Digital marketing for local charity
Cambridge Past, Present & Future (formerly Cambridge Preservation Society) is a registered charity which looks after a number of places of special interest including two popular countryside reserves. They actively lobby for the protection of green spaces and ancient buildings in and around Cambridge and regularly get involved with and comment on local planning proposals. Their existence relies upon donations, membership and paying visitors to a busy calendar of events aimed at children, families and adults, and their website forms an important information portal for schools, tourists, the local community and residents, lobby groups, developers, journalists and businesses.
Creatively we started with a blank canvas. Our initial direction explored a traditional look and feel, aiming to express the maturity and seriousness of the organisation’s activities and the ancient history of their sites.
It was agreed that a modern, bright and accessible creative would help to position the charity as thought leaders and engage a wider audience. The charity is about protecting the past, but its proactive role is heavily focused on the protecting the future for generations to come.
A key objective for the new website was to make it easier to extract to relevant information. This meant significant changes to the information architecture and resulted in scrollable rich landing pages to reduce the page count and need to navigate around the site.
We designed a range of custom icons to represent the facilities available at each of the charity’s locations, being conscious that we needed to create our own style at the same time as ensuring familiarity with existing symbols used by The National Trust and Ordnance Survey.
Placing location markers over a map was the obvious way to significantly improve the usability of the planning proposals database, previously requiring patience to scroll through long lists of data.
By integrating with Google Maps, the process of adding the new planning proposals onto the website automatically creates a map marker and creates an intuitive interface and visual aid to make researching specific locations and proposals much easier.
A custom data-entry form makes the management of data in the backend easy for the charity and saves considerable time.
Small things can make a big difference. We understand how long it takes the charity to maintain an up-to-date website, so to help we make sure that they only have to do it once where possible. Many of the pages and content views in the site are synchronised, therefore adding an event updates a number of different parts of the website, and creating a news item with an image automatically updates the relevant image galleries.
There are over a dozen background processes which ensure that content or data that is changed in one place is updated everywhere else.
Adding these conspicuous buttons to any location throughout the website is a straightforward task from within the CMS, enabling our client to decide how much they shout about the core locations they wish to send visitors.
CPPF hosts and publicises hundreds of events each year at their own sites and in the surrounding area. A robust and simple to use event management system was a key part of the new site.
Joined up systems
The old process of promoting events and taking bookings was fractured and inconsistent. The new system allows the simple creation and management of one-off and repeat events, inventory, bookings, waiting list for oversubscribed events and an enquiry system for large party enquiries. Automatic notifications and reminders ensure nothing is missed.
Complex data, easy to navigate
For visitors to the site, an agenda style view provides details of upcoming events, filterable by event type and location, and a traditional calendar presentation provides a simple and elegant overview of a month’s events.
Harnessing the power of the Visual Composer page builder plugin for WordPress make content editing a dream. Pages can be modified exactly as they will appear on the site, or in a simple to use drag and drop back-end editor.
Content editors can also easily add multiple columns, tabbed layouts and many other graphical and content elements. We even extended the plugin to create new content widgets specific to the charity.
14 Aug 2014
We’re so grateful for your efforts and love the new website, and no-doubt visitors will too!
Mary Nealon, Head of Fundraising & Communications
29 Aug 2014
The website is great, we’ve had some lovely comments. We really appreciate all the work your team put in.
Carolin Göhler, Chief Executive