“It might take a village, but the village starts with one person” is the phrase that Alex Cohen learned from growing up in Washington Heights, New York. Years later, she and her husband Steven, started the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation that has been inspiring people across the country to engage in philanthropy and community service for over 19 years.
While it might sound simple, accurately capturing an organization’s mission is the first step in creating a website that will impact its visitors. We ask the groups we work with, “What business goals do you have for your site?” or “What ideas, crazy or practical, do you dream of for this website or app?” These questions allow us to provide our expertise on how we can achieve those goals together. Recording those initial ideas on (the proverbial) paper allow us to exceed expectations and bring life to your vision.
In the nonprofit space, the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation model is unique. They do not raise money. In fact, there’s no place to donate money on their website. They inspire and encourage people to also give directly to local organizations. Their personal donations have improved children’s healthcare and education, supported the arts, environment, and furthered Lyme disease research. Taking inspiration from their heart to give to the needs of several communities, we created a website all about the grantees and the stories of the people who have been impacted by the donations.
Mutual Investment In The Mission
The Cohen’s first came to us with their website redesign, they felt it needed to better reflect their mission in a broad sense without being confined to the areas that they had outlined in the past. They wanted to show how the foundation is passionate about all different philanthropic causes and is interested in hearing from them. The central goal was to design a website that would impact others to give directly to these organizations and show the world what giving can do.
Businesses that work together need to be mutually invested in the wellbeing of the other. As humans, we feel much more fulfilled and productive when we get to work on something that has value and meaning. At Speak, we love it when we can work alongside an organization that is doing something we believe in. This translates into cutting edge design, incredible creativity, and clear storytelling that you can’t get from Wix or WordPress templates.
Special initiatives require more.
For some businesses, it might suffice to create a simple, one page site with a continuous scroll. However, most organizations are trying to drive action from their web users. They may have different locations, new initiatives, or various facets of their business that need individualized brand messaging. Since we create websites, manage social media, design ads, and run digital marketing campaigns all under one roof, we know how to juggle an organization with many layers.
While we were in the process of creating the Steve and Alex Cohen Foundation’s main website, we also made a landing page for their initiative, the GIVE Bag. These canvas bags were designed to keep the chain of giving going, allowing people to give to teachers, healthcare workers, law enforcement, and families in need. Each bag has a QR code attached, so each act of giving can be traced around the world. We created a custom heat map, showing the user how people are paying it forward globally. From Mumbai to Finland and Santo Domingo, we’re able to see tangible results.
Custom heat map illustrating where the 'give bag' has traveled
Features That Move
Everything on the Steven & Alex Cohen website moves. This site includes several custom animations, but this wasn’t just for fun. All animations serve a purpose of highlighting a call to action. The header background plays a reel of video. The ticks on the Lyme disease map are always moving. Hearts and bows on presents bounce next to their respective statistics. It seems that every button has a hover alternative. All without being distracting or frankly, annoying. If you’re in a market saturated with competitors, tasteful design that moves with your scroll might be a tactic with surprising returns.
Varied Content Type
For this foundation, The TicksSuck program is a portion of the website from a unique template that we built. If you head over to the site, you'll quickly understand what we’re talking about. There are maps, graphs, video, and most importantly, timely content with stories behind them. If you want content that’s engaging for your visitors, it’s important to vary the type of content you’re offering. Fresh content could include updatable, real time stats, or custom graphics. If you’re not revisiting and updating your site very often post-launch, then you might be missing out on potential customers and unfound revenue.
Custom Graphic Illustrating types of ticks and their location
It’s through dynamic branding, features that move, and varying the type of content on the site that we were able to capture the Cohens' vision. We consider ourselves experts at bringing nonprofit websites to life that actually make people want to educate themselves and give of their time or money. Sites that do more lead to impacted visitors who are inclined to give more.
Does your organization have a website that isn’t serving you well? Is your web partner accurately capturing your vision and propelling it forward? We’d love to chat through all your website could do.
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