You’re probably aware of all the reasons why a website– specifically a well-designed website– is vital to a nonprofit organization. But just how much does a nonprofit website cost?

Nonprofit websites can vary in cost quite a bit depending on what you’re trying to create. An experienced web developer will charge you anything between $10,000 — $50,000 for your website. Your price will depend on the designer, as well as the design of your website, how many pages you need, what features you want to be included, and so on…

In this article, we’ll look at what each budget can get you, what factors and features will impact the prices, what you can do with a larger budget, and finally, how to measure that your website is effective and giving you the return on investment you’d hoped for.

Want to learn more about what your website budget can get you and how we can help you create a website that will match your needs? Then head on over to our Web Design & Development Page.

How much does a nonprofit website cost?

Nonprofit websites come in all shapes and sizes. Because of this the costs associated with them also range dramatically. The stage of your nonprofit along with the function of your website will steer your budget into one of the following buckets. What is an appropriate budget for your nonprofit’s website needs?

When you’re just starting out

Your organization is starting out and needs to have a web presence. You’re looking for credibility and want people to find you on the web. You’re looking to get some momentum going.

New websites tend to have a small budget (around $1,500), meaning you’ll likely rely on an off-the-shelf website builder solution.

What you get

  • Limited customization — website can be a little generic website

  • Limited functionality — limited to whatever the platform allows

  • Built-in integrations

When you want something a bit more customized 

If you have a bit of a bigger budget ($5,000 -$10,000) or want to redo your out-of-the-box solution for something that’s been customized a bit more to your needs, you’d be looking at a medium” built website.

This would mean that you’re getting your website built by a freelancer/​small agency, but you’re still doing a lot of the work on your own. Your website will likely rely on a pre-existing generic template and likely be composed of different plug-ins.

What you get

    • Some strategy

    • Limited customization — depends on how easy theme is to modify

    • Relies on plugins features for functionality

    • Built-in integrations

    When your nonprofit is growing and needs a bigger and better build

    If your nonprofit is growing fast, you’ll need your website to keep up with its growth! You want to make sure your website will match your updated brand and do more for your visitors and your staff.

    To do this, you’ll need to work with an agency and have a bigger budget (around $10,000 — $35,000). The agency you work with will help you establish website goals and create a website that helps meet those.

    What you get

    • Digital Strategy

    • Content Strategy

    • UI design following current branding

    • Custom templates to fit page goals

    • Custom functionality to fit website and organization goals

    • CMS customization for improved backend workflows

    • Built-in and custom integrations

    When you’re established 

    If your nonprofit has been operating for many years now and you’re noticing your website is no longer providing the user experience you would like. It’s probably time for an upgrade.

    In this case, you’ll need much more of a budget ($35,000+). This is because you’ll be asking your website (and your partner agency) to do a lot for your organization. And you might even need to have multiple websites to address multiple areas of your business and, therefore, different audiences. 

    What you get

    • Branding

    • Digital Strategy

    • Content Strategy & Copywriting

    • UI design with new branding

    • Custom templates to fit page goals

    • Custom functionality to fit website and organization goals

    • CMS customization for improved backend workflows

    • Built-in and custom integrations

    Factors That Increase Your Price

    So of course the prices listed are averages and will depend on who you hire and on a lot of other factors. So what factors will affect your nonprofit’s website budget?

    Off-the-shelf VS 100% authentic

    Will the site be made by using a predefined template, or was it designed for your organization only? Using a predefined template will be much faster to get a website built but can look somewhat generic (hint. Look through the most popular WordPress website templates– you’ll start seeing them everywhere on the web).

    The number of templates needed

    Each page for your website relies on a template, whether that is a specific or generic one. Templates tell the site how to lay out the content and what it should look like. So the more templates you need the more time and money it will take.

    Content management system

    A content management system (CMS) is an application that you use to create and manage web content. There are many different types of CMS with their pricing, complexity and hosting requirements.

    How editable does the website need to be?

    How much control over the site’s layout and look and feel do you need? Traditional CMS lets you change the content without changing the layout too much. If you need full control though, a page builder lets you drag and drop elements to create a page without writing an extra line of source code. The advantage of this is that you can create new unique pages on the fly.

    Plugins chosen

    In a CMS, a plug-in is code that adds one or more features to your website. There are open sourced plug-ins which can be free to use. Other plugins are pay to use and sometimes need monthly or yearly subscriptions.


    How many unknowns does your web project have? Do you need user research, user interviews and testing? The more unknowns you have the higher your budget should be to account for these.

    Content creation

    Will you be outsourcing your content strategy and creation? Will the content come from pre-existing websites or marketing material?

    Features that increase your pricing

    Apart from the factors above, the main factor that will increase your costs is what features you will need. Adding features means more customized code, which leads to more time building and testing your site. As we all know, time is money, so the longer this process takes, the more it will cost you.

    Some common features that you may be thinking about adding are: 

    Interactivity — The more interactive a feature is, the more it costs

    Complexity — Anything that deals with complex data or workflows

    Security — Does your website collect and track sensitive information which requires extra security measures?

    Third-party integrations — What kind of integrations does your site need? Some integrations are easier to set up than others (so ask before you commit)

    Mobile optimization and performance — Do you need the website to work in remote areas with limited connectivity?Is mobile very important for your target audience?

    Translations — Do you need your website to support multiple languages?

    Accessibility - Does your website need to be WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) AA or AAA compliant?

    If you have a larger budget, what can you do with it?

    When you work with more experienced developers, possibilities can seem endless. It’s almost overwhelming. It can be hard to imagine how a website can support your growing organization. We can do everything” doesn’t give you a very good mental image of what’s possible. Here are some ways we’ve helped nonprofits in the past.

    Add features to boost productivity

    SAINTS Rescue relied on an image gallery plugin to manage the animals under their care. The process was very tedious and time consuming. When we developed their website, we looked at how we could improve it to make the process more enjoyable. We created a custom module that makes managing animals’ information quick and easy.

    Integrate with other backend systems

    1% for the Planet had all their member’s data in Salesforce. When they came to us, a lot of their processes were manual and time-consuming. We created a website that keeps all their data in Salesforce but drives mission-critical workflows outside of it. One of these processes was their member certification. Through automations and self-serve tools, the new website saves them hundreds of man-hours.

    Extend functionality

    Fraser Academy moved their student management to Blackbaud K‑12 solution. The problem was that it lacked the ability to produce key reports. We created a website that generates the required reports by integrating with them their student management system. While our solution involved building a separate portal, other systems allow developers to build add-in apps that can be embedded within the existing system

    How do you measure ROI?

    If we could leave you with one piece of information to keep in mind as you embark on your website design path, it would be this: measure your Return on Investment (ROI). I know it can be hard to come up with precise numbers. If that’s the case, then estimating your ROI can be just as useful. You can use these calculations to determine how worthwhile it is to spend a little extra on a custom website or on one feature.

    #1 Get clear on the purpose of your website

    Identify the goals you have for the new site, so you can measure whether you’ve achieved them in the future. Common nonprofit website goals are:

    • Driving more donations

    • Gaining new email subscribers

    • Increasing engagement

    #2 Decide how to measure success.

    To measure results and return, you need to track your progress. Figure out which metrics will indicate success for your project, and then establish a baseline to compare future stats against. Common performance indicators are:

    • Donations. Figure out your current average, and set goals for future donations.

    • Email sign-ups. How many subscribers do you have now? How many do you hope to gain monthly after the website update?

    • Engagement. What are your average social media stats currently? What are your goals for future engagement?

    #3 Improve your website with your goals in mind

    Think about things like:

    • Page value, or the value driven by each page. You can assess a page’s value by looking at conversions and traffic.

    • Bounce rates. A high bounce rate tells you that when people land on your web pages, they quickly leave. Reducing your bounce rates over time would be a great goal!

    Ready to get your website build underway? Let’s go! 

    Building your website can be stressful enough without trying to determine how much budget you need. Knowing a website can run you anywhere from $10,000 — $50,000 (assuming you’re doing a bit more than an out-of-the-box solution) can help give you a starting place. Still, the question becomes, how much will the website you want and need cost your nonprofit organization? 

    The good news is that there are groups (like us!) who can help you figure this out. We’ve built numerous websites in our time and are all too familiar with non-profit websites that have done it right (and those that have flopped).

    So, if you’re interested in learning how we can help you make a website that will help your organization grow, create a budget to build it, and stick to it, check out our Web Design & Development Page. We are excited to help you get started– on the right foot!