Shifting priorities due to increased case loads lead to new challenges.
Growth for most organizations is a good thing, but it is a very bittersweet outcome for a non-profit focused on delivering food to people in need. In early 2020 Feed the Need in Durham (FTND) was faced with a major new task due to COVID-19, as more and more people lost their jobs due to the pandemic and prices rose in almost every category. The resulting workload for FTND skyrocketed as the Agencies they support across Durham Region were facing a surge of new clients and a crisis of food shortages not seen in recent decades.
As cases began to skyrocket FTND recognized that securing new fundraisers and food sources was paramount to meeting the needs of the community. Their current website, which incorporated a very simple and minimalist design did not provide many options for supporting their new requirements. In addition, their current vendor charged rates that made website customizations too costly to pursue.
A New Reality
With COVID-19 resulting in a heavy workload being experienced by Agencies across the region, FTND knew that in order to meet the needs of the community they would have to improve their systems and community outreach to make a greater impact.
A New Solution
Meeting with GoldenHeart Communications in May 2020 a plan was developed to replace the current website with a new format that would bring forth the changes required to improve outreach, increase donations, make food ordering more efficient for both Agencies and the FTND warehouse and tie all social media efforts together with the website.
Key requirements were developed over the course of numerous meetings:
- Develop a user-friendly and appealing theme
- Move the website to a new host so that FTND could own the assets, control updates and not be a hostage to expensive vendors
- Ensure that “Calls to Action” were evident on the Home landing page
- Embed CanadaHelps donation forms within the website
- Add a COVID-19 Map that highlighted all open COVID Support Services in Durham Region (this was based on the map first developed on this website)
- Place feeds to Facebook and Twitter on the website so that there was continuity
- Add appealing new features about FTND’s history and Board Members
- Develop an Agency-only section where members could log-in securely and share Agency-specific information and documents
- Develop a Food Ordering system for Agencies to place orders
- Add events and a calendar to promote food drives and other community-driven initiatives.
After a number of collaborative meetings and adjustments the Website was launched on September 1, 202 on time and on budget.
Weekly meetings were held to review progress and content was tweaked together with the FTND team.
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