Our Thoughts
Ankur Bhardwaj
30 September, 2021
8 MIN READ

Why tech-leaning non-profits love Drupal

Last we checked, there were 4.66 billion people accessing the internet in January 2021, worldwide. That comes to 59.5 percent of the global population. What other technology have you ever seen being adopted by almost 60 percent of the global population, in a span of 3 decades?   

The internet, a shared knowledge we as humanity possess, has empowered every last one of us in some or the other way. Also giving us the opportunity to spread our message far and wide. While it means great profits for those who want to make a profit, but for the non-profit organizations out there, it means hope. 

Why tech-leaning non-profits love Drupal

This chart was presented during one of the sessions of the Non-profit Technology Conference held in March 2021. (Link here) The data speaks for itself. 

 

The ensuing global pandemic has only accelerated the necessity to use technology to our advantage. But doing it right is equally important. 

That is why, when building a digital ecosystem, you must ensure that the backbone of your digital infrastructure is as strong as your motives are.

What do Rotary International, Doctors Without Borders, Habitat for Humanity International, and World Vision International have in common, apart from the fact that they’re all non-profits? 

All of them share their love for Drupal

To directly quote from the Drupal website, “Drupal is the platform the United States, London, France, and more use to communicate with citizens. It’s the framework media companies like BBC, NBC, and MTV UK rely on to inform and entertain the world. It’s part of how organizations and universities like Amnesty International and the University of Oxford work to make the world a better place.”

 

Your Objectives as a Non-Profit Organization

Being a non-profit organization is as tough as it comes. But it does come with its rewards. As a non-profit organization, you are serving a major role in the society. It is pivotal for you to succeed in your mission, so that all of us can succeed together. (There is actually a selfish argument for making the world a better place) 

The first objective that you will look at, to succeed in your mission, is the fulfillment of the goal with which your NPO was created. 

You’ll have to work out the best organizational structure which suits your landscape. Following this, you’ll have to equip your staff and volunteers with the technology and the tools which they will require in achieving the collective goal. 

Next, you’ll have to take care of the finances. Because even if you prefer not to make profit, you’ll have to spend money towards your mission. When you have done all this, you’ll have to measure the impact of your program. 

When you have taken care of the basics, you can move to spreading the message far and wide. This is where Drupal outshines among all other platforms out there.

 

Modules: The superpower of this strong community

Coming in huge numbers, Modules are packages of PHP files that add certain requisite functionality for your vertical. Letting you pick-and-choose from a vast library of custom-built solutions, you can be pretty much sure that you’ll find a module for your specific need, that is if you look hard enough. 

Here are some basic modules you should add right away to your website:

  • Menu: This module allows you to place links within the space of your website and sorts them categorically, thus providing ease of navigation for the user. 
  • Views: This module enables the administrator to create dynamic, customized lists that can be displayed in your content. 
  • Drupal Commerce: One of the biggest revenue stream, receiving donations for your non-profit cause can be achieved with relative ease with the Drupal Commerce module. 
  • Media module: This module allows you to have your digital media repository in one place, giving you the power to manage your content with much ease. 


You can also choose from several themes that come out-of-the-box. Or you can also build one from scratch on your Drupal platform. 


Let's do a list of Drupal features for non-profits

  1. Secure digital transactions: Harnessing the power of having the largest developer community in the world, Drupal is famously known for its security. Worried about the security of the digital transactions on your website? Well, don't be. Drupal brings to the table various Modules, like various Captcha modules, which will add a few extra layers of enhanced security measures which will keep your data utmost safe.  
  2. Supports multiple languages: The amount of language data that Drupal can process is unmatched in the industry. Allowing you to communicate to a wider audience in a much more comprehensive manner. Having things like translating site interfaces and language negotiations, Drupal(8 and beyond) is built in a way that it can handle 94 different languages. Modules like the content translation and interface translation modules add to the multi-lingual support for your website.
  3. Personalization monster: Having features like Anonymous Targeting, UTM Targeting, and one of the most comprehensive customer data tracker, you can be assured that the experience you are offering to your audience is personalized for their consumption. 
  4. Mobile-first ideology: With as much as 92.6 percent of the global internet population accessing the web through their mobile devices, it becomes important for you to have the needed fluidity in your ecosystem. The latest versions of Drupal boast not just a mobile-friendly approach, but rather a mobile-first approach. 
  5. An open-source world: Arguably one of the best things about Drupal, its open-source nature has always ensured that running a platform on Drupal will not burn a hole in your pocket. This also makes it easier for developers to work on enhancing the platform. 
  6. Supports content workflow: Giving the administrator absolute control on who can publish what, Drupal comes with modules that enable content moderation on a whole new level. This prevents unauthorized or malicious publishing of content. 
  7. Outstandingly scalable: Another important aspect of Drupal, the ecosystem grows with your mission. As you build your organization, you won’t have to switch to a different content ecosystem because Drupal is built for scale. 
  8. Makes search engines love your content: Coming out-of-the-box with some optimization tools, you can be assured that Drupal will help you spread your message to as many users as possible. This will help you reach a wider audience by optimizing your content for search engines.
  9. Multisite support: Bringing multiple websites under one umbrella, Drupal multisite allows you to run several websites from a single platform. Allowing you to have the same core code, contributed modules, and themes shared among a bunch of websites. All this while lowering your cost of ownership, giving you centralized management. This also lets you have efficient upgrades throughout your ecosystem.
  10. Foundation for emerging technologies: Ready to take on futuristic upgrades, most of the emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence, chatbots, and voice search can be easily integrated with Drupal. 
  11. Component-based designs/UI/UX flexibility: With PHP templates replaced by Twig templates, Drupal gave the flexibility of having a component-based design to every Drupal developer out there. This allows editors and owners of the website to create and update pages with a simple drag-and-drop function. Giving the power even to non-Drupal users to quickly update their content.  
  12. Arguably the best content authoring experience: With Drupal’s CKEditor, you can upload content, track it, make necessary changes along the way. All this is on an easy-to-use interface that can be accessed by all. 
  13. Accessible for all: Having a separate accessibility team, the Drupal community has provided features that make websites built on Drupal accessible to most, if not all. Coming with a host of different accessibility modules, Drupal allows your website to be customized according to the needs of your audience. 
  14. Third-party integrations: Having a plethora of modules that integrate with third-party vendors, Drupal provides a holistic framework and supports you even where it cannot. Giving you features like: Analytics and reporting, Omnichannel marketing automation, email marketing, Social media tracking, and much more. 

 

The advantage of Drupal distributions

Drupal distributions are pre-made packages that give you a customized website for your specific initiative. Offering copies of Drupal-made websites, different distributions cater to different needs of the developer.

This lets you come up with a quick, functional, and organized pre-made website ready for deployment, with additional as much customization as you want. 

A free and open-source Drupal distribution, ​OpenAid is designed to help cause-driven organizations create websites that are fully operational, effectively promoting their work and mobilizing their supporters. 

Townsquare takes knowledge-sharing to a whole new level where the volunteers can interact, collaborate and exchange information in a way that was never thought possible.

There is another Drupal distribution out there, CityGroups, which lets the user search for communities based on location or interests. 

Giving the power back to the masses, Open Outreach, another stunning distribution, gives the grassroots organization a fully functional website with tools for events, blogging, and social media solutions.  

A step further from Open Outreach, there is another distribution, Watershed Now, which adds fundraising capabilities, online advocacy and geo-mapping to your already fully operational website. 

 

Impact Drupal has made on non-profit initiatives

Azim Premji Foundation has been working since the year 2000 towards the upliftment of the elementary school system in rural India. Their website plays a massive role in accomplishing this. Providing educators, teachers and other stakeholders a single Drupal-built platform. We designed and built a Drupal platform that enables 1200+ educators from 50 different districts across the country to connect and collaborate on a single platform.

APF


For a legal aid non-profit, confidentially is paramount. That is why Illinois Legal Aid Online chose Drupal to host its ecosystem. We, at QED42, meticulously created a personalized management system that brought together different functions, making it much easier for residents of Illinois to get the legal justice they seek. 

ILAO

 

How can we help you? 

Being a top Drupal contributor, we at QED42 pride ourselves in having helped numerous organizations in being technologically ready for their missions and objectives. Building non-profit websites from scratch, or scaling an existing ecosystem, we have delivered projects for every level of non-profit organization out there, be it big or small. 

So, get in touch with us to offer next-level of digital experiences to your audience while also ensuring that your digital ecosystem has a strong backbone. 

Ankur Bhardwaj