website Builder design templates

Step 5: Add content to your nonprofit website.

Once you have selected the perfect template, click “start editing.” This will send you to your dashboard where you can add, edit, and delete pages as you like. 

The included drag and drop builder makes it easy to design your nonprofit website. All you have to do is point and click. However, if you have any questions, Gator Website Builder also includes a free and easy step-by-step guide for reference that you can access at any time.

To access this guide, click the “menu” icon next to the Gator by HostGator logo and select the “getting started tour.”  

Step 6: Review your content and launch your nonprofit website.

The last step is to review your nonprofit website, make any desired changes, and then go live. By clicking “preview,” you can see your nonprofit website in full. During your preview, you can look at your website and make sure everything looks perfect.

If everything looks right, then click the “finish preview” button at the top and then “publish website” at the top of the dashboard. Gator Website Builder will present a series of quick steps to help you go live.

Build Your Nonprofit Website Today

There is no better time than now to start your nonprofit organization. And, getting your website up and running is the first step in turning your dream into a reality.

To get started with building your website, check out HostGator’s Gator Website Builder today. You’ll be pleased with how quick the process is, and how many resources are available to help you along the way.

Looking for more tips on creating a successful nonprofit website? Check out these eight best practices for nonprofit websites.

Ashley R. Cummings is a professional freelance writer specializing in SaaS, tech, and advertising/marketing. In a previous life, she was a Russian teacher at Brigham Young University, a corporate trainer, and a grad student—all at the same time. When she’s not writing, you can find her traveling the world with her 2 kids and husband, reading poetry or taking a deep dive into the fabulous world of comedy. Connect with her on Twitter at @ashleyrcummings.