If you run a non-profit organization, you likely love what you do and the people you help. One of the goals of nonprofit workers is to keep costs down so the maximum amount of funds can be allocated to the organization's mission and recipients. While there are many businesses and services that offer pro bono work, not all of them do. It's important for you to minimize unnecessary costs wherever possible, whether it's finding free or discounted services.
A website helps you spread the word about your mission and your fundraising events, so it's an invaluable tool. Web-hosting services generally cost about $10 per month, and for enterprise-level businesses, that cost can rise to $400 per month. Even at $10 per month, plus the cost of domain name registration, you can spend at least $130 per year on hosting alone.
You can save money by using free WordPress themes and plug-ins to design your website, so you don't have to pay for web design. And you can find some web hosts that offer discounted or free hosting services for verified nonprofits. Here are a few:
Of all the web-hosting services available, DreamHost is the best-known service that offers free web hosting for nonprofits. As long as your organization is registered in the U.S., you're eligible for its small hosting plan, which can save you more than $100 per year.
Another option for free web hosting comes from Wix. As long as you qualify, you can get a premium plan that offers you 500MB of data storage, so you can add several photos, videos and other files for your website. You also get 1GB of bandwidth, so you don't have to worry about sending too much traffic to your organization's website. The only caveat is that Wix features ads on your website.
Although Acorn Host doesn't offer free websites for nonprofits, it offers discounted plans. You can choose from two plans. One costs $3.95 per month and includes 2GB of data storage, which allows plenty of room for photos and videos from your latest fundraising events. You also get 50GB of bandwidth, so you can get plenty of traffic to your site and not concern yourself with whether those visitors will see the page or not.
If you can afford $5.95 per month, you can double the data storage and bandwidth of the lower-priced plan. Plus, you get access to all of Acorn Host's features, such as unlimited email addresses, one-click installs for popular website-building programs like WordPress, Drupal and Joomla. One other plus is that you can view your website's analytics, so you can see errors on your site and how much bandwidth your site is using.
If you don't see a plan here that works for you, there may be another web host that's willing to offer a discount – just contact a representative and ask. Although a savings of $10 per month doesn't sound like much, it adds up, along with other costs. Even if you choose a discounted plan, you're still saving about $50 per year. And the best part is that you get the same service, features and support of these web hosts.