Virtually any organization that wants to keep in touch with its existing constituents, reach new audiences and present a compelling call to action needs an up-to-date Web presence. Nonprofit organizations are no exception. With budget and resources stretched thin, nonprofits need website technology that is inexpensive and easy to maintain.
Drupal, an open-source content management system, is a good choice for nonprofits seeking modern functionality with a minimal financial and time commitment.
The various advantages of using drupal are mentioned below. If you are evaluating Drupal with any other CMS then these points will help.
Drupal is open source
As an open-source publishing platform, Drupal offers a low total cost of ownership not only because the software itself is free to use but also because of the adherence to open standards, the flexible architecture, and the broad choice of vendors and service suppliers. Organizations that rely on expensive proprietary systems not only pay more up front but also find themselves locked in to one vendor’s offerings and depend on that vendor for upgrades and updates.
Scaling up is easy
Drupal is extremely flexible and extensible, so websites can be easily scaled as circumstances and needs change, and state-of-the-art security features ensure that organizations’ data are protected from hackers, identity thieves and other security threats. Drupal sites can be internationalized to offer content in multiple languages, enabling the organization to reach a wider audience with its message. Many global nonprofits use Drupal.
Community features are great in Drupal like Forums
Fundraising and advocacy rely heavily on community involvement – which today usually requires an active social media presence. Drupal websites easily integrate with social media platforms, and nontechnical staff can quickly upload new content such as news articles, blog posts, podcasts, polls, photos and videos, as well as updating standard website text and images. Sites can also be structured to allow community members to contribute content. Drupal allows for easy user registration, forums, blog commenting features and other elements that can help an organization build a vibrant online community.
Drupal comes with powerful CMS
Drupal allows for rapid website development thanks to the preconfigured modules and customizable design themes. Complimenting these modules are several Drupal distributions (collections of commonly used modules available as a single download) designed specifically for nonprofits. Springboard, for example, integrates Drupal with Salesforce, an enterprise-class constituent relationship management system, while Open Outreach creates feature-rich out-of-the-box websites with most of the functions typically required by nonprofits.
The Drupal package comes with core modules that are essential to develop the website as per the requirements of the organization. Apart from the core modules, the contributed modules enable users to achieve many more functionalities that have the power to make the website valuable. For instance, SEO modules such as SEO checklist, SEO friend, Google Analytics, Word Tracker, and Pathauto among others come very handy in optimizing the website for search engines. Installing these modules in the website will enable the users to view all of the search engine stats including the right keywords.
Multi-lingual websites can be developed easily
Although websites are known to influence people beyond geographical boundaries, utilizing the local language to convey your ideas and mission statement to people residing in specific geographical areas can increase the impact in multi-folds. Drupal’s multi-lingual module can help you in delivering your message to the local audience in their language. You need not endure the trouble of hosting multiple websites and maintaining them. All of the updates will automatically be displayed in local languages, providing you a great relief from juggling multiple websites
Drupal has a powerful ecommerce system
Organizations that expect donations should also make it for the patrons to donate online. Drupal has plug and play payment gateway API that is quite easy to install. Simply by installing the module, organizations can receive donations easily. The module provides access to various payment gateways including RoboXchange, Webmoney, RBK Money, PayPal, LinkPoint, and 2Checkout. A simple “Donate” button with linked to one of these payment gateways can bring in more money to the organization. If you are planning to sell or auction goods to raise funds, then you need to go for a complete shopping cart.
Mobile friendly website
Today, many users browse the internet via their mobile devices. According to a reliable research over forty-five percent of website traffic comes from mobile devices. It would be wise to optimize the websites of nonprofits and NGOs for mobile devices. Using responsive Drupal themes is the right way to go mobile instantly. Responsive Drupal themes will enable mobile users to browse the website and also make donations via their mobile devices. Of late, mobile applications are gaining momentum and it is a good idea to develop a mobile app for your organization and integrate it with the website. Since Drupal is compatible with the latest mobile technologies, you can also use it as a backend to your mobile applications.
Drupal community is extremely active
The Drupal community is extremely active, with many experienced individuals involved, which results in well-made modules with excellent functionality. Most of the developers involved in Drupal – with the core, modules or themes – are very experienced and provide high-quality work. A nonprofit considering a Drupal project should ask the agency who the lead developer will be and check out his or her profile on drupal.org to see what contributions the individual has made to the Drupal community. If a project requires custom functionality, a developer who is well established in the community will be more likely to have his or her patches accepted by module maintainers.
A good philosophical match
Drupal is a good philosophical match for nonprofits, as the open-source concept is based on the principles of collaboration and contribution toward the greater good.
Drupal has a strong connection to nonprofits and focuses attention on benefiting the larger community. The annual Nonprofit Technology Conference, for example, features an NTC Drupal Day for Nonprofit IT Professionals, and the biannual DrupalCon conference features tracks and sessions specifically aimed at nonprofits. DrupalCon PDX, in May 2013, featured a full-day event for nonprofits – and also gathered a team of volunteer developers to build a website to help FEMA assist victims of the recent Oklahoma tornado. Many Drupal developers offer discounted rates or even donate time to support nonprofit projects.
Famous NGO websites build in Drupal
Drupal is used by a wide variety of nonprofit organizations, from international entities operating on a global scale, such as the United Nations World Food Programme and Amnesty International, to local nonprofits working to better their small corner of the world.
Here are some of them.
- American Cancer Society’s Cancer Survivors Network
- Amnesty International
- Asia Society
- Australian Social Innovation eXchange (ASIX)
- Children in Crisis
- D.C. Open Government Coalition
- Education Development Center
- Fight Hunger, Walk the World Campaign
- Global Business Network
- National Arts Marketing Project
- India Environment Portal
- Indianapolis Museum of Art
A full list of websites is available here
List of NGO websites developed by Sparxsys
If you are an NGO with a similar requirement then do give us a call. We have several years of experience in developing web portals for NGOs.