Approaching its 40th birthday, the San Diego Democrats for Equality is a force in regional and statewide Democratic Party politics with a focus on fundraising and advocacy, especially for LGBT issues.
A 2013 Transformation Task Force recommended that to remain relevant the organization needed to encourage participation of existing members while bolstering new membership. One mechanism for growing, engaging and sustaining members was to better communicate with them through online media.
The organization’s executive board had specified that the new website had to be constructed around a framework that was easily maintained by one or two volunteers with minimal experience in web design. We therefore built the site using a WordPress theme.
We realized that maximizing the amount of content on the home page was essential in engaging the members. The result: a quick overview including the latest blog postings, a news feed of the organization’s latest press releases, and highlights of upcoming events. An ever-changing slide show helped draw interest. All home page elements were linked to interior pages with added detail.
To grab new visitors’ attention, an E-News sign-up box was featured at the top of the home page (an e-newsletter was already in operation with biweekly mailings using Constant Contact). At bottom was a customizable donation bar that could be set to graphically reflect percentage of progress toward a specific financial goal.
Content was developed to include volunteer sign-up and membership applications, links to ally organizations, and an archive for documents.
As this is a new website, few metrics are, as yet, available.