Variety, the Children's Charity – Creating an effective website in an increasingly crowded charity sector

The Question

How does a children’s charity create stand out in an increasingly competitive and crowded charity sector, and appeal to a wider and more diverse audience?

The Answer

Realising the important role it could play, the charity worked with Access to design and develop a new website that would act as the hub of its online activity.

Delivering a mobile friendly integrated marketing and e-commerce solution with an enhanced social media presence, the site reinforces the charity’s positioning of ‘making good things happen’ through positive storytelling and a bright, vibrant, user friendly design, which includes a custom-designed illustration, carefully crafted to reflect the ethos, spirit and services delivered by Variety.

Built on an open source CMS, Drupal 7, the Variety website combines the best of the available contributed modules and custom functionality developed by the Access development team. The site integrates with a number of 3rd party systems, including Disqus, Dotmailer and SagePay.

Specific features and functionality delivered in this project

  • Online donations via Direct Debit and card payments
  • User Generated Content; Case studies, stories and testimonials
  • Media management and publishing tools through the CMS
  • Social media content integration, share tools
  • Regionalised content
  • Events and ticketing in Drupal
  • Ecommerce and transactions: Online merchandising and event ticket payments
  • Printer friendly pages and PDF generation

Results and Achievements

Improved differentiation and ‘story telling’ through the use of specially commissioned illustration, use of video, beneficiary testimonials and ability to leverage social media - all administered through an easy-to-use CMS

Increased revenue through online donations and sales through the online shop.

Lower cost of ownership by providing more editorial control through content management functionality and zero cost open source licensing.

The new site delivered:

  • 28% increase in organic traffic
  • 27% increase in Social Traffic
  • 50% increase in social referrals
  • 18% increase in traffic to the online shop
  • Complete return on investment through online shop sales alone, in under 12 months

“This has been a major project for Variety and I’m thrilled that the website has been so well received. Within the market-place of charity websites, our new site stands out in so many ways, and especially in its visual vibrancy, user friendliness, functionality and flexibility. I am confident that this great team effort between Variety and Access will achieve our principal goal – to increase awareness, support and on-line fundraising and therefore enable us to help even more sick, disabled or disadvantaged children.”

Rod Natkiel – Chairman of Marketing and Communications, Variety

www.variety.org.uk

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