Top 10 WordPress Plugins For Nonprofits
My experience in working with nonprofits goes back to the aftermath of 9/11. I read an article in the paper regarding the recent hardships Zoo Atlanta had been experiencing due to the lack of charitable donations. Americans are generous lot, but their charity became stretched thin as those dollars poured understandably into the 9/11 Fund. I contacted the zoo’s marketing director and we started a conversation about how nonprofits can grow their donation revenue in a post 9/11 world. This began a 10 year relationship with Zoo Atlanta and helped us to establish a foothold in the world of nonprofit Internet marketing. Much has changed over the past 19 years, and with the ascension of WordPress as the preferred CMS of most developers I wanted to share the latest tools that can help nonprofits achieve both their mission and financial objectives. In today’s article, we will discuss the top 10 WordPress plugins for nonprofits.
Nonprofits and the World Wide Web
Nonprofits and the web have always had a bit of a strange bedfellow relationship. The Internet is the most powerful communication tool ever created, and savvy marketers quickly learned how to maximize its potential. With few exceptions, the same cannot be said about nonprofits. For starters, nonprofits are cause-driven with teams of impassioned activists that want to make the world a better place. Marketing is a term foreign to many, and this is especially true within the nonprofit community. Secondly, nonprofit organizations typically operate on a very lean budget, with the maximum percentage of financial contributions going to the actually cause. Websites soon became a necessity, however, as nonprofits learned that web marketing is the most cost-effective way to reach their target audience.
In today’s digital world, nonprofits have come to depend on their website as their primary tool with fundraising. This necessitates the need for making the proper investment into a quality website. With the web design industry shifting away from proprietary CMS platforms and towards open source, web designers today can deliver a powerful website at a fraction of the previous cost.
A robust CMS like WordPress can help a nonprofit in many ways, including:
- Generate greater cause awareness
- Maximize marketing efficiencies
- Recruit volunteers
- Raise donation funds
- Minimize dependency on outside web developers
- Scale the website to fit the growing needs of the organization
The final bullet point above is the focus of this article. In order to scale a website, it requires features and functionality that may not come out of the box. With WordPress, websites can be scalable with the addition of plugins, which are third-party software programs that expand on the capability of WordPress. To date, WordPress has over 57,000 plugins available in its community. Let’s discuss the top 10 WordPress plugins for nonprofits.
Best WordPress Plugins for Nonprofits in 2020
Plugins enhance the features and functionality that the basic WordPress Core is unable to provide. Considering the sheer magnitude of plugins available, we wanted to pare this list down to our top 10 favorite plugins specifically for nonprofits.
Give is a donation plugin and fundraising platform and is one of the most downloaded WordPress donation plugins optimized for online giving.
With Give, organizations can accept charitable gifts through customizable donation forms, access donation reports and statistics, manage donors and integrate with a wide variety of third-party gateways and services.
Overall, Give provides robust and customizable features that allows you to meet your requirements. Give integrates with all the popular payment gateways, such as PayPal and Authorize.net. You can also track online donations using Google Analytics. It also generates donor receipts that are tax deductible.
Give requires an annual description that starts at $20/mo for the basic version.
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Charitable is another online donation plugin for WordPress that is simple to set up and manage and works with most WordPress themes.
With Charitable, organizations can create fundraising campaigns in minutes, whether they need a standard donation form, they’re raising money for a time-sensitive need, or they are soliciting donations for a specific fundraising goal.
As with Give, Charitable integrates with all the popular gateways as well as provides donor management.
Charitable requires an annual subscription with different pricing options, ranging from $19 per year for the starter version up to $249 per year for the pro version.
[maxbutton id=”2″ url=”https://wordpress.org/plugins/charitable/” ]
3. PayPal Donations
PayPal Donations is a popular donation plugin brought to you by the folks at PayPal. This plugin allows donors to make a financial contribution using the PayPal money transfer service. This can be a very useful WordPress plugin for smaller nonprofits that hope to collect donations from across the globe.
PayPal Donations adds a simple widget to any page that allows users to click on to make a donation. There are options available for currency as well.
PayPal Donations is a free plugin.
[maxbutton id=”2″ url=”https://wordpress.org/plugins/paypal-donations/” ]
4. Custom Post Type UI
Custom Post Type UI provides an intuitive interface for registering and managing custom post types (CPT) and taxonomies for your WordPress website.
Custom Post Type UI comes allows you to easily create and manage new CPTs. The plugin is essential for any nonprofit WordPress site and is very simple to use.
[maxbutton id=”2″ url=”https://wordpress.org/plugins/custom-post-type-ui/” ]
5. Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO is the most popular SEO plugin for WordPress. This plugin helps you optimize every page and blog post on your website for specific keyword phrases to help you rank higher on Google.
Yoast SEO offers:
- Title and meta description fields fro search results snippets
- Schema implementation that helps search engines index your website
- XML Sitemaps functionality
- Canonical URLs to avoid duplicate content
- Local SEO extensions
Yoast SEO is free plugin that comes with a subscription-based premium version.
[maxbutton id=”2″ url=”https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-seo/” ]
6. Gravity Forms
Gravity Forms is a must have for any nonprofit. The plugin allows an organization to build and publish forms in minutes on a wordPress website. From donation forms to contact us forms, Gravity Forms gives you everything you need to make your website an effective communication tool.
Gravity Forms integrates with a variety of third party services such as Mailchimp, PayPal and Stripe.
Gravity Forms is licensed-based, with its basic license starting at $59 per year and its elite license starting at $259 per year. The plugin offers several add-ons that will add to the overall cost.
[maxbutton id=”2″ url=”https://www.gravityforms.com/” ]
7. The Events Calendar
The Events Calendar is a great plugin for any nonprofit that hosts events. This plugin allows an organization to create and manage an interactive events calendar its WordPress website for both in-person and virtual events.
The Events Calendar offers a ton of add-on features, including Google Maps locations, Google Calendar integration and ICAL exporting capabilities.
[maxbutton id=”2″ url=”https://wordpress.org/plugins/the-events-calendar/” ]
8. Unite Gallery
Unite Gallery is an all in one image and video gallery plugin for WordPress. Unite Gallery offers 10 different layouts to choose from, as well as add-ons for videos, zoom-in and more. The plugin provides a great way for nonprofits to display their picture galleries in a creative visual experience.
Unite Gallery offers two different licenses, starting at $29 for the regular license and $100 for the extended license.
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9. Timeline JS
Timeline by Knight Lab is a WordPress plugin that allows an organization to share its history through an interactive timeline.
With Timeline you can pull from various media sources like Google Calendar to to build visually rich, interactive timelines. Non-developers can create a timeline using nothing more than a Google spreadsheet, whereas skilled developers can create custom features.
[maxbutton id=”2″ url=”https://timeline.knightlab.com/” ]
10. PopUp Maker
PopUp Maker is a versatile and flexible popup plugin for WordPress that allows a nonprofit to create any type of custom and responsive popup, modal, or content overlay for its WordPress website.
PopUp Maker is used on over 500,000 websites and has received over 3,500 5-star reviews.
PopUp Maker is a free plugin with no restrictions, but does offer enhanced features for purchase.
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WordPress is a powerful tool for nonprofit organizations that are looking to increase their visibility and online donations. The sheer volume of WordPress plugins for nonprofits provides feature-rich enhancements to any WordPress website.
Who Can You Trust to Get It Right?
We are a nationally recognized San Francisco web design agency with 20 years of experience in working with some of the most important nonprofit organizations in the world, and with our strong reputation for reliability and trustworthiness, we’re a top choice for creating your next nonprofit website.
Contact our team now to arrange a free consultation!