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How I Founded Nonprofit ICU

Logo Nonprofit ICU


Nonprofit ICU will help you start, manage, and grow your nonprofit with lower expenses, less stress, higher revenues and greater impact.

In 2016 I was in Panama City, Panama and was inspired to write out the first eight pages of a book called How To Start A Nonprofit And Take It Worldwide. I wrote some gold in those eight pages, but never finished the book. I did though continue to think about the need for me to share my knowledge of how to start, grow and manage a nonprofit organization.

Of direct relevance to Zero2Webmaster is that most small nonprofits have little understanding of how to leverage technology to achieve their mission.

In mid-December I was helping assess the technology needs of The Merriman Financial Education Foundation and it confirmed in my mind that I know a LOT of ways for nonprofits to improve; not just with technology, but through fundraising, volunteer management, campaigning and more.

I’m a firm believer in having a website to serve as the central hub of any project in my life of grand importance…especially if it is related to business. So I started thinking about what domain name I could purchase to serve as the digital address of my nonprofit consulting website. I already knew that all the names like “nonprofit + inspirational word of your choice .com” were taken. I had to assume that was gone as well, but what about all the domain choice other than .com? I went to my favorite domain name registrar ( and searched the word nonprofit to determine what came up. I scrolled down the list of bad names (e.g. and and then I saw it:  $6.45/year

ICU!? That’s the Intensive Care Unit!

And it came to me…

“Nonprofit ICU – Intensive Care For Your Nonprofit”

Name. Tagline. Domain available at a ridiculously cheap price. Short. Sweet. Easy to say. Easy to write. Easy to remember. BOOM! Purchase! Done!

Fast forward to the evening of December 23rd, 2021. I was in the mood to build a brand new website. I had just seen a guy on Twitter state that he had built his new site in 38 seconds, thanks to some new starter site technology. My web consultant had recently encouraged me to build a new site using the native WordPress editor (instead of Elementor page builder). So I decided to do it! Build a site fast, keep it lean, experiment with new technologies and see what happens.

I opened Cloudways (Zero2Webmaster’s web host) and created a blank installation of WordPress. I installed an SSL security certificate. I added the DNS records to the domain name in NameSilo…and was ready to go with an exceptionally minimal live website!

I installed a bunch of free plugins including the starter site plugin the Twitter guy had been raving about. I opened it up, chose a starter site, clicked load, and waited. Would this actually work? It couldn’t be this easy. And then about 15 seconds later, I had a beautiful seven page website! OK, the text would all need to get changed to be my own, but technologically, the site was built, even if in a minimal form. And it looked GOOD! As in, professional. I was pretty stoked to have generated a new site so fast. My total time to build the site was two hours and the total cost was $6.45.

Of course, the real work had only just begun. Over the past month, I’ve put a lot of time into Nonprofit ICU: developing the website, thinking up services to offer, creating social media channels and meeting with my first potential client, who said of the meeting: ”I am so grateful for the time you shared with us today; it will take me several months to digest and enact all this instruction”.

The Nonprofit ICU website is always growing, so go take a look!

Major Accomplishments Thus Far

With respect to the Nonprofit ICU website, my major accomplishments have been:

  • Building the site entirely with legally acquired, free plugins (thank you GPLVault!).
  • Learning the WordPress native editor (called Gutenberg). It is definitely not as clean looking as Elementor, but it is fast and I am quickly getting used to it. The primary benefit is that there is no longer any need to use (or pay for!) a page builder plugin such as Elementor, Divi, Thrive or Beaver Builder.
  • I built a CRM inside the site and connected it to Amazon SES for email sending abilities…meaning that I can:

(1) Manage my clients’ and potential clients’ data in a centralized location; and 

(2) Create automations and send out marketing emails — for instance electronic newsletters to the tens of thousands of subscribers I hope to one day have — without the need to pay Mailchimp, Constant Contact, AWeber, ConvertKit, Infusionsoft/Keap, ActiveCampaign or any of their competitors. Which is cool with me as I have already sent them too many thousands of dollars in my life!

  • I built a newsletter signup form, a newsletter signup thank you page, and an automation that sends a welcome email to the subscriber, along with a downloadable PDF gift of The Top Five Technologies Every Nonprofit Needs. Go ahead and sign up for the newsletter and see how the whole system works. You’ll definitely enjoy the PDF gift, which only takes a minute or two to read.
  • I created a page on which someone can schedule a free Strategy Session with me. My calendar is embedded in the page, so we can avoid any back and forth regarding scheduling.
  • I built a payment system and confirmed it works by buying a $1 test product and ensuring the funds hit my Stripe account (Stripe is Zero2Webmaster’s payment processor). That brought the total expenditures for Nonprofit ICU since inception to a whopping $7.45!
  • I created a landing page on which to sell Nonprofit ICU 1-on-1 Support Plans, which enable nonprofit Executive Directors and Board Members to work directly with me to solve their most pressing needs. I added a pricing table with two tiers of support, and created a variable product in WooCommerce so that the prospective buyer can pay for the plan of their choice directly through the site. I set up a system to automatically tag their contact record (so I know they purchased a plan), and to send them a thank you email with basic info about what they just purchased.
  • I added social links to the site’s header for Nonprofit ICU’s Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. I made sure the channels have some posts and well thought profiles so they look legitimate when early visitors come to check them out (how often do you follow a channel with no posts and no profile picture!?). I followed a bunch of relevant organizations in the nonprofit world so that their posts show up when I open the app, providing me with relevant content to share and ideas for partnerships.

I mentioned above that last month I was assessing the tech needs of The Merriman Financial Education Foundation. This morning I finished building a donation system for them. We hadn’t announced it yet, but it already brought in a $1,000 donation!