The Challenges Non-profits Must Consider When Selecting a CMS

Nonprofit organizations are a unique bunch. Just as in most industries, the world of nonprofits comes with its own unique set of needs and demands, and these are a critical part of the CMS evaluation process–especially if you want the implementation of a new system to be successful.

Nonprofit Challenges

Nonprofits are unique in their needs when it comes to implementing a content management system due to numerous reasons. Nonprofits serve the public, and as a result, are usually presenting and supplying large amounts of content through their websites to their audience. What type of information and whom the audience will be, can vary even within a single nonprofit institution.

Using the YMCA as an example, some programs at your local Y may be aimed at funding youth sports programs for kids who normally couldn’t afford to play whereas another program at the same Y may be serving senior citizens who are looking for ways to remain active to aid their health. There are two very groups being served needing two different types of content that will likely be changing throughout the calendar year based on what the Y is able to offer each month or season, for example.

This challenge goes hand in hand with the fact that many nonprofits are membership based. This presents the need for them to be able to present content and collect information in a way which is efficient in order to keep membership functioning and as result keep the nonprofit as a whole in business.

There is also a large degree of departmental disconnect in many nonprofits due to their structure. There may be one corporate office with branches located in a variety of areas geographically. Each of these may be communicating with the public and presenting content on their own. They may each have their own content contributors and subject matter experts at the physical locations who will be working within the CMS.

Lastly, financial restrictions are often a barrier within the world of nonprofits. Nonprofits live off funding and donations, which in turn, results in having small budgets when it comes to purchasing larger items. It’s a constant balancing act. This also means that content must be ever-changing and fresh to motivate those individuals and corporations to see the value in donating their money towards the institution's specific cause. The content strategy is critical here, and the best content management systems for a nonprofit will work to directly support this effort as well.

These challenges along with others specific to nonprofits and the functions a cms should provide to aid in overcoming them are broken down in our Hannon Hill White Paper: Content Management  for Non-Profit Organizations, available free for download by filling out this form:


The challenges nonprofits face can be and should be considered when these types of organizations are in the market for their next cms. The good news is that the correct cms can serve these needs and actually result in these nonprofits not only better managing their content but better serving the public and most importantly their cause.