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Part 1 of 3: Domain Registration & Identifying Needs, Wants, & Goals

If you’re reading this blog post, you’re probably already aware that having an effective website for your nonprofit is crucial. Not only does having a professional, dynamic web presence strengthen our nonprofit’s credibility, it also offers an opportunity for people to find you, and for you to grow your community. Cultivating a healthy community of supporters will help provide your organization with more opportunities, funding, and volunteers to accomplish your goals and make an impact in your field.

This next series of blog posts will guide you through creating a cost-effective website for your nonprofit. In this first of three posts, you will learn the first steps of creating a website: Domain Registration and Identifying Wants, Needs, and Goals of your website.

Beginning your journey into designing a website can appear daunting, but if you take it one step at a time, you’ll see that it’s not as tricky as you may imagine it to be. But where to begin?  There are two major steps in beginning your journey to building your new website. The first is to register your domain and the second is to identify the goals of your website.


Registering a Domain Name

Registering a domain name is officially selecting and purchasing a web address for your website to “live” on. In order to access any website, you need a complete address of that site, which is also known as a URL address, domain name, or website address. It should be as close to your nonprofit's name as possible. For example: if your nonprofit is called Water Where Needed, you should try to register your domain name as Water Where Needed. Secondly, it’s best for nonprofits to register a .org, or .ngo  extension, making the full URL or

Now that you have a web address in mind, the next step is to register that domain using a licensed domain registrar. While there are hundreds of licensed domain registrars, I can recommend these:








Each will have pros and cons when it comes to price, customer support, user interface, and discounting. Depending on what you are looking for, I’d do a quick web search for comparisons and reviews to see which registrar is the best fit for you.

Once you have selected a domain registrar, you can proceed to purchase your domain from their website. While it’s not often, it is possible that your domain may already be in use. If that’s the case, you can try to create an alternate domain name, or simply switch the extension (try .ngo, .org, or .ong). After you have checked out, congratulate yourself, because you just purchased your official web domain!


*After you develop your website (which we will discuss in our 3rd post), the host registrar support team can assist you in connecting this domain to the website you build.


Identifying Needs, Goals, and Wants from your New Website

Having a website should help your nonprofit achieve your organizational goals, so identifying your organizational goals is a good place to start. Ask yourself (and your board members) why you want a website and what you hope to gain by having a website. What do you want to get from your website?  To start you off, here are some goals from my previous clients:


1. Increase in Donations

2. Increase in Voluteers

3. Increase Community Involvement

4. Share their Mission Globally

5. Find Partners and Sponsors


Once you select your goals, you can start employing tactics to help you achieve them. Only when you know where you want to go can you start your journey—otherwise, you’ll do a lot of work with very little results.


Our 3-part series will continue with next post on what pages you should include on your website, followed by our third post, Identifying Four Online Website Builders, as well as other website building options.


I hope you find this post useful!


All my love,