WordPress for Non-Profit Organizations

If you’re a non-profit organization and need a website, consider WordPress for your organizational needs!

Understanding WordPress

WordPress is an open-source content management system (CMS) for websites.

  • Used by small and big business and non-profit organizations.
  • Market Dominance of 44.3% of all websites (June 2023)
  • Easier to get off the ground then a website from scratch.
  • Plugins allow many organizations the ability to deploy little to no code
  • Flexibility for diverse website types and complexities



Non-Profit Organizations Using WordPress

Many well-known non-profit organizations around the world utilize WordPress for their day-to-day workflows.

  • The Jane Goodall Institute
    • Works to protect chimpanzees and other animals.
  • Team Rubicon
    • Provides disaster relief services.
  • CURE International
    • Provides medical care for children with disabilities.
  • The Big Give
    • Helps donors find charities to support.
  • The Interfaith Housing Alliance
    • Provides affordable housing.
  • Peoples Under Threat
    • Works to protect people from genocide.
  • Los Angeles LGBT Center
    • Works to build a world where LGBTQ+ people thrive as healthy, equal, and complete members of society.
  • Nebraska Association for Translators and Interpreters (NATI)
    • NATI provides industry resources and training for hundreds of translation and interpretation professionals.


The Power of Open Source

Open source software is software with source code that anyone can inspect, modify, and enhance.

“Source code” is the part of software that most computer users don’t ever see; it’s the code computer programmers can manipulate to change how a piece of software—a “program” or “application”—works.

Programmers who have access to a computer program’s source code can improve that program by adding features to it or fixing parts that don’t always work correctly.

Collaboration and Customization

Open Source allows for strong collaboration.

  • Customization through Themes and Plugins
  • Don’t reinvent the wheel! Look for plugins!
  • Massive online community if you encounter any issues with most of your questions likely already answered by many others.

Themes Selection

Making a website representative of your brand, company, or non-profit relies heavily on the look and feel of that website.

  • Most Themes available for Free or priced between $10 – $150 depending on complexity.
  • Bulk of the work comes from making the website your own and plugin integration.
  • Some themes include their own forms and design style

Plugins and Functionality

A WordPress plugin is a piece of software that can be added to your WordPress website to extend its functionality and add new features.

  • Designed to Integrate seamlessly with WordPress.
  • Used to customize and enhance the capabilities of your website without requiring extensive coding knowledge.
  • Offer a wide range of functionalities, such as
    • adding contact forms
    • social media sharing buttons
    • e-commerce features
    • search engine optimization tools
    • security enhancements
    • performance optimization
    • analytics integration, and much more.
  • Allow you to add specific features or functionalities to your website without having to build them from scratch.

Content Management, Blogging, and SEO

WordPress was created when the internet was mainly used for blogging. Since then, the internet has grown and evolved into what it is today and WordPress evolved with it and today is used by eCommerce companies, non-profits, businesses, and everything in between.

Content management systems work to help you do just that. Manage your content. Without needing to know how to code, you can easily add pages, blog pages / posts, upload images, and change text on your website.

This is where SEO comes in. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is like giving your blog a special map that helps search engines understand what your blog is about. With the help of plugins, which are like little helpers for your blog, you can add information to your blog posts that tells search engines, “Hey, this blog post is really useful and relevant to what people are looking for!”

Donations, Memberships, Subscriptions via Plugins

Examples of Plugins that meet workflows for Donations, Memberships and Subscriptions.

There are many event management plugins and volunteer management plugins available for WordPress, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Some of the best WordPress event plugins for non-profits are:

Events Manager: A free plugin with a Pro version that offers premium support, custom payment gateway, API, spam protection, coupons, discounts, customizable booking forms, and more.

WP Charitable: A popular donation plugin that lets create unlimited fundraising campaigns and customize them to the needs. It supports leading payment processors and does not charge any transaction fees. It also has a premium version that offers recurring donations, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer fundraising, and more.

The Events Calendar: A free plugin with a Pro version that offers advanced features like recurring events, community event submissions, Facebook event syncing, and more.

Event Management

Event management plugins can help non-profits in WordPress by providing various features and functions to organize, promote, and manage events. Some of the benefits of using event management plugins are:

  • Calendars of upcoming events can be created and displayed, with details like images, maps, speakers, and payment methods. This can help attract more attendees and showcase the impact.
  • Tickets for events can be sold and donations can be accepted online, using payment gateways like PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net, and more. This can help raise funds for the cause and track the revenue.
  • Attendees and volunteers can be managed, with features like registration forms, RSVPs, guest lists, email notifications, and more. This can help communicate with the supporters and provide them with a great experience.
  • Events can be integrated with other tools and platforms, like email marketing services, CRM systems, social media networks, Google Calendar, iCal feed, and more. This can help expand the reach and streamline the workflow.

Volunteer Engagement

Volunteer management plugins can also help non-profits in WordPress by providing various features and functions to recruit, coordinate, and retain volunteers. Some of the benefits of using volunteer management plugins are:

  • One-time and flexible volunteer opportunities can be posted on the website, with details like images, descriptions, locations, and dates. This can help find more volunteers and match them with suitable tasks.
  • Volunteers can sign up directly on the website, using simple forms or blocks. This can help make volunteering easier for the supporters and collect their information.
  • The number of sign-ups available for opportunities can be controlled, and caps or limits can be set as needed. This can help avoid overbooking or underbooking volunteers.
  • Reminder emails can be sent to volunteers anytime, with customized messages and attachments. This can help keep them informed and engaged.
  • Volunteer profiles that track participation and more, such as their interests, skills, availability, notes, and feedback can be viewed. This can help manage the volunteers effectively and appreciate their contributions.

Some of the best WordPress volunteer plugins for non-profits are:

  • Wired Impact Volunteer Management: A free plugin that lets post one-time and flexible volunteer opportunities on the website using a simple block or shortcode. It also lets manage volunteers with features like sign-up forms, email reminders, volunteer profiles.
  • Participants Database: A free plugin that lets create a database of volunteers with custom fields and filters. It also lets display volunteer opportunities on the website using shortcodes.
  • RSVPMaker Volunteer Roles: A free plugin that lets assign roles to volunteers for specific events. It also lets send email invitations and confirmations to volunteers.

Communication, Campaigns and Outreach

Effective communication is key for nonprofits to engage supporters, donors, and the community. This workflow includes creating and sending newsletters, email campaigns, and social media updates. Email marketing and social media management tools can be useful here.

Powerful tools include:

  • MailChimp
  • Constant Contact for WordPress
  • Social Media Share Buttons & Social Sharing Icons


CiviCRM is a powerful, web-based constituent relationship management (CRM) system built by and for nonprofit organizations and NGO’s. One could also use this application in place of the several plugins used.

  • Event Management: CiviCRM provides a full set of tools for running events and recording a constituent’s attendance in their activity record.
  • Email Marketing: Create and manage bulk email lists. You can also segment your lists, do A/B testing, and monitor statistics.
  • Contribution Management: Process and track contributions, send gift acknowledgments, and report on your data in an elegant and intuitive workflow process.
  • Advocacy Campaigns: Build advocacy campaigns by tying together and tracking the progress of a campaign’s events, mailings, activities, and contributions.
  • Peer-to-Peer Fundraising: Your members and donors can raise funds on behalf of your organization through personal campaigns.
  • Reports: Choose one of the 40 standard reports or configure and create a custom report to evaluate your organization’s impact.
  • Contact Management: Automatically store all data for each contact in one place, creating a unified, holistic record for each constituent.
  • Configurable & Customizable: CiviCRM’s open-source license will allow you the freedom to find the right programmer to tailor your installation specifically to your needs.

    Membership Management: Individuals can sign up and pay for their membership online, receive automatic membership renewal reminders, and receive member-only emails.

  • Accounting Integration: Enter your gifts once in CiviCRM, and export them in the accounting format that your accounting system – and your accountant – will love.
  • Case Management: CiviCRM allows organizations to create, manage, and track simple or sophisticated case management workflows.

Best Practices and Tips

  • Keep Plugins Up to Date
  • Keep server up to date!
  • Keep images small when uploading.
  • Analytics to measure engagement (e.g., MailChimp, Google SiteKit, Monster Insights)
  • Use a Trusted CDN (e.g. CloudFlare)
  • We recommend the Wordfence Plugin for security.

Disclaimer: Installing WordPress requires some Technical Know-How

WordPress has a product that allows you to use their servers to run your blog, however, for more complex workflows, you will need to host this on your own server.

Once WordPress is running on a server, you can start updating the content on that website. We can help with recommending plugins, keeping the server up to date, and converting any workflows you have and integrating them with WordPress.

This is where you can contact either Adrian with Tiempo LLC or David Hayes with Black Brick Software in setting WordPress up for you.