Why your nonprofit WordPress site needs to be in multiple languages

6 minutes


Updated on September 23, 2022

Online donations are one of the biggest ways nonprofits receive funding for their causes. That’s why having a website presence is essential for nonprofits. 

But,  for those nonprofit sites available in only one language, there’s a big chance you’re  missing out on support from broader groups of people. Charities aren’t limited to the area they’re based in and causes generally have an impact on people regardless of their nationality. 

It’s easy to see how. What if you found an awesome wordless video about clean water and land on a website about water conservation in Africa, but the site is in Dutch and you happen to only speak English. You’re about to exit the page because you can’t find any information you understand.

Then, you see the translation icon. Toggling it enables you to translate the site into English. Voila! The website not only makes sense, but you can actually donate in your own currency and language. 

Even if you understood the Dutch version of the website, you might not have connected with it as well as the English version. That feeling of connection is what drives donors to give. Providing a translation on your nonprofit site bridges that small gap and makes every person feel included. Sometimes it means the difference between a donation and no support at all. 

Making your nonprofit website available in multiple languages will hugely benefit the number of donations you’ll receive and gives people the possibility to donate in their native language. Here’s why and how you can easily create a multilingual site without knowing the language or any code.

When your target audience is local

You might think a translated nonprofit website is only relevant to global causes, but even local nonprofit websites need multiple languages. Most towns and cities these days include some percentage of non-native speakers of the local language. 

Any easy way to find this out would be to check your local language breakdown. No matter where you are, do a little research and find out the top three languages your community speaks. You might be surprised by what you find. Depending on where you are, how you find this information varies. Searching Google for your city’s census or language breakdown is a good place to start. 

For example, in Weatherford, Texas, 8% of the population speaks Spanish. 30% of the state of Texas speaks Spanish. So, it would be wise for a local Weatherford organization to make their nonprofit site available in Spanish. 

Localizing for your own language alongside those spoken in your community is worth it. Even if your town doesn’t provide official data, think about the largest subpopulations in the area. What languages are spoken most?

When your target audience is national

National audiences have a variety of languages to think about as well. In the US alone, there are over 37 million Spanish speakers, 2 million Chinese (all dialects) speakers, and 2 million French speakers. Below that, there are millions of others who speak a wide variety of languages

It’s the same for most other countries as well. Especially Europe, where many countries have a number of different official languages. Take Belgium and Switzerland as just two examples where each country has a population that has three different official languages. 

Globalism has changed the national landscape everywhere, so the more available languages, the better. Depending on where you are, your audience might speak as many as 10 languages at once. 

When your target audience is international

International causes are the most obvious use for a multilingual nonprofit site. But, naturally you don’t want to load every single available language on your site. 

Use Google Analytics to find out where most of your traffic comes from. You can even use the GiveWP Google Analytics add-on to see where most of your donations are coming from. You might get traffic from Argentina, but are they giving? If they aren’t, maybe they don’t connect with your story. Find out what language is best for that country and add it to your site. 

When you’re optimizing your nonprofit site for an international audience, it’s best to include your own native language. You should also add the language where your cause does most of its work. Then, add other major languages as you find necessary. Weglot makes it easy to add a wide variety of languages to any nonprofit site. 

Translate your whole nonprofit website

Making your nonprofit site available in multiple languages sounds like a time consuming process and you might think the only solution available is manual translation and duplicate websites. 

This is not only incredibly time consuming and unnecessary work, but on top of that it will increase your overall costs – which is never a good thing for a nonprofit. 

Luckily, Weglot and GiveWP allow you to easily translate everything on your WordPress website at once in just a few clicks, giving donors more options. Both plugins are easy to install and will enable you to start taking donations from all over the world – no matter what language your site visitor is seeking. Now they not only connect better with your cause, but they feel like they can trust you more. 

You can also make potential donors even more comfortable by adding the GiveWP Currency Switcher. Giving in their own currency is another key component of building donor trust and localizing their experience further.

Get started with a multilingual nonprofit site

All nonprofit sites should be available in multiple languages so you can accept donations from all over the world. It helps to add donation forms with multiple currencies as well. 

Even if your nonprofit serves a local community, chances are that there are people with a different first language than your own. Make it easier for them to read your site and give through your forms. 

Get started building your nonprofit website with more resources from GiveWP

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