New Website Gives Episcopal Relief & Development a Fresh Look, New URL

April 24, 2013

Episcopal Relief & Development has launched a new organizational website featuring an updated look and layout, greater integration with social media and a unified donation pathway to boost interactivity and engagement.  In addition to helpful color coding, new icons and special spotlight sections, the redesign also includes improved accessibility and information flow, making it easier for users to learn more and take action to help heal a hurting world. 

The new design was developed in line with industry best practices, input received from Episcopal Relief & Development’s staff and board members and feedback from donors and friends of the organization.  The update was co-managed by Malaika Kamunanwire, Episcopal Relief & Development’s Senior Director for Marketing & Communications, and Daryn Kobata, the organization’s Social Media and Web Officer, in partnership with digital firm Blue Fountain Media

“During the development of the new site, we were constantly evaluating our process to make sure that it focused on user needs and interests, while at the same time showcasing who we are as an organization,” said Kamunanwire.  “Episcopal Relief & Development serves as a bridge between Episcopalians and communities around the world.  The new look and feel of our site matches our ethos, and the content strives to inform and empower our supporters to act and get others involved in our mission.”

Increasing engagement with individuals and institutions is the primary goal of the new site, with robust “What You Can Do” and “Church In Action” sections and an enhanced “Gifts For Life” area.  Gifts For Life is Episcopal Relief & Development’s flagship alternative gift catalog, which invites supporters to purchase “items” such as a goat, a share in a community garden or a micro-loan that will benefit families around the world.  Gifts For Life items can be used to mark special occasions such as birthdays and holidays, and also make popular fundraisers for Sunday School and youth groups.

“I’m excited about our new Gifts For Life section, in terms of both added functionality and how it’s integrated with the rest of our donation process,” said Kobata.  “The design is more colorful and fun, and features ‘related items’ to help people learn about different aspects of our work.  Donors can also now make one-time gifts, monthly gifts and Gifts For Life purchases seamlessly through the same portal, which I think will really improve the user experience. Thanks so much to our web team members, staff and friends who helped make this site come to life!”

Along with greatly enriched country and program pages that describe the organization’s work worldwide, the new site also features expanded libraries of resources, photos and videos that supporters can share with friends and fellow church members to get them involved.  Social media “share” buttons are conveniently located throughout the site so visitors can share images and stories via Facebook and Twitter.  Users can also sign up for press releases, e-newsletters and mailings through the streamlined “Stay Informed” section.

“We worked with the Episcopal Relief & Development team to implement a website based on forward-thinking design techniques, usability-focused information pathways and engaging content,” said Jared Friedman, Business Consultant for Blue Fountain Media. “This has been both a challenge and an awesome undertaking, and together we have created a website that will be a trend setter in the digital non-profit space.”

Episcopal Relief & Development’s new site aligns with its strategic vision for 2013-16, which puts an emphasis on expanding networks of friends and supporters and creating greater opportunities for engagement.  Raising visibility and awareness and strengthening the organization’s brand are key components of this strategy, and this is reflected in both the site design and the new domain name,   

“I am extremely proud of the efforts that have led to the creation of this new website, and thank everyone whose work has contributed to this success,” said Rob Radtke, President of Episcopal Relief & Development.  “There are so many ways for individuals and churches to engage, through giving, volunteering and incorporating Episcopal Relief & Development into congregational life.  I believe the new site will help greatly in strengthening the connections between this organization, its supporters and the community-based partners whose efforts are making a lasting impact.”

Episcopal Relief & Development is the international relief and development agency of the Episcopal Church and an independent 501(c)(3) organization. The agency takes its mandate from Jesus’ words found in Matthew 25. Its programs work towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Episcopal Relief & Development works closely with the worldwide Church and ecumenical partners to help rebuild after disasters and to empower local communities to find lasting solutions that fight poverty, hunger and disease, including HIV/AIDS and malaria.