The mission of Wesley Community Center is to meet the spiritual and basic needs of families of all ages, offering assistance in education, workforce development and health and wellness to transition families toward self-sufficiency. Since 1966, Wesley Community Center has committed itself to serving low income families and individuals in need through programs including job development, after school programs, CDF Freedom Schools, a food pantry, urban garden, farmers market, senior nutrition and transportation programs. The Center has earned the reputation as a reliable, committed, faith-based organization that responds to low income persons and families experiencing personal crisis. The Center identifies critical needs in the low income communities of Dayton Ohio and executes programs to address those needs.
We desire to have our current website created with Charity Advantage upgraded or redesigned in a different platform that we will be able to manage with in-house staff. We would want our website to load quickly, be easy to navigate and user friendly with our "Donate" and "Program" link in prominent places on the site. There are three websites we consider simple yet powerful that we would like to emulate - Homefull (homefull.org), East End Community Services (east-end.org) and Greater Cincinnati Urban League (gcul.org).
The implementation of this project would allow us to push information out to our clients quickly online. Because the website is dated and not user friendly we rarely use it to share recent program information. As a result, it remains relatively static. We make updates once a month or when we have an event or new program to share. We thought this would work if we used Facebook and email blasts for the immediate and time sensitive information. However, we have discovered that many people donors, clients and partners are not on Facebook regularly or at all. Emails get rerouted as spam and junk mail so they get missed.
Further, we were naïve to the fact that in the era of multiple social media outlets and information sharing tools that our organization’s website, for many, is still the best place to share with the world what’s going on at Wesley and how we can help families in need. We now recognize the need to have a relevant dynamic web site as it 1) makes information and resources available to people anywhere and at any time in real time (i.e. invites to job fairs and open interview opportunities can be posted quickly), 2) it does not require a profile, email address or a need to share information to use it and 3) people can direct other people there to learn more about Wesley, the work we are doing and the resources available to the viewer.
The sharing of information is one aspect. We also want to be able to tell our story and share our successes with pictures and video. As the website is now, it’s very difficult to do this. Our pictures and videos are buried within the site. People have to do multiple clicks to get to images and video. We want to have those things reflected on the home page with a link to the fuller story. This allows us to share our work with people who support us and gives them an opportunity to share it with others.
Overall, we want our website to be a place where our clients, donors and potential donors can stay connected to and be engaged with us beyond our physical space while not having to be particularly computer savvy or social media connected. Once the website is updated and reengineered to be more user friendly, the staff can maintain it.