According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, there are more than 1.5 million non-profit organizations in the United States alone, and nearly half of those not-for-profit groups have reached out to the online world with a website. Why put your non-profit on the Internet? Studies have shown that non-profit websites lead to more donations, an increase in volunteership and a healthy outreach with the community.
If you run a not-for-profit organization, you can also let your presence to be known online. It all starts with finding web hosting and here’s how you can do just that.
Do you qualify?
Each web hosting company is different, so it should come as no surprise that there isn’t a standard when it comes to hosting a not-for-profit website. Some companies employ strict rules which require that non-profits meet the following qualifications:
You must be a registered non-profit group. In the United States, this means that you must be CRA registered or file taxes as a tax exempt 501 (c).
You must be associated with a church, education or government affiliated program.
You can prove that you make a positive contribution to society.
With other companies, you’ll find that you need only explain what your charitable organization does and apply for web hosting.
Fee or free
Web hosting companies have tended to be very generous with non-profits, most often agreeing to host websites at a significant discount or for free. While it sounds like an unbeatable offer, free non-profit web hosting may come with a few disadvantages.
Advertisements: Some web hosting companies recoup the cost of your free hosting plan by placing small banner ads on your website pages.
No domain name: With some companies, you’ll be hosting on a free subdomain instead of on your own domain name. So, instead of having the website address MyOrganization.org, you’d host on a URL like MyOrganization.MyWebhost.com.
Less room to grow. Many free hosting plans tailored to non-profits are small in size, which means that if your organization grows and prospers online, you’ll need to move to a different web hosting company in the future that can support your growth.
How to choose a non-profit web hosting company
Finding a web hosting company for your non-profit can be done in a few simple steps:
Read web hosting reviews. Expert and client reviews will guide you toward quality web hosting companies and keep you away from those businesses that haven’t measured up to customer approval.
Ask. Many established web hosting companies offer unadvertised non-profit hosting plans. If you’ve found a host you like, but don’t see a hosting package for not-for-profit organizations listed on their website, ask if they offer such a plan.
Get involved with GrassRoots.org. GrassRoots.org offers free hosting to non-profits and helps to align charitable organizations with generous donors and volunteers.
Search for specialized hosting. There are many web hosting companies like HostGator and MyHosting that make it a practice of giving free hosting to non-profit groups.
Putting your non-profit organization on the Internet can help to foster growth and stewardship. You can take the first step toward putting your domain online by reading quality web hosting reviews here at ReviewsGurus.