Did you know that nonprofit organizations choose WordPress more than any other website builder? Why? Because running a nonprofit is a demanding enough job even without the added stress and expense of templates held hostage by a SaaS company or dealing with lots of custom code.
In our experience, what makes WordPress so appealing is the variety of plugins that are available for free or at a minimal cost. With the help of these plugins, designers can add virtually any kind of functionality to their website.
Here are our 15 favorite plugins for everyday nonprofit needs. We recommend them since these will help you better communicate with site visitors, whether they're your future clients, partners, or donors.
User Login & Training Plugin
Spending time on actions like emailing, setting up and managing subscriptions, and training staff is a hassle. Instead, why not let people log onto your website and access everything they need within a few clicks.
Install the MemberPress, and manage billing, digital downloads, and subscriptions in a customizable members-only dashboard. Online course management even lets you set up training modules for new volunteers or staff.
Showing the history of your nonprofit's positive impact on the community over the years can help attract more donors and volunteers. It also helps build awareness and lends more credibility to your organization.
You can create your own beautiful, functional, detailed timelines without knowing how to code. With dozens of customization options, Everest Timeline blends seamlessly with any website. Highlight anything, whether it's an author, title, or date, to emphasize your organization's accomplishments.
Virtual Tour Plugin
It's unlikely that all of your clients, supporters, or partners can visit your offices because of distance or accessibility constraints. You can, however, still, show them how your operation works. Invite people to your workspace virtually.
Start with a 360 degree, panoramic photo, add points of interest known as hotspots, and connect scenes to show off your housing, classroom, museum, gardens, or even recreational trails in conservation areas. WPVR is mobile-friendly, and upgrading adds Google Street View support.
Live Event Plugin
As COVID-19 is getting under control, more in-person gatherings are taking place. However, hybrid virtual and IRL events are here to stay. Live streaming is an affordable solution to host such events instead of using Zoom or other video calling platforms.
Thankfully, it's now possible to live stream without requiring your supporters to log into Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Vimeo, or Twitch. W.P. Livestream lets you embed the videos on your site and have everyone watch from one location.
You can even choose to add something like a message directing your audience to a donation page once the video concludes.
A nonprofit's website can provide vital information about the organization, its aims and objectives, achievements, and how others can help. However, if the website appears on the 100th search result page, it's improbable to reach the masses.
SEO can help boost your rank in the search engine results, making you more visible in related searches. It ultimately helps expands your reach without breaking the bank. One of the better plugins is All In One SEO. It has a user-friendly wizard and other features that make it better than the competition.
Once you get more traffic on your website, you want the audience to stay updated on maintenance and other upcoming events. They may have a chance to enroll in a summer learning program or be part of a charity drive.
No one likes the traditional popups due to their intrusive nature. Besides, popup blockers take them down all the time! Even if they make it through, they create a mess for website visitors using cell phones.
Good News! Notibar alerts your visitors to anything newsworthy, including impending maintenance and ways to subscribe to your newsletter without annoying popups. It places a clean and discreet notification bar at the top of the page that visitors can close if they'd like.
A language barrier can prevent visitors from learning about your nonprofit or becoming clients. Even if you offer interpretation services, people in need may not realize this because they can't read your website.
Not to worry, GTranslate makes it possible for your visitors to read your site, irrespective of their native language. You can redirect visitors to a specific subdomain based on their language, making this plugin a slam dunk for nonprofits with an international presence or serving linguistically diverse communities.
You can also combine manual and A.I. translations to increase translation accuracy where you have the human resources available.
Mobile PDF Plugin
About 55% of the internet's traffic comes from cellular phones. That's an awful lot. However, cell phones browsing may have issues with PDFs on your website. But, it is the preferred mode of providing information these days.
The solution is to make your PDF files responsive so they work well no matter what device your visitors use. FlowPaper is a lifesaver that solves the frustrating problem of PDF incompatibility with mobile devices. More people will easily access your website information, thanks to this plugin!
As a rule of thumb, designing an accessible website is as critical as creating your physical space with accessibility in mind. Increasing accessibility to your website for people with disabilities such as blindness and learning disorders like dyslexia with Userway.
It's never been easier to adjust contrast, text, cursor, or provide a screen reader. If you upgrade to the premium version of UserWay, you can guarantee ADA accessibility compliance under Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 2.1.
Website Speed & Hosting Plugin
Do you know what happens when large images cause your website to load slowly? Visitors on slow connections abandon the effort and never get the information they need or make contact. Also, search engines penalize you by dropping your position in search results.
EWWW Image Optimizer shrinks file sizes by up to 26% to combat the issues. Unlike other image optimizers, the process happens on your server, ideal if privacy is a concern. Plus, smaller images may help you decrease your hosting budget, allowing you to put more money toward your nonprofit's mission.
Contact Relationship Manager (CRM) Plugin
Contact forms are necessary for nonprofits to receive communication. You can even set them up, so messages arrive in the appropriate inbox, saving time and hassle.
Gravity Forms goes a step beyond the countless other WordPress plugins that allow you to add forms to your site by including a donation function, so you don't need to pay for a CRM. Features such as file uploads, secure data collection, and a visual form editor further sweeten the deal.
Advanced Search Plugin
Visitors use your search bar to find information on your site easily. Still, if information about your programs is in a Word document or PDF uploaded instead of a WordPress page or post, the native search function won't find it.
WP FullText Search conveniently adds the ability to search those files without breaking any script, code, or plugin using WordPress search. Instead, those scripts will automatically utilize the added functionality without needing modifications.
Social Media Plugin
By getting visitors to share events and announcements from your website to their networks, you increase the visibility of your nonprofit. Social media helps you reach more potential volunteers, donors, clients, or event attendees, but sharing should be easy,
AddToAny creates buttons for your website that makes it easy to share information across any social network for anyone, including cell phone users. Plus, you can choose from customization options such as share counters and floating share bars when installing the plugin on your site.
Events Calendar Plugin
Nonprofits have busy schedules with fundraisers, programming, volunteer days, informational webinars, and more for the public, donors, and local government. It would be best if you had an up-to-date centralized calendar to let others know when and how they can join these events.
The Events Calendar is a full-featured calendar that lets you add and tag meetings, fundraisers, educational events, etc., making it easy for supporters or clients to see what your nonprofit is doing.
You can also create a community calendar where others can add their updates. The plugin also supports ticket sales, including entries to events submitted to the calendar by your visitors.
Booknetic has a variety of features that make it the one of the best appointment booking WordPress plugin for nonprofit websites. Booknetic is also an affordable solution that is easy to use. With Booknetic, you can create different types of appointments, such as one-on-one meetings, group sessions, or events.
For each type of appointment, you can set up how long it lasts, how many people can attend, what days and times it's available, and other options.
Booknetic integrates with Google Calendar, making it easy to manage appointments and donations. It also offers SMS, WhatsApp, and Telegram integrations to send reminders and automate communication. With PayPal & Stripe & Mollie & Square & Razorpay Payment integration, you can easily accept payments for appointments and events. Another superior feature of the product is its fixed price for a lifetime.
Appointment Scheduling Plugin
Scheduling appointments with clients and partners is part of your job, but it can often take most of the staff's time with limited resources. You need an easy way to schedule intake sessions and other meetings without playing phone tag or sending emails back and forth.
With Bookly, you specify your availability and services so that your visitors can schedule appointments online, even if your office is closed or no one is available. Upgrade for access to group bookings, recurring appointments, coupons, down payments, and other features customized for your organization.
The Bottom Line
Running a nonprofit is a tough ask, and they need all the help they can get. We have found that many nonprofits can improve their websites easily with the plugins recommended above.
Elevation is happy to help nonprofits with their WordPress sites. They have worked with over 700 nonprofits since 2007. If you need additional help installing or setting up these plugins, feel free to contact them or visit their WordPress Knowledge Base.