Of the wide variety of businesses and organiations we cater for, we’re particularly proud to be able to provide a platform for a number of not-for-profit organisations and charities.
The sites we support range from a children’s education charity in Honduras and an African football-outreach program, to a Welsh hospital radio station and a dedicated hedgehog sanctuary in Pembrokeshire.
All of the not-for-profits and charities we came across last month deserved praise for their work, but it was The Rainbow Centre for Children that stood out to us the most – not only as a inspiring organisation but as an example of a charity truly maximising their website as a tool for promotion and fundraising.
The first thing you notice is the bright colour scheme, which is consistent throughout the site. The handprint rainbow nicely depicts the name of the charity and the work it does, as the centre’s Director Angela Emms explains:
‘The logo came from a design by one of our Play Therapists. We felt that it represents the emotional helping hands that we give to children and their parents but also the variety of helping hands that our donors and supporters give to us to enable us to provide that support.’
The illustrated icons on the homepage (see below) were created by a local designer and represent the different services the charity provides – the music symbols and paint brush represent some of the non-verbal forms of therapy offered for example. Another local media company kindly volunteered their time free of charge to create an engaging video featuring Angela giving an overview of the charity’s work.
Clearly an organisation that takes its content seriously – the site is updated regularly and content is well organised, labelled and signposted. There are also colour-coordianted social media buttons, which allow readers to easily access the charity’s content on other platforms too.
The charity regularly shares new events and fundraising appeals using the blog feature on its News page. The page also has a Twitter feed, which has been customised to suit the site’s blue colour scheme and provides frequent updates without having to edit the site.
The Contact Us page includes all the charity’s details along with a helpful Google map and detailed instructions for visiting the centre both by car and public transport.
The About Us page gives a sense of the people and important work behind the charity, with information on its staff and trustees. The link to a Family Stories page also gives visitors further insight into the positive work of the charity through personal stories written by previous clients of The Rainbow Centre.
The centre has made all of its publications available through the website by creating a file download for each. There are also lots of other handy downloadable forms such as a fundraising ideas booklet and sponsorship form, making donating as easy as possible.
By using the ShopBuilder feature to sell promotional products, the charity has developed an online market as an additional revenue stream without having to pay third party sales fees.
The clever Help us for free section also provides links to other methods of donating at no extra cost to the user. One of these is a link with Amazon, where The Rainbow Centre receives a 5% commission on all sales made when customers access Amazon from a link on its site.
Over to Angela Emma, Director of The Rainbow Centre:
‘Being able to take online bookings and payments for our events and merchandise finally feels like we’ve moved into the 21st Century. Integrating our twitter feed also means that the site always has our latest news even if we don’t have time to update further details.’
‘The response to the site has been very positive, people seem to like the look and feel. The purpose is to inform people about our work and act as a communication and fundraising tool and it certainly seems to be fulfilling that role.’
‘The site has made the merchandising process a lot easier. Over half of our Christmas card sales this year were online – previously they have all been via a paper catalogue or at events. We have also been able to take bookings for our London Marathon and Bath Half Marathon places, encourage wider participation in our fundraising activities like sporting sweepstake and take online bookings for our Charity Golf Day in May.’
‘We used the site to feed back the results of last year’s Golf Day and share the photos we took on the day. It’s also great that any of the team can update it without needing to be in the office.’
We think The Rainbow Centre website could be even better if it…
– Used drop-down menus, which would make site navigation more transparency
– Hid the page master on the ‘News’ page to prevent the footer overlapping on the blog content at the bottom of the page
– Used testimonial videos from the charity’s clients to really bring the centre’s ‘Family Stories’ to life
What do you think of March’s Site of the Month? Fancy having your site crowned Site of the Month? Our next group is Services, so if you have a website that falls under this category, get in touch.
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