New BRAC USA Website FAQ
Why are we doing this?
There were several project goals and business challenges driving this initiative. Our efforts aim to yield new audiences and revenue, increase efficiency, and improve the security and stability of our website.
The design will more effectively engage and direct site visitors toward the journey most relevant to their search, while enhancing our ability to convert site visitors to members of our online community.
The new website will also engage site users more powerfully and track their interactions on our site more precisely, with the goal of increasing our base of online supporters, particularly those whom we can cultivate to increase our unrestricted revenue. The new site will also enable us to overcome some of the editorial limitations of the old website through a range of new page designs and unique templates, allowing us to display content in “mobile first” visual, interactive, dynamic ways.
Less obvious are a number of features behind the scenes. The site will be, simply put, faster, more secure, and easier to find on search engines.
What is not changing?
Our URL will remain the same: www.bracusa.org. All existing links will continue to work, redirecting to new pages in some instances.
Our donation pages similarly retain their current design and will continue to be hosted by our back-end donor database and fundraising software vendor, Blue State Digital.
What does this mean for our users?
While we’ve prioritized the need to appeal more broadly to “unrestricted” individual donors, we are still committed to every audience, including institutional donors, technical partners and stakeholders, and press and media, ensuring they find the information they need.
We’ve streamlined our navigation, menus, and page designs to improve the experience of each user. We have also added a search function to the website to help users navigate quickly and accurately to the pages they are looking for.
Additionally, we can better control the appearance of our website and brand on external channels. When a link is shared on social media, for example, we can more easily adjust the preview text and photo.
How will we measure the impact? What does success look like?
We will measure a number of performance indicators going forward, and we can compare them to industry benchmarks. These will continue to include things like donations and email sign-ups, but we’ll review other critical metrics, as well. We want to know if our content is effective and reaching the intended audiences.
We’d like to know:
- How many pages is a user viewing?
- Did they read the entire page, or only a portion?
- Where is a user looking, and what are they clicking, when they visit our site?
- Did they share the content?
- If they donated, what page(s) did they view first?
- How long did they stay on the site?
We’ll also measure success by the amount of staff time that is required to improve and maintain the site. Regular activities such as adding pages or content, adjusting layouts, addressing security issues, or version testing will all be faster and easier.
Who was involved and what was the process?
This was a seven-month project led by the Communications team, with the essential support of many other internal teams and an external agency.
Proposals were solicited from six web design agencies over a period of a month. The design and development of the website was led by the agency P’unk Ave, which built upon the BRAC global brand and the visual identity manifested on www.brac.net—and other BRAC family websites in the UK and the Netherlands.
Internal working groups at BRAC USA were convened to guide the website project and represent the organization’s broad insights and needs. We greatly appreciate the efforts of everyone who reviewed designs, helped update web content, answered technical questions, and tested the site as we approached the launch date. A special thanks to technical reviewers in External Affairs, Programs and UPGI, Human Resources, Finance and Admin, our Senior Leadership Team and beyond.
What will staff get out of this? What’s next?
This new site will allow us to better and more easily communicate who we are as an organization and more effectively promote our transformative work. It builds on best practices and data-driven insights in digital marketing, visual storytelling, and communications, and it empowers us to build greater awareness among the audiences that want to support us.
In the coming weeks, we encourage staff to help us actively promote the new site (via email and on their social channels) with their social and professional networks, and with relevant institutional stakeholders and partners. In the next few days, the Communications team will share sample social media posts for staff to use and instructions for updating email signatures with a callout to the new website.
Please contact the Communications team with any questions, comments, or feedback. We’d love to hear from you. If you would like to request changes or updates to the website, please contact Meghan McLaughlin.