In my experience, there is one common thread among all non-profit organizations – they’re run by intelligent people who do lots of research before handing over some of their hard-earned funds. It makes sense – after all, their cause is the number one concern, and the less money they spend on things like a new website, the more they’ll have for helping people.
This became clear immediately upon being contacted by the Community Foodbank of New Jersey. As clients, they were prepared like no other – presenting me with a detailed outline of what they envisioned their menu structure to be, along with a plan for each page. And also unlike most clients, they knew their budget. I knew right away they’d be an easy client to work with. What I was unaware of at the time was just how rewarding that work would turn out to be.
Designing with a Purpose
Designers are like all other entrepreneurs – we’re in this for the money. Designing websites pays the bills and puts food on the table. It can be said we’re “helping” other people in terms of getting their businesses online, but in my opinion that’s stretching the definition of the word. But when I opened an email containing pictures from a recent fundraising event, it hit me like a ton of bricks. These weren’t stock photos with child models – these were real families who needed real help.
I gained a great sense of accomplishment when we launched the new Foodbank website. There was a huge response to the redesign and an immediate increase in donations and event attendance. My work wasn’t only putting food on my family’s table in a figurative way, but on another person’s table, someone who needed it badly, in a very literal way.
And so it begins
Non-profits are a close-knit group, and it didn’t take long before I had another few organizations inquiring about my services. Check Out Hunger, a Foodbank spin-off, emphasized the yearly food drives held in all local supermarkets. Leadership Newark is for individuals committed to improving the Newark community. OKU is a non-profit Dental Honor Society. Soon we’ll be launching Neighbor to Neighbor, a Greenwich-based foodbank, and The Baila Society will also be opening a non-profit branch and website.
So, what do we do for Non-Profits?
It’s no secret that non-profts have limited funds – we help them make the best of them. First, we provide a generous discount for qualified organizations. Second, where possible, we donate the web hosting space free of charge. Finally, we take advantage of existing technologies. For example, many non-profits need solutions that would ordinarily be quite expensive. Online donations and content management systems can run tens of thousands of dollars if custom built – using a third-party system like WordPress or Joomla can save a ton of time and money.
Spread the word
If you are responsible for an existing non-profit website, need a redesign, or know someone who may benefit from our services, please drop us a line and let us know. It’s not all we do, but it’s the most rewarding work in our portfolio.