Fresh & Functional: Web Site Offers Better Reach

How better to kick off an annual fundraising campaign than by rolling out an uber-gorgeous, ultra-functional new website?

Designed by Leap, the United Way of Greater Victoria’s new site offers vastly improved navigation, a streamlined system for harnessing online donations, and a powerful call to action. Arresting, full-screen images illustrate the United Way’s three-pronged focus of children, poverty and community, and spark emotion in visitors. The simple, stunning sliders are paired with catchy headings that invite visitors to explore the role of UWGV in the community. Where the website used to offer fact-heavy tracts of text, readers now encounter informative, easy-to-grasp infographics. The switch lets supporters see at a glance how their donations make a difference.

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Heather Skydt, Devin Edwards, Katie Burke, Simon Robinson

Knowing that the web is the first stop for people investigating a charity or gathering materials for hosting a fundraiser, UWGV Director of Marketing and Communications Heather Skydt wanted to create an online presence that would illustrate, in an organized, quick way, what UWGV does and how it directs the donations it receives. With 2000+ unique pageviews each month, the UWGV site is a busy place. Over 400 workplaces access the site for tools to support their own fundraising campaigns. Dozens of media partners connect to the site as well. Skydt wanted to enable users to quickly locate the information and tools they need to make a donation or to run a top-notch corporate campaign. She also wanted to burnish the somewhat traditionally-perceived United Way brand with the glow of innovation and a willingness to meet tech-savvy younger donors on their level.

The team at Leap had come highly recommended, so Skydt included them in the bids for the project. “When we met with Neil, Simon and Devin, the thing that spoke to me was that they wanted to focus on the end user experience,” says Skydt. “Right away they honed in on how we needed to show the impact we have: telling the stories, and showing how our dollar has impact in the community.”

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See the new website

The temptation for many organizations is to put on their website everything that a visitor might find useful. But that’s outdated thinking. With their deep understanding of the way users navigate, Leap showed Skydt how the UWGV could present a great deal of information in concise, bite-sized servings. “At every turn, Leap was asking us to think hard about who our audience was, and what we wanted on our site,” says Skydt. “It has to be focused and targeted information. Because of the complexity of the work we do, you can throw a ton of numbers at people, but they have to be digestible.” The new infographics impart truckloads of information without overwhelming viewers.

Skydt was impressed with Leap’s commitment to excellence. “They’re ahead of the curve,” she says. “I needed someone to trendset with me and break us from the past. They are ten steps ahead, and are following best practices in the industry. They can tell me where things are going.” Skydt was excited at how well the entire website redesign stayed on its timeline, from its May inception to its September launch. And she was delighted that Neil and his team felt a synchronous vibe with the project, expressing their support for the work United Way does and sharing their desire to bring the project to life while making every donor dollar work as hard as possible.

“Leap helped to channel our expectations in terms of what the site should do, and what we want from it moving forward,” says Skydt. She is thrilled with how easy the site is to manage from the back end, too. And she knows the Leap team is standing by to guide her if she has any questions about the new site.