Using the web to maximize results for the Birmingham region.
When the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham took stock of their website before a major overhaul, they quickly discovered what many organizations do- that despite a series of revisions the site just didn’t perform as well as it should. The goals of the Foundation hadn’t changed but their website’s ability to accommodate advances in technology lagged behind, and they couldn’t take advantage of online tools that could greatly enhance their communication and interaction with key audiences. It was time for a change.
“The broad reach of the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham and the many ways people can get involved with us created challenges in organizing our new website. The earlier version, part of a template provided for the community foundation field, ended up with lots of information on the home page, but no real focus”, says Emily Rushing, Director of Communications for the Community Foundation.
The Foundation engaged Infomedia to produce a web solution to present the Foundation’s varied roles and projects in an elegant, attractive and organized fashion that maximizes the use of efficient tech tools. Because the Foundation works directly with charitable people, as well their financial advisors, and supports a wide range of community needs and opportunities, communication is key.
A major part of the challenge was to create a website that speaks equally to three audiences: donors, financial advisors and nonprofits seeking funding. This is accomplished through color-coded entry portals tailored to each of those audiences. Site visitors are directed to four distinct results and areas of interest – education, health, economic security and livable communities. In each portal area, focused content appears in a sidebar. Each audience area has its own blog posts. A custom icon set branding tool indicates where featured projects fall in the four results, creating a subliminal unity.
Interaction was also an important consideration. The new site provides online portals where donors can access grant-making funds or make direct donations to the Foundation. Non-profit agencies may submit initial grant proposals online.
Emily notes that the new site is easier to update than the old system because it is built on a WordPress platform. Infomedia also made the Community Foundation blog an integral part of the site, making it easier to keep current with no need to log in to a separate location.
The new site is working well for all stakeholders.“Infomedia helped us present key stories in a way that would engage visitors, while still helping us present the four Results we focus on in our grantmaking,” says Emily who adds that feedback has been positive. Site visitors tell them the design lends itself to easy use on mobile devices, an unexpected bonus.
A key site objective, engagement, is working beautifully. According to Emily, the amount of time people spend on the site has doubled, which she attributes to people finding stories they want to read and additional information they want to explore. Visit the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham today to see how this vital organization is leveraging charitable gifts and investing in results for the region.