web 2.0

Top Tips for Non Profit Website Design

If you are the organizer of a charity or other non profit organization, then you will be well aware of two facts. Firstly, you will be working to a tight budget that can be quite limiting, but more importantly, you will realize the necessity for a website in order for your charity to work to its full potential. This is where non profit website design becomes the key issue, there being many tips you can follow in order to ensure success.

Firstly, you need to banish from your mind the thought that if you only have limited funds, you website will be of poor quality. This is entirely untrue, and by following the top tips on charity website design, you can have a fantastic site that will bring in great returns.

Tip 1. Show your aims and purpose through your website design.

If you need a website for your charity or organization in order to share your message globally, then you need to take time to consider the design. Expressing your goals, achievements and aims through your content is vital. When people are willing to give their time, efforts or money to a charitable cause, they need to understand fully what the mission and purpose of the charity is; this will ensure themselves that they should indeed support your cause.

Many people will indeed stumble across your organization, and you cannot expect them all to have heard of your charity or exactly what it does. A clear showcasing of your mission, achievements and events within your content will allow your viewers to gain an understanding and feel comfortable with joining or donating to your charity. All this, coupled with some excellent photos of past and present events will allow you to clearly launch your website with success.

Tip 2. Back up your mission statement

When producing a non profit website for your charity, you cannot just state your mission; you need to back it up with real facts and achievements. Cataloguing past events will allow people to see the success of your charity, and allow them to check out what other people are saying about you.

You need to have your charity details prominently displayed as well as information on how the cause was founded including some prominent dates. An "about" section is the ideal area to place key information, and this accompanied with a section for comments from visitors and charity members will give your website the leading edge you are looking for.

Tip 3. Provide clear information for donors and volunteers

Any charity or non profit organization is constantly on the lookout for both donations as well as volunteers, yours being no different. Charity is about giving both time as well as money, and for this purpose you need to give clear information on how to sign up or give a donation to your cause. A Safe method of payment is strongly advised, this giving the donor confidence about the set up as a whole. By following these top tips, you will be able to create not just a website, but a successful site that will help your charity prosper and grow.

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SEO for Nonprofits - In Light of the Recent Updates

There have been major search engine updates that spell the end of SEO the way we've known and practiced it for years. Sites that used to rank high for their preferred keywords have disappeared to the 10th page. So are there any practical recommendations for anyone who's interested in effective SEO for nonprofits? Yes, there are.

Is The Sky Really Falling?

The sky isn't really falling. However, some major changes have occurred and you can't pretend things are the way they used to be. You have to adapt or become extinct. But is SEO something to be pursued still? Yes, for as long as search engines deliver major targeted traffic, it is to be pursued.

So What Are The Things Working Now?

A lot of things are still in a flux. However, patterns have emerged that give an indication of where Google is heading to. The recommendations given here are based on personal studies plus the insights of SEO stalwarts like Terry Kyle of Traffic Planet, Dan of Linkvana Reviews and Jonathan Leger among others...

i. Vary Your Anchor Text

There used to be a time when you were taught to focus on your anchor text. Now, the contrary is the advice. In fact, some go as far as telling you to have a maximum of 20% of your target keyword in your anchor texts. Blend in the naked url (sitename.com/exactpage.html), brand name, site name and title of target page. Now "rubbish" anchors like "click here", "visit this link" and other phrases like those are now very important.

The idea is to simulate a natural anchor text profile.

ii. Build A Natural And Diverse Link Profile

A natural link profile can't have a 1000 Do follow links and 10 No follow links. It's simply NOT natural. Google has targeted sites that have profiles that look artificial. Therefore, make sure you blend in a very high percentage of no follow links.

If you have depended on just one link type, you are treading a dangerous ground. Mix everything up. You need links from all sorts of sources: Wikis, article sites, comments, html sites, Wordpress blogs, video sites, genuine forum posts and so on. The more diversified your link profile is, the better your chances of ranking high and surviving further iterations of Penguin.

iii. Focus On Quality Rather Than Quantity

Sites with high quality links are generally going to win the day. But what do we call quality links in light of the recent updates? High pr links from highly relevant sites (NOT just pages) will do you a world of good. Links from authority sites are getting sites ranked high at the moment.

If you have been using private blog networks, you have to think differently now. You must ensure that all blogs on your network are relevant (are on topic) and do NOT have too many outbound links from the homepage. If it won't pass a human review as a genuine site then you shouldn't get a link from it.

iv. Build A Strong Social Presence

Social signals are now very important ranking factors. In fact, there are valid claims of pages that have been ranked entirely on the strength of their social presence. So make sure your nonprofit organization has a very strong Facebook and Twitter followership.

Since you already have people who believe in your cause, making this happen shouldn't be a problem. It is easy for you to get quality links from webmasters who believe in your cause. It is easy to have like-minded people contribute by leaving comments on high quality relevant blogs (with links pointing back to your site). They can also help your site by leaving links via useful postings on high quality forums.

Please, make sure NO one attempts to spam as this will be counterproductive both for your cause and for your search engine ranking.

If you need a nonprofit website visit Charity Advantage.



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Tweeter 101 for Nonprofit Organizations

Marketing on social networking sites has become an effective tool for online businessmen to amass good amount of traffic for their websites.

Apparent promotional posts or tweets about their products, services, and promos seem to be the newer and modern version of advertising. As the fad continues, the number of online entrepreneurs resorting to this marketing technique continues to surge.

Twitter marketing alone saves a lot of money that should have been earmarked for quaint advertising strategies. Plus, it allows greater accessibility and contact with potential consumers.

It is then not surprising that even nonprofit organizations have utilized Twitter to tug some heart strings and coax more people to support their cause.

Nonprofits and Twitter are then gradually becoming inseparable.

Incorporating Twitter in promotional activities and campaign, however, is not as easy as posting personal "tweets." Even in social networking sites as casual as Twitter, there is a need to present the organization professionally.

Tips to Thrive

Here are some guidelines that can be followed to leave no room for mistakes and doubts from potential donors:

• Avoid using pseudonyms, and make the user name sound professional. Post photos of the beneficiaries or logos of the organization in the profile picture box.

• Provide comprehensive information about the group's advocacy in the profile. Give complete details of the group's address and other contact information

• Follow other users of Twitters to earn followers. This, however, should be done with caution. Avoid following users who may cast doubts on the integrity of the organization. One trick is to search on hashtags like #philanthropy or #nonprofit. It would also help to follow the groups that posted the tweets. Websites with content in parallel to the advocacy of the groups may also be "tweeted."

• Make the tweets sound professional when posting about fund-raising activities. Posting personal stories and experiences, nonetheless, may also help in wooing in empathy for the beneficiaries. Share the tales and gather reactions from the followers to establish familiarity of the group and acquire interest on a more personal level.

• Retweet often, but be careful on where the tweets are gouged from.

• Avoid flooding – this means that whole bunch of tweets shouldn't be posted all at once. Tweet regularly, but not too often to qualify as a spammer.

• Thank followers who "retweeted."

• Tweet something with value.

How to Be Famous on Twitter

Above all users in Twitter, nonprofit organizations are probably the ones who are in dire need of attention – all because a population of beneficiaries is relying on them for help.

It is then imperative for the organizations to know the different ways to effectively capture the interest of those who are on the Tweeting arena.

Experts suggest that users mostly read short and concise tweets. A good 115 characters or less should contain the message, as this leaves 25 characters for the followers who may want to retweet the post.

Links may also be a pet peeve for some users (as this is often considered an indicator of spam). URL shortener can be used to shorten full length URLs that may also eat up valuable space for tweets.

Most importantly, the tweets from nonprofit organizations should be free from any grammatical and spelling errors. Using complete words, good sentence construction and proper punctuations can instantly bag a positive image and build up their reputation.

For more information about Nonprofit Websites visit www.charityadvantage.com

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How Can Non-Profits Engage with Facebook Users?

Building awareness and encouraging involvement in a cause has never been an easy job for non-profits, and in this age of viral videos and online campaigns it has become even harder to energize an audience.

There's only so much funding to go around and, not to put too fine a point on it, only so much time and energy the public has to spare on charity. Goodwill is a finite resource, and if you want to reach the hearts, minds and (ideally) wallets of the man on the street you have to keep up with the latest social marketing techniques.

While this may sound complicated and stressful, the truth is that a compelling, motivating social marketing strategy can generate interest (and donations) far beyond what could be expected from a television or print advertising campaign, and all for a fraction of the cost. You only have to look at the Kony 2012 campaign from Invisible Children to know that a little savvy can go a long way.

As the most popular social networking site on the planet, Facebook is the obvious place to focus your social marketing efforts. But how do you succeed? How can you make your voice heard over the thousands of causes already shouting for attention?

Build a Presence

Of course the most important thing to do is build a solid presence on Facebook. You'll need to build a page for your cause, and make it as complete and compelling as possible.

Make sure to choose the option to build a page rather than a group. Pages are more suited to non-profits, and you'll gain the additional bonus of having access to Insights, Facebook's native reporting tool that offers valuable information about your visitors.

Go Beyond Your Page

All too many non-profits stop there, believing that it's enough to simply have a presence on Facebook. This 'If you build it, they will come' attitude may work on Field of Dreams, but on Facebook it's a recipe for an unheard voice.

Your first job once you've built your page is to get the word out. Naturally, if you have an existing website, newsletter or any other way of reaching your existing supporters you should let your users know, but you should also take part in discussions on Facebook itself. Contribute to groups, start conversations, and reply to as many messages and comments as possible.

Facebook users only truly connect with non-profits they feel are paying attention. If your activity on the site is limited to posting a status update once a week you'll be ignored.

Reach Out to the World

Once you've built a fan base and become a part of the conversation it's time to grow beyond your core supporters. This is perhaps the most difficult part of the job, but you need to think of a way to energize and interest Facebook users who would not usually be inclined to notice your cause.

Make a viral video, launch a contest, create an app or... well, do something nobody has ever tried before. You are limited only by your imagination, but if you have it in you to come up with an idea that will ignite the interest of the average Facebook user you'll soon discover the true power of the site.

Using Facebook to raise awareness of your non-profit isn't easy, but those few who manage to make themselves stand out from the crowd know that the power of 800 million voices united as one makes all the effort worth it.

If you need a nonprofit website visit Charity Advantage

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How to Promote Nonprofit Websites?

OVERVIEW:

Are you searching about different strategies for promoting nonprofit websites online? There are quite a few such as social networking, press releases, videos etc. The purpose of this article is to focus exclusively on how to promote nonprofit websites using social media apart from other promotional activities.

ROLE OF SOCIAL MEDIA:

With the rapid advanced in the world of technology, social media is turning out to an incredibly powerful tool to raise money, rally support and connect with constituents for charity and other nonprofit websites. Maximum utilization of social media is an important factor which takes a certain degree of skill and experience. Donations would not roll in just by creating a Facebook Fan Page or by signing up for a Twitter account.

Let us have a look at a few effective ways on how to utilize social media for promoting nonprofit websites:

1. Be authentic and Personal:

You should make sure of the fact that the profile of your social media is authentic and personal. As compared to a faceless brand, visitors would be more inclined to have a conversation with a person. Getting people involved through social networks such as Facebook, Twitter etc. would allow you to have a conversation with your visitors who would also provide ideas and feedbacks. Creating a more involved constituency and engaging your social media fans would result in lot of benefit from your charity's perspective

2. Be Responsive and Active:

You should take active measures to respond your followers apart from maintaining an updated presence your social network. You may seek to utilize the services of community managers or social media consultants to keep your fans engaged as well as keep a high level of activity on social media. Potential donors or new visitors would not appreciate an inactive Facebook Fan Page or a dead Twitter account. An inactive presence would also turn your existing subscribers away. The brand of your nonprofit website would also get adversely affected

3. Encourage Sharing:

It is imperative on your part to create sharing on your social network as a valued activity. You should lead by example by consistently putting out quality content in the form of text, quotes, videos, links etc. By simply following your lead, your friends and followers may also publish quality and relevant content. Such constant sharing of information would lead to a viral impact and reach out new audiences. This would surely inject the promotional strategies of your charity website with steroids!

MORE PROMOTIONAL IDEAS:

1. You may choose to contact other charitable websites who might be willing to share their ideas and experiences on how to attract and reach out to potential donors. A phone call of a simple email might lead to a goldmine of ideas

2. Include your charity website address on business cards, posters, brochures created for the organization

3. Use photographs to effectively capture the efforts of your charity. Submit and share such photographs through photo-sharing sites such as Picasa, Flickr etc.

4. There are lots of portal sites and directories which have been specifically set up for volunteer opportunities and charitable organizations. You can uncover a large number of directories by conducting a Google search for the keyword – nonprofit directory. You should aim to submit your organization’s information to them by adding links to your site or by creating a profile page

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Nonprofit Websites Best Practices – Important Information

People are processing information differently due to the rise in mobile technology and social media in this current era. Websites that are burdened with too many images or too much text without consistency in color or size scheme would surely attract negative attention.

You need to accordingly design your nonprofit website while keeping in mind two different aspects:

1. Simplicity
2. Information overload

One needs to seriously consider the shift in communication while designing the tone and design of the nonprofit website. You website should provide more social experience to your supporters. It is crucial to integrate your website with mobile technology and social media campaigns. It might be required on your part to tweak the overall structure of your charity website.

Following are few of the "nonprofit websites best practices":

1. Attractive Homepage:

Your homepage should have minimal text and powerful, large images. Navigation should be obvious, bright and bold. You should plug the following in the upper right hand corner:
a. Social networking communities
b. Donate button
c. Group text messaging campaigns
d. E-newsletter campaigns
The buttons and icons should have a strong impact and appeal in Web 2.0 design which would lead to a high volume of clicks. You should not overwhelm your visitors with multiple links and dense content which might drive them away.

2. Color and Layout:

The content pages should be consistent in their color and layout scheme and should be approximately of equal size. The background should be preferably white in color whereas the text in black color. You need to coordinate the color of your links appropriately. Images used should be consistent in resolution and size and try using just 3-4 different types of colors.

3. Easy Reading:

Use bold headlines, short and simple sentences and small paragraphs while writing the content. You may opt for two columns for a good design structure.

4. SEO:

Your home page should have the tagline and your organization’s name. Make sure you optimize your content and have relevant page titles. You also need to have a detailed blueprint for building backlinks. You may opt for the distribution method of web content to multiple online websites for the purpose of content syndication. Content can be presented in a video, audio, text or application format. Some of the different types of content which you can create for syndication are:
a. Blog posts
b. Forums
c. Presentations
d. Videos
e. Educational graphics
f. Audio (i.e. mp3 files and pod casts)
g. Press releases
h. Webinars
i. Teleseminars
j. Articles
k. Social Audio Status
As a part of your online marketing strategy, content syndication would result in increased traffic which is highly targeted, attract more prospective clients and even private investors who might want to donate in future

5. Social Media Marketing:

In this age of internet explosion, millions of customers use social media to talk about their experiences and share their thoughts on different services and products. Social media would allow your nonprofit website to reach out to a wider audience almost instantly. You need to have an organized strategy by allowing access to numerous potential donators which would result in increase in brand awareness, more traffic and more donations. You can also hire a social media consultant for the same.

It is all about creating a relationship with your visitors. If the above mentioned steps are executed diligently and most importantly in the right process, it would lead your charity website into becoming an authority and garnering credibility in the eyes of your readers.

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All about Nonprofit Website Hosting

If you've started a nonprofit organization, you're probably looking for website hosting services that are inexpensive and user friendly. The fact is nonprofit website hosting can be completely free if you're willing to spend some time looking up great offers online. A basic online search will turn up a list of web hosting companies that offer their services for free to charity websites. Many times, nonprofit websites end up buying their hosting from free web hosting companies. This is often a bad idea as most free web hosting companies run threadbare services in order to skimp on costs. It's safer to stick with reputed web hosting companies that offer exclusive discounts and free hosting packages for nonprofit websites.

Website hosting is simply a combination of remote disk space and bandwidth for traffic to your website. That means, when you buy hosting services from a web hosting company, you're renting out space on that company's servers to host your website. Therefore, it is natural that web hosting companies will have to charge reasonably for services rendered. But very often, a lot of web hosting companies have special packages for nonprofits that carry more features for lesser cost or include additional packages like free nonprofit website design.

Nonprofit website hosting doesn't necessarily have to be bought from exclusive nonprofit hosting companies. There are many frontline web hosting companies that offer huge discounts or free services to nonprofit organizations. Some of them advertise this upfront on their websites, but many of them don't. So, it always pays to ask what offers are available for nonprofits like yours before you decide on buying hosting services from a web hosting company that doesn't advertise discounts on its website. The bottom line is, nonprofit website hosting is discounted simply to reduce running costs for nonprofit organizations. This is mostly a goodwill gesture on the part of the web hosting companies.

Most startup charity websites do not have a lot of funds in hand to build and maintain their sites. Some may feel that it is wasteful expenditure of donor money that can be put to good use elsewhere. This is where free or discounted nonprofit website hosting comes in handy. Whatever the cause, when you're buying nonprofit website space, make sure that the package you're getting includes transaction channels to help you process donations and contributions. The best way to do this universally would be PayPal, but many times nonprofit websites may also require e-commerce add-ons to help them raise money for a cause by selling paraphernalia and other items. Many donors find that it's much easier to swipe a credit card directly than going through PayPal.

Web donations are a major factor in deciding what kind of nonprofit website hosting services you need. So, it helps to check with your web hosting company in advance about payment gateway interfacing and other such minor details before buying hosting space from them. Some web hosting companies might even offer to give you free or low cost nonprofit website design services. This is a great add on that you must not miss, especially if you could use a little help with the web design. So now that you know exactly what nonprofit website hosting involves, you can go ahead and buy hosting space for your charity website without any hassles.

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What to Look for in a Nonprofit Organization Website Template

Websites are a great tool for connecting with a large audience. However, the process of creating a site can be expensive, time consuming, and unattainable for many nonprofit organizations. Fortunately, using a website template is a great way to save both money and time. There are several things you should look for when choosing a web template for nonprofit organization websites.

It is best to look specifically for nonprofit website templates rather than just a generic design. The advantage of this is that certain factors will already have been taken into account. Donation and volunteering sections and cause related news feeds are often included. Many generic templates are more geared toward selling products than highlighting causes.

Appearance

The closer a template design is to the website you have in mind, the less time and money you will need to spend altering it. There are huge numbers of website templates to choose from, made by various design teams and freelancers. Some are created to suit specific causes, including poverty, faith, or eco based designs. This is useful for narrowing down your search.

Think not only about the theme but also the tone you are looking for. Serious websites with conservative colors are the best suited to portraying a powerful and important message. Positive, bright, cartoon based design are great for children's charities. Green tones with earthy textures can highlight eco causes well. The purpose of the site should be immediately clear to the user.

Looks aren't everything

Whilst the visual appearance of you site is certainly important, choosing a template purely based on looks is not always wise. In most cases the website's usability is far more significant than flashy graphics or complicated themes. Make the aims and message of your site accessible.

If your main aim is to collect donations, think about how simple the method of donation is for a first time visitor. If you want to display helpful information for people, consider how easy it is to find. If you want to highlight a range of causes, is there space on the landing page to show this? The whole site needs to be incredibly easy to navigate through.

Level of customization

You are very unlikely to find a completely perfect template, so the next important consideration is that level of customization a template offers. Some only give you the opportunity to change basic elements like text, images, and logos. Others allow you to rearrange key elements like sizes, colors, textures etc. This information is usually included in a description of the template along with a description of software you may need to do it.

Price

The price of nonprofit website templates can vary greatly. You might be tempted to save as much money as possible, but cheaper templates may not be as well designed. On the other hand, complicated templates tend to cost more but this doesn't necessarily make them any better. If a template is very cheap, bear in mind that many people may be using it.

The right template for can greatly enhance the work done by nonprofit organization websites. It can help them to reach and interact with more people than ever before; at a price that does not negatively impact their important work.

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Creating a Charity Donation Website for Your Organization

Nowadays, there are a lot of charitable organizations you can find all across the world. Each one of them has their respective mission and goals. The truth is, these organizations are looking for possible ways to get the attention of potential donors and volunteers who are willing to lend a hand. With this, one of the best ways to address such concern is to create an effective charity donation website. This way, people will be able to become more updated with the organization. At the same time, the organization itself can reach out to a wider audience easier and faster.

It is indeed true that with the advent of modern technology, humanitarian organizations can now generate more donations by creating their own website. If you are managing a nonprofit or charitable organization, here are some of the important factors you need to consider when creating your own charity donation website:


A Donor-Friendly Website - One of the reasons visitors don't stay too long in a certain website has to do with its navigation feature. A website must always be user-friendly. Make sure your site has an easy-to-navigate feature to encourage visitors and potential donors and volunteers.

Why Does The Organization Exist? - Every charitable organization has its specific mission statement. With this, you always have to inform your visitors why the organization exists. The organization's mission statement must be placed in the header or somewhere it could be easily seen by everyone.

A Donate Button - Donations serve as the fuel of every nonprofit organization. Donations, may it be in cash or in kind, are very important to allow the whole organization to grow. With this, you need to make sure that your website has a donate button placed in every page. It is very important to encourage them and catch their attention.

Photos Say It All - When you are planning to create a charity donation website, always remember the importance of having a photo gallery. This way, you will be able to inform the people about the recent activities of the organization itself. You also need to put a photo essay in every photo to make sure everyone is properly informed.

A Blog Section - A website should always have quality content. In a charity website, it would be helpful to include a blogging section where recent stories, essays, and blog posts can be posted. Remember to include photos in every blog post. You can also feature a volunteer's experience in a particular activity. Perhaps, you can feature a certain beneficiary's life story and how the organization has touched the life of that certain person.

Keep In Touch - It is very important to keep the line of communication open between the organization and its donors. With this, you must encourage every visitor to register on the site and keep them updated by sending a weekly newsletter via email.

Today, it is very important to consider the ones mentioned above to be able to encourage potential donors and volunteers. If you are planning to create a charity donation website, you can ask the expertise of professional charity donation web design providers to answer your needs.

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How to Build a Charity Website

Are you searching information on how to build a charity website? You have come to the right place!

Charity website is a place where people have the opportunity to donate funds and learn more about your purpose. However, you should keep some key elements in mind while designing and building your website to make the most out of such experience:

1. Keyword Optimization:
It is not necessary that you would get traffic after building your website. Driving traffic to a site requires a lot of expertise and effort. You need to pay attention while optimizing specific keywords or phrases of your choice which you want to appear high in search engine rankings. As the popularity of a website increases, the ranking of the same in search engines becomes higher. Once a website occupies a top position, you need to make much lesser effort to maintain the same

2. Mission:
The mission of your nonprofit website should educate and inform your visitors about the goals and objectives. You should effectively summarize the charity's cause by inserting a quick tagline. Before accessing your pages, visitors would be looking to receive this information

3. Donation:
While donating funds, most of the people would be interested to know how exactly the cause will be supported and what happens with their money. Your website should show the total web donations made till date. You should ensure that the campaign is active and those who have already made a donation can actually have a look at their contribution. This would play a crucial role in attracting future sponsors. You should also explain as to how donors and sponsors would be helping in detail

4. Less Hassle:
There should not be too much of hassle for people while using your website. The section of donation should be easy to find apart from clear text. Links should be able to direct the visitors to the relevant pages. It should be easy for you to organize and update the content your website

5. Contact Information:
The general public should be able to reach out to the lists of contacts to get their concerns or questions answered. While providing these numbers, you should be careful as this information would be available to any person interested in it

6. Involving Visitors:
You need to incorporate social media networking in your website to keep in touch with your visitors. Once you demonstrate an active interest in building and monitoring your website, visitors would be motivated to go beyond just making web donations. You should provide regular updates in the form of informative emails and newsletters about the charity's progress and work to encourage people to donate in future. This would also result in word-to-mouth marketing and attract more prospective donors

It is also recommended to set up a forum or a blog to encourage visitors to pay frequent visits and retain them. The outcome of your mission would be greatly benefited once you start developing relationships with guest bloggers and forum members.

You should not disregard the importance of functionality, user-friendly interface, high quality and relevant content while designing your nonprofit website.

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