Overnight Website Challenge Recap

Twin Cities 2017

Ten teams worked for 24 hours to create new websites for Minnesota nonprofits. Here's what they did.


Team 23 Hours for Zenon Dance Company and School, Inc.

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Project Summary from the Team

Updating Zenon Dance Company and school's Joomla site (now Wordpress). 

Biggest Wins: Set up the ability to take donations on the site, saving 3% per transaction. Updated branding and built out custom logos for each school program. Built an event calendar integration that will update in three locations. Set up a calendar to notify folks of available studio rentals facing hours of manual custom service.

From the Nonprofit

We were a great match! Things moved a bit slowly, but I think we had a great product in the end.

Biggest Wins: The design overhaul was amazing! We are officially re-branded and it looks land feels like the modern art organization we truly are. Adding time saving functionality and easily accessible information will save our staff hours of work.


Team BaconPress for Conflict Resolution Minnesota

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AFTERuser: demo pass: 7543f5

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Project Summary from the Team

Rebuilding the non-profit's website in a platform that is easy to use and reduce dependency of 3rd party system helping to streamline the process of event registration and member signup.

Biggest Wins: We were able to move the site off of Drupal (into WordPress) and remove the non-profit's dependency on CiviCRM.

From the Nonprofit

High functionality at a low cost. BaconPress heard us (they really heard us!) and respected our vision. Our volunteer-driven organization needs a website that can perform complex tasks on a very low budget. They built the website in a way that is user-friendly (webforms!) for our members wanting to update their profiles, become members, or register for events. Just as important, we non-nerds can easily manage it ourselves (no html, whatever that means), benefiting from the low and no cost plug ins Adam and team found for us.

Design. Huge (YUGE!) bonus. We knew our function needs were so great that we thought it would be too greedy to ask for a new look as well. "We noticed your branding is a little outdated. Would you like us to work on that?" Uh, yes!! BaconPress had deep design talent and we ended up with a new logo and a custom-designed look. I love how Alyssa was able to capture the emotion of moving from conflict to resolution in the design featured on our home page.

Biggest Wins: In a nutshell, as a member organization Conflict Resolution Minnesota is about connecting and inspiring people. Our challenge is we are a volunteer organization, so we need our website to do much of the work for us. Conflict sucks (let's be honest) and it's hard to be proactive when you're the one in the middle of it. On the other side, conflict resolution providers have these awesome people skills but often minimal tech and marketing skills. So... how do we connect those in pain with those who can help? BaconPress created a website for us that will facilitate that connection, enabling our new tagline, "where conflict meets it match".

The work of mediation, arbitration and other forms of conflict resolution can be lonely work. Conflict Resolution Minnesota helps foster a community of providers who come together to elevate skills and performance, and to remind us we are part of something larger. Collectively, our individual drops in the bucket of promoting the respectful resolution of conflict DO make a difference. Our new website not only inspires conflict resolution providers to get involved, but makes it as easy as a few clicks.


Team Drop It Like It's HOTH for YouthCARE

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Project Summary from the Team

YouthCARE described their website as "old and tired" and "it isn't a true reflection of the innovative work being done throughout the organization". Our team built a fresh and modern website while maintaining YouthCARE's core mission. We leveraged YouthCARE's long history of service to the community to tell the YouthCARE story and build organizational legitimacy throughout the website. Our team addressed all of the organization's objectives in the new website design. We will continue to work with YouthCARE to ensure we reach end of job to full satisfaction on all objectives.

Biggest Wins: In discussion with YouthCARE's representative, we found their most critical objectives are donor outreach, the need for online forms and ongoing maintenance. We addressed each of these objectives with customized solutions. We integrated a direct 'Donate' call to action throughout the website. We created uniform online forms for the organization's various needs (ie: newsletter signup, volunteer request, participant request, etc.). Lastly, we created custom templates in WordPress which easily guide any member of the organization through editing and updating content.

From the Nonprofit

Drop It Like It's Hoth was organized from the start. The team was well-balanced between the look of our new website from the viewer's perspective to how it will be updated in WordPress. A bonus was a content writer that kept the information relevant and concise. The team worked inter-dependently and asked me questions to make sure the project was accurate and showcased YouthCARE at its best. I enjoyed working with them and am truly grateful for their time and dedication to this event. May the Force be with them.

Biggest Wins: This new website comes at a pivotal time for the organization as we are look to re-energize our current supporters and educate prospective volunteers and donors. It adds to the creditability of the organization and demonstrates our commitment to continue serving under-represented youth of color in Minneapolis and St. Paul.


Team Infinite Jesters for Legal Assistance of Dakota County, Ltd.

WINNER: Greatest Functionality, Biggest Impact (tie)

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Project Summary from the Team

Our aim was to recreate from scratch a new website for Legal Assistance of Dakota County. We developed key processes, and functionality to meet their immediate needs. They were hoping to improve customer interactions by eliminating false positives for who 'thought' they were eligible for support, while equipping those who were eligible to better understand their services.

Biggest Wins: Our key accomplishment was developing a cohesive strategy to triage users towards their immediate needs. We developed a tool for customers to be driven to either content or calls to action that would be relevant to their personal needs. We also created a strong content management experience, so the client would be capable of building out this tool themselves as they expand.

From the Nonprofit

I am so impressed by their consistent kindness and compassion with each other over the full 24 hours. They laughed A LOT. They engaged immediately and listened to what I had to say, even when it was challenging. They developed both an incredible wizard to get potential clients to the best possible resources and the detailed calendar that I really wanted.They also improved our online form. They managed time and work flow well. They were also good at working with a client and took into account everything I said about our client community.

Biggest Wins: Infinite Jesters created an effective underlying database structure for our webpage, which accomplished both our desire to direct people to appropriate resources before they call us and our want for a detailed calendar. They gave us an impressive escape button for victims of domestic violence and made our our site bilingual. Basically, they killed it on all of our big ticket requests, and laid the groundwork for our less-critical wants.


Team MEAN TEAM with Perpich Center for Arts Education Foundation

WINNER: People's Choice Award, Best Design, Biggest Impact (tie)

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Project Summary from the Team

Created and developed a Brand Identify for the Perpich Foundation (including a logo and a visual style guide) informing sustainable design practices for current and future design ventures across responsive, web and print platforms. Created and implemented a web content strategy to clarify a defined mission statement to inform specific business goals for the foundation. This was accomplished through various content audit exercises to define audience requirements, establish a deliberate tone and incorporate accessibility considerations.

Biggest Wins: Our biggest wins from a creative standpoint were our ability to distill the mission and long term vision of the organization into a strong timeless brand. From a technical standpoint we iterated quickly and attempted to focus primarily on the sustainability for the organization. We wanted them to be able to love their site and be able to update it easily.

From the Nonprofit

Thoughtful & Helpful: From the first interaction with the Strategist to the final minutes of development the MEANteam was thoughtful and helpful. Each member of the team was acutely aware of the business problems we were looking to attack. Throughout the “DAY” they came to us asking how we saw our problem, discussed how they saw our problem, and offered amazing insight on how to solve these problems. These were not just simple issues. Rather the problems we were looking to solve ran the gamut from having robust CRM integration to when to make a specific ask in the donation funnel.

Strong & Steady: Our designers and developers were confident in their competence to handle any problem we threw their way. They were careful to make certain our requests truly fit our needs. Once assured they tackled problems with gusto. At no time during the DAY did we see frustration on our team’s faces. If an ask was going to be beyond the limits they let us know right away. Little did we know that somehow they were even able to sneak in a few of this “beyond the limits asks.”

Coordinated & Amazing. Throughout the 24 hours different project leaders surfaces as the team went through their phases. MEANteam seemed to move effortlessly even with changes in the lineup. Little information was “lost in translation.” We are truly amazed at what the group accomplished in this dedicated day.

Biggest Wins: The biggest win was MEANteam consistently setting delivery expectations and often exceeding them. Among other wins:

  • Integration with our CRM system which will allow us to engage our donors meaningfully and tailor our “asks.”
  • Building an extensible site based on future objectives while meeting current needs.
  • A striking visual presence which not only raises the credibility of the organization but sets a new tone for the future.
  • We can now promote our organization and our stakeholders’ achievements and events

Team Mighty Morphin' Pixel Pushers for Air Bears

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Project Summary from the Team

The primary objective was to improve Air Bears' existing site to enable more effective and efficient matchmaking (i.e. filter and search functionality, enhanced user profile data, etc.) of volunteer drone pilots with public safety officials who need assistance. Additionally, the site was modified such that the content could be easily editable by the admins through Word Press - eliminating the need for developer intervention. Last but not least, to drive engagement/awareness of the organization, their facebook feed as well as a more prominent donate button was integrated.

Biggest Wins: The team built a database to house user profile fields (e.g. type of drone(s), related drone attachments, geolocation, certifications, etc.). Additionally, the front end (i.e. blog, resources, contact, etc.) was migrated over to Word Press and overlayed with CSS to mirror existing UX/UI.

From the Nonprofit

What a great, personable team we had the pleasure to work with! From the pre-challenge meeting and prep, to the night of the event it was a great experience. We learned a lot about stuff we didn't know, and didn't know a lot about stuff we thought we knew, but didn't know that we didn't know, if you know what I mean. Ya know? The Mighty Morphin' Pixel Pusher Friendly Fanatics Geekish Gurus, were a team of serious, talented, personal and friendly developers and designers. It made for great positive energy between our Air Bears non-profit and the Team.

Biggest Wins: We had a website that was established and functional. After our first post-It note architecture meeting, we were presented with many ideas and a plan to make the website better, more functional, and user friendly to a variety of people who will be accessing our site. More importantly, we will be able to take control of managing the content.


Team NULL & VOID for Bundles of Love Charity

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Project Summary from the Team

We created a cleaner, easier to navigate website with a clear donate link and separate fundraising page. We also integrated constant contact, a custom theme, and additional design elements. One of the main goals of the organization was to have their donation link stand out more, which we accomplished by adding it to the top of the navigation and making it stand out more using a different colored background.

Biggest Wins: Getting the constant contact, calendar, and custom theme integrations and the additional design elements implemented. Also having well organized and coordinated content between Bundles or Love Charity and our team. We came together as a team, even though some of our team members had never met each other before.

From the Nonprofit

Null & Void did a good job overall. They ran into several technical issues that slowed down development. The PayPal API didn't want to play nice, and neither did the Google Calendars. Getting those to work took more than double the allotted time.

Biggest Wins: 

1. We got our Donate Now button. That was our biggest ask.

2. The navigation is a HUGE improvement over the current website. Things are in logical places, it's intuitive, it's what we asked for.

3. The designers gave us items not only for the website, but for future use on other assets as well. That's a win for us.


Team The Scope Creeps for Bisexual Organizing Project (BOP) 

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Project Summary from the Team

Our nonprofit "Bisexual Organizing Project" wanted to have a cleaner user experience and better ability to manage their content to engage their audience. In person engagement is an important and being able to have a clear way of presenting information about their events was an important aspect of this site.

Biggest Wins: With a small team size we were able to hit most of the major goals we wanted, giving the content editors a way to manage content in a structured environment that is enforces a degree of content governance and lets them provide users with a consistent user experience.

From the Nonprofit

The Scope Creeps brought expertise, worked hard, and incorporated us well in the decision making processes. They were fun to work with.

Biggest Wins: I'm really excited about the design, the structure, and the integrations.


Team Wifi Wing Workhorse for Young Dance

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Project Summary from the Team

Replace Drupal w/ Wordpress and implement registration for classes.

Biggest Wins: We reorganized all their content. We streamlined their registration process. Simplified payments and class rosters administration. We presented better content for the staff and board members. Added additional content such as FAQ and Press. And we teamed learned that in Wordpress there is in fact a plugin for everything.

From the Nonprofit

Our existing website was Drupal. No one on the team knew Drupal, so we switched to Wordpress - at the team’s recommendation.

Biggest Wins: Our biggest win is getting a registration system set up. That has been a tricky issue for us and it is much improved. This opportunity pushed us into this urgent update, and without the opportunity, we wouldn’t have made space for this in our schedule.


Team Wubba Lubba Dub Dub for ConnectWC

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Project Summary from the Team

Our nonprofit had an old website (7 years) with an incredible amount of content. Our main job was to provide an updated platform and to help them develop a strategy for content migration. Another important task was to create an events management system to help them coordinate and share valuable information with their volunteers and subscribers We also needed to refresh their look.

Biggest Wins: Our biggest wins included getting the new Wordpress platform set up on Azure for Nonprofits, setting up an easy to use calendar for events management, and creating a new content strategy for the site. We also refreshed their logo, tested for accessibility and helped educate our nonprofit on how to use their new site.

From the Nonprofit

Our team was great! Our project was challenging because of all our current site content and the team walked us through how to structure it, which was not an easy task! They were organized, easy to talk to, and presented "out of the box" ideas that we would have never considered. Any time we hit a snag, they were calm and reassured they'd figure it out, which they always did. The team was extremely sensitive to our non-profit's mission. They were welcoming and sensitive to our ADA compliance needs. They took the initiative to find us relevant photos and inspiring quotes from our testimonials as well as defining measurable outcomes for our new site.

Biggest Wins: Creating a calendar format that boldly displays upcoming events on the Homepage and then a calendar link to show future events. Always considering ADA compliance in design decisions. Lining us up with social media avenues, blog workflow/format and password management (an easy concept, but something we just didn't have organized).


Many thanks to all of our sponsors, teams, nonprofits, and volunteers!