Securing funding for your NGO’s website: action steps for a success

Investing in your organization's future: the power of online presence

In today’s digital era, an online presence is not a luxury; it’s a necessity for non-profit organizations and impactful initiatives. Yet, there’s a common misconception among many charitable organizations that investing in building (or rebuilding) a great visibility online is unnecessary or too expensive. Spoiler alert: nope. Let’s explore why a professional website is essential for your charity and how you can secure funding for this critical investment.

The power of a (great) online presence

A well-designed website brings a multitude of benefits to non-profit organizations. Firstly, it fosters engagement with the community of donors and supporters. A user-friendly website enables visitors to easily access information about the organization’s mission, ongoing projects, and impact. By showcasing success stories and providing regular updates, a non-profit can build trust and loyalty within its community.

Charity water website design and development is a great example of a powerful online presence
Built to last: a website of Charity:water, an organization aiming to solve the water crisis

Secondly, a professionally designed website exudes legitimacy. Potential donors and grant providers often assess an organization’s credibility based on its website. A polished online presence can lead to increased funding opportunities, as it instills confidence in potential donors.

Moreover, a tailored website functionality can significantly boost donations from private donors. Implementing user-friendly donation forms and payment gateways ensures a smooth and secure donation process, encouraging visitors to support the cause effortlessly.

Mama cash website design and development is a great example of donor engagement via fundraising form
Your donation matters: Mamacash is using FundraiseUP to raise money for women, girls, trans and intersex people in need

Lastly, easy-to-use website management tools empower the organization’s team to keep the website updated with fresh content and engage with the community in real-time. A dynamic online platform enables swift response to emerging issues and reflects the organization’s responsiveness and dedication to its mission.

Finding funding for website design and development

Let’s be honest: the investment you would need is significant. Anything between €5.000 and multiple millions is the price range charitable organizations pay for having their website designed, built and supported. Hold on, is it fair though? Shouldn’t non-profits keep their operational costs at 1% while giving 99% to the cause? A catch-22 is that investing in online presence pays back – sometimes rapidly, sometimes slow, but it always does.

There are several avenues for non-profits to secure funding:

  • Grants: Look for grants specifically focused on enhancing online presence and digital services. Many foundations and funding programs recognize the importance of a strong online presence and are willing to support such initiatives. For instance, Horizon 2020 is the EU’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation which ran from 2014 to 2020, with a budget of nearly €80 billion. Non-profit organizations could apply for funding under a variety of calls for proposals, including those focused on research and innovation in the digital space.
  • Existing foundation partners: Approach foundations or donors that are already supporting your organization. Explain the need for an enhanced online presence and how it aligns with your mission and goals.
  • Crowdfunding: Engage your private donors and supporters through crowdfunding campaigns, where they can contribute directly to funding the website project. Emphasize the value they can bring by contributing to a more powerful online platform for your organization. You will have a unique opportunity to talk to your loyal supporters and donors and make sure your new website serves them well and solves the issues they might currently have.
  • Corporate sponsorships: Approach corporate donors with a clear proposal, detailing how a professional website will amplify your organization’s reach and impact. Companies often seek meaningful partnerships with organizations that align with their corporate social responsibility goals. Some companies are willing to invest in impactful projects for mutual benefit – placing their logo on your new website, for instance.

Website design and development funding inquiry example

Whether you decide to approach a foundation or a corporate partner, focus on the goals and impact that you aim to achieve thanks to an enhanced online presence. Setting the goals and defining the key success metrics for the website is something you should work on as a team prior to receiving an investment.

We asked ChatGPT to write an example of how your organization could reach out to existing partners and supporters in order to secure an investment:

Dear [foundation or partner name],

We hope this message finds you well. We are [your non-profit’s name], a dedicated organization working towards [your mission]. We have been fortunate to receive your support in the past, which has significantly contributed to our achievements [give some examples].

As we continue to grow and evolve, we recognize the importance of improving our online presence to better connect with our donors and community. Our current website has served us well, but we believe that rebuilding it with a professional team will take our efforts to new heights.

To this end, we are seeking a grant of €50,000 to fund our website redesign and redevelopment project. This investment will enable us to create a user-friendly, accessible, and tailored website that showcases our impact and engages our supporters on a deeper level. With a renewed online presence, we are confident that we can expand our reach and fulfill our mission more effectively.

We are committed to transparently reporting the impact of our work and are excited to demonstrate how this project will contribute to our organization’s growth and long-term sustainability.

Thank you for considering our proposal. We would be honored to continue our partnership in creating a brighter future for those we serve.

In conclusion

The power of a good website cannot be overstated: neither for a big non-profit organisation, nor for a small charity. It opens doors to engagement, funding, and impact that can transform and shape your organization’s future. While we plan on writing a post about free tools that could help you DIY your website, we also hope to break to misconception that keeps charities and impactful initiatives stuck in the infinite loop of not having money to invest into an online presence.

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