Starting A Nonprofit Website Just Got Easier With GivingPress 2.0

Last year we took a hard look at GivingPress and realized some things needed to change. We tried to make it everything to every organization in need of a website. The result was an overwhelming amount of options, integrations and feature creep — most of which were unnecessary. As a result, we have removed the bloat and made the experience much better for new users. GivingPress makes the process of starting a nonprofit website easy, and it just got easier.

In 2009 we founded the WordPress theme company, Organic Themes. For the past eight years we have been creating professional themes for a market of designers and developers with an existing knowledge of WordPress. We know how to reach that market.

However, GivingPress is primarily a website provider for nonprofit organizations. WordPress is just a cog in our website machine. We’re often targeting organizations that have never heard of WordPress — much less used the software. It’s a different market for us.

A mistake was made. We thought WordPress was easy enough for new users. Some customers began providing feedback that it was too complicated. So, we listened. Then we watched as novice WordPress users fumbled through the software. They were overwhelmed by the options. Starting a nonprofit website should be easier! The goal is to provide organizations with a website so easy to use that it doesn’t require a learning curve. Because they should be focused on their cause, not learning new software. So I started re-building the GivingPress experience.

Could we drastically simplify the WordPress experience for new users while still providing products to WordPress veterans? After 6 months of hard work, we have answered that question with the latest version of GivingPress…

The GivingPress Nonprofit Website Builder

Starting a nonprofit website can be a daunting task for newbies. GivingPress makes it easy with our new nonprofit website builder. We have wrapped up all the steps of starting a website into a simple and pretty package. Despite the simplicity, your GivingPress website can be infinitely extended, and the website and content are 100% yours! Need to export your database? No problem. Need SFTP access to website files? You got it. Need eCommerce on your website? Piece of cake. Don’t have any idea what I’m talking about? Don’t worry about it!

Take a look at the GivingPress website builder. We’re confident it will exceed the needs of your nonprofit website.

Simplified Admin

WordPress Admin Example

The default WordPress admin experience.

GivingPress Admin Example

The new GivingPress admin experience.

Although GivingPress harnesses all the power of the WordPress platform, the admin experience is unrecognizable as WordPress for our website customers. We have removed the confusion and simplified the website building experience. So, even if your organization has never heard of WordPress, you can build a nonprofit website with ease using GivingPress.

If you’re a WordPress power user — don’t worry! All the familiar settings and features are still under the hood.

Nonprofit Website Builder

GivingPress Nonprofit Website BuilderNearly all your website options are found in the Site Builder. Create pages, blog posts, team members and sections of your website all within the Site Builder, and watch your changes take place in real-time.

Within the GivingPress nonprofit website builder you can add your organization logo, change layouts, colors, content, menus and so much more! The process is simple and intuitive. So you don’t need to be a designer or developer to make quick changes to your site.

Take It For A Test Drive!

All this talk is getting old. Why don’t you try it for yourself, right now! There are absolutely no fees or obligations. We have a sandbox site for potential customers that want to test the platform. Go wild! Create new pages, add team members, change the colors, images, content and more. Get a feel for using a GivingPress website. Don’t worry — all your changes will be wiped out after 15 minutes.

Test GivingPress

GivingPress Pro Theme Improvements

GivingPress Church Website ExampleA big part of the GivingPress experience is provided by the powerful GivingPress Pro theme. After many years of designing and developing themes for businesses and nonprofit organizations, we set out to create the ultimate WordPress theme for nonprofits. Previously, the theme was only available to GivingPress website users. By popular request, we recently made the GivingPress Pro theme available for purchase on our site.

If you already have web hosting and WordPress, the GivingPress Pro theme is an excellent solution for starting a nonprofit website.

GivingPress Pro is packed with features and integrations specific to the needs of nonprofits. Below are some recent improvements to the already impressive list of features.

Responsive Design Improvements

GivingPress Mobile Website DesignA responsive design is paramount for any professional website today. It means that your site will adapt and be accessible on any device or screen size. With the growing percentage of mobile and tablet users browsing the web, having a responsive website for your nonprofit is crucial to capturing donations. In addition, Google positively impacts the search rankings of responsive websites — and negatively impacts non-responsive websites.

The GivingPress Pro theme has always been responsive. However, we made several tweaks to the responsive design for a sleeker experience on any screen.

Custom Widgets

Perhaps the biggest update to the GivingPress Pro theme are the new custom widgets. The new widgets allow users to create team profiles, subpage sections, featured content sections and simple donations throughout your site. The use of these custom widgets greatly enhances the flexibility of the theme. Now, users can achieve an endless arrangement of layouts.

Featured Content Widget
GivingPress Featured Content Widget

The Featured Content Widget

The Featured Content Widget displays an image, title, summary and link of an existing page or custom content. It’s a useful widget for displaying brief information or guiding website users to various sections of your website.

Subpage Section Widget

The Subpage Section Widget is extremely versatile. It allows for any existing page or custom content to be displayed as a full section on the home page. You can stack as many subpage sections on top of each other as you desire. Also, the sections can easily be organized by dragging and dropping them into position.

Simple Donation Widget
GivingPress Profile Widget

The Profile Widget

The Simple Donation Widget is used for linking to an external donation service such as PayPal. It’s perfect for organizations that already have an existing donation service, and are not ready to start accepting donations on-site.

Profile Widget

The Profile Widget is used to display member and volunteer profiles for your organization. Display an image, name, title, summary and social media links for as many profiles as you like.

Team Section Widget

The Team Section Widget displays all team members that have been added to the organization in a clean 4-column layout. In addition, a background image can be added to the widget.

Starter Content

Our goal with GivingPress is to simplify the process of starting a nonprofit website. Implementing WordPress starter content into the GivingPress Pro theme is another step towards simplification.

Starter content was recently introduced with the release of WordPress 4.7. Finally, it has provided a standardized way of adding demo content to new WordPress installations. The starter content in the GivingPress Pro theme provides optional sample pages, widgets, menus and theme settings to get new users started. The content can easily be modified or removed to suit the needs of your organization.

Auto Updates and Licensing

We have implemented licensing in the latest version GivingPress Pro for receiving ongoing updates. So any new version release can easily be applied from within the WordPress dashboard. As upgrades are made to the theme, we want you to have them!

Nonprofit WordPress Hosting

Hosting is essential to starting a nonprofit website. With GivingPress hosting, your organization will be up and running with a basic nonprofit website in a matter of seconds. Hosting accounts are setup in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud environment, each with WordPress and a theme already installed. It’s an affordable solution for any organization that isn’t ready to commit to the full website builder experience. Check out the full list of features and pricing options here.

Security, Stability and Speed

GivingPress hosting manages all software and security updates on your server. So you don’t have to worry about your site becoming susceptible to attacks and malware. In addition, our hosting boasts 99% uptime, high-speed bandwidth and daily backups all hosted within the AWS cloud. With GivingPress, you own all of your website and content, and we help make sure you won’t lose it.

We Can Help With Starting A Nonprofit Website

Whether your organization is in need of a new website, WordPress themehosting or website services — GivingPress has a solution. Take a look around, and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions. We are committed to helping organizations start a nonprofit website!

Nonprofit Spotlight: Awaken Love for Africa

Africa is the poorest continent on Earth; that’s common knowledge. What might not be so obvious, however, are the results of poverty in Africa — starvation, rampant disease, homeless children, and on the list goes.

Awaken Love is a nonprofit organization devoted to improving the lives of those affected by poverty in Kenya. The UK-based charity works hands-on helping West Kenyan orphans, widows, and families in need. AL was founded in 2007 by Sophie MacLachlan, who was deeply moved at the number of neglected orphans and lack of care and opportunity she witnessed during a post-graduation trip to Kenya. She scrapped her college plan, recruited her family (among them an experienced builder), and dedicated her life to this incredible cause. Since their inception, they have founded projects that have given a tremendous amount of hope and support to the people of Kenya.screen-shot-2016-12-13-at-5-34-02-pm

One of the amazing ways AL has helped Kenya is their involvement in Gideon’s Orphanage. The orphanage was started when a poor African couple took in 32 homeless children and cared for them (they lived in a mud hut). AL discovered this makeshift orphanage and quickly intervened; Gideon’s Orphanage was rebuilt and living conditions significantly improved. The orphanage now fosters 200 children, and the two organizations continue working closely together. In Africa, education is a luxury most people are not afforded. With the help and support of Awaken Love, the youth of Kenya are able to participate in workshops that teach them valuable skills in training for the job market. In efforts to increase the low employment rate (and decrease homelessness), AL has set up specialized workshops teaching skills in the areas of computers, carpentry, and sewing. They want to expand these workshops by offering education in other areas as well, so those skilled in other areas (such as mechanics and metal-working) are encouraged to enlist in the volunteer program.

Through these projects and others, AL continues to help members of these poor communities become independent through employment, maintain sufficient living conditions in Gideon’s Orphanage, and provides hope and support to those in need. Sponsorship programs are available which provide basic needs for poor children, including food, clothes, and healthcare. Through their nonprofit website, donations can be made toward AL’s efforts, as well as sponsorship for individual children; you can also enroll in their volunteer program, or just learn more about this charitable organization itself by visiting their website: http://www.awakenlove.org.uk. Thank you, Awaken Love, for all that you do in opening a world of opportunities to the beautiful people of Kenya!

Nonprofit Spotlight: Habitat for Humanity (Augusta/CSRA)

Isn’t it nice to imagine living in a world where everyone has a decent place to live? This is the vision of the international nonprofit organization, Habitat for Humanity. The sad reality, however, is that the percentage of people living in poverty is at an alarming rate; this poverty rate has consistently continued rising as pay rates are grossly disproportionate to the rising cost of living. As a result, this rise in poverty has resulted in a global housing crisis, leaving many working families to live in substandard, overcrowded, and even unsafe homes. The kind people of HFH offer adequate housing options to qualifying families in need at very low mortgage rates.

Recent statistics show that roughly 828 million of the world’s population live in urban slums and poverty-stricken districts; urban areas make up an estimated 50 percent of the world’s communities. Research has proven that, overall, children living in substandard housing are affected negatively in the area of academics. Worse yet, shortages of clean drinking water and poor sanitation practices claim the lives of almost 2 million children a year worldwide. With these saddening facts, it’s a blessing to see nonprofit organizations, such as Habitat for Humanity, in action and continuing their efforts to make the world a much better place.screen-shot-2016-11-30-at-3-41-44-pm

On the positive side, HFH has provided over one million quality homes (some brand new, some renovated) to families in need! That means these working families are more easily able to afford healthcare, food, and clothing. This wonderful organization does even more than provide housing; they offer programs such as financial education and disaster response. There are also HFH “ReStores”, or nonprofit stores open to the public selling donated furniture and appliances; proceeds are used for housing operations. The August/CSRA division of HFH uses their GivingPress nonprofit website to showcase team members, news highlights, and events. With the use of responsive plugins, community members are easily able to apply for housing, enroll in volunteer programs, and donate to the cause. For more information on Habitat for Humanity: Augusta/CRSA, visit their nonprofit website. Thank you, Habitat for Humanity, for helping to make the world a happier and safer place!

Nonprofit Spotlight: Fight for Space

Have you often wondered why we haven’t been back to the moon since the late ’60s, or why man has yet to journey to Mars, despite modern advances in technology here on Earth?

Fight for Space is a documentary film which highlights the many benefits of space exploration to humankind, while contrarily explaining economic and political factors that have lead to the decline in NASA funding. The film, which took 4 years to produce, is the result of thousands of Kickstarter supporters who believe space exploration is a cause worthy of supporting, and is newly featured in the DOC NYC Film Festival in New York City. Featuring Neil DeGrasse Tyson, the documentary is composed of over 60 interviews with astronauts, congressmen, scientists, historians, and many other experts in the field of space exploration. Fight for Space makes good use of their GivingPress nonprofit website by demonstrating the use of different functionalities while displaying a clean and aesthetic layout.

With the use of our responsive pages, Fight for Space has created a very organized and structured nonprofit website. The organization succeeds in keeping things simple, yet informative. The website indicates the documentary film’s key points of historical events as well as political and economic factors that have cut NASA funding, delaying efforts to further space exploration. Their Crew Page features each member of the documentary team, along with a brief biography for each. The proactive team also includes a Take Action page, which provide links to join space advocacy groups, as well as a government web link where citizens can submit letters supporting space exploration initiatives. You can view film trailers, excerpts, and learn more about the documentary itself by visiting the nonprofit website.

Nonprofit Spotlight: Maui Ocean Center Marine Institute

The Maui Ocean Center Marine Institute is a nonprofit organization of scientists dedicated to ongoing research and rehabilitation of marine animals, outreach education programs, and the propagation of endangered species of Hawaiian corals.

Earth’s marine environment is in constant need of our support. With recent news attention to the tragic health decline of the Great Barrier Reef, it is comforting to be reminded of organizations working to protect, recover, and restore our oceans.

moc-nonprofit-websiteThrough use of their nonprofit website, MOC Institute is able to educate the public, accept donations, and update the community of Maui on current projects. One project they have continuously supported is the cultivation and care of endemic Hawaiian corals. Due to the warming of ocean temperatures caused by climate change, many reef-essential species of coral worldwide have come under immense stress, diminishing Earth’s coral reef population. The MOC Institute houses a “coral bank” which provides care to many Hawaiian coral species, as well as a cultivation program that successfully propagates coral, eventually returning it to its natural habitat in the nearby ocean.

One of MOC Institute’s goals is to eventually build a rehabilitation center for sick or injured sea turtles. Currently, there is no such facility on the island of Maui; all sea turtles in need of care are transported to a rehab center on Oahu which does not have the capacity to provide long-term care. The future plans for MOC Institute include a complete rehabilitation center where hurt or ill sea turtles will be nursed to health, then returned to the wild.

Located on the shore of Maalaea Harbor, MOC Institute consistently work hands-on to rescue and rehabilitate a diversity of precious marine life, all essential to the health of our oceans’ ecosystems. MOC’s nonprofit website feature high-quality ocean photography and images of their coral banks, as well as documentation of current projects. The GivingPress theme’s responsive pages are well-utilized, and contact information is easily accessed at the top of the page, making it easy to receive community support. Without the efforts of nonprofit organizations like these, the ocean as we know it might be quite different, declining at a much faster rate. Through outreach programs and public education, MOC Institute hopes to instill a greater understanding and appreciation of our oceans and the marine life that depend on it. For more information about Maui Ocean Center Marine Institute, visit their website.