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Ashburnham Place

Creating an environmentally friendly website for a diverse charity and community

Project overview

This charity-run community and conference centre needed an updated website that enabled a diverse user base to find out more and access their services.

The initial goal was to update their online platform, modernising the website and bringing it into a new era with a responsive design. This would keep users engaged regardless of their device type.

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The challenge

• As a charity organisation, Ashburnham Place team wanted to highlight the distinct environmental contributions of the centre.

• Though an established brand, it faced many challenges. These included their uniquely diverse services and facilities.

• In addition, their team had SMART goals to increase bookings and facility visitors. With such an expansive facility, they didn’t want to leave any stone unturned in terms of utilisation.

• As a charity-based organisation, Ashburnham Place team had a desire to include community events, large conference services, and proactive environmental action initiatives not only as a part of their online message, but as a reflection of the role the centre plays in the region.

• Both the messaging reach and the need for increased giving were top of mind for the administration. An online portal would need o help them achieve their goals with both of these initiatives.

• Volunteerism is crucially important to the success of Ashburnham. By increasing volunteer recruitment, they could not only continue to offer their same services, but grow them as well.

• With our collective environmental impact at the forefront of their messaging, they also wanted to create a website that held true to their environmental pledges.

 

Wow - great job and well done to everyone involved – it’s really evident what an enormous amount of work has gone in to this. The site looks fantastic and is packed with information, features and so many beautiful pictures and pithy videos to make it look vibrant and colourful. Nice integration of the CAF widget for donations and I like the autumnal feel to the feature video which makes me want to ‘Just Be ’and make a booking. And that history timeline is just brilliant. Best of all was to see some of those events FULLY BOOKED

Hannah

Hannah

Resource Director Ashburnham Place

Our process

• As with many other organisations over the past several years, the pandemic had a direct impact on the rollout of this project. Because of this, the project began and then took a three-year project hiatus.

• To facilitate the ongoing development of the final project, we conducted Discovery Meetings with all departments. This allowed each of them to express their needs, requirements, and challenges that a modernised website could solve for them.

• Throughout the development process, we performed interviews with key stakeholders. This allowed for a back-and-forth dialogue over UX and usability consideration often required by the population groups who visited the older Ashburnham Place website.

• To ensure all who visited the site could find the information they needed, we spent extensive time mapping accessibility concerns and user.

behaviour flows so that no portion of the new website build would exclude any one people group.

• The ultimate goal of the website was to provide value and meet the needs of both users and stakeholders alike.

Our work

• Upon launch of the site, an immediate increase in volunteer engagement was noted by Ashburnham Place staff. This allowed them to continue to offer their exceptional services to the community and an expanded focus on their target audience.

• Budgetary concerns were also lessened through an immediate increase in donations and financial support.

• We ensured that the environmental aspects of Ashburnham Place were fully reflected in the marketing message, growing public awareness of their commitment to protecting the natural world.

• We successfully ensured that a booking section was visible. This directly led to their group and guest booking features being more accessible as well as an increase in facility usage from both the community and the target audience organisational groups.

• Using modern website standards, we built the site with all mobile responsive frameworks in mind, ensuring that the website was visible on all viewports.

• We built the website to meet Web Content Accessibility Guidelines WCAG and EU standards creating a site that is accessible for everyone regardless of ability.

 

Results

Increased users

Increased applications of volunteers

Increased mailing list sign ups

Increased donations from users

Thoughts

Diversity and environmental impact are two of the primary cultural characteristics of Ashburnham Place. Ensuring that these, as well as their focus on improved community engagement and support, was core to our project with them.

As they’ve seen both immediate and ongoing results since the new website rolled out, our partnership with them demonstrated how a collaborative approach with like-minded organisations can lead to success,

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