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Altum Design Plugs Non-Profit Organization into Web 2.0, Increases Online Traffic and Revenues

Altum Design built our new website in only two months at a price that was affordable for our non-profit organization. We are already realizing the benefits of that investment in terms of positive member interaction and income stream.” –CIIAC Director Rosanna Imbriano

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The Center for Italian & Italian-American Culture (CIIAC), based in Cedar Grove, New Jersey, is a non-profit organization whose mission is to pre­serv­e, pro­mot­e and cel­e­brat­e the rich cul­ture Ital­ians and Ital­ian-Amer­i­cans share. It strives to achieve its mission through cul­tural pro­grams, lan­guage classes, edu­ca­tional lec­tures, trips to Italy, regional din­ners that highlight Italy’s different culinary styles, and much more.

CHALLENGE:

CIIAC was experiencing stagnant membership coupled with cash flow problems and an overextended staff. The organization needed to reconnect with its members, attract new members and reenergize itself.

CIIAC was moving along as it always had. Communication with its members was being done the old-fashioned way via phone and snail mail. Therefore, CIIAC staff was unable to engage in meaningful dialogue with its members and supporters. With limited data capture, the organization was unable to undertake targeted direct marketing efforts. Due to lack of automation, CIIAC staff was often weighed down performing repetitive administrative tasks during peak times such as special events.

The Center was not taking full advantage of the possibilities that Web 2.0 offers in connecting, communicating and engaging with key stakeholders. In fact, CIIAC’s website hosting and maintenance situation lagged behind website best practices.

SOLUTION:

CIIAC partnered with Altum Design (http://www.altumdesign.com) to develop a new website (http://www.ciiacofnj.org), which enables the organization to bring Italy and its culture closer to constituents. Not only does the new website improve the visitor’s overall experience and decrease barriers to engagement, it has helped CIIAC streamline back office work flow and improve operational efficiencies in several areas. The end result is a better CIIAC experience for all, a reduction in operational costs and an increase in revenues for the non-profit organization.

BENEFITS:

Easy Website Updates: The ease of the new site’s content management system means updates are now able to be performed in an efficient and timely manner. The CIIAC staff can update news and information themselves on the fly without third party involvement. Therefore, web content can be easily added or altered ensuring that changes are made more frequently and cost effectively.

Better Engagement with Members: The new website is fully integrated with the Center’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. All postings to the site are automatically posted on these social media platforms—streamlining the process as well as ensuring that all updates are captured. Enhanced connectivity with the organization’s audience has generated a seven-fold increase in Facebook followers in only three months and facilitated CIIAC’s ability to reach an audience through social media that it hadn’t before. Additionally, newsletter subscriptions are up 15 percent over the prior year.

Streamlined Business Processes, Enhanced CRM: Web-based functionality has enabled CIIAC to organize, automate and synchronize certain business processes. Interested parties can join CIIAC as well as register for upcoming events and make a donation. CIIAC, in turn, can generate reports based on membership data, registration, and donations. This makes for more accurate membership statistics, improved tracking and a reduction in data entry by Center staff. CIIAC members can also sign up to receive informational emails about upcoming events, news and updates.

Higher Membership Satisfaction: Overall members have a better experience with CIIAC by being able to self service when needed thus freeing up the limited CIIAC staff. When members do need to communicate with a “live” person, they are more likely to have shorter wait times on the phone.

Greater Brand Visibility: The new optimized site is easier to find and the use of social media applications extends its reach. Traffic to the site has increased dramatically. In the first few months of launch, organic traffic to the website from Google tripled compared to the same time period. In the end, CIIAC’s enhanced online presence has given them a powerful tool to market to potential strategic partners as well as potential members.