A domain name should be one of the first purchases you make when you’re beginning your fundraising process. When we started our company (formerly Missions Linked) in 2003, buying MissionsLinked.com was one of the first things we did. When we rebranded and changed our name in 2016, one of our top concerns was if we could secure CommissionCreative.com? We did! ?? Even now we can redirect any links for MissionsLinked.com to our new domain.
How Do Domains Work?
Warning: Some nerdy stuff ahead, skip ahead if you’re not interested.
A domain name points your internet browser to the correct IP address of the web server for the site you’re visiting. Without domain names, we would have to remember an IP address much like phone numbers. (Remember when we actually remembered phone numbers!) Plus those numbers wouldn’t look great in the address bar either. Imagine typing in 126.96.36.199 to do a quick Google Search.
Why Register Your Own?
Registering a .org domain name is very inexpensive. Prices for registering your own .org range from $12-$16/year. I suggest using a .org which was originally meant for non-profit organizations. If the .org you want isn’t available, going with a .com is a good alternative. You should also purchase private registration for your domain. This hides your personal information isn’t listed publicly in the WHOIS database.
It’s Easy to Register
There are plenty of registrar’s out there. I suggest using an established, well-known one (Godaddy, Namecheap, etc) or of course our own at MissionaryDomains.com. Purchasing a domain gives you more control over your online presence. If you decide to switch web platforms, or the service you use is no longer available, you can redirect supporters to the correct place, because you can easily change what server your domain points to.
Your Domain is Part of Your Ministry Brand
Your domain (and later your website) is an important part of your ministry brand. I grabbed a stack of our prayer cards to look through and noticed some examples of what people are doing when they don’t have their own domain name.
1. Using a long URL for your sending organizations website
2. Using the subdomain for the service where you created your website
3. Listing the generic giving URL for your organization instead of a direct link
This is very common. I’ll see an email or prayer card with something similar to https://giving.orgname.org. Instead of making the donor search for you, you should send them directly to the page where they can give.
Which ones do you think are more easily remembered, or easier to find in a search? Instead, why no go with something like:
You can also include less information on your prayer cards and not worry about reprinting more when your phone number or other information changes because you can have all your contact information on your website.
Uses for Your Domain If You Don’t Have a Website
If you aren’t ready to set up a website yet, there are still advantages to registering your own domain. You can forward your domain to your:
- Direct giving link on your organizations’ website
- Facebook Page or Group
- Email list signup (like MailChimp or Constant Contact).
Have a question? Write a comment below. If you haven’t registered a domain yet, visit MissionaryDomains.com to register your one today.