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Build your nonprofit fundraising stack, Part 4: CMS

This is the fourth and final part in our series about what we call the “Nonprofit Fundraising Technology Stack,” and in this installment we’re going to focus on options for integrating your main website – whether it’s a CMS or hard-coded – with your fundraising tools.

Content management systems

The most essential online presence that any nonprofit organization can have is its main website. This is the place that many, if not most supporters will first engage with an organization online, so it is essential to keep this website up-to-date and fresh. For that reason, many nonprofits use content management systems (CMS) that allow non-programmers to easily update content on the site. These systems include WordPress (by far the most popular CMS in the world) as well as Drupal, Joomla and other systems.

Along with blog posts, event updates, organizational and mission related announcements and a variety of other uses, an organization’s fundraising can be deeply integrated into its main website. This can be accomplished in a number of ways. The first, and simplest, option is to have all “Donate” buttons on the main website link to a corresponding page on the organization’s fundraising platform. Rallybound provides what we call a “standalone” donation page that is preconfigured for this purpose.

Deeper integrations with a CMS to fundraising activity is also possible through either embedding sections of the fundraising platform seamlessly into a page or pages on the main website. Additionally, organizations that have computer programming staff or support can use the Rallybound API to create custom integrations into the org’s CMS.

Finally, many nonprofits prefer to have the look (including navigation and footer, etc.) to be consistent across all of their online properties, including their fundraising platform. This not only helps supporters navigate their sites, but also can enhance the organization’s brand. Rallybound’s architecture is flexible enough to accomadate these types of design needs, and we have seamlessly integrated with a number of our clients’ main websites including MMRF as explained below:

Hard-coded websites

While CMS is a great option for many organizations, other nonprofits prefer to “hard code” their main websites, managed by either internal or external computer programming staff. In this case, all of the options for integrating fundraising into the main website are the same as with a CMS.

This wraps up our series on the nonprofit fundraising stack – please check out our earlier posts on CRMs, email marketing and payment processors.