In early 2018, the One Thing Marketing team decided to gather our talents to give back to local non-profit organizations the best way we know how – giving away a free website. We held nominations, let the public vote, and created a brilliant website for the winner. It was a great challenge and we loved helping this very deserving nonprofit.
While discussing strategies for the new year, a lightbulb went off! What if we focused the beginning of the year on giving back to our community?
After researching multiple volunteer opportunities for marketing companies, Dan found a project from an Indianapolis-based marketing company called Smallbox.
Essentially, we wanted to give away a free comprehensive website build to a local non-profit organization. For these organizations, every second counts, so we decided to have the entire site completed in 24 hours!
Planning for this event began in January. We thought, “new year, new website, who dis?”
In order to execute this project as fairly as possible, we decided to let the public nominate a local nonprofit close to their heart via a contact form on onethinggives.com.
To get the word out, we researched companies who could help us spread the word.
Rachel began emailing a ton of people including messaging radio personalities on social media. We enlisted the help of Louisville’s finest media outlets! We ran a radio commercial on iHeart Radio! and hosted a Live! With Stephanie and Vicki Facebook live video in our office. Brittany shared our cause with Louisville BNI groups, we were featured in the Jeffersontown Chamber Newsletter and Louisville Independent Business Alliance (LIBA) shared our post on their Facebook page. Even the Center for Nonprofit Excellence gave us the opportunity to share our website giveaway.
Because of this outreach, over the next two weeks, we received tons of submissions! We were blown away by how many deserving nonprofits were operating in our area. On Valentine’s Day, we placed every nominated organization’s name into a box for a drawing and made this goofy video to commemorate the suspense!
Five amazing organizations were selected: New Directions Housing Corporation, Choice Louisville, INC, God’s Girls, Gratitude House, and CURE CF.
Next, a public poll! Members of the community voted for their favorite local nonprofit on our website via a Typeform poll for two weeks.
Many of the nonprofit organizations shared the poll on their Facebook pages to spread the word and increase their chances of winning this prize!
The last week of voting was a real nail-biter. We were checking the results every hour!
After 2,587 votes, we had a winner!
Overall, Cure CF was very deserving of this win. In the weeks leading up to the project, they routinely posted, liked, and shared reminders to their supporters to vote. They worked so hard.
At our initial discovery meeting, we found out Cure CF was currently getting quotes for their new website build. Because of this, they were extremely prepared. They already collected everything we needed for the build: ideas, images, content.
While they already had a website, it lacked substance. The website only focused on the fundraising event they hold every year, CRAFT. They knew they wanted to expand on why this event is important, but they wanted to give an insight into the organization as a whole, including featuring the tiny warriors, Luke, Cameron, Alex, and Samuel, who inspired the inception of this amazing organization.
Cure CF was getting multiple quotes for a new website, ranging from $4,000 to $40,000. Thanks to winning this amazing FREE website, they were able to use their money to donate to research instead!
Cure CF was very grateful for this opportunity and was excited to get started! As were we!
Website Build Day
Finally, it was build day.
Knowing we’d be in for a long day, we started with a McDonald’s breakfast feast, complete with enough coffee to power an army.
We began brainstorming on the office whiteboard, jotting down general information from the client, as well as client expectations and the layout.
To truly understand the importance of this organization, we wrote down the names of the four children they support to remind us that it’s more than just a website – it’s a helping hand. They wanted to gear the site toward donors to ensure the purpose of the site was not lost on heartwarming stories.
As per usual, the homepage took the biggest chunk of our time. After brainstorming and looking for inspiration for the initial layout and setup, the process totaled 4 hours. We assigned different sections of the homepage to different team members. This delegation allowed us to complete the site quickly!
At this point, we were happy to see progress, but we began growing hangry. To keep ourselves in check, we instituted a strike system on the whiteboard. Each time you made an irrelevant comment, you received one strike on the board.
By the end of the day, we ended up with fewer strikes than we thought. We also ended up with a beautifully designed website.
Working for a nonprofit obviously brings out the best in us! Also, we listened to our stomachs and satisfied the hangry beasts with Chik-Fil-A. (Some beasts were more hangry than others, as Dan ate a sandwich, fries, soda, and 24 chicken nuggets.)
After gorging on delicious chicken sandwiches, we were fueled and ready to continue.
Dan cranked out the CRAFT event page, while Rachel designed the children’s portfolios and Stacie focused on the story pages. With a few hiccups along the way, we pushed on to create a cohesive and meaningful website.
Final Product and Key Takeaways
Once we were finished, we announced the launch on social media. Cure CF immediately shared the link, including a heartfelt message on how much they loved the site.
In general, we loved building this site. We each had our favorite moments though. Stacie liked looking at the sweet photos of each kid.
In true Type A fashion, Rachel’s favorite part of the day was marking completed tasks off the board.
Dan’s favorite part? Obviously, Chik-Fil-A. As well as Charlie’s.
And Brittany. She was feeling under the weather and helped the best way she could – by distracting Charlie with a tennis ball so we could focus on cranking out the website.
Wanting to give even more to this amazing charity, we even bought these cool t-shirts to help spread awareness of this awful disease and the wonderful fundraising event they hold every year, CRAFT! To purchase your CRAFT tickets now, visit their website!
Overall, we’re just glad we were able to do a small part in making a big change for these amazing children and their deserving families.
Sandra is our Disney loving, crazy cat lady. She graduated from the University of Louisville, with a major in Marketing and a minor in Cheering on the Cards. Writing great content and designing websites come almost too easy for her, as she provides vision and focus to our Louisville, KY team. On cold days, you can find her wrapped up under her snuggie at her desk (yes, we’re serious) making our clients happy and planning her next Disney trip.