Non Profit Website Hosting – Free Hosting For 501(c)(3) Organizations?

Non Profit Website Hosting – Free Hosting For 501(c)(3) Organizations?

One of the best ways to expand the reach of your not-for-profit organization is to establish a strong presence on the web.

However, hosting services can get expensive over the long term. Ideally, you should look for one of the following:

  1. A non-profit website hosting plan, or;
  2. A very cheap (but reliable) hosting provider – even if they don’t offer special deals to charities and nonprofits.

Unfortunately, only a few of the best hosting providers offer support to non-profits, churches, charities, and other 501(c)(3) organizations. Here’s a rundown of the most reliable ones.

We thoroughly tested each host on this list and vouch for the quality of their service, security, and server performance.

Best free non-profit website hosting packages

#1: DreamHost

Our top recommendation for charities and any organizations that are exempt from federal income tax in the U.S. under section 501(c)(3).

With DreamHost, non-profit trusts, corporations, and unincorporated associations can choose one of the following:

  1. Free shared website hosting
  2. A 35% discount on the DreamPress WordPress hosting plan.

Both deals remain valid for the lifetime of your non-profit.

To qualify, you’ll need to submit an official IRS letter indicating tax exemption (a.k.a. 501(c)(3) determination letter).

DreamHost made it onto our list of the best single-website hosting providers. They also secured a spot in our rankings of the top hosts with a free domain.

Shared hosting plan highlights:

  • Price for non-profits: FREE
  • Regular price: $2.59/mo.
  • Websites allowed: one
  • Storage: unlimited
  • Bandwidth: unlimited
  • Free domain: yes
  • Email accounts: yes
  • Chat support: 5:30 am to 9:30 PM PT

#2: InterServer

Another quality host that offers free non-profit website hosting.

Simply go to this page, create a free account, then send an email to sales@interserver.net with a copy of your IRS 501(c)(3) tax ID letter.  Make sure to let them know what domain address you want to use with your hosting.

Important: To qualify for this free non-profit website hosting package, you must include the words “Powered by InterServer,” along with a link to interserver.net, at the bottom of your website. You must add this note within 30 days of receiving access to your free hosting account – otherwise, you’ll be charged their standard hosting fee ($4/mo.).

If your 501(c)(3) non-profit is an educational organization, you’ll be happy to know that InterServer offers hosting discounts for students and educators. They also have one of the highest email sending limits available anywhere.

Shared plan highlights:

  • Price for non-profits: FREE
  • Regular price: $4.00/mo.
  • Websites allowed: unlimited
  • Storage: unlimited
  • Bandwidth: unlimited
  • Free domain: no
  • Live chat: 24/7

#3: Kualo (untested host)

We haven’t tested Kualo yet and cannot comment on the quality of their service, but we’ve heard good things about them and they offer a great free non-profit website hosting plan.

Additionally, they are the only host on this list that recognizes charities registered outside the U.S.

Kualo is on our list of hosts to review in the coming months. When the results are in, we’ll circle back to this article and make an update to this section.

Non-profit website hosting plan highlights:

  • Price for non-profits: FREE
  • Regular price: $9.99/mo.
  • Websites allowed: unlimited
  • Storage: 50 GB
  • Live chat: 24/7

Best non-profit website hosting discounts

#1: A2 Hosting

A2 offers a 20% discount on all their hosting plans to non-profit entities.

For example, their annual plan costs $39.92. With the non-profit discount, you would pay $31.90.

One of A2’s strongest points is their live chat support team; they go above and beyond to assist with any website issues.

If after a few months you conclude that your 501(c)(3) organization does not need a website after all, you’ll be happy to know that A2 is one of the few hosts that refund unused subscription months.

On top of that, they have one of the cheapest annual plans around and are among the best web hosts with servers in Europe.

Cheapest plan highlights:

  • Price for non-profits: $2.36/mo.
  • Standard price: $2.96/mo.
  • Negotiable prices: no
  • Websites allowed: one
  • Storage: unlimited
  • Bandwidth: unlimited
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days
  • Live chat: 24/7

#2: Kinsta (managed WordPress hosting)

At Kinsta, non-profits receive a 15% discount on the prepaid annual WordPress hosting plans.

Kinsta is one of the most expensive WordPress hosting providers. Granted, the quality of their service is excellent, but we don’t feel that the premium price is justified.

Basic WordPress plan highlights:

  • Price for non-profits: $25.50/mo.
  • Regular price: $30/mo.
  • WP sites allowed: one
  • Storage: 5 GB
  • Suitable for: 20,000 monthly visitors
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days
  • Live chat: only for registered users (24/7)

Quality hosts with budget-friendly plans

If none of the non-profit website hosting packages above fit your needs, you can always go with a regular but affordable hosting plan.

Here are our top recommendations:

#1: Hostinger

If you’re willing to commit to a four-year hosting plan, you’ll be charged only $0.80 per month ($38.40 for four years).

Not only that, but Hostinger is one of the few hosts with negotiable prices – you can talk to them via live chat and ask for a reduced price (we were able to get 15% off this way). Additionally, Hostinger is on our list of web hosts with free backup restorations.

Overall, a great option for any non-profit organization.

Basic plan highlights:

  • Official starting price: $0.80/mo.
  • Negotiable prices: yes
  • Websites allowed: one
  • Storage: 10 GB
  • Bandwidth: 100 GB
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days
  • Live chat: 24/7

#2: SiteGround

SiteGround takes second place on account of their transparency and excellent server robustness – websites hosted with them load exceptionally fast and perform flawlessly even when experiencing sudden bursts of traffic.

They also have one of the most helpful live chat support agents we’ve ever encountered. Plus, if you need to host more than one website, SiteGround offers one of the cheapest plans with support for unlimited domains. They also offer student discounts and pro-rated refunds.

Basic plan highlights:

  • Starting price: $3.95/mo.
  • Websites allowed: one
  • Storage: 10 GB
  • Suitable for: 10,000 visitors per month
  • Control panel: cPanel
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days
  • Live chat: 24/7

#3: AccuWeb

With AccuWeb, you get top-notch customer care and website performance, at a great price. Plus, their cheapest shared plan supports unlimited websites – a distinct advantage over the alternatives.

Basic plan highlights:

  • Starting price: $3.09/mo.
  • Negotiable prices: no
  • Websites allowed: unlimited
  • Storage: 10 GB
  • Bandwidth: 500 GB
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days
  • Live chat: 24/7

#4: Bluehost

Bluehost is one of the most popular hosting providers, and for good reason: they offer a good service at a competitive price.

The downside: the quality of their customer support leaves a lot to be desired. Their agents are not native-English speakers and they frequently misunderstand the questions being asked, leading to inaccurate replies and a lot of frustration.

They are also not suitable for websites that regularly serve more than 10-15 visitors simultaneously.

Still, if you’re planning to host a simple website and don’t anticipate needing to rely on their support, Bluehost is an excellent choice for a non-profit.

Basic plan highlights:

  • Starting price: $2.75/mo.
  • Negotiable prices: only on renewals
  • Websites allowed: one
  • Storage: 50 GB
  • Bandwidth: unlimited
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days
  • Live chat: 24/7

Frequently asked questions (FAQ) about non-profit hosting

Who qualifies for non-profit website hosting deals?

Any corporation, unincorporated association, trust, or other organization that is exempt from federal income tax. The exemption must be under section 501(c)(3) of Title 26 of the U.S. code.

Your entity must be established to operate exclusively for scientific, literary, educational, religious, or charitable purposes.

What about other 501(c) organizations?

Although there are 29 types of 501(c) nonprofit organizations, only type 501(c)(3) is eligible for the non-profit website hosting deals we listed previously.

What if my non-profit is not registered in the United States?

Unfortunately, most non-profit website hosting providers only deal with US-registered organizations.

If your entity is registered in Europe, or any country other than the United States, you won’t qualify for a non-profit discount at most hosts.

In this case, your best bet is to sign up with one of the cheap hosting providers listed above.

What is the procedure for claiming a non-profit hosting package?

We recommend reaching out to the host’s support team (either via email or live chat) and asking about their current sign-up procedure, as it can change over time.

In most cases, the process is straightforward and involves creating a hosting account and submitting a copy of your 501(c)(3) determination letter from the Internal Revenue Service – a mandatory requirement at all hosts we’ve reviewed so far.

Some hosts, such as Kualo, also require that your entity must be listed in the CharityNavigator.org database.

How long will my free/discounted non-profit website hosting last?

It should last for the lifetime of your organization, assuming you maintain your status as a 501(c)(3) non-profit.

Are there any additional requirements for receiving non-profit hosting?

Some hosts, such as Kualo and InterServer, require that you mention their name in the footer (bottom portion) of your website.

Make sure to add this note as soon as you set up your website, otherwise you risk being charged their regular service price.

Does the performance of my organization matter?

Although most non-profit hosts only require a 501(c)(3) determination letter, Some providers have additional requirements.

For example, they may only accept applications from entities that:

  • Deal with a specific problem (e.g. poverty, education, nature conservation, victim support)
  • Meet a certain minimum rating threshold, based on assessments by established research agencies such as GiveWell
  • Demonstrate financial responsibility by not engaging in frivolous spending or paying out excessive staff remuneration

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