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11 Best Website Builders for Nonprofits, Reviewed & Compared

Artie Shlykov 31 October 2019 0 comments

nonprofit website builder

Amanda, a do-it-yourself nonprofit expert, had wrestled with the idea of creating her charity a website for far too long.

“Today is the day,” Amanda repeated to herself as she got on her computer and did what any rational person in the 21st century does when faced with the unknown: Googled her query.

 

"Best website builder for nonprofits", she typed, hoping to find an all-encompassing website builder ready to tackle all needs of her nonprofit organization.

 

To Amanda’s disappointment, she was greeted with a number of links listing all the big website builders, all suspiciously looking like placed advertisements.

 

“Are these really going to work? We do so much more than just manage a website... How do I know we won’t hit a dead end in the future with a critical, unmet need?” Amanda pondered.

 

Of course, Amanda was correct. What she was looking at were all paid advertisement placements, constantly battled for by competing website builders.

 

Amanda, being the smart cookie she was, decided to reach out to Elizabeth instead, a long-time friend of hers working at a nonprofit organization with numerous events per year and a fantastic website Amanda had always been secretly jealous of.

 

“How did you create such a beautiful, intuitive site?”

“Whoa, is that a donate button?”
“Where do you register your members for events?”
“How do you manage all your members and their preferences?”

“Do you send out all those beautiful emails one by one?”

 

Amanda asked after an exhausting four hours of looking through competing website builders.

 

Luckily for Amanda, Elizabeth knew exactly what to recommend her.

 

But why only take her recommendation, when you’ve got hours of research and conversations with industry professionals right in front of you?

 

Below, you’ll see nonprofit-oriented pros and cons of the best website builders the industry has to offer, alongside an all-encompassing membership management solution with their own website builder.

 

What Should a Good Nonprofit Website Builder Do?

If you choose a regular website builder, don’t expect to have an easy time accomplishing your goals.

Your typical website builder is geared more towards building a blog, adding attractive pictures, and hosting an online store — all of these things are great, but nonprofit websites need extra attention.

A nonprofit website builder is a do-it-yourself tool to help you build a complete website for your nonprofit that includes: an event calendar, online member registration and payments, news, blog, social media integration, member-only pages, directories, and all the other pages your website needs to be complete.

A good nonprofit website builder will allow you to easily create a comprehensive website for your nonprofit all by yourself, regardless of how much you know about design and coding. With just a few clicks you'll be able to add pages and features like: event calendars, online member registration and payments, a news/blog/forum section, donation pages, social media integration, member-only pages, directories, and everything else your website needs to be complete. 

Most nonprofit website builders include functionalities like:

  • Drag and drop widgets 
  • Professionally-designed website templates
  • A simple content editor
  • Easy upload of images and resources
  • Password protected pages for members only
  • The ability to easily add your nonprofit’s logo and branding
  • Donation pages and buttons
  • New member registration with online payments
  • Event calendars with easy online event registration and payments
  • Mobile responsiveness, so your nonprofit website appears perfectly on smartphones and tablets.

Read More: The 22 Features Every Top Nonprofit Website Has

The best website builders for nonprofits will also seamlessly integrate with a contact database where you can easily manage and email your contacts, members, donors, and event registrants — something most typical website builders can't do.

That's why, in this list, I’ve also included annually-billed pricing in USD for a minimum of 100 contacts, 40,000 emails and other nonprofit-critical features.

 

So kick back, grab yourself a warm, caffeinated beverage, and find out what Elizabeth recommends!

 

And in case you already know which one you want to read about, here's all the website builders we've included in our list (organized alphabetically): 

 

And if you're looking for a little more inspiration before getting started, check out our list of the top 50 best nonprofit websites.

 

Free Best Nonprofit Software

 

 

1. Duda

 

Duda is a perfect marriage between a clean, user-friendly platform, and functionality. While this website builder might not have many fancy features, you might find their pricing makes up for it and so do their mobile capabilities.

 

Pros

From absolute transparency in pricing to raving reviews, Duda has a fantastic reputation for being honest and fixing problems. Their support staff constantly gets compliments from reviews, while customers are left happy with solutions. If you’re looking to create a simple site with some complexity like e-commerce capabilities, Duda is a great option on which you won’t waste much time. Most features are labeled with an icon for quick recognition, and have expandable descriptions to help guide your creative work. Here is just a small glance of what it’s like:

 

best website builder

 

Here are some of Duda’s best features for nonprofits:

  • HTML coding customization

  • Online store

  • Events management (for extra $$$)

  • Membership management (for extra $$$)

  • Online payments & donations

  • Recurring donations

  • Tax and shipping processing

 

Cons

Ease of use is an upside for some, but a large setback for others. Duda’s website builder can’t keep up with industry features and prefers improving basic site design over additional features. The feature marketplace is fairly small with no sign of growth, and their website builder can’t fulfill the needs of modern organizations. This one is definitely not for those looking to develop a multi-functional site, but is a great solution for personal needs.

 

Crucial missing features include:

  • Peer-to-peer fundraising

  • Automated email reminders

  • Mobile event check-in & payments

  • Set special member pricing

  • Email marketing

 

Pricing

Total Cost: $60/month

  • Base pricing $22/month

  • Membership management (GoPaywall) $30/month

  • Event management (Tockify) $8/month

 

2. GoDaddy

 

If you watched television between 2005 and 2013, chances are you’ve heard of GoDaddy. They made their mark with affordable domain registration services and confusing commercials. In the last couple years, GoDaddy has rolled out many new services such as their website builder, email marketing, and more.

 

Pros

Their website builder must be given credit. For a relatively new addition, users are surprised by the quality of websites GoDaddy produces. Users can select from just over 300 templates, have their site hosted, domain purchased, and running in minutes. Very closely resembling Shopify, the website builder is pretty intuitive and straightforward to use. It has more basic capabilities than Shopify before needing to resort to HTML editing, and comes loaded with beautiful free images. Here’s a snippet of the backend you’d need to become familiar with:

 

best website builder

 

Here are some of GoDaddy’s best features for nonprofits:

  • HTML coding customization

  • Cheap hosting

  • Professional email/newsletter templates

  • Member-only areas (for extra $$$)

  • Wordpress integration

  • Email marketing

  • Automatic invoices (for extra $$$)

 

Cons

Although GoDaddy will set you up with a great-looking site in a matter of minutes, this promise only holds true for basic needs uses such as self-promotion and small business sites. There are simply not enough features to support an organization handling frequent recurring transactions, needing frequent site updates, and managing events, but if all you’re after is a domain name and site for people to look at with minimal interaction, you’ll be satisfied.

 

Crucial missing features include:

  • Unlimited emails to members

  • Special member pricing

  • Online event registration

  • Automated email reminders

  • Mobile event check-in & payments

  • Peer-to-peer fundraising

 

Pricing

Total Cost: $160.98/month

  • Base business pricing $39.99/month (store, email marketing, event management)

  • Automatic invoicing & financial reporting (GoDaddy Bookkeeping) $21.99/month

  • Membership management plugin (MemberMouse) $99/month

 

3. Morweb

 

Morweb provides many services to its nonprofit customers, but the most notable is their CMS platform. With a reputation for being the website builder that even the non-developer can navigate, Morweb makes web design and management simple with drag-and-drop capabilities, internal form builders, and more! 

 

Pros

The CMS system created and offered by Morweb provides a full-selection of comprehensive features that are useful for any nonprofit or association, including built-in online donation tools and CRM integration possibilities. To maximize its capabilities, Morweb also provides consulting services to users.

 

nonprofit website builder

Here are some of Morweb’s best features for nonprofits:

  • Event registration modules

  • CRM integration

  • Blog management

  • Donation pages

  • Volunteer-sign up forms

  • SEO features and strategy services

  • Content migration and site launch support

 

Cons

Morweb is a fantastic software option for organizations but has a few shortcomings. The most obvious is Morweb’s inability to register domains. All users are responsible for purchasing and registering domains on their own unless redirecting from a preexisting website.

Other crucial missing features include:

  • Manual theme switching

  • Mobile event check-in

  • Peer-to-peer fundraising

 

Pricing:

Total Costs: $99/month (website builder, store, accounts)

 

Note, however, that this does not include email sending capabilities, so you would need to use an additional platform for email marketing and contacting your members..

 

4. Shopify

 

As a leader in e-commerce website builders, Shopify is a popular solution for many organizations focusing on selling goods. To help their users build online stores, Shopify partners offer loads of features and apps that allow you to sell through the website and social channels such as Facebook, Amazon and Pinterest.

 

Pros

Shopify performs e-commerce tasks such as payment processing, store management, and statistics reporting exceptionally well. The store feature acts as a backbone to your site, allowing products to be featured in different ways on non-store pages such as banners, buttons, and popups. Their website builder emphasizes the store feature as much as possible, although you’re able to remove it when upgrading to a premium plan. Either way, the website builder is straightforward while still allowing users to manipulate HTML code. Here is a sneak peek of their dashboard:

 

best website builder

 

Here are some of Shopify’s best features for nonprofits:

  • HTML coding customization

  • Email marketing

  • Wordpress integration

  • Designer-created email/newsletter templates

  • Online event registration

 

Cons

Since Shopify excels in e-commerce sites, other functionalities orbit around this feature. This means other features aren’t nearly as developed, or lack integration, customization, and functionality. For example, the website builder allows for advanced edits in the store feature, while lacking advanced editing settings in other webpages. Because of this inconsistency, users must learn basic HTML to perform easy tasks such as adding text to your header alongside a logo.

 

Crucial missing features include:

  • Unlimited emails to members

  • Professional email/newsletter templates

  • Special member pricing

  • Mobile event payments

  • Peer-to-peer fundraising

  • Recurring donations

 

Pricing

Total Cost: $162.98/month

  • Base business pricing $79/month (store, report builder, discounts)

  • Email marketing plugin (Klaviyo) $25/month

  • Automatic invoicing & financial reporting (Invoicify) $19.99/month

  • Membership management plugin (BOLD) $$9.99/month

  • Event management (Evey) $29/event OR month

 

5. Site123

 

Similar to Sitebuilder, this website builder is for those looking to get a simple website up as fast as possible. What sets Site123 apart is how easy the process is, and how little experience you need. Every traditional website builder we’ve reviewed so far requires you to know some HTML here and there, where as Site123 allows for more drag-and-drop features without any coding.

 

Pros

Simplicity is the dominant benefit of Site123. If you think Wix’s interface is easy to use, wait until you’ve tried this website builder. Starting with screening questions, users are given sample templates based on what needs they are looking to fill, and can then customize each template to their liking. Editing sites is as simple as moving your mouse, with abilities to add functions like blogs, contact forms, and more. Take a quick look at the backend, and see for yourself how intuitive its editing features can be:

 

best website builder

 

Here are some of Site123’s best features for nonprofits:

  • Member-only site

  • Wordpress integration

  • Automated invoices (for extra $$$)

  • Online store

  • Online event registration

  • Event management (for extra $$$)

  • Automated email reminders

  • Recurring online payments & donations

 

Cons

If simplicity is what you’re after, you’re golden… but if you want to make even the slightest change, be ready to encounter many restrictions. Site123 limits users in many avenues when it comes to customization. Without HTML editing capabilities, and a smaller amount of features, users seeking more than a display website will inevitably hit roadblocks. Basic edits such as text and image manipulation might be easy to do, but you’re most likely looking to do a lot more.

 

Crucial missing features include:

  • HTML code customization

  • Email marketing

  • Unlimited emails to members

  • Professional email/newsletter templates

  • Automated email reminders

  • Mobile event check-in & payments

  • Special member pricing

  • Automatic invoices

 

Pricing

Total Cost: $76.97/month

  • Base pricing $28.80/month (domain, online store, discounts, email contacts)

  • Automatic invoices (Ecwid) $29.17/month

  • Event management (Zapla) $19/month

 

6. Sitebuilder

 

For those seeking simplicity and low costs, Sitebuilder is a great alternative to mainstream website builders. The platform is very simple and user-friendly, while their pricing plans won’t burn a hole in your pocket. What they lack in capabilities is certainly justified at their price range, while still giving users an intuitive and simple website building experience.

 

Pros

The upsides of this website builder converge around bang-for-your-buck. They offer a variety of base features present in other, more popular website builders, but for a significantly lower cost, with plans starting at $4/month. They’re able to compete this way since you won’t be able to find deep customization features such as you will in Wix and Squarespace. But hey, if you’re looking into Sitebuilder, chances are you’re not looking for those capabilities. Unfortunately we were unable to play around with the website maker since there is no free trial, however here is a screenshot we found online to give you a better idea.

 

best website builder

 

Here are some of SiteBuilder’s best features for nonprofits:

  • HTML coding customization

  • Professional email/newsletter templates

  • Online store

  • Online payments & donations

  • Recurring donations

 

Cons

We warned you, there are downsides to cutting costs. In this case, you’d be cutting out nearly every functionality that attracts organizations to specific website builders. No, you won’t be able to create member-exclusive areas. No, you won’t be able to run email marketing here. No, you won’t integrate with Wordpress. However, do keep in mind you’d be taking advantage of great savings while still having a good looking, functional site.

 

Crucial missing features include:

  • Member-only pages

  • Wordpress Integration

  • Email marketing

  • Special member pricing

  • Integrated shipping costs

  • Online event registration

  • Automated email reminders

  • Mobile event check-in & payments

  • Automatic invoices

  • Recurring payments

 

Pricing

Total Cost: $18.45/month + $16 one time fee (have your own domain? forget the fee)

  • Base pricing $18.45/month + $16 at signup (for domain)

 

7. Squarespace

 

As the only close competitor to Wix in regards to web design, Squarespace certainly stands out. Their templates are not only visually appealing, but functional and easy to navigate. The website builder is a cross between drag-and-drop and HTML coding to edit functions, although most basic edits can be performed with the click of a mouse.

 

Pros

When designing a website, you’re constrained between two factors: your abilities to navigate inside the builder and its capabilities. Squarespace gives users some of the most advanced editing capabilities before jumping to HTML editing, however you’ll need  some time to learn how to navigate the website builder since there are so many features.

 

When discussing Squarespace, it’s impossible to forget their template designs. As previously mentioned, their designs are on par (if not better) than Wix’s templates, and combined with vast editing capabilities, you’ll produce one heck of a website. This website builder is highly recommended for design-focused needs and will not disappoint. Here’s a small window into their website builder, but keep in mind each editing tab can be expanded much more than a single screenshot can capture.

 

best website builder

 

Here are some of Squarespace’s best features for nonprofits:

  • HTML coding customization

  • Cheap hosting

  • Online store

  • Wordpress integration

  • Email marketing

  • Automatic invoices (for extra $$$)

  • Recurring donations

 

Cons

Although you’ve got a wide variety of editing capabilities, Squarespace is restricted by a lack of features not related to design. The worst part is many don’t have this realization until it’s too late, therefore losing valuable hours to create a website they can’t even use. Each edit you can’t figure out how to make will need to be researched on the internet through forums, and other third parties since Squarespace’s help page doesn’t contain everything the website builder is capable of doing.

 

Crucial missing features include:

  • Member-only pages

  • Unlimited emails to members

  • Professional email/newsletter templates

  • Special member pricing

  • Integrated shipping costs

  • Automated email reminders

  • Mobile event check-in & payments

  • Automatic invoices

 

Pricing

Total Cost: $86/month

  • Base pricing $46/month (mobile site, store, subscriptions, accounts)

  • Automatic invoicing & financial reporting (Xero) $40/month

 

8. Weebly

 

Competing for the code-free space, Weebly is an incredibly easy to use website builder which, unlike other site builders, doesn’t take days to learn. Just like other drag-and-drop website builders, Weebly allows users to create professional-looking sites in a matter of minutes.

 

Pros

Weebly is constantly improving. They roll out new features every year and actively seek customer input on what should be next. They’ve also put effort into improving their templates (or “themes”). To accommodate new designs, they re-designed their page layouts which allow for a more interactive, responsive site. Below is an example of a free template available on their platform.

 

best website builder

 

Here are some of Weebly’s best features for nonprofits:

  • HTML coding customization

  • Email marketing

  • Event management (for extra $$$)

  • Member management (for extra $$$)

  • Recurring donations

  • Wordpress integration

  • Designer-created email/newsletter templates

  • Online event registration

 

Cons

Although constantly improving, Weebly lacks a significant number of features present in competing website builders. Features such as the blog are frequently complained about by customers, and support can be difficult to reach. Advanced editing options are not present, leaving you stuck with many pre-sets such as text spacing.

 

Crucial missing features include:

  • Unlimited emails to members

  • Professional email/newsletter templates

  • Peer-to-peer fundraising

  • Recurring donations

  • Special member pricing

 

Pricing

Total Cost: $81.97/month

  • Base pricing $23/month

  • Event management (ThunderTix) $39/month

  • Membership management (PaidMembers) $19.97/month

 

9. Wild Apricot

 

Is Wild Apricot a website builder? Member management system? Event planner? Payment processor?

 

In fact, it’s all of that and more. Wild Apricot is an all-inclusive solution for organizations to create and host their site without any coding knowledge, all while managing their members, donations, and events on the same platform. What sounds like the most expensive website builder on this list also turns out to also be the cheapest available solution (and you can even start a 30-day free trial to test it out for yourself). 

 

Pros

Wild Apricot is the most feature-rich website builder available today. Without any extra fees, users have access to every capability possible in the platform. You can create great looking websites without coding experience and host it without extra payments. Wild Apricot sites can accept all payment methods and don’t charge transaction fees on every transaction, only lump monthly sums. Users can organize, plan and sell-out events through their site, and even check-in attendees at the door or process payments with the Wild Apricot app. On top of all this, Wild Apricot’s user friendly membership database allows users to send automated emails, do email marketing, and manage all donors. Below is a glance at the back-end of Wild Apricot’s website builder:

 

best website builder

 

Here are some of Wild Apricot’s best features for nonprofits:

  • Membership management

  • Email marketing

  • Event organization

  • Mobile event check-in & payments

  • Unlimited member emails

  • Online store

  • Special member pricing

  • Automatic invoices

  • Recurring payments

  • HTML coding customization

  • Wordpress integration

 

You can try a free, 30-day trial of Wild Apricot and have your nonprofit set up with a professional-looking website and easy to search member database in just a few afternoons.

Below is a GIF showing how easy it is to choose a theme for your new website (ready-made with all the pages you'll need) in just one click. From there, it's simply a matter of uploading your own pictures and editing the copy:

Nonprofit Website Builder

 

Cons

With so much to learn, the curve can be pretty steep to master the entire platform. The website builder will take time to master, and isn’t as user friendly. Plus, although its functionality is great, the templates can be seen as slightly outdated (nothing some effort from a creative mind can’t fix!).

 

Crucial missing features include:

  • Peer-to-Peer fundraising

  • Recurring Donations

 

Pricing

Total Cost: $36/month

  • Base pricing $36/month

 

Free Best Nonprofit Software

 

10. Wix

 

You’ve heard of this one—Wix is one of the most popular website builders ever created. As an industry titan, you should expect Wix to pretty much do anything and everything. However, is that the case?

 

Pros

Wix lives up to many expectations, especially when it comes to user experience. Wix’s website maker is one of the most intuitive, user-friendly, and well-built interfaces the web has ever seen. Users with coding experience can edit the site’s HTML codes, making it very customizable if you know what you’re doing.

 

best website builder

 

No one can deny; Wix produces some stunning websites, and is a great solution for design-focused individuals seeking larger feature capabilities. This site took me under 20 minutes to put together with minimal experience and and no headaches. It also has a surprising amount of extra features to explore in the Wix App Market, some of which are free — as well as thousands of free images in their library for you to use.

 

Here are some of Wix’s best features for nonprofits:

  • HTML coding customization

  • Member-only areas (for extra $$$)

  • Wordpress integration

  • Email marketing (for extra $$$)

  • Designer-created email/newsletter templates

  • Online store

  • Online event registration

  • Automatic invoices (for extra $$$)

  • Online donation

 

Cons

For many membership organizations, Wix lacks functionality. It’s a great platform for small stores, boutiques, and other small e-businesses because it’s got everything they need.  Unfortunately, membership organizations have unique needs not met by Wix’s capabilities such as mobile event functionality. Some of the plug-ins that help fill those gaps can also get quite expensive, as you’ll see below.

 

Crucial missing features include:

  • Unlimited emails to members

  • Special member pricing

  • Integrated shipping costs

  • Mobile event check-in & payments

  • Peer-to-peer fundraising

 

Pricing

Total Cost: $153/month

  • Base business pricing $20/month (online payments, event registration, and store)

  • Email marketing plugin (Ascend by Wix) $49/month (they offer a free trial)

  • Membership management plugin (Vcita) $59/month +$15/staff after 2 members

  • Automatic invoicing plugin (FreshBooks) $25/month

 

11. Wordpress.com

 

Wordpress has come a long way from its humble blog roots. In fact, Wordpress now has one of the richest, most popular widget and plugin marketplaces around. Combined with a powerful, intuitive website builder, it’s no wonder that Wordpress hosts over 27% of the internet!

 

Pros

When you think of an all-in-one solution, it’s hard to picture something that’s also easy to use. However, Wordpress is very user-friendly while still providing in-depth editing features that, on other website builders, would require coding experience. Users are able to register domains, host their site, and take advantage of the largest widget and plugin marketplace without sending days down the drain figuring out the process.

 

It’s also very important to make the distinction between Wordpress.com and Wordpress.org. The .com domain is more of a website builder geared towards personal use, while .org is a full-blown customer management system. Both can be taken advantage of, but we recommend starting with Wordpress.com.

 

Here is a peek at the backend of a gorgeous template from Wordpress.com:

 

best website builder

 

Here are some of Wordpresses best features for nonprofits:

  • Email marketing

  • Membership management (for extra $$$)

  • Online payments & donations

  • Online store (for extra $$$)

  • Email marketing

  • Event management (for extra $$$)

  • Mobile event check-in & payments

 

Cons

Since Wordpress first developed the blogging niche, most features are still geared towards the blog function. Other features are still present, but aren’t as developed. Plus, the marketplace that powers a lot of them is fuelled by third parties who develop for the Wordpress platform, often creating problems. There are many downsides to allowing third party competition, which many plugins suffer from, such as high usage fees and low levels of support. Combined with a steep learning curve for deeper editing, Wordpress can be very intimidating to new users.

 

Crucial missing features include:

  • Peer-to-peer fundraising

  • Recurring donations

  • Set special member pricing

  • Unlimited emails to members

 

Pricing

Total Cost: $62.75/month + $75 one time fee

  • Base pricing $33/month

  • Membership plugin (MemberPress) $20.75/month

  • Event management (EventsManager) $75 one time fee

  • Online store (Shopify) $9/month

 

By now, I’m sure you can guess which tasty-sounding website builder Elizabeth recommended.

 

To Amanda’s surprise, she was able to quickly become master of the platform. She now runs her organization entirely through her laptop and can finally eat at her desk again (now that it's no longer covered by donation invoices).

 

Any more advice on creating a free website for your nonprofit? Let us know in the comments! 

 

Using other websites banner

Artie Shlykov

Posted by Artie Shlykov

Published Thursday, 31 October 2019 at 12:01 PM

Search: WildApricot.com 

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