Blog – Free websites/community sites for charitable organisations

How can our charity/charitable organisation get a free website? During the Q&A session at the end of our latest webinar (Introduction to Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp), some attendees asked for information about free websites or access to community sites where they could host information about their charitable organisation without having to create a website of their own.

Here are some pointers to tools and platforms that might be useful:

The quickest and easiest way to gain an on-line presence is to use a tool such as aDoddle. aDoddle’s is for charities, community projects/groups and other organisations that provide help/support, opportunities to volunteer or places to connect with others. Charitable organisations add themselves to aDoddle’s on-line map, which creates a ‘page’ with a dedicated URL that they can customise with messaging, imagery and links.

For example, Berkshire Grandparents Support Group has a page on aDoddle and a donation page on The Good Exchange and has put a link to their fundraising project on The Good Exchange on their aDoddle page.

aDoddle is good for small charities because you just have to register and add your content to a template using their step-by-step process.  They take care of the rest.

Alternatively, there are a number of organisations that offer ‘free’ website building tools for charities and non-profits.  To take advantage of these, you will need some ability to style and build pages and the platforms will start charging once you start using more advanced features, so they are best if you really want to have a full website that someone manages on an on-going basis.  This blog by WebsitePlanet.com lists of some of the top free website builders and also outlines the pros and cons of each tool.

Finally, the Transform Foundation offers grants of up to £18,000 to cover the strategy, design, build, content strategy, training, QA and launch of a new mobile optimised website, with sophisticated marketing, fundraising, appeals, social media, e-commerce and website management tools.  Whilst the grant covers 100% of the website design and build costs, charitable organisations do have to cover ongoing costs for a minimum of a 12 month commitment (e.g. for support and maintenance, upgrades etc).

As you can see, there are a variety of options, it just depends what resources, time and skills you have available and want to commit to a website presence on an on-going basis.

Note that The Good Exchange team cannot vouch for the suitability or effectiveness of these tools for your specific organisations.

On another topic, if you’d like to continue to progress your social media skills, our next webinar on 21st August will be covering ‘Next Steps to using Twitter’ so please do register here if you are interested.