I am going to write up a few posts on ways in which Magento (an open source web store written in PHP) can be used as a site to support a not-for-profit site – such as a school in a developing country. I will base these posts on the free Magento Community Edition. This series will purposely be assuming the use of Magento and looking at how it can support such a site.
What a not-for-profit organization should do is start from their requirements in order to evaluate which solution is the best fit. So before I start my mini-series I thought I would provide some links to a few sites I found useful reading that are not specific to Magento. If you find my series somehow, hopefully this will provide a more balanced view of what you should be thinking about in order to set up a site for your organization.
Note that I am not implying Magento is a bad solution for a not-for-profit site. I am saying that you need to think about your requirements and then make this decision based on the nature of the site you wish to host. Developing your web site is a process that should not be rushed. Magento may or may not be the best solution for your needs.
- There was a great article in Smashing Magazine from 2009 talking about design issues and best practices.
- There are a few good articles around on building a not-for-profit site on a low budget such as here on frogloop.org and here on techsoup.org.
- There are more generic articles out there such as this one on fundraising123.org and this one on domain.org that make some sound points.
- For larger organizations, there are groups such as nonprofitcms.org that can offer professional help.
- There are some hosting services around too which I have no personal experience with, such as non-profit.webs.com. and charityadvantage.com.
- PayPal has information available too.
You can of course do your own web searches – there is a lot more information available out there – but hopefully the above links can help you kick start your research.
Soon I will do a separate post to describe a use case that I am trying to solve for, and then how I configured Magento to build a good solution for the site.
Disclaimer: I work in the eBay portfolio of companies, which includes Magento and PayPal. The thoughts and ideas in this article are my own and do not necessarily reflect that of my employer.