Bellstrike offers free, sexy websites for nonprofits

Screen Shot 2011-11-05 at 12.15.15 PM

“I’m around nonprofits a fair amount and saw that most of them were small and really struggling with just getting up a simple website,” said Dodd Caldwell.

Caldwell recently got in touch with VentureBeat to tell us about Bellstrike, his solution for tech-challenged nonprofit organizations.

“Many of them didn’t have websites,” he continued. “Of the ones that didn’t many of them just weren’t that great and didn’t accept online donations. I love trying to start things, fixing problems, and helping nonprofits. So, starting Bellstrike seemed like a pretty good idea.”

Bellstrike uses beautiful fonts, eye-catching colors, social media options and modern themes to create websites that help nonprofits communicate their missions and raise the funds they need to keep operating.

The websites integrate features that let organizations instantly accept online donations. Nonprofits can even choose to create a gift catalog so visitors can “shop” for donations. Bellstrike even sends automatic receipts to online donors via email.

Bellstrike makes its money by taking 6 percent of online donations, capping fees at $80 per month.

Caldwell said the service first outfits each nonprofit’s main navigation menu with home, about, programs and donation pages, as well as a blog and one custom page. “We’re working on allowing them to customize these somewhat after the fact, but they don’t have to worry about what their site’s architecture will be,” he said.

“If they don’t have a logo, we take their name, use a cool typeface with Typekit, and throw some effects on it to make it look good.”

Then, depending on the theme the organization chooses to use, Bellstrike automatically sets up complimentary typefaces, colors and layouts.

“I’ve been around too many nonprofits that go to post a blog post and then spend two hours trying to format it, determining whether to wrap text to the right or left around a photo, how large to make the font, what color to make it, etc. When they upload a photo with Bellstrike or write text, we put it where it’s supposed to go,” he said.

Altogether, the website-creation process is, as Bellstrike puts it, “as fast as a round of Candyland and as easy as making a sandwich.”

Check out this quick demo, and if you know of a nonprofit that’s struggling with the web, pass along the info: