At the heart of any thriving nonprofit organization is a mission that inspires donors, volunteers, and staff to join together in pursuit of a common goal. However, a mission statement alone is not enough to guarantee continued growth and long-term success. To build trust and maintain transparency, nonprofits need to effectively interact with their audiences through a Content Management System (CMS).
In this blog, we explore the suitability of using Drupal for nonprofits alongside their Engaging Networks donor engagement platform.
What is Drupal CMS?
Drupal is a versatile content management software that powers many of the websites and applications we use today. Its standard features, including easy content authoring, reliable performance, and excellent security, make it a popular choice among many organizations. But what really sets it apart is its flexibility and modularity, allowing users to build structured content and dynamic web experiences.
Drupal was originally created as a message board by Dries Buytaert, who named the site Drop.org, after the Dutch word druppel, which means “drop.” Over time, Drop.org’s code evolved into Drupal, an open-source project that gained traction when it was used to build “DeanSpace” for Howard Dean’s U.S. Democratic Party presidential campaign in 2004.
Why do so many nonprofit organizations use Drupal?
Many nonprofit organizations use Drupal as their CMS due to its flexibility, reliability, and security features. Engaging Networks, for example, has developed a Drupal module that automatically builds native webforms for any campaign, supporting both one and two-page campaigns.
Drupal offers a powerful and flexible CMS for nonprofit organizations seeking to engage with their audiences and maintain transparency with their stakeholders. With its integration with Engaging Networks, it offers a seamless link between a nonprofit’s website and their fundraising and advocacy data, making it a great option for organizations seeking to build trust and grow their reach.
What are the potential downsides of using Drupal for nonprofits?
While Drupal can be a great option for many nonprofits, there are some cases where it may not be the best fit. Here are a few situations where Drupal may not work well for nonprofits:
- Limited resources: Drupal is a robust content management system that requires a significant amount of technical expertise to set up and maintain. If your nonprofit has limited resources, both in terms of staff and budget, it may be challenging to implement Drupal effectively.
- Small website: If your nonprofit has a relatively small website with minimal content and functionality, Drupal may be overkill. A simpler content management system or website builder may be a more efficient and cost-effective option.
- Limited customization needs: While Drupal is highly flexible and customizable, some nonprofits may not need this level of flexibility. If your nonprofit has relatively simple website and campaign needs, other content management systems or platforms may be a better fit.
- Limited technical expertise: As mentioned, Drupal can be challenging to set up and maintain. If your nonprofit does not have a team with the technical expertise to manage Drupal effectively, it may not be the best choice.
How does Engaging Networks work with Drupal?
There is a Drupal module for the Engaging Networks platform that automatically builds native webforms for any of your campaigns. It supports all one and two-page campaigns. There are modules for both Drupal 6 and 7. Both require the feeds module and the webform module. Redirects are not yet supported.
Engaging Networks Drupal 7 Module
This uses the Engaging Networks API to fetch data from your account and automatically import the form fields into a webform node. You can choose which campaigns to import. The module will synchronise the forms with your Engaging Networks account on a regular basis. Or you can choose to synchronize manually if you have made an urgent change.
Engaging Networks Drupal 6 Module
This automatically imports all your campaigns as a one-time event.
Processing Actions as Data Formats
In addition to standard HTML, campaign actions can also be processed as data formats (JSON / XML). The Drupal module uses these data formats to build and style your campaigns using Drupal themes and Drupal forms. When supporters take part in your campaigns all data is communicated to the Engaging Networks servers, providing a seamless link between your website and your fundraising and advocacy data.
Conclusion: Working with Engaging Networks & Drupal for Nonprofits
Overall, the Engaging Networks Drupal modules make it easy for nonprofit organizations to maintain transparency, build trust with stakeholders, and engage with supporters in a meaningful way. By leveraging the power of Drupal and Engaging Networks, nonprofits can create dynamic web experiences that inspire action and drive growth for their cause.