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Soapbox Site Launch: The Smart Campaign

Picture 1Earlier in March, PICnet launched a new site for ACCION and their new program called “The Smart Campaign.” They needed a simple site that would be eventually be available in Russian, Spanish, French, and Arabic.  The site also needed to host ACCION’s toolkit of resources, available in all languages.  Users will be able to find valuable information that serve as guides and best practices to those looking to participate in micro-finance.

What I like best on this site is the humanistic feel the homepage design presents. Lisa Mattei-McDonald, my client contact at BI, was introduced into this project midway.  After her predecessor left, Lisa did an extraordinary job catching up quickly to all things web related.  I applaud her success at keeping the project cool and calm even during her own discovery of her role and the unforeseen requirements that the project took on.

It was a full blown effort with four vendors involved! Boston Interactive hired PICnet to implement their design.  Strategy and communications firm  M+R was also involved.  And Democracy in Action came in at the very end to help The Smart Campaign’s constituents active on the site.

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Soapbox Site Launch: Government Accountability Project

The Government Accountability Project (GAP) wanted an update to their outdated website – for being the greatest representative of whistleblowers in our nation’s capital, they wanted to have a site that demonstrated their force when reckoning with the bullies.

Dylan Blaylock, my point of contact at GAP, was a very proactive client. He was so prepared that he delivered the site’s wireframes to me instead of the other way around! While these provided a great starting point on which to consider layout, we worked extensively on the site navigation. I once again was confronted with a communications challenge – I didn’t initially present the solution in a visual way. (This is becoming to be a common thread among my clients. I can’t help it- I’m not visual! I see things logically. Forgive me, people!)

In addition to the common website hurdles, Dylan and I had to reckon with DC Snowmaggedon RIGHT. BEFORE. DEADLINE. And this deadline was extremely important:

“On February 17, 2010, GAP teamed up with Participant Media and the Paley Center for Media for a fantastic and unique event – the first-ever televised, long-format special that details and analyzes what whistleblowers are, the six stages of whistleblowing they typically experience, and their lack of legal protections.”

Read more about this event on GAP’s Blog.

So while all of Dylan’s coworkers were at home trying to organize the event when all DC offices were closed, Dylan trudged into work amidst the horrible weather to make this site complete — all by himself! He really did a great job. Between his iPhone and my ski vacation breaks over President’s Weekend, we worked hard to troubleshoot and resolve all outstanding issues before the big event. Dylan gave us some props himself: “Thanks for everything with the Web site again. You and Ryan did an amazing job.”

Through the new website, advocates and constituents alike can contact congress on initiatives, using an advocacy platform through DemocracyInAction (DIA). Online donations are processed through Network for Good.

About GAP The Government Accountability Project’s mission is to promote corporate and government accountability by protecting whistleblowers, advancing occupational free speech, and empowering citizen activists.

GAP is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization with an operating budget of around $2.5 million. Gifts to GAP are tax-deductible. The vast majority of our funds come from over 10,000 individual donors and foundations such as the Carnegie Foundation, CS Fund, Ford Foundation, the Open Society Institute and Rockefeller Family Fund. Additional support comes from legal fees, settlement awards, and services provided. GAP is compliant with standards set by the Better Business Bureau, and we enjoy that organization’s stamp of approval.

Founded in 1977, GAP is the nation’s leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization. Located in Washington, D.C., GAP is a nonpartisan, public interest group. In addition to focusing on whistleblower support in our stated program areas, we lead campaigns to enact whistleblower protection laws both domestically and internationally. GAP also conducts an accredited legal clinic for law students, and offers an internship program year-round.

 

Soapbox Site Launch: Prevention Institute

The Prevention Institute wanted to overhaul their website, which was a combination of a few different sites, but all had different site architectures. Working with our design partner and neighbor, FreeRange Graphics, PICnet streamlined the site’s navigation, making it more SEO and user friendly.

Prevention Institute was founded in 1997 to serve as a focal point for primary prevention practice—promoting policies, organizational practices, and collaborative efforts that improve health and quality of life. As a national non-profit organization, the Institute is committed to preventing illness and injury, to fostering health and social equity, and to building momentum for community prevention as an integral component of a quality health system. Prevention Institute synthesizes research and practice; develops prevention tools and frameworks; helps design and guide interdisciplinary partnerships; and conducts training and strategic consultation with government, foundations, and community-based organizations nationwide and internationally.

The entire staff at Prevention was super during the development process. I especially worked well with Annie Lyles, my main point of contact on the project. Annie is much more of a visual person than I am, so in order to communicate effectively, we even set up our own language to refer to the tools on the website. Because the timeline of the project was quite long, I definitely was able to establish a fun relationship with the team at Prevention.

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Lots and lots of webinars for you!

I wanted to share some great webinars for you to look into – check out the details below from Idealware.

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Ready for a spring lineup of live online seminars?  Idealware has a great slate scheduled for this month, including a NEW session on Getting Started with Mobile Outreach. Don’t see what you’re looking for in the schedule?  Make sure to check our library of on-demand recordings, offered for only $20 each.

Our live seminars are capped at 25 participants, so you’ll have lots of opportunity to ask questions and get just the information you need. All you need is an internet connection and a phone line to participate.  Each of these seminars are only $40 per participant for a 90-minute workshop. Getting Started with Mobile Outreach Thursday March 18th, 1:00 – 2:30 EST It’s easier that you might think to broadcast text messages to your supporters’ cell phones, to ask them to respond to a quick question, or even to ask them to donate right through their phone. We’ll talk through the principles, software packages, and best practices that can help. Getting Started with Email Fundraising Thursday March 25th, 1:00 – 2:30 EST How do you design and write an email campaign that will work?  What tools can help you send emails and collect online donations?   We’ll walk through what you’ll need to know to design your own email fundraising campaign. Getting Started with Online Conferencing Thursday April 1st, 1:00 – 2:30 EST What tools can help you conduct meetings or training over the Web? We’ll talk about the features that can help, and compare some of the free and affordable options.

Check out www.idealware.org/online_seminars for more information and more seminars, or  http://www.idealware.org/online_seminars/recordings.php for a full list of on-demand recordings. Idealware is an awesome nonprofit service organization that provides technical capacity building to other nonprofits and publishes consumer-style reports on software targeted to nonprofits.

 

Webinar: Get Started on Facebook

What: Webinar – Get Started on Facebook When: March 11, 1pm EST/10am Pacific Sign up!

Many nonprofits and libraries are using Facebook to interact with their constituencies and reach out to new audiences – but what’s the best way to get your organization started on this hugely popular social networking site?

In this webinar, Kami Griffiths will interview social media consultant John Haydon, who will walk through the essential steps to establishing and managing a successful Facebook presence for a nonprofit or library.

We will also hear from Gabe O’Neill of Kids Are Heroes, who will share lessons learned from developing their own Facebook page.  Get practical how-to information, learn best practices, ask questions, and leave with action items that will help you create an engaging Facebook presence for your organization.

This webinar is for people who are beginning to explore Facebook and have questions on how to get started.

Sign up now.

 

Soapbox Site Launch: Studying our Presidents

Picture 2Just in time to celebrate the birth of some our most famous U.S. presidents, PICnet launched a new Soapbox website for the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress (CSPC). CSPC was looking to improve their site architecture so their constituents and followers could more easily locate the valuable publications the organization produces. They also wanted to sharpen up their outdated image.  Through their new Soapbox site, they can even receive online donations through PayPal!

Emily Shaftel was my point-of-contact at CSPC and she was an amazing coordinator for their side.  I always received a quick turnaround, clear and detailed questions and she was very technically savvy with an eye for pushing the website to its limits.  She actually departed CSPC on the day of the launch to go and volunteer for a year in Thailand! Emily definitely made an impact before her departure.

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DoGooder Nonprofit Video Awards: What are you going to submit?

A couple days ago, You Tube and See3 Communications launched the 4th annual DoGooder Nonprofit Video Awards. One winner will be selected in each of following categories: Best Small Organization Video, Best Medium Organization Video, Best Large Organization Video and Best Innovation in Video.

Winners will be recognized at the Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC 2011) in Atlanta in April, and on YouTube, and each winning organization will receive a $2,500 grant from the Case Foundation and a custom Flip camera. To enter, organizations must be a member of YouTube Nonprofit Program.

The deadline is March 19. We know some of you out there have a video that should be submitted. Apply today!

 

Stellar support, simplified systems

Recently, we helped migrate a newly designed Coalition to Stop Gun Violence to the Soapbox platform, after they were seeing diminishing service and support from their old system. The organization wanted an option to have support 24 hours a day and to build a relationship with their platform provider.

And boy, did we build a relationship! As project manager, I spoke with Ladd Everitt from CSGV almost every day – as their PR/media person, he had a great personal investment in the website, and he was very involved with the decision-making and details from the start of the project.

We originally were going  to use the eblast system Vertical Response, tied into the Salesforce CRM to manage CSGV’s contacts.  However, upon understanding the small staff they had and the technical literacy which these two systems required, I decided to look into Network for Good’s My Emma Email Now! This turned out to be both a simpler and more affordable solution for the client. Now CSGV has petitions, contact forms and surveys running through the form creation on Email Now, and they are also able to send out well-designed html email blasts through this very simple and easy to use system. I also want to give a quick shout out to Kate Purcell, the designer of the site.

The relationship PICnet built with Ladd for this site was great for overall communications and for the momentum of the project.  He was a great example of a smooth client-vendor partnership – always delivering on time and was available at all hours during the holidays for launch.

The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence seeks to secure freedom from gun violence through research, strategic engagement and effective policy advocacy. Learn more here.

 

Free Webinar: What Should a Website Cost?

Are you thinking about revamping your website but not sure where to start? Are you working with a web developer but wonder if you’re paying too much? With all the tools and strategies available, it’s hard to know where to start and what to expect.

Attend this free webinar on Thursday where Allen Gunn, Executive Director of Aspiration (one of our partners!), will share valuable information about:

  • The steps you should follow when framing and managing web projects to streamline the process and minimize cost.
  • What you can expect to pay for different types of websites, from basic “brochure-ware” to higher-end web applications.
  • The different types of website technologies.

This will be a basic-to-intermediate level overview of the website development process and ideal for decision makers, board members involved in the process, and accidental techies.

The webinar is this Thursday, the 17th, at 11am PST. You can join here.

 

PICnet Volunteer Series: Katie is starting Creative Conversations

This is the second post in our series about the PICnet Team’s volunteer efforts.

Jamie Ozimek contributed to this post.

Who: Project Manager Katie Guernsey How she serves: Various positions at Americans for the Arts

header_logoPICnetter Katie keeps busy day to day as a  Project Manager in our San Francisco office, helping clients build and manage their websites. But on the side, Katie is heavily involved in Americans for the Arts, the largest national advocacy and service organization for the arts in the US.

At AFTA, Katie serves as a member on the Emerging Leaders Council, and the chair of  the Technology and Communications Committee. As a Councilmember, she helps inform the direction that AFTA takes in supporting arts administrators who identify themselves to be “emerging” in their career on a national level. What exactly does that mean? According to Katie, AFTA’s definition of an “Emerging Leader” is someone under 35 years old, or in the field less than five years, but depending on the person, these guidelines can change a little. The Emerging Leaders Council devises programming, networking, and professional development opportunities for their peers under the guise of AFTA’s infrastructure. On a local level, Katie helps to coordinate professional networking opportunities such as the “Creative Conversations.”

Some of Katie’s specific duties include maintaining AFTA’s Google Group and overseeing the strategy of how to best serve their constituency through online technologies. This year, she facilitated one of the Emerging Leader Networking Sessions at the Annual Convention.

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