Due to nonprofits increasing embrace of technology, they need e-commerce stores to streamline their online donation and membership management. Non-profits have different needs than for-profit businesses. As they can’t generate revenue like for-profits, but just to keep their organization and mission running.
Hence, nonprofits need specific software because for-profit tools can’t meet their needs. Even with specific software designed to generate revenue, like an e-commerce platform, non-profits have specific platform features. These can’t be catered to by regular for-profit tools. In this article, we are going to discuss how to choose a nonprofit e-commerce store and some top e-commerce platforms for nonprofits.
Top Non-profit E-commerce stores
Shopify: Shopify is a Canadian-based company. They are one of the best-known non-profit e-commerce stores. They have a lot to offer as an e-commerce platform for nonprofits. As they have successfully deployed with many nonprofit organizations like the World Wildlife Fund, Wishlist Foundation, and Sundra. For non-profits, there are many good reasons to use Shopify as an online e-commerce store.
It’s affordable because Shopify offers a two-week free trial along with discounts for qualified nonprofits (the Shopify plan starts at just $9 per month).
It's easy to use, and you can quickly create an online store using the pre-built themes of Shopify. This nonprofit e-commerce store also offers extensive tutorials to help you get started.
It’s reliable because of built-in hosting; there is no need to worry about your store going down due to a traffic overload.
It’s integrated with several apps and services.
Although Shopify is strong on the store side with the best products of each breed, it needs to work on specific nonprofit needs to come up to the mark.
Snipcart:Another great Canadian company that enables you to add a shopping cart to your website. You don’t need to make radical changes to your website for adding an e-commerce experience. This e-commerce platform gives a chance to 20,000 merchants and integrates with any site builders. This e-commerce platform has several features for a member-driven organization. These include the following, among many other features:
YWCA Toronto utilized snipcart as a nonprofit e-commerce store to offer online donations and program ticket sales. This was possible only due to the easy integration of snipcart into their advantage CSP content management system.
Wild Apricot:Another nonprofit e-commerce store but the opposite of Shopify. As it is built specifically for nonprofits but isn’t strong on CMS solutions. On one hand, it has plenty of features for a member-driven organization, such as:
It is used by well-known nonprofits like Women Business Owners and the National Foster Parent Association. Despite all of this extra functionality, this nonprofit's e-commerce store has diminished its offerings. Although it's not a bad platform, it lags because it is not strong on straight-up CMS solutions like Shopify.
Wix: It is a leading cloud-based development platform that can be customized to create a nonprofit e-commerce store page. Some advantages of using this platform are:
Users can customize anything using Wix, from their customized logo to the checkout experience.
It also offers multiple SEO tools to help nonprofits compete more effectively with organic searchers.
Their video maker tool allows users to make promotional videos in a few easy steps.
This nonprofit's e-commerce store provides a range of professional e-commerce guides that help them learn everything from starting, managing, and earning money.
Constant Contact:Another well-known platform that acts as a nonprofit e-commerce store online. It has many tempting offers for its users, such as:
Ready-made e-commerce layouts
Access at a special rate through their catalog
50% discount on a monthly email plan for new users
Hands-on webinar providing valuable tips
How Nonprofits Can Use E-Commerce Effectively
A nonprofite-commerce store or platform connects all nonprofits. They have one thing in common, and that is the need for fundraising and their need to connect with the people. Non-profits have challenges dealing with their broad range of income and budgets. They need to cater to every kind of donor who wants to support them, be it monthly at $100, one-time at $10, or through buying any of their merchandise. Nonprofits can use an online e-commerce platform for multiple purposes.
Selling merchandise: Nonprofits’ e-commerce online store enables them to sell merchandise to a wide range of people worldwide.
Collecting online donations: As nonprofits are in constant need of donations, an online e-commerce store provides them with a platform to do so. Recurring donations are lifesavers, and nonprofit e-commerce stores achieve them through regular subscriptions from their supporters.
Raising awareness: Any nonprofit needs to connect with other companies, institutions, and individuals to raise awareness about its mission. It's as important as generating funds. One great way to do it is through emails, such as monthly marketing emails to keep the community well informed, which also act as a donation reminder.
How To Deal With Taxes?
Nonprofit e-commerce stores can sell products and services to make a profit as long as their activities are related to their organization's purpose. However, it’s important to understand tax laws and regulations for nonprofits. So, you’d better have a word with your accountant or attorney before launching e-commerce to know about tax collection and payments as a result of your online sales.
Online nonprofit e-commerce stores can be a good way to diversify your fundraising income, increase your online visibility, and bring a greater sense of community to your organization and its mission. With a perfect e-commerce platform, you can launch and run your online store with minimal technological issues. So, if you are a nonprofit, come forward and have an online e-commerce store to generate year-round revenue for you. Now, no more worrying due to fund fluctuation; keep a consistent input of cash through a nonprofit e-commerce store.