How one organisation transformed an out-dated online brochure into a vibrant conduit for giving back

By on Oct 23, 2013 in Case Studies

The Community Chest of Durban serves the most amazing cause: they raise funds from charitable donors and then distribute these funds to those in need, once the needy have been prequalified.

Ubuntu Community Chest website header

The Ubuntu Community Chest website header, showing the vectorised logo

Shining a Light in the Community

The organisation serves a vital and often overlooked role. As a result of their tireless work, people who would like to donate money (for any reason, from philanthropy to fiscal considerations), have an avenue to give. They don’t have to spend hours researching the various needy foundations out there, trying to evaluate whether their funds will be put to good use. The Community Chest evaluates each recipient’s case, and ensures that the funds are put to work properly, where they are most needed.

Any organisation trying to do good work and raise money at the same time can attest to the struggle involved. In our modern age of rising mistrust and decreasing fiscal yields, people are less inclined than ever to part with their hard-earned cash. However, organisations that genuinely serve a purpose, who focus on doing the right thing with the income they manage to gather, have the opportunity to approach the Ubuntu Community Chest for help. If they can demonstrate that the funds will be well used, they are added to the list of beneficiaries supported by the efforts of the Community Chest. This leaves them free to focus on what they’re good at: helping those who need it most.

Out with the old …

Of course, any charitable institution will struggle to raise funds for its own marketing. This is a shame, since the result is often that people just don’t know they’re out there. They don’t realise that while they’re wishing “someone would do something” to help, someone actually is. And they can be a part of that. This was certainly the case with the Ubuntu Community Chest. Their website was old-fashioned. The content was out of date, and it lacked certain key functionality components.

Moreover, the content management system (CMS) they were using was hard to maintain. In fact, no one on staff had the requisite skills. And the blog functionality didn’t work. As we’ve described in the past, a blog is a vital aspect of any business trying to get FOUND, since it serves as the news engine of the site. Without an easy-to-use, up-to-date blog, it can be very difficult for a webmaster to keep the content on the website fresh.

For all of these reasons, we switched the site to WordPress. I overhauled the design to match their new branding, which included vectorising the very small logo they had so that it could be used on their site and in print marketing. I updated the look to something clean, contemporary and engaging.

Words that come alive

As far as content goes, we updated all the copy with fresh information, and then edited it extensively for web. Writing online is not the same as writing for any other platform. Sentences should be short, meaning should be plain, and editing needs to be done with intention and a certain amount of ruthlessness.

Giving made easy

Once all of this was done, we worked with a payment gateway provider to link a donations portal to the site.

Empowering the client

Finally, we worked with the Ubuntu Community Chest marketing team to empower them to maintain their own site. This included training in WordPress blog maintenance, brainstorming themes for blog content, establishing a content posting schedule, and the rudiments of social media maintenance.

Now the Community Chest has a beautiful, interactive site, which makes both donations and volunteer work easy. It has also been kept up to date with engaging content that inspires and enables individuals and corporations to do their part for the less fortunate.

It has been a privilege to work with this worthy cause, and help to establish them as the best port of call for charity work and funding in and around Durban. Check them out here: www.giving.org.za

To get your business up to date online, with a spruced up and effective web presence, give us a call today.

Vanessa Davies is the head of aXent Associates, a team of writers, designers and social media strategists working on online content around the world. Writing, technology, online marketing, education, nutrition and personal growth are just a few of the many interests she spends her daily research time on every day. You can follow Vanessa on Twitter or Google+.

Great content writing, combined with a marketing strategy based on decades of online marketing success form the foundation of a potent relationship marketing plan.