BellStrike is a web hosting company that lets you create free website for non-profits, and host website for free. It gives you tools to create website for non-profit organizations for free. It will even host the website for free. It also provides tools to receive donations for your non-profit.
Note: BellStrike currently works for US based non-profits only. This might change in the future.
What is the Catch?
Before we proceed further, let me answer the question that most of you must be having, that what is the catch. It is quite simple actually: BellStrike keeps 6% of all the donations that you receive. For example, if you receive $100 in donations, BellStrike will take $6 out of it. However, they put a cap that they will charge a max of $80 per month. So, if you get a few thousand dollars of donation per month, you just have to pay $80 to BellStrike. Also, you need to pay only if you receive some donation. For example, if you don’t receive any donation for initial few months, you don’t have to pay anything to BellStrike, and still have your website running for free.
Now, some of the people might argue that it might be cheaper in long run to setup website yourself, and pay for hosting. I agree. However, what BellStrike offers is the sheer convenience of setting up and running the website, and processing the payments. It takes care of everything for you, and you can focus on what you do best: running your non-profit; instead of running a website.
Note: The payment is processed through WePay, and you can sign up for an account with WePay while signing up for BellStrike. However, the donors don’t need to have WePay account, and can pay through credit cards. WePay charges 3.5% per transaction for processing credit card payments (this is quite standard charge that most of the payment processing websites charge).
How to Setup free Website with BellStrike:
I had thought I’ll put screenshots of the complete process of setting up a free website for non-profits with BellStrike. However, I found that BellStrike has some easy to follow videos here. So, I am just going to post a few of them here, that will make it easy for you to setup your website. Do check out their Tour page for even more videos.
How to Sign-Up with Bellstrike:http://vimeo.com/27865118
How to Add Content to Website:http://vimeo.com/32532464
Features that BellStrike provides for Free Website for Non-Profits:
- The free website that you setup with BellStrike will have web address as yournonprofit.bellstrike.com. If you have a custom domain name purchased, you can forward that to this address.
- The website can have as many pages as you want.
- You can upload images, files, and videos to your non-profit website. No limit on that.
- You can modify all the features of your website, like, theme, color scheme, add logo, etc.
- You can add a free blog to your website to keep your followers posted about latest happenings at your non-profit.
- BellStrike provides an option to add a gift catalog to your website, that will help in getting donations. I have elaborated on it below.
- No charge for website creation or hosting. BellStrike takes a 6% cut from the donations that you receive, only when you receive them.
Add a Gift Catalog on Non-Profit Website:
BellStrike has added a cool feature that you can setup a gift catalog on your non-profit website. On this gift catalog, you can list the products that your non-profit needs, alongwith the price of the product. Any potential donor can select the product that he/she wants to donate for, add that to cart, and make donation in that amount.
I find this as a very interesting option, as it will help strike a bond with donor. Also, it can potentially attract more donation. For example, a donor might have come to your website to donate $10. However, he sees that you have an item in gift catalog called “Milk for One day for $15”. He might go for that, to help fund your milk requirements for a day. This helps in doing the upsell, and also emotionally connecting with the donor. If used correctly, this feature itself could be more than enough to recuperate the commission cut that you’ll pay to BellStrike.
All in all, I believe BellStrike is a good option for those who are setting up a new non-profit, and want to quickly have their website up and running, with donation options. I do recommend that you use your own website address, so that in case if you have to switch to some other hosting provider, you don’t have to get a new web address.
So, if you have a non-profit, do check out BellStrike, and share your experience in comments section.