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Creating a Website:
Getting Your Nonprofit Online

an interview with
Cheryl Woodard & Lucia Hwang

A conversation with Cheryl Woodard & Lucia Hwang, authors of Every Nonprofit's Guide to Publishing: Creating Newsletters, Magazines & Websites People Will Read.


INTERVIEWER: Do you recommend that all print publications also have websites?

CHERYL: Absolutely! Today, people expect organizations, companies and associations--even their neighborhood restaurants-to have a website. If readers can't find you online, you miss an opportunity to get your message out to the public, and your organization loses credibility.

LUCIA: That's right. And producing a professional website is easier and less expensive than you may imagine.


INTERVIEWER: Is this the type of project you can undertake yourself?

LUCIA: Yes, but only to an extent. If the website will consist mainly of text and simple images and will not be updated more than once monthly, hire a part-time or freelance Web developer to create and update it.

Alternatively, if you don't expect you'll be changing the structure of your website, you can hire a designer to create Web page templates you can update yourself. If you are interested in frequent updates and complex, custom images, befriend the I. T. department and consider hiring a webmaster.


INTERVIEWER: What's the first step?

CHERYL: Go to straight to or and register your domain name. As a nonprofit, you will probably want to buy a name ending in .org, but be sure to secure the other permutations (.com, .net) as well so they can't be snapped up by competitors. You can arrange it so that regardless of which address users choose, they will always be directed to the proper site-yours.


INTERVIEWER: What features do you recommend?

LUCIA: It really depends on your goals for the website. We strongly encourage all nonprofits to incorporate free articles or other content, donation capabilities and search function into their Web designs.

In addition to that, blogs are a great way to highlight a prominent writer and weigh in on a public debate. If you are interested in capturing information about website visitors or want to provide added-value content to members, a user registration or member login is a great feature. If your website aims to foster community, online forums will help you to do that.

Finally, if increased revenue is a goal for your site, an online store and an advertising program could help.


INTERVIEWER: How do you set up an online ad program?

CHERYL: If you plan to sell any ads at your website, you will need either an in-house ad server or a remote one, such as Google's AdSense. Many publishers use both.


About the Authors:

Cheryl Woodard is a publishing business consultant and co- founder of PC Magazine, PC World and Mac World.

She is president of The Publishing Business Group,an alliance of independent publishing consultants in the San Francisco Bay Area. Their group includes experts in editing, design, market research, circulation, advertising sales, online advertising sales, strategic planning, and business management. They often work together on projects where their individual skills combine to provide their clients with a complete solution to their needs. Each of them is also available independently from the others. Visit The Publishing Business Group website at:

Lucia Hwang is a journalist, award-winning investigative reporter, and magazine writer who currently edits a nonprofit associationís magazine. Her degrees are from the University of California, Berkeley, and Columbia School of Journalism. Lucia has been writing and editing for magazines, websites, and newsletters her whole career.

Their book, Every Nonprofit's Guide to Publishing: Creating Newsletters, Magazines & Websites People Will Read, is available online, at a discount, in several different formats: Book with CDROM, E-book, and Deluxe Nonprofit Bundle (this book and two others) at

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