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How to Schedule Appointments for Charity and Nonprofit Organizations

Schedule Appointments for Charity Organizations

In this brief tutorial, we’re elaborating on how non-profit organizations and charities can implement online appointment scheduling tools on their official websites, what software features play a key role, pricing of such booking systems, and, of course, get into the details of how the scheduling process looks for clients.

But first of all, what software and website building platforms are we going to talk about? It is, of course, WordPress.

WordPress is the preferred website builder choice for 60% of nonprofits globally, say the stats from the previous years. On the other hand, 6% of nonprofits opt for Wix, while 5% choose Squarespace as their content management system, all this meaning just one thing – WordPress is a trusted open-source platform NGOs and charities trust. There are multiple designs and software tools (plugins) that help accept donations, manage events, showcase social interactions, and schedule appointments.

So if you are going to use the latter, we’re now getting more specific.

What software features are essential for charity organizations?

charity organizations

While many businesses that deal with appointments share their needs in the software features, there are a few that are especially crucial for non-profit and charity organizations.

  • Multilingual support: Many charities serve diverse communities across the globe, so make sure that booking and communication in multiple languages can be plain sailing for anyone.
  • Accessibility features: In today’s web practices, it’s important that the booking interface is accessible to users with disabilities, including screen readers and keyboard navigation; for NGO websites, this feature is becoming even more essential.
  • Flexible appointment types: Different services have different needs, so support for individual appointments, group sessions, recurring appointments, and waitlists is key.
  • Non-profit pricing models: Many software providers offer discounts or specific features designed for non-profit organizations; literally, you should be able to offer ‘free’ sessions through the software.
  • Volunteer scheduling: If volunteers are involved in appointment delivery, the software should facilitate volunteer scheduling and communication, that is, the software should have a good team management system.
  • Payment processing: Allow clients and donors to pay for services/make donations/pay for consultations directly through the booking system.
  • Integration with third-party software: Connect your booking system with CRMs, donor management platforms, and calendar tools to simplify data management and have no need to switch to other services.

What WordPress tools to use

BookingPress Plugin

The BookingPress plugin for WordPress can serve the needs of charity organizations beyond those features named above. Let’s highlight just a few key points.

Efficiency and cost-effectiveness

Just add the booking page created with BookingPress to your website once – and clients can book anytime, day or night, with absolutely no need for manual scheduling – unless clients call or email you and ask for it. Then your staff can add appointment sessions by hand. Automated reminders and confirmations via email and SMS/WhatsApp also ensure everyone stays on track.

Client-focused management

Gather necessary information upfront through online forms to tailor appointments and client interactions via customizable (suitable to your chosen site design) step-by-step booking forms.

The charity booking system also allows you to track client progress and ensure continuity of care with detailed appointment notes and a view of appointment history. Furthermore, you can create waitlists to serve even those who can get a place at the time of booking.

Payments & reporting tools

Accept payments online with 15+ payment gateways and track appointment data, staff workload, and service usage with the intuitive dashboard. Even more so, you can automate invoices, create helpful timeslots with selectable duration, and employ many more tools to boost your effectiveness as an NGO.

Helpful extensions 

Waitlists, tax management, flexible sessions duration, and more features can be easily integrated with the BookingPress form using intelligent WordPress extensions that come at no cost if you use the premium version of BookingPress.

Step-by-step process of scheduling an appointment on the NGO website

scheduling an appointment on the NGO website

An example of the BookingPress form

Let’s now understand, in broad strokes, what the process of scheduling an appointment looks like. 

Step 1: Add services provided by your charity (consultation types, meetings, etc.)

Categorize and add services, add descriptions and explanations on what to expect from them, and optionally upload photos and images directly for every consultation type.

The BookingPress plugin allows to include optional add-ons like workshops or resource kits during booking.

To integrate more flexible scheduling, you can allow clients to choose appointment duration from pre-set options. To include unbookable times, sort of breaks between sessions, and create buffer times with intuitive tools.

Enable the “Cart” add-on if it’s possible for one person to schedule multiple consultations in your charity organization.

Step 2: Manage availability and teammates

If you want to enable staff selection, clients can schedule a meeting with a specific teammate from your organization. Assign specific services to each staff member for accurate scheduling.

If you have many teammates, tutors, or consultation hosts, BookingPress allows them access to manage their appointments and clients. They can also set their availability, including days off and holidays. The Google Calendar of every person can be connected via the BookingPress software too.

Step 3: Organize locations

Enable clients to choose their preferred charity company location or office if you are ready to meet them in multiple ones.

You can enrich each location with photos, contact information, and available services.

Step 4: Configure payment and messaging settings

Want to accept payments or donations for the consultation? Choose your preferred payment gateway (PayPal, Stripe, Klarna, etc.) or disable online transactions. Clients can pay online with possible deposit options.

Using detailed settings, you can keep clients informed via customizable email templates and optional SMS/WhatsApp notifications.

Step 5. Switch on free add-ons

You can opt to extend your system with free add-ons for invoices, taxes, deposits, coupons, waiting lists, and other solutions.

Then you simply add a booking form on your website to accept automated reservations!

The cost of integrating appointment bookings for charities & NGOs

If you are using the BookingPress booking system charity, there is a great choice of planes based on the many websites you run and whether you are searching for some advanced features integrated.

PlanPriceWebsitesKey FeaturesAdd-ons
Standard$79/year1Unlimited appointments, staff management, fully customizable, premium support, 17 payment gateways40
Professional$119/yearUp to 3All Standard features + Location Addon, Happy Hours Addon, Recurring Appointments, Service Package44
Enterprise$249/yearUp to 20All Professional features44

The exciting opportunity is that you can use the free version of the booking plugin on your NGO website, although with limited features.

Scheduling appointments for charity and nonprofit organizations is easy with WordPress

WordPress is a diverse and unique platform to power your charity website, it has it all to accept donations, communicate your message, and schedule appointments with a charity booking system like BookingPress. This appointment scheduler changes the routine of appointment scheduling for charities, eliminating cumbersome methods and offering flexibility. Volunteers and clients can easily book appointments online, freeing up your time to focus on the cause itself.

Brian is a WordPress expert with a decade of developing experience & technical-writing. He enjoys blogging, movies & hiking.