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Pass The Word Ministry
Compassionate people, faithfully present with our
underserved friends living without permanent housing
Non-profit organizations are totally different animals when compared to for-profits. Each requires a unique approach to marketing and making a tactful "ask" of their viewers – just what every website should be designed to do. Working with Pass the Word Ministry (PTWM) was a challenge, as it presented a conglomerate of volunteers, contact lists, privacy forms, financial support, and people who, frankly, didn't want their photo taken.
Still, getting to work with PTWM was a joy, and their website went from being a static Wordpress page that hadn't been updated in three years to a lively page with clear calls to action, engaging slideshows, and information that supports their important work.
We came up with a color scheme, a general idea of how we wanted to website to look and function, then went to work. The end result is simple, straightforward, and, with all the background features listed below, is effective in collecting volunteer information and financial support.
Clear Calls to Action: Thinking through the purpose of the PTWM website, I realized there are only two things that should be asked of every viewer: the opportunity to volunteer their time, and the opportunity to donate financially or physically. Thanks to the large call to action buttons smack dab in the middle of the page, there's no mistake what this website is calling people to do. Being crystal clear with viewers produces the highest return on your "ask," and makes it extremely easy for a viewer to contribute without having to look through a confusing menu system. As PTWM already had a PayPal account, all we needed to do was link it to their site to make an easy way for their viewers to support this ministry.
Donate/Volunteer Pages: Every non-profit needs donations, whether financial and/or physical. Using Google's cloud-based office services, we created a document that could be updated by PTWM staff in real time with items that the ministry needs, such as bike parts, clothing items, bus passes and more. Now, no one will be guessing what items are still needed to keep this important work going. Additionally, using Google Forms, it is easier than ever for those who want to volunteer to quickly sign up right from their own computer or smartphone. No more illegible, handwritten volunteer forms and lost contact information; everything is put into one spreadsheet that is easily accessible to the entire PTWM staff.
The home page displays a dynamic statistics board, listing how many breakfasts have been served, tents distributed, and bikes donated. An easy to update web builder allows PTWM staff to update as needed.
This website is extremely mobile friendly, giving users the opportunity to find exactly what they're looking for without having to navigate a nearly-invisible menu system.
Integrated with Google:
Once connected with Google's powerful (free) online office applications, the sky is the limit for website usability, all with the security and ease of use of Google products including Docs, Forms, Sheets, and Analytics.
Working within the constrains of the non-profit sector was a challenge, but getting to help Pass the Word Ministry increase their effectiveness using their website and social media was incredibly fulfilling for me personally.
There is some ongoing work that needs to be done with the site, but the core elements are there: engaging site, easy to use navigation, clear calls to action, volunteer and donation forms, and an opportunity for viewers to stay in the loop via a contact/subscribe form at the bottom of the page.
As time goes on, this site will continue to be refined into a non-profit powerhouse that creates real change in Monterey County.
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