It’s a new year and YNPNdc is kicking things off with a whole new look. We’re proud to introduce our brand new website! Take a look around and be the first to explore the redesigned YNPNdc.org, which is streamlined and easier to navigate. After months of researching, weighing different CMS options, and discussing everything from pixels to site maps, we’re thrilled to be starting 2015 with one New Year’s resolution crossed firmly off our list.
The reason why YNPNdc decided to launch a new website is because we faced a problem common to many nonprofits – while our organization grew rapidly in both size and scope, our technology couldn’t keep up. As YNPNdc’s site is usually our first introduction to the D.C. nonprofit community, it was important that we supported our growing membership base with a website that was more intuitive and user-friendly.
Indeed, you’ll find that our relaunched site has some great updates and functionalities. For example, you can create dynamic user profiles that link to your social networks and allow you to connect effortlessly with other members. New users can join the network in one click via direct integration with Facebook and Twitter (which you can do, in two clicks, here!). Event registration pages have become clean and modern, not to mention mobile-friendly, and connect directly to Google Maps.
Is a website redesign also on your nonprofit’s list of goals this year? Here are a few pointers on how to make the transition as efficient and painless as possible:
Know your lingo
Don’t know what a CMS is? Unsure of what it means to be “open source”? Launching a new website will require you to become a quick study on the basics of web content creation and management. Take time early on to learn unfamiliar terms and acronyms in order to avoid feeling flustered and overwhelmed later on.
In preparation for the relaunch of YNPNdc’s site, I was responsible for researching several CMS platforms to figure out which option best met our organizational needs.
Enlist the help of a friend
Shopping around for a CMS platform can become daunting when it feels like there’s a new one coming out every day. I found the quickest way to build a list of high-potential options was to get input from my YNPNdc colleagues. Pulling from our wide variety of nonprofit experiences, we were able to build a list of tested and proven systems.
Ask friends who work in nonprofits similar to yours – there are CMS platforms that cater specifically to membership associations, community groups, volunteer organizations, and more.
Don’t decide for the team, ask the team
A new website should be the responsibility of the entire organization – not just the IT department. Don’t let one person decide how the website will showcase your programs, mobilize your constituents, and process your donations. While the website’s successful completion should be assigned to a project manager, it is necessary to get cross-team input on the kinds of functionalities that are needed. A fundraiser may want a module to create invoices, but a program director may require the capability to create online petitions. Build a committee of representatives across teams and allow everyone’s voices to be heard.
Building a website from scratch or rebuilding an existing one can be daunting for any nonprofit. But, with the right prep work done beforehand and organization-wide support, the process can be as smooth as your new website!