Where It Started: A Pro Bono Website Redesign
This is the first in a series of blog posts tracking a long-term skills-based volunteering project with America Needs You and Fidelity Investments to upgrade the nonprofit’s website. Look out for the next edition coming later this Fall.
The Need: A New Website for a New Chapter
A nonprofit’s website is one of its most important platforms for connecting with the community, from the people it serves to the donors who help fund its programming to all those who contribute to mission success. A captivating and intuitive website design can take communications to the next level – and that’s exactly what education and mentorship nonprofit America Needs You (ANY) is looking to do. When Common Impact uncovered that need, we were quick to pair ANY with a team of Fidelity Investments skills-based volunteers for a website redesign project.
The ANY team wants to create a more positive and memorable user experience featuring well-organized, customized content that is easily accessible to their key audiences: students, volunteers, corporate partners, campus partners, and donors. They want to move away from their static, business-oriented site and develop a platform that better tells the stories of ANY students and volunteers and captures the energy of their community. The communications team is proficient in adding content and making minor site updates in WordPress, but in order to implement a full overhaul of their site, they need outside support.
The Solution: Long-Term Skilled Volunteering
ANY tapped on Common Impact to design and manage a skills-based volunteering project that would connect the nonprofit with digital marketing and website design specialists who could develop a strategy for streamlining content, reorganizing site architecture and menus, diversifying design elements, utilizing more engaging visual and interactive elements, improving navigability, and increasing ease of content management and administration. These wide-ranging needs called for a long-term model of skills-based volunteering we call team consulting.
Team consulting projects are multi-week or multi-month engagements that allow for not just deeper nonprofit assessments and strategy development, but the actual implementation of new resources, systems, or programs. Team consulting is ideal for complex projects that nonprofits may not have the specialized knowledge, staff capacity, or budget to carry out on their own. Along the way, they learn about tools, strategies, and best practices for success that they can continue to apply in their work long after the skilled volunteering partnership has ended. For corporate volunteers, team consulting challenges them to apply their expertise in new contexts. They receive regular opportunities to stretch their capabilities and gain new skills and perspectives from working with their nonprofit peers.