Drupal 8 Initiatives: What Nonprofits Need to Know

In the Community

Over the last few years, the Drupal community has been focusing its efforts in improving, and at times overhauling, its user experience for site administrators, content creators, and developers. As a nonprofit, this is great news for you.

Drupal’s strategic initiatives give more power to those with limited resources and bandwidth to create and manage their web presence. If you’re not an avid follower of this open-source giant, here are a few initiatives you might have missed. 


For smaller organizations and businesses, Layout Builder is a huge time and money saver. With Layout Builder, coders and non-coders alike can create eye-catching pages in minutes.

Layout utilizes “blocks”, which can be anything from a video, a map, a field, and everything in between. Simply drag and drop a block on a page section to start. You can even use custom-built widgets, like a Drupal view of your last five blog posts.

The sidebar serves as a way for the content editor to configure options. Let’s say you have a hero block with an image and text. Your settings might be to align the text, left, right, or center.

You can use the layout builder to make page templates, like a news post, or custom, one-off page designs. And even for templated content, you can choose to make changes you’ve made global or just for a specific piece of content. For instance, if it makes sense to add a video section on one news post, but not all new posts, you can do that.

Status: Stable core functionality; further improvements in development.

You can get involved by going to the #layouts channel on Slack.


One of the most wanted features in Drupal has always been better media handling. Drupal does so many complicated things well, but intuitive, modern asset management hasn’t been its strong suit. Enter: The Media Initiative team. This team set out to simplify multimedia and asset handling in the Drupal system. Currently, Media supports audio, video, remote video (from YouTube or Vimeo, for example), images, and a catchall “file” type.

With each minor release since Drupal 8.4, Media has been rolling out new features. Drupal 8.5 marked Media as “stable” and 8.6 gave us the ability to reuse media from a media library. Bulk upload and a massively improved UX were 8.7’s Media improvement. And later this year, content editors around the Drupal community will rejoice: Drupal 8.8 will ship with WYSIWYG integration.

Status: Media entities stable; Media Library in beta.

Want to contribute to this initiative? Join the #Media channel on Drupal Slack.

Out of the Box

Need help showing people the power of Drupal? The Out of the Box initiative can help you do just that. Available as an install profile from the Drupal GUI since 8.6, the OOTB initiative lets you demo all that Drupal has to offer. With this completed initiative, you can get a working version of Drupal up and running within minutes.

Staged as a food magazine, this demo comes with a custom designed theme (named Unami) and sample content across different content types. With its tour feature, Unami gives you the opportunity to walk folks through essential “big win” features of Drupal core that would otherwise be non-obvious, especially if someone is coming from a competing platform. Prior to the OOTB initiative, many of Drupal’s offerings would have been lost in disabled modules.

Mark Conroy, a maintainer for Unami, said one of the greatest unexpected aspects that came out of this initiative was that you can easily test things (like media, layouts, or any contrib modules) with real content. He continued to say that Unami provides a space to non-coders and beginning to get started with contributing to core.

Status: Completed and part of core!

If you want to get involved, join the #out-of-the-box channel on Slack!

Interested in how these initiatives can bring your website to the next level?

We’ve partnered with some pretty big names in the nonprofit sphere. Drop us a line to see what Drupal and Message Agency can do for you.