Small Nonprofits

I hope to help small nonprofits succeed by showing everything needed to raise funds through direct donations, indirect means, or purchases of merchandise/tickets and to manage their donor relationship. The large national or international nonprofits can afford professional IT staff as employees or outsourced contractors; the small nonprofits instead must rely on volunteers or multitasking staff that aren’t IT professionals.

Small nonprofits share many of the same issues, problems and solutions as other small businesses. Be sure to read that material before going too far into material specific to nonprofits.

If your nonprofit needs just a “brochure” site (one that is largely unchanging and just has limited content) then a site builder service (such as WIX, Squarespace) may be sufficient. Or if your nonprofit is primarily selling stuff, a store using Shopify may be best. If your nonprofit has more complicated needs, then WordPress is your solution. You may have heard of other Content Management Systems (CMS), but their popularity is waining as a result of the large ecosystem surrounding WordPress.

Being open source (and free!) software with a large and growing ecosystem of users and developers, WordPress can be perfect for the needs of small nonprofits with limited budgets. However, other systems, , or Facebook, may be best for some small nonprofits and sometimes content related to those systems are included as appropriate. But the main focus is on WordPress. These other systems may seem like a good deal initially, but there are major limitations in what you can do which must be considered. Other non-WordPress services relate to donation and donor management; these services charge a fee (typically monthly and tiered based on number of donors) and handle all the donation and donor management functions. If your nonprofit can afford these services and the features meet your needs, great. But the same features can be done cheaply using WordPress and free or low-cost add-ons (plugins in WordPress-speak).

I’m an American and know nothing of other countries’ tax and donation laws; my examples are focused on general US situations. Always consult a tax/legal professional to get answers in those areas; nothing here is intended to provide tax or legal advice. Consulting a professional is especially recommended for EU counties since there are various EU regulations I have no knowledge of.

Direct access to blog posts (aka articles) is possible via search engines to find answers to specific questions or issues. For those that prefer “linear” reading, the site is also organized into what is equivalent to chapters in a book–that is, posts grouped together with a similar learning purpose. These “chapters” are displayed below. 

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