True stories boost fundraising through new charity website
IE recently redesigned and redeveloped the website for the St Vincent de Paul Society (SVP), putting real people and their stories at the heart of the site. The new site achieved a substantial growth in online donations, as well as increased interest from new volunteers.
SVP turns concern into action by visiting, befriending and providing practical assistance to people in need. Across England and Wales, their members and volunteers assist over 80,000 lonely and isolated people each year.
Better known in Ireland, until now SVP have kept a fairly low profile in the UK. With their new website, the charity wanted to raise awareness, attract volunteers and increase online donations. While part of the solution clearly lay in bringing the technology up to date (described on the IE Digital blog), one of IE's key recommendations was to put the charity’s success stories at the heart of the site.
The people behind the brand
Our consultants were struck by the number of amazing stories SVP had about their work. Letters of thanks from beneficiaries adorned their office walls, and they had some fantastic examples of the enormous impact that's made by their 10,000 volunteer members. But there was little sign of these on the old SVP website.
A befriending volunteer can be a real lifeline for someone who’s bereaved, lonely, dealing with debt, or getting back on their feet following a period of homelessness. To appeal to new volunteers/members prepared to give their time, and support SVP's fundraising efforts, we needed to show that impact. What’s more, that should encourage more people in need to seek help from SVP, by showing them they’re not alone.
Real stories, real results
Our digital design team dotted these case studies throughout the new website, to show visitors and potential volunteers the transformation in real people’s lives – simply by giving them a lift, fixing their cooker, or lending a friendly, sympathetic ear.
By giving these true stories pride of place on the website – with a mix of real and stock photography, where necessary – SVP's members, staff, supporters and help seekers can see the value of the support they offer to the community. As a result, SVP has seen a significant increase in online donations, and a rise in new volunteers wanting to get involved.
Our consultant reminded us how many wonderful stories we have to tell, and the value of putting them front and centre on the new website. The new site is helping us to get our mission and message out into the world. Ultimately, it's helping us to achieve our objectives of recruiting more volunteers, attracting more donations and helping more people.Ken Madine
Head of Fundraising, Communications and Marketing, SVP