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7 Best Free Website Builders for Nonprofits (TESTED) in 2024

Dawn Prevete Dawn PreveteWebsite Development Expert February 29, 2024
February 29, 2024
While there are many good free website builders out there, few of them truly meet the needs of nonprofits. A lot of builders are too expensive, too difficult to use, or simply lack features that are useful to nonprofits (like advanced contact forms or appropriate templates).

You need a website that looks good and can help spread the word about your mission, without forcing you to break the bank. In an ideal world, it would help you build a mailing list, publicize fundraising events, establish and maintain relationships with supporters, and even let you collect donations – all for free.

Is that all too much to ask for?

Actually, no. I can say this confidently because I’ve tested all the best website builders to see how they measure up on the features that matter most to nonprofits. I found six builders that will let you build an eye-catching website for free, with no coding knowledge required. Of the six, Wix will be the best option for most non-profits. It stands above the rest for its template selection, features, and other helpful tools.

And even if you decide to upgrade to a paid plan, these builders will cost less than you might think.

Short on Time? These are the Best Website Builders for Nonprofits in 2024:

  1. Expert’s Choice
    1 1Wix logo black Wix
    Wix is a popular choice with our readers
    Generous free features like email marketing and event management to engage supporters.
  2. 1 1squarespace-logo-1 Squarespace The best visual templates for telling a captivating story, free for 14 days.
  3. 1 1sire123-logo SITE123 The fastest and easiest way to get a nonprofit website online for free.

What We Look For in the Best Website Builders for Nonprofits

There are a bunch of website builders out there that are suitable for nonprofits, but what separates the good from the great? To assemble my list of the best, I focused on the features that are most useful to nonprofits:
  • Free plans. Most of these website builders will let you create a decent website for free. I’ve also thrown in a couple of bonus options that don’t have a free plan, but could be well worth the investment, depending on your needs.
  • Ease of use. Saving money is almost as important as saving time. All options on this list are suitable for absolute beginners and will let you create, update, and manage your website without requiring technical skills.
  • Customization features. With so many charitable causes online, your website needs to stand out to attract donations and volunteers. The builders here have templates specifically for nonprofits that let you upload your logo, alter colors and fonts, and more.
  • Tools for accepting support. A nonprofit wouldn’t get very far without supporters, whether they give donations or volunteer directly. I’ve only listed builders that help you collect donations and/or build a community via event management, email marketing, members-only pages, and more.

Wix nonprofit template
Wix has both quality and quantity. Its nonprofit templates always have the right features.
One of the best things about Wix is its template library. Over 18 of Wix’s 900+ templates 1are designed specifically for nonprofits, and all are modern, mobile-friendly, and unique. You’re not forced to use one of these 18 options, though – you can fully customize any Wix template using the intuitive drag-and-drop editor.

You can also try Wix’s Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) tool to get set up quickly. You just need to answer a few questions, and it will create a slick site with all of the features you need already included. 

Once you’re ready to go, the set-up wizard will walk you through everything, and you won’t need to change much if you use a good template anyway. Most Wix templates for nonprofits come with built-in contact forms, donation buttons, social media integrations, and more. There aren’t many website builders that offer so many features on the free plan.

It’s worth noting, though, that you’re limited to using a Wix domain name and having Wix ads on your free website. It’s not ideal, but I can think of worse downsides to having so many features available to you for free.

1
Wix logo black

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Features

  • Email marketing. Wix’s free plan lets you send up to 200 emails per month, which is enough for your first few test campaigns. You can send more emails by subscribing to a premium plan.
  • Wix Events app. The Events app will let you host and showcase events online, which can be great for fundraising. You’ll need to upgrade to sell tickets, but the free plan is still useful for collecting RSVPs and general promotion.
  • App market. Of the hundreds of third-party extensions in Wix’s app store, many are free. For instance, you can coordinate volunteers with the Scheduler app.
  • Online courses. You can use Wix Online Programs to create courses for training volunteers. Or if you’re an educational nonprofit, it can host the material for your beneficiaries. You can also just add downloadable files for simpler resources.
See more great features in our in-depth Wix review.

Free Plan?
Templates for Nonprofits 18 (plus 12 for religious organizations)
Accept Donations
Starting Price $17.00

Squarespace's Malone Template
Squarespace is known as the home of beautiful websites. It’s not hard to see why.
One of the top reasons why you might want a Squarespace website is its great selection of gorgeous, modern-looking templates. Squarespace has seven templates designed specifically for nonprofits, and they’re all ultra-customizable thanks to the drag-and-drop editor. And you can access all of them with the risk-free 14-day trial1.

When it comes to features, Squarespace excels. You can add a customizable donation button on the Business plan and above, so visitors can contribute via PayPal, Stripe, or Apple Pay. Higher-tier plans also give you professional email addresses, which will boost your credibility. Since these features are seamlessly integrated into the editor, you don’t have to waste time looking for them in an app market.

But what really sets Squarespace apart is its commitment to adding new and novel capabilities, from its Blueprint tool for custom templates to its AI-powered creative assistant. Then there’s its ever-expanding suite of helpful third-party extensions, all of which make Squarespace a website builder for the long run.

Features

  • Video Studio. Squarespace Video Studio is a beginner-friendly app that helps you quickly make good-looking videos for your organization. Video can be the most compelling way to appeal to potential donors, so this is pretty useful.
  • Events. You can create and promote fundraising events with events pages and calendar blocks. This is a great way to boost your engagement, even if you’re on the Personal plan and can’t sell tickets through your website.
  • Blogging tools. You can share your success stories and win more supporters by adding a blog page to any Squarespace template.
  • Members-only areas. By limiting certain areas of your website to registered members only, you can foster a sense of community, share resources with volunteers, or reward donors.
Read our full Squarespace review to see how you can build a beautiful website.

Free Plan? 14-day free trial
Templates for Nonprofits 7 (or design a custom template with Blueprint)
Accept Donations Business plan and above
Starting Price $16.00
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SITE123 AI-designed custom template for non-profits
SITE123 may not have pre-built nonprofit templates but it will create a custom template for you.
If you’re a complete newbie and are looking for ease of use above all else, SITE123 is the most beginner-friendly builder on this list. A helpful set-up wizard shows you how everything works the first time around. You can edit any page element simply by clicking on it, or quickly change your site’s color scheme, fonts, header, or layout from the “design” menu tab.

You’ll also get AI-powered tools that make setting up and running your website a breeze. Whether you need a custom template, tagline, logo, or help with SEO-optimized content, SITE123 can help. Admittedly, these tools won’t give you Oscar-worthy content, but if you’re short on ideas, you’ll find them super useful.

It’s worth noting that SITE123 favors quick and easy building over full creative control, and so you don’t get as many customization options as with some other builders.

But if you want to get your site online quickly, SITE123 is perfect. SITE123’s free plan1 has plenty of features built in, and lets you access all templates. And since every template is mobile-responsive, your site will look good on any device.

Features

  • Donations. If you’re on the free plan, your site can still take donations – but only via offline methods, like bank deposit, check, cash, or phone. To activate online donations, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan.
  • Form builder. By integrating a form into your website, you can respond to online inquiries, collect sign-ups for events, or gather email addresses for your mailing list.
  • Blogging tools. Starting a blog is a great way to keep your supporters updated on your nonprofit’s activities, or even spread the word about upcoming events. SITE123’s free plan includes blogging functionality.
  • FAQ pages. You can easily add and edit pre-built FAQ pages (or page sections). This is great for showing your transparency as a nonprofit, and addressing any skepticism.
Read our expert SITE123 review for more details.

Free Plan?
Templates for Nonprofits No, but SITE123 will create a custom nonprofit template for you
Accept Donations Yes, but the free plan only allows offline payments
Starting Price $12.80

IONOS nonprofit wildlife template
IONOS has dozens of attractive, responsive templates, including one for nonprofits
IONOS might not be the best-known website builder out there, but it has a lot to offer for an extremely low price. I love that each plan has two options (with or without an online shop) so you don’t need to pay for unwanted features just so you can take donations online. This will help you maximize the effect of every incoming dollar. 

On top of that, IONOS offers free professional email, a free SSL certificate, and a free domain for one year if you sign up for a yearly plan. Sure, you’ll have to pay for your domain name after that, but it’s a great way to get your website up and running with minimal startup costs. 

It’s worth bearing in mind that your customization is limited on the Starter plan. The Plus plan doesn’t add more templates but does offer more design freedom and advanced tools, like those for SEO. The Starter plan is a quality, low-cost option, but the Plus plan is better for those wanting more features and flexibility.

You’ll only get a handful of templates to choose from, and all of them have fixed layouts and limited font options. You’ll have to upgrade to the Plus plan or above if you want the full template range. That’s not to say the templates available on the Starter plan are bad – far from it – but don’t expect lots of design freedom at this price point. 

Features

  • Multilingual support. Display your website in 45 different languages thanks to IONOS’s automatic translations. This is ideal if your organization works across different countries or with people that speak a range of languages. 
  • Logo generator. IONOS lets you design and edit a simple logo for your organization for free. It’s a great feature to have if you don’t have the budget to hire a professional logo designer. 
  • RankingCoach. If you’re seeking additional assistance in reaching new supporters, simply install the RankingCoach app. This incredible automated tool can do wonders for enhancing your website’s SEO. And you know what’s great? It’s a paid add-on, yet considerably more budget-friendly than hiring an SEO expert.
  • Social media integrations. Reach supporters through your social media platforms by setting up Facebook ads and selling products through your other social media channels. You’ll even get a link shortener to make it easier to share your products on Twitter. 
See how you can set up a website for less in our comprehensive IONOS review. 

Free Plan?
Templates for Nonprofits 1 (or have AI design your site)
Accept Donations eCommerce plans only
Starting Price $6.00

5. Shopify: Best For Cause-Based E-Commerce1

Shopify Publisher theme
Shopify themes support visual and textual storytelling, a key feature for nonprofits.
Shopify understands the financial challenges and unique needs of nonprofits. It offers two special plans for charitable organizations: NPO Lite and NPO Full, priced at $29 and $99, respectively. A standout feature of these plans is lower or waived transaction fees, which ensures a larger portion of sales proceeds/donations go towards your cause. NPO plans also have other advanced features that are normally reserved for Shopify’s higher-tiered plans, like real-time carrier shipping at checkout.

The platform’s adaptability to the needs of nonprofits extends to its templates. Any of Shopify’s 159 themes can be easily tweaked and tailored to reflect your organization’s core values and objectives. You’ll also find Shopify’s app marketplace is stocked with apps designed for charitable organizations, like ShoppingGives, Shop for Good, and Easy Donation.

While you can use Shopify to create an online store to sell branded merchandise and accept donations, it may not be the ideal choice for every nonprofit. There’s no free plan, and the cost of adding apps and other features could strain charitable organizations on tight budgets.

Features

  • Omnichannel Sales/Donations. You can accept donations or payments for branded merchandise/events across multiple channels, including online, in-person, and through social media.
  • Reach International Donors. Multilingual websites and Shopify’s global payment and currency support allow you to connect with and accept contributions from international supporters. This can expand your donor base and increase your fundraising potential.
  • Useful Marketing Tools. Shopify provides a variety of effective marketing tools and integrations that can help you optimize your outreach, engage with your community, and increase contributions.
  • Analytics and Reporting. Shopify offers advanced analytic and reporting tools, giving valuable insights into donor behavior and promoting data-driven decisions.
Learn more about Shopify’s features in our expert review.

Free Plan? Free trial (2 lower-priced plans for nonprofits)
Templates for Nonprofits 159 themes (12 free) for selling any type of merchandise to support your mission
Accept Donations
Starting Price $29

WordPress.com theme example
WordPress.com doesn’t have a lot of nonprofit themes, but all are very customizable.
WordPress.com has a steeper learning curve than the other options on this list, but it makes up for that with a lot of power. There’s no drag-and-drop interface. Instead, to customize your theme, you interact with a sidebar on the left to add page elements. And while it offers just seven themes for nonprofits, they’ll work well for your needs.

Pages and blog posts on WordPress.com are greatly adaptable, with numerous page components accessible for utilization – from various kinds of contact forms to unique picture galleries.

The free plan is powerful – you can offer paid member-only content and accept donations online via Stripe. Visitors can also subscribe to your newsletter and Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feed. Upgrading to a paid plan gets you additional features, a free custom domain, an ad-free website, and access to premium themes, some of which are more customizable than the free ones.

The free plan is powerful, you’ll need to upgrade to WordPress.com’s cheapest paid plan to take donations online. Upgrading to a paid plan also lets you access premium themes, some of which are more customizable than the free ones.

Features

  • Embed Kickstarter campaigns. You can embed a Kickstarter campaign into any page or post – all you need is a link to the Kickstarter campaign.
  • Content management. You have the freedom to write, organize, and schedule an unlimited number of blog posts. By organizing your posts, you ensure that your website remains easy to navigate for visitors. Additionally, keeping track of your unpublished drafts can greatly enhance your workflow.
  • Sign-up forms. Get your mailing list started by collecting sign-ups directly from your website.
  • Timeline blocks. You can add a ‘Timeline’ block to any post or page to display a series of milestones. This is good for highlighting your nonprofit’s accomplishments and boosting your credibility, plus you can use it to highlight future goals.
Read our full review of WordPress.com for more details..

Free Plan?
Templates for Nonprofits 7 (with Business plan access hundreds of community, premium, and third-party themes)
Accept Donations
Starting Price $4.00

Another Notable Website Builder For Nonprofits

Here’s another website builder worth considering for your nonprofit, especially if you’re willing to trade advanced customization for ease and simplicity.

7. Webador1

Webador nonprofit template
Webador’s templates are all easy to customize and mobile responsive.
Webador is an affordable choice for nonprofits seeking a basic online presence. If you’re working with a limited budget and want to establish a professional site, it offers a range of templates together with helpful tutorials that make building your website simple. There are no advanced customization features or an app store, but Webador’s primary strength lies in the ease and speed of setting up a website.

That doesn’t mean Webador’s free plan lacks useful features for charitable organizations. You can create custom forms to gather volunteer registrations, event sign-ups, or feedback from the community. An integrated blog allows you to share regular updates about your nonprofit’s activities, which will keep your audience informed and engaged. It’s also easy to use Webador’s e-commerce capabilities for fundraising, but those are only available when you upgrade to a paid plan.

These Are the Best Site Builders for Nonprofits

With any of these website builders, you can collect donations, organize events, share blog posts about your nonprofit’s accomplishments, and create email marketing campaigns. And you can do it all even if you’re using a free plan. The trade-off is that your site will have a subdomain and ads.

If you really need a free website, use Wix1. In terms of flexibility, features, and ease of use, it simply can’t be beaten – no other website builder offers as much for free. The paid plans are super budget-friendly, too.

If a free plan won’t work for your organization, then check out Squarespace1.  This builder is a great option for those who want a top-notch site design with powerful features.

Need to get a compelling website online fast? Sign up to SITE123’s free plan1 to build your site. You can always upgrade to one of its affordable paid plans.

For a quick summary of the best website builders for nonprofits, check out my handy summary table:

Free Plan Best Feature Best For Starting Price
Wix Generous marketing tools Nonprofits trying to build support on a budget $17.00
Squarespace 14-day free trial Striking templates and galleries Nonprofits telling a visual story about their mission $16.00
SITE123   Easy-to-use and simple editor Nonprofits that need to get online quickly $12.80
IONOS Flexible pricing plans to suit all budgets Nonprofits that need to make every dollar count $6.00
Shopify Free trial Reduced price e-commerce plans for nonprofits Nonprofits that want robust tools to fundraise with cause-based products $29.00
WordPress.com Blogging tools Nonprofits regularly communicating with supporters $45.00

FAQ

How can I create a nonprofit website for free?

First, sign up with one of our recommended website builders for nonprofits. Next, pick a template. You can usually add page elements (contact forms, for example) as needed, so choose based on design more than template features. Then customize your template, and hit ‘publish’!

Can I collect donations for my nonprofit with a free website builder?

Most builders let you add a donation button on a free plan, but it won’t process payments until you upgrade. SITE123’s free plan lets you take donations – but only through offline methods (like cash or check). You can also accept donations on WordPress.com’s free plan.

Is Wix good for nonprofits?

Wix is a great option for nonprofits, whether you want to use its free or paid plans. Wix’s drag-and-drop editor is beginner-friendly, and Wix sites are highly customizable. Free plans can use email marketing and event scheduling tools, but you’ll need to upgrade to a premium Wix plan to get your own domain and remove Wix’s branding.

Is Squarespace free for nonprofits?

Squarespace doesn’t offer a free plan, but it does offer a 14-day free trial. The paid plans can quickly give you your money’s worth, though. Squarespace offers beautiful templates, eye-catching donation buttons, and effective marketing tools, all of which make it easy to build an engaging website for your nonprofit.

What is the best free website builder?

Overall, I recommend going with Wix, as it gives even free users access to its huge template library, App Market, and other tools like email marketing and SEO. If Wix doesn’t work for you, most website builders offer free plans. Check out our list of the best website builders for 2023 to see what’s on offer.

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sameer
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Thanks Abi , This article provide great insights all the options avaianle to build to non-profiet website. I have question - I want to host a site that allows people to type of baking goods without any charge . They choose to donation if they want. What option do you recommend?
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Mihail - WSP Team
Thank you for your kind words! For hosting a site that allows people to order baking goods on a donation basis, We recommend exploring platforms like WordPress combined with WooCommerce for e-commerce capabilities, as they offer great flexibility and donation plugins. You could also consider Shopify with a donation app for a more straightforward setup. Each platform has its strengths, so selecting one depends on your specific needs and comfort level with website management.
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Holly
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Thank you for writing this article. It was very helpful and allowed me to understand the options available for non profit businesses/committee's.
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Mihail - WSP Team
We're so glad to hear that the article was helpful and provided clarity on the options available for non-profit businesses and committees. Thank you for your feedback, and we wish you the best in your endeavors!
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Roberto Sato
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Thanks Abi for this valuable payment processing content. Great Read. Is there any hidden fees and pains of online donation platforms?
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Website Planet Team
Hi Roberto, thanks for your question. It depends on the platform you want to use. Some donation platforms ask the donor to add an amount on top of their donation to support the running of the platform, and others charge a percentage of the donation. Most website builders, like the ones on this list, will let you add a donation button on a free plan, but you would have to upgrade and pay to process payments.
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Executive Director
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I used your info to work through my questions on a Site123 site. I received expert help even on a free basis. I went with a one year paid plan. Thanks!
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anonymus
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This promised 'really free website builders' and then wasn't about that at all. Didn't seem to give us what was promised.
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anonymus
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This was a really great article thanks! I appreciated the break down at the end with all of the checked boxes. It helped me make a better decision.
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anonymus
2 Reply
MailChimp now offers web design! I've always like the way their email campaigns works and we use it for our non-profit club emails. However we are currently using Squarespace for our website. The UIs tools between the two are easier with MailChimp, but more tedious within Squarespace. Any insight on this new MailChimp platform would be great!
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Kris
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Tried to read about NFP Website templets on WIX, wanting to find out if they provide a free name option for domain before I commit. Hard to find any info on their NFP site offer and difficult to contact without having to sign up first.
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