BGCA set out to create a site that was a true reflection of everything it stands for, recognizing that the user experience and content needed to serve a multitude of purposes for many different audiences (parent, teen, educator, alum and supporter). Generally speaking, there had been a misunderstanding of who BGCA really was, and so the job of the site was to tell the brand story and mission through different user pathways, while also placing greater emphasis on the clubs’ 3 key pillars of Academic Success, Healthy Lifestyle and Good Citizenship. Educating this mission was a broader strategic plan that had been realized at a local level, but it was not yet portrayed in the site. While the typical objective would have been more donor dollars, BGCA truly placed the focus on connecting more meaningfully with all of their audiences – emphasizing donations, but also site traffic and local club discovery.
In alignment with reaching their unique audiences, it was critical for BGCA’s brand story to shine through each element of the new website – placing significant emphasis around the 3 key Pillars, or “Outcomes” of the BGCA mission: Academic Success, Healthy Lifestyle and Good Citizenship. At a local level, these three pillars were being lived every day in the culture BGCA has worked so diligently to sustain. For those pillars to truly connect to external audiences, BGCA backed them by real data and proof points. And by weaving them into the overarching brand story and site experience, BGCA could build a more tangible, meaningful understanding of them, for parents, teens, educators and supporters alike. Bridging the everyday culture of BGCA with the way they spoke to audiences through their website was an extremely importance objective and strategy for the site redesign.
In addition to the self-select function, BGCA considered the “Find a Club” landing page to be of critical importance, particularly being that parents and teens were two primary audience segments that the organization wanted to speak more directly with. While donors are essential to the success of BGCA, showing support for, and educating parents and their children on the multitude of offerings BGCA provided was equally, if not more important than the fundraising objective.
Educating, activating and amplifying the BCGA mission were key elements to both the physical build of the new website, and the main strategic objectives that the organization sought to achieve. In order to understand the goals from the entire team, insight was garnered from key stakeholders across the org, from fundraising, to the brand team, to local club representatives – all which ultimately drove the overarching strategy. In addition, the site was designed to connect meaningfully with all of BGCA’s key audiences, and so comprehensive user testing was conducted prior to, and during the site build. It was important to understand how a real parent, teen, or supporter would intuitively navigate through the site’s content, considering what CTAs resonated most with them, and what content guided them to conversion. This tactic became the heart of the new homepage, which strategically features a “self-select” option to allow each site persona to get the content most important to them.
Understanding the different needs of each visitor, BGCA introduced a “self-selecter” on the homepage to guide audiences through the site. Using a contemporary CMS allowed for a scalable solution, where BGCA could mix and match creative materials on different pages without disrupting the navigation of the site for each user. More importantly, the team conducted user tests throughout the entire build process, to garner feedback from real people on whether the site fulfilled its mission.
Aside from the copy and ease of navigation, the site features beautiful videography and photography that blends all of the powerful things that BGCA stands for, and works towards. The site is brighter, cleaner and more digestible than its prior website, and brings to light the entire BGCA story – for families, educators, donors and for alumni of the organization and clubs. Every single one of the site’s elements was driven by the feedback and experience of real people impacted by BGCA, which is likely a reason why both the desktop and mobile (responsive design) sites continue to perform so well.
Not only has BGCA’s site generated increased traffic, showing a 28% uptick between pre and post 2017 launch, it has also demonstrated significantly increased engagement from different audiences through the new self-select navigation. From the Homepage, 13.5 k site visitors have used the “I am a Parent” self-select option to navigate to the Parent landing page, which represents the third highest page for traffic from home. Being that BGCA sought specifically to empower parents through informative content and access to local clubs, the fact that the Parent persona represented 72% of all the self-select audiences from the homepage demonstrates the site’s ability to connect meaningfully with BGCA’s parent population. 12% of site visitors used the “Teen” self-select and 7.5% used the “Supporter”, displaying that while parents showed substantially more use of the self-select tool, BGCA still touched its other critical audiences.
Of the 1.5M page views in the designated time period, 18%, or 256k of those views were of the “Find a Club” page, navigating directly from the homepage. Once there, 9.6k of those users actually searched for, found and clicked offsite to their local club’s website, representing a CVR of 3.7% - well over the industry standard. With fundraising still a primary objective, the new site experience has resulted in a 13% increase in “Donate Now” conversion rates. Finally, BGCA has seen the bounce rate down by 9%, which shows that users are clicking deeper into the site, finding the content best suited for them based on their individual needs.
BGCA’s site is a manifestation of the success an organization can achieve when their brand and fundraising efforts become synergized – working together to activate the mission and the story, while providing the best user experience possible to connect people with the information and resources they need most. By speaking to all of its audiences – parents, teens, educators, supporters and alumni – BGCA has been able to amplify its story to the entire community, demonstrating all of the ways it seeks to build potential, healthy lifestyles and good citizenship in today’s youth. While the site build required the use of a more sophisticated content management system, it will ultimately allow BGCA to continue scaling its content, in alignment with its longer term strategy.
Billy Grace, Director of Digital Strategy, Boys & Girls Clubs of America
Jonathan Karron, National VP of Brand & Digital Strategy, Boys & Girls Clubs of America
Johanna Isler, Brand & Digital Marketing Specialist, Boys & Girls Clubs of America
Bethany Maki, VP of Nonprofit Strategy, PMX Agency
Kevin Limongelli, Senior Director, Creative & Design Services, PMX Agency
Charles Hu, CTO, PMX Agency
Roy DeYoung, SVP, Creative Strategy, PMX Agency