How to create a website for an association? The answer is in this guide!

April 06, 2023 - Frédérique Biau

11 minutes

In the age of digital technology, creating a website for your association seems obvious. More than any other field, the association sector works, by essence, on the network, the partnership, the word-of-mouth, the exchange…

The association has therefore, even more than the company, its rightful place on the web, a fantastic ground of expression and interconnection.

How to make a website that meets the specific needs of an association? That is to say, for a small price, or even for free:

  • Brings a real visibility to the activities of the structure,

  • Informs the public,

  • Inspires confidence in partners.

In short, how to create a useful and successful association website? At SiteW, we have our ideas on the subject, and we want to talk about it with you.

Create a website for an association: why is it almost vital?

One thing is certain, managing an association under the law of 1901 presents today delicate stakes:

  • The insufficiency of resources is often the main problem, whether in terms of time, budget, or personnel.

  • The competitive aspect is also a major issue. Indeed, there are more and more associations in all sectors (social, cultural, sports, charitable).

It is becoming more and more difficult to stand out from the crowd. Especially in an economic configuration where the means (whether individual means at the level of consumers, or collective means at the level of institutions) are becoming increasingly scarce. In this context, the difficulty of diffusion and visibility becomes a real challenge.

Indeed, by crossing all these parameters, we realize that the objective of any non-profit association is, in terms of communication, to succeed in combining these contradictions:

  • To manage to be noticed and to highlight its activities

  • But to do it at a lower cost, easily and by saving time.

Creating a website for an association seems to be the natural answer: a cheap solution, easy to set up from home, it is within everyone's reach, and allows to get a potentially international visibility. What do the people want!

Designing a website for an association, a thousand times yes. But not in any way.

Create a website for an association

How to create a website for an association?

As we know, associations, because of their public utility status, do not seek profit, and necessarily generate less funding than a company.

Nevertheless, communication is part of their fundamental missions, and they must constantly reinvent themselves and compete with new ideas, to be able to communicate, towards the greatest number, and their specific public, with the few means they have.

Making a website for an association, that goes without saying, but not with just anyone: using a web design software is a solution that is well suited to the functioning of associations.

👉 If you dabble in computers, and you're not afraid to take care of all the security measures related to your website yourself, nor to spend time building and maintaining your web pages → a CMS can be considered.

👉 If you're comfortable with your mouse, but don't know how to code, and want a simple and secure site building solution, we recommend → a website builder like ours instead.

💡 SiteW offers a turnkey solution that combines the advantages of being both: affordable (you can even create a free association site!), fast, and offering perfect autonomy in the administration of the site. This allows to mobilize only little time, little (or no) money and few staff. Perfect for an association like yours!

Build a web page for your association: what kind of content should you write?

Once you have chosen the web design solution that suits you best, you can start designing your association website.

Construction of a website for your association: let's start at the beginning, the presentation

You are about to create a free website for your association. Generally speaking, there is one tip: be precise and concise, and make a pretty website. In short, take care of the content and the form.

As for the design of your association's website, work it according to your graphic charter, depending on the emotions you want to evoke. But prioritize the accessibility of information and clarity, above all else.

💡 On our platform, you start from a predefined template that you choose. Then, you customize all the graphic elements, in a few clicks: colors, shapes, icons, links, menus, page backgrounds, stripes, lines, shapes, fonts, etc.

How to design an association website: choose the right blocks

Logically enough, start by indicating all the basic information about your association: date of creation, history, missions, activities, composition of the board.

Think about adding all the practical data you need, by creating a Contact / Location page, where you can indicate your contact details, your opening hours. It’s also possible to insert a Google Map that allows your visitors to quickly locate the offices or premises of your association.  

Adding a calendar presenting your future and past events can also be a plus. If you manage a sports association, you can display the class schedules, or the shows, matches, and meetings.

A custom form allows the public to contact you easily. You can also add various interactive features such as FAQ, forum or comment thread.

Start the creation of an association website

Create a website for an association: the problem of visibility

As we have seen, visibility is central for the associative environment – and it is also one of the main assets of the net.

👉 Of course, you will have to bet on SEO, and define and place your keywords with care.

👉 But an association also has cards to play, by publishing audacious and viral contents.   

Whether in the artistic or sports field, with videos presenting impressive, funny, zany, bluffing performances… or in the charity and social sector, with messages, images, or figures that are challenging, staggering, revolting…

Definitely, associations have things to say and show. And the Internet can and must serve as a relay.

Design an association website: lay the foundations of SEO

You can't build a web visibility worthy of the name, without SEO. So a good SEO strategy is the foundation.

👉 Start by finding your keywords: professional sector, specificities, activities, geographical area. Then, place them in strategic places on your pages: URLs, meta descriptions, titles, tags…

👉 Write sufficiently long and rich texts, and above all update them regularly, and publish new pages frequently.

👉 Take care of the technical aspects of your association website: that it is efficient, responsive, and secure. This is the case on our platform! :-)

👉 Finally, structure your website well, that the navigation is clear and relevant (information, menus, links, and buttons accessible). The pages must be linked together coherently (hierarchically and semantically).

But as an association, here is what you can focus on in particular: your digital reputation, thanks to virality and networking.

Make your association's website known: your keyword, dare!

The association sector sometimes touches on lighter fields, or at least more entertaining ones (art, sport), than the entrepreneurial sector, it is easily possible to be a little more daring, humorous and / or original. Take advantage of this, go all out, because originality is the major lever of your communication strategy.

Social or humanitarian associations can also take advantage of a communication campaign that goes off the beaten track, by marking the consciousness with strong messages and powerful images.

Make a free association website: bet on virality

👉 Don't hesitate to create visual content (infographics, diagrams), insert photos, videos, illustrations (comic type for example). Visuals are indeed faster to interpret, and are shared more easily.

Isn't it said that a picture is worth 1000 words?

This adage is true on the web even more than anywhere else.

👉 Put forward personalities: the team, the founders of the association, the volunteers, the members… because it will reveal the human dimension of your association structure, and will accentuate your sympathy capital, your image of dynamism, creativity, commitment…

Create an association website

Create a free association website: your community, your wealth

When you are an association, generally you don't have the money, but we are rich. Rich on the human level. As an association, your community is your wealth: make it grow and pamper it.

Expand your community

When you manage an association under the 1901 law, you know that word-of-mouth is fundamental.   

Don't miss an opportunity to enrich your community. And above all, mobilize it: it is often among your most effective resources.

👉 Exploit social networks, but don't leave your pages abandoned, feed them regularly.

👉 Be extremely present for your fans, answer as much as possible to all questions and requests.

To go further
Info stepup
Speaking of community, SiteW users have talent, feel free to get inspired with these examples of associative websites.

Keep your community loyal

Think of your followers as ambassadors of your association.

If they talk about you, it must be often and with enthusiasm! You've just created a web page for your nonprofit. Don't stop there! Update your site and pages with your latest news, give news about your team and the evolution of your missions, open a blog, send newsletters.  

It's your turn now
Info play
The dialogue between you and your community should be rich and lively!

Animate your association's website: contests, challenges

If you are about to create a website for your association, you will have to work very quickly to make it known.

Use anything original and viral you can find. In this respect, photo/video contests or challenges can be a good idea: they are interactive and allow you to reach a maximum number of people – think of the success of certain challenges or hashtags, for example.

With limited financial and logistical means, non-profits tend to feel like they don't have much to offer… They are wrong! You undoubtedly have many non-monetary resources that you need to leverage. Be inventive! As a contest reward, offer a meeting with an artist, an athlete, an evening in the backstage, a particular experience related to the activities of your association…

Creation of a website for an association: rely on the relationship

As a non-profit organization, partnerships are undoubtedly part of your leitmotivs.

Tell yourself that if you are about to create a website for your association, it will work the same way!

Networking and partnerships in the associative field

On the web too, focus on solidarity and the sharing of resources. In other words, you may not have a penny, but you have buddies!

👉 On the Internet, you can do guest-blogging, participate in online trainings or events, get interviewed by webzines… in order to multiply backlinks (incoming links to your web pages). 

👉 It is also possible for you to create a common website with associations of the same sector, located elsewhere geographically. This allows you to be more visible, thanks to the crossing of traffic from your different communities. And more pragmatically, to share hosting costs, for example. While saving time on the administration of the site. 

In short, it's a win-win situation, as they say! 😬

Launch an association website and optimize the search for funding

Funding (sponsorship and public subsidies) is one of the thorny issues of association life. This is why, if you have just created a website for your association, it is useful to create a Partners page

Think that if your website is visited, the display of your partners on your website (and on your social network pages, in your blog, your newsletter) can be valued as a counterpart, in terms of communication, in a partnership or grant file

Whether they are logistical, media or financial partners, local or national, private or institutional, this obviously has a positive impact on your credibility: these structures have trusted you, believed in your project and decided to support you. This is extremely rewarding. You are proud and honoured, and you are right: the Internet is an excellent medium for communicating about your partnership policy

As far as individual sponsorship is concerned, on our software, you can easily add a donation button for your organization, and thus facilitate the involvement of the members of your non-profit association.

Build a website for your association

Creating a website for a non-profit organization has many advantages and is particularly adapted to the different problems of an association structure. 

An easy to handle solution (like us ;-) ) seems to be optimal to create its website independently and quickly, while being flexible and affordable. 

Not to mention that the Internet is probably the best tool ever conceived for networking and maintaining a community. 

So, why deprive yourself? Happy creating to you! 🚀

Frédérique Biau
Editor and translator
I am passionate about science fiction, new technologies, writing and art in general. I started my career as a Cultural Manager. It is with pleasure and enthusiasm that I am a writer and web translator with 9 years of experience. ✍️

Last update: April 06, 2023

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