The Minerva Foundation of BC gets a new look

During the past few weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of working on a new website for the Minerva Foundation for BC Women. The Minerva Foundation offers a wide range of financial, emotional, educational, and leadership programs. Whether it’s helping women develop new skills, assist them to return to the workforce after an extended absence or providing community grants to other non-profit societies who provide services in the area of safety for women, the Minerva Foundation is a leader when it comes to empowering women.

Working with Catherine Worrall and Marga Lopez from Ideastream Design, the Minerva Foundation created a new logo and colour palette. Instead of simply slapping the new logo on the old website, Ideastream Design approached me and inquired about converting their existing site into WordPress. The old website consisted of a huge amounts of documents, static html files (with Ack! tables) and images, making it quite challenging to update. Converting the site to WordPress, simply made much more sense. Using a few plugins, like the Next Gen Gallery, the Foundation can now create as many photo galleries as they want and the rest of the website is a breeze to update. The new website is inviting, easy to navigate and will hopefully help the Foundation with their future endeavors.

The Minerva Foundation of BC Women

Using the Web for a Good Cause

A few days ago, while under the weather, Darren thought about the future of Soap Operas. This reminded me of something similar which I consider to be out of date. I’ve often wonder why charitable organizations insist on calling me at home to ask for money. Personally, I just treat these organizations the same as telemarketers. Tut, tut you say..I know, I know, but I just don’t like being disturbed at dinner time and thus refuse to donate to anyone who requests by phone.

Raising money is tough, but the Web seems to be a pretty effective means. I’m just wrapping up the most wonderful book called “Three Cups of Tea“. At the end of the book, the authors lists how we can continue the work started by Greg Mortenson and how we can help. Of course spreading the word about the book and letting everyone know that they should read it is the best way, but visiting their website and the charitable organization’s website, are other ways to get further information. Additionally, by following the link on their website, all purchases of the book and all other Amazon purchases will generate 7% of proceeds to the Central Asia Institute. Kudos to Amazon!

Other organizations have made it quite easy for users to create profiles and raise money. Just a few weeks ago, a friend mentioned that he was participating in a 24 hour yoga relay to raise money for kids suffering from Aids and HIV. He simply sent an email, I clicked the link, inserted my credit card details, and now my name and contribution amount appears next to a thermometer on the charity site. Easy as pie.

My friend Karis, sent me an email just a few minutes ago telling me about the Animal Rescue not getting enough daily clicks on their website to get free food donated to rescued animals. I’m not sure logistically how this works, but simply by clicking the link, the site is able to raise money. This kind of button as been used on many charity sites.

These methods of raising money seem pretty good to me. Do we still need “telemarketers” calling us at home?

Help for Youth in BC

Bluelime has helped The Crisis Centre with their websites for years, including maintaining the Youth in BC site. Until recently the latter was easier said than done because the site was, well, a bit of a tangled mess under the hood. Little changes took longer than you might expect because of old-style coding. To the viewers eyes, it was visually overwhelming and not very user friendly. Given the number of resources offered on the site, and especially the potential state of crisis that viewers may be experiencing, ease of finding information and ease of maintenance are crucial.

Recently we designed a new site incorporating Youth in BC’s new branding and built it with WordPress so that staff can do most of the maintenance themselves. They’ve been receiving positive feedback from their audience, including:

The site is way better than the old one. Lots more info on so many things now.

…Which was music to my ears. It’s actually the same information, just easier to find. Mission accomplished :-)

New Home for Your (not-so-)Old Tech & Office Stuff

While this might be a little off-topic, here’s a brief plug to check out the BC Crisis Centre’s Wishlist. In addition to office equipment, they could also use some kitchen equipment for their volunteer’s break room and a volunteer photographer.

Bluelime has been helping the Crisis Centre with their websites for years, and we’re looking forward to launching an updated version of their web-based youth hotline in the near future.

Set up your wiki with wetpaint

We’ve written about wikis before, but sometimes words just aren’t enough. The folks at Common Craft have come up with a great video that explains how wikis can be created using the Seattle based company Wetpaint. Wetpaint is a company offering free easy-to-use wikis. Their video demonstrates how easy it is build your own wiki. I poked around the wetpaint site, but I got sucked into the hero wiki and the Buffy forever fan site… Before I knew I forgot why I was there…

Using wikis for fan sites is very popular, but non-profits societies, associations and any other group of individuals who simply don’t have the funds to build their own may find this service very useful.