Client Story: Black Hills Works
There's lots to love about the work at Black Hills Works in Rapid City, South Dakota. But above all, we appreciate their approach to all they do. They are a person-centered agency, which means they put the people they support at the center of their agency and the decisions and planning that impact the lives of those they serve.
To help people self-direct their lives, Black Hills Works provides education, exposure, and experiences so that they can determine their own goals, and then support them with what they need to achieve their goals and live their dreams.
In the winter of 2014, Helen Usera, their vice president at the foundation, reached out to Numad Matt for some advice: Who did he know that he might recommend to redesign the Black Hills Works website, and bring some of their affiliates under the same umbrella?
Matt smiled. "I know the perfect company to collaborate with you. In fact, they specialize in working directly with nonprofits." He paused. "It's a firm called The Numad Group."
Soon after, we were proposing new ideas and approaches to presenting the work, reach, impact and results of Black Hills Works online. Working with a team of stakeholders from across the organization—making this a truly collaborative process that walked with the agency as they made big, new decisions--The Numad Group designed a new website and implemented a new content management system. Here's what we did:
- Researched, strategized, and relaunched a new website that educates audiences, and elevates the awareness of Black Hills Works’ critical work in the region. The websites builds loyalty, and moves a variety of new and returning audiences (individual donors, major donors, corporations, media, agencies, clients, and others) into a navigation that is intuitive and clear—and a design that is clean and contemporary. The new site creates action.
- Migrated the current sites to a new, user-friendly and flexible content management system.
- Optimized the site for search engines.
- Adapted the desktop sites to mobile devices through a responsive design.
- Integrated social media channels and content for further engagement with audiences.
- Empowered Black Hills Works to deliver large amounts of constantly changing information in a seamless, targeted way.
- Implemented a search function on the sites that help visitors find information that they are looking for quickly. We also offered consultation on content strategies so that search engines—on the Black Hills Works websites or off—can rank the appropriate information in their results.
- Gave Black Hills Works staff the ability to post photos and videos, publications, and more.
- Offered a system for visitors to the websites to fill out forms, receive e-newsletters through MailChimp, apply for jobs, and register for events.
- Showed visitors how their gift can make a true difference in the lives of the clients served by Black Hills Works by integrating personal donor and impact stories across the sites, as appropriate.
- Provided training on the new content management system, and written training documents to guide staff through content updates.
- Offered access to ongoing technical support, as well as analytical data so that Black Hills Works can understand who is visiting their websites and how their websites are being used—allowing the organization to continue to make future decisions based on data.
Black Hills Works tells us that the new site has exceeded their expectations, doing more than just telling the Black Hills Works story in a more well-rounded, complete way. Key programs and initiatives in the organization that were once hidden away, not able to be found easily online, are now at the forefront—and are making an impact on the people served. More companies are learning about their wonderful employer support services, their assistive technology innovations, their affiliate programs, and more. Site visits and returners are up. And new content is clearly articulating the contributions Black Hills Works—and the people they serve—makes to the region.
The website collaboration was so successful that today The Numad Group continues to partner with Black Hills Works on a number of fundraising and communication initiatives.