Why Drupal Makes Sense for Nonprofits

Last year, we took on a fascinating project to overhaul the Cook County government website. We faced a number of interesting challenges along the way, from how to organize the vast array of bureaus, agencies and departments to the reality of structuring content for three distinct and different audiences.
jeff-brown-246391-701517-edited.jpgPhoto by Jeff Brown 

We were happy with how the final product came together, and we were later thrilled to see this quote from Greg Hinz of Crain’s Chicago Business:

“I don’t normally gush about things local government does, particularly Cook County. But I have to say that the county’s new website and data portal is a first-class piece of work.”

Now, I’m not sharing that quote to brag, although it is always good to hear that your hard work is appreciated. The reason I bring up that quote — and the Cook County example — is to showcase the power a website can have for a nonprofit organization.

cookcty.jpegNonprofit organizations come in all shapes and sizes, and finding one tool to meet the needs of such a varied audience is nearly impossible. When it comes to websites or digital platforms, though, Drupal is the unique tool that could benefit almost any nonprofit organization.

Many of the nonprofits we’ve worked with are not standalone organizations. Oftentimes, they are connected to other agencies or other departments in a way that requires frequent communications. Thanks to Drupal’s ability to seamlessly integrate with modules, external systems and applications, we can make that communication easier — and more productive.

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epc.jpegThe Episcopal Church is a client we’ve worked with for years that has this need for content to communicate between different teams. Included in the many pages of the Church’s website are a mostly static main homepage, a news service page that pulls from a collection of news feeds and an advocacy page that articulates what the church as a community values. Those are three distinct pages that are managed by three separate teams.

We were able to work with the church to get those different pages all managed on the same operation system, which means they can now easily share content with one another. It was also important for us to work with them to standardize their content across platforms, because even if they’re communicating on the same system, if they’re not being consistent with how they say things, then the effort loses a lot of its value. Say, for example, they want to tag a news article as being about advent. Whether they identify the article as “advent,” “advent17” or “advent2017” makes a difference. Without a controlled vocabulary, content can’t be controlled anywhere near as easily.

I’d be remiss in talking about why Drupal is good for nonprofits to not mention Drupal’s price. Drupal’s open-source platform is free and has no recurring licensing fees. Now to be transparent, you likely will need a Drupal developer to build your digital platform, but that one-time need is far different than paying thousands of dollars just for the right to use an operating system.

We’ve worked with a number of great nonprofits in recent years, and we’re confident in our abilities to understand a nonprofit’s needs and deliver a digital platform that helps satisfy those needs.

Is your nonprofit considering a refreshed website or a switch to a new digital platform? If so, we’d love to talk and figure out how we can help you with your goals.

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