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How to Project Manage a Website Build for Your Nonprofit

If you are in the process of creating a website for your nonprofit, congratulations! A new website is a big project that requires a strong and collaborative team, so we want to give you some of our tips to help you achieve your goals and meet your deadlines. 

Project management might be the key to success for managing your nonprofit’s website build. This is mostly because of how effective these methods are at meeting deadlines with high quality work. In order for project management methods to be successful, you will need to organize your team efficiently and define the scope of your project. 

We have compiled our five best tips to get your project started:

Let’s jump in! 

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Tip 1: Appoint a Team Leader

Before creating your website you need to appoint a team leader, otherwise known as the project manager. This should be someone who can make sure everyone is working together efficiently and that your deadlines are met. 

Project management strongly relies on the project team, and the project manager in particular. We suggest that you choose someone with great leadership skills, but also someone who understands what the team is working on. This doesn’t mean that you need a technology pro to lead the project, but the project manager should be someone who is comfortable with the technology the team will be using. 

This is mainly because the manager needs to understand what is, or is not, possible for their team to accomplish. Don’t worry, if you are using a website builder like AssoConnect's, it shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes for the project manager to understand. 

Going back to our point on leadership, ensure that the project manager is someone with sufficient communication skills! You want the project team to be in constant communication, and the project manager should be facilitating these conversations. Furthermore, the team should be comfortable coming to the project manager with any problems. 

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Tip 2: Build Your Team

The next step is to select your team members. It is important to build your team with motivated members who are willing to commit the necessary time and effort to build the website. It is a big task!

We believe the perfect team has between two to five people. Any more can be too many opinions and cause conflict. Ideally, your team should be composed of three main profiles. 

We suggest including these three types of personalities in your team:

  • The efficient one: Someone who is rational, direct, and knows how to make decisions.

  • The creative one: Someone with vision. Creativity is a big part of website design, so choose someone artsy!

  • The thinker: Someone who will dive deep into how best to convey your mission, passion, and ideas. This person will know the best way to create content.

Pro Tip: Try to find a balance amongst your team. You want the team members to get along, but you will need at least one person to play devil's advocate. This will ensure your team is thinking outside of the box, but is also still able to make decisions. 

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Tip 3: Choose Your Advisors

Advisors are people who can offer advice and review your work with fresh eyes.  

We recommend you select these types of advisors to get the most from your website:

  • A grammar, spelling, and punctuation pro. Having a good copywriter to consult is a great way to ensure your content is clear and correct.

  • The potential website visitor. Ask a member or donor to take a look at your website and give their feedback. It is always nice to have a second opinion, and there could be small mistakes you have missed. If this wasn’t enough value added, your project team will be motivated by speaking to end-users!

  • An expert. This is someone who has experience in website building or design, and can offer industry-specific advice.

These advisors might seem extraneous, but they are a key to your project’s success! Don’t hesitate to reach out to board members or community members to solicit their expertise and advice. 

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Tip 4: Define the Project Goal

After setting up your project team, you need to define the goal of this project. Of course this will be to have a finished website, but you will need to break this larger goal into smaller pieces. For example, defining your website structure, design elements you want to include, and choice of content. 

At the end of this project planning you should be able to visualize exactly what your website will look like! Take time to complete this step, as it is vital to your project success that you have a clear goal from the start. 

Pro Tip: Your project goal should not only be defined by the project manager, but it should be a team effort! Collaboration is a key to success in project management, and your team will be able to provide their ideas as well as determining the plausibility of reaching these goals. 

Keep in mind that you can change this as you go on. Some project management methods, like agile approach, rely on responding to change instead of following the plan. For example, if one of your advisors suggests something different than what you had originally planned, it is okay to modify your plan to fit their needs. 

Moreover, remember that you can set your goals towards a minimum viable product (MVP) in order to publish your website sooner. Essentially this means that you can publish your website even if it is not perfect, just as long as it meets the needs of your audience. You can always go back later and improve your website! 

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Tip 5: Set a Deadline

Setting a deadline is very important because it helps to set a common goal for your team to complete everything on time. 

We suggest a deadline that is 2-3 weeks before your official website launch date. This will give you some wiggle room if you run into any issues or last-minute changes. 

Plan Backwards

If you start from your deadline and work backwards, you will have a better picture of your timeline and understanding of how best to divide up your tasks. 

Don’t forget to get the team’s feedback on this, as they will be the ones doing most of the work! 

Divide the Tasks to be Completed on a Weekly Basis

It is important to set small milestones for you and your team to stay on track. We suggest that you create small time periods either on a weekly or bi-monthly basis to complete tasks.

At the end of this period, you can have a team meeting to make sure everything is up to date. It is a great way to accomplish small wins and check in with your team!

To keep track of your project tasks, we suggest using a planning tool such as Trello. It is easy to use, free, and simplifies project management! We use it at AssoConnect to keep up with all of our current projects. 

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With these tips in hand you will be well prepared to build your website using project management techniques! This will not only help you to complete your project effectively and in a timely manner, but will also help to motivate your team. 

Be sure to check out our other articles about creating a website for more help with design tips, choosing a domain name, and optimizing your site for search engines. 

With AssoConnect, you can create a beautiful website for your nonprofit, even without tech skills! Try it free for 30 days.

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