A Web of Options

 This article first appeared in Volunteer Victoria’s E-Link newsletter on October 21st, 2011. Sign up for E-Link and keep current with news and information from Volunteer Victoria.

Volunteer Victoria recently had to face a difficult truth. We have been lying to ourselves about how happy we are with our website.

In fairness to old faithful, our website has served us well, behaved admirably, and cost very little in the big scheme of things. But, (and isn’t there always a but) our website isn’t keeping up with the needs of our members, volunteers, and client groups. So, it is time to look at new options, but where do we even start?

The Advanced Solutions International white paper ‘3 Keys to a Smart Website’ suggests that people want an online experience that is more personalized and relevant. They suggest that the secret to success is a mix of: 

Content Management Systems (CMS). CMS provides ways to manage, distribute, and control content, and multiple users can easily access the website to post graphics, text blocks, video, audio, or banners.  CMS  provides for visual consistency and e-commerce functions and back-end databases.

Customer Relationship Management (CMR). CMR allows content stored in  back of house databases and information management systems to be tagged, categorized, and presented to content providers and website users as personalized web content.

Personalized and relevant content and administrative benefits. Website users want to have access to content that is important to them (e.g. the ability to register for a workshop, to pay a membership fee, or make a donation) and non-profits need to find new ways to leverage resources and reduce the duplication of services.

In the ideal model, web users could pick and choose options – update their own records, purchase services, pay online, receive a tax receipt, or provide content and feedback – and always feel like they had personal and meaningful contact.

What would you like to see in a Volunteer Victoria website?

As Volunteer Victoria’s new website is just emerging from the idea stage we invite you to engage with us the old fashioned way – with a call, a visit, or an e-mail.

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