NPower Northwest is where savvy nonprofits turn for technology. At NPower, we’re guided by the belief that technology can transform the nonprofit sector and play a pivotal role in creating greater good. When you work with us, you understand all your options and can move forward with an approach that you are confident makes most sense for your organization, in terms of both impact and cost. Check out our website at www.npowernw.org to learn more about what we do and how we work.
Motivation: we’re going to start by clarifying our goals because every decision we make later on in the process of maintaining the web site should move us closer to the goals of the organization. Each time you are faced with a decision, a task, a need to prioritize tasks, you should return to the goals and ask “does this move us closer to the goals, or is this not a priority right now?” “Is this nice to have or must have?”
Think about the last 6 months and think of real examples, not just hopeful future donors, purchases, classes.
Planning Your Website Project
Planning Your Web Project Christin Boyd, Trainer Kate Witt, Project Manager
NPower Northwest• Vision A thriving community with high performing nonprofits.• Mission To strengthen the nonprofit sector by catalyzing innovation and driving adoption of technology solutions.
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Plan your website project Define the web features you want that achieve your goals within your budget.
Contents• State the problem – From the audience perspective – From the employee perspective• Shiny Object Syndrome – Carefully choose the most cost effective technologies rather than the latest gadget.• Tips to save time and money with your consultant – Define your priorities and budget. – Save money by avoiding needless redesign
Web Site Goals• Your organization has a mission statement and a set of goals• Clear goals will help your team – scope your work – guide your priorities – clarify communications with constituents.• Example goals: – Increase online donations by 10% – Increase volunteer hours by 5% – Increase number of children in our programs – Increase program participation in the Latino community – Never show incorrect event details on the web calendar
State the Problem• Problems for the audience: – Downloading articles takes too many clicks, steps. – Hard to find • list things that are currently hard to find, actual complaints, real scenarios • Personal features such as classes I registered for, my volunteer schedule • Seniors find it hard to find resources – Mobile phone users unable to read calendar because of formatting – Low percent of registrants actually attend events • Perhaps they need reminders, calendar downloads, directions?• Problems for staff: – Hard for staff to update the calendar – Staff can’t put important announcements on the front page without going through tech person. – Staff can’t archive without breaking links. – Unable to get page statistics (Google analytics) for some pages
State the problem• Who is going to do what and how often?• Who = what group of audience members, e.g. donors, volunteers, parents, educators.• What actions will they take on your web site. – E.g. donate money, buy something, download a brochure, sign up for a class.• How often will people take this action?• Why do we ask how often? – Common tasks should be easy – Infrequent tasks are a lower priority – Some widgets charge you per transaction cost. – Some widgets charge you a one time fee at setup time. – Some widgets charge you a subscription/monthly fee.
Shiny Object Syndrome• Tempting to look at other web sites and say “I want that on my web page!”• Is it cost effective?• Does it serve a specific purpose which results in achieving our organization’s goals?• Can your constituents even use the new technology? – Does the new technology work on older computers (school & library computers)? – or on new mobile web browsers?
Value of new technology• Total cost = Initial price + subscription fees + transaction fees + hours to implement + training staff to use it + fees to store large files (e.g. videos)• Value = Total cost ÷ frequency of use
Example: Donation systemMonthly transactions 10 175Average donation $20.00 $20.00Total donation $200 $3,500Expected monthly feePayPal standard $7.40 $129.50DonateNow* $64.48 $160.48DonateNow Lite $10.00 $175.00GoogleCheckout** $8.80 $154.00PayPal Standard + Wufoo Forms $37.35 $159.45 * Includes initial setup fee $199, amortized over 3 years ** Google Checkout prices for under $3500 in donations per month
Tips to Save Time & Money with Consultant• What costs money? – Working with a consultant just to define what you want this project to accomplish. – Redesign – Redesign again• Clear SOW – Clear problem statement – Clear priorities – Clear direction on budget to solve problems – Where compromises can be made between wants and budget
Design Costs• Graphic Design is different from User Interface Design or User Experience Design• Not all design elements will plug in and work with a given web software system.• If the designer did not define parameters with the web developer, then the design will need to be modified to work with the specific features of your web software. – Example from recent NPower engagement: Even a great Photoshop Design will probably 30 hours to convert into a web template/theme that works with your web software.
Save money on design work• The Designer and Developer need to talk to each other – Once before they start implementing – A second meeting when the designer delivers a draft design.• You will pay for these planning hours, but it will save you the cost of redesign.• Agenda for these Designer & Developer meetings: – Agree on structure of the site, the navigation elements. – Agree on which technologies they will use (CMS, any graphical plug-ins like QuickTime, Silverlight, or Flash) – Version control (Source code control) – Design impacts of a “members only” area of the site. – How will the new design look – how will staff members update the graphical content – how will the audience interact with any graphical elements
Summary• State the problem or goal – From the audience perspective – From the employee perspective• Shiny Object Syndrome – Explain how the new thing achieves your goal – Calculate the cost effectiveness of new features• Tips to save money with your consultant – Define your priorities and budget – Communicate with designer and developers