Founded in 1925 and based in Christchurch, Cholmondeley is a charity organisation that provides short-term and emergency respite care for children aged 3-12 years, with the aim of alleviating immediate family pressures which exist for children and their parents when the usual supports are not enough or not available.
Cholmondeley’s static, brochure-style website was in need of a revamp and full redevelopment. A full update was required to all elements including navigation, structure, content, and CMS (content management system). The new website had to be simple to navigate for all target audiences and clearly showcase Cholmondeley’s key information. Although getting donations was obviously a focus for the website, we had to balance this with other information about who they are, the service they provide and what children and families can expect.
We determined there were several audiences (sponsors, donors, referrers, media, staff and those who use Cholmondeley’s services) to be considered in the development but to not overcomplicate things, we decided on three main navigation pathways to service each of these groups. They were ‘About us’ for referrers, media, staff and sponsors, ‘How we can help’ for children and families who use the services, and ‘Support us today’ for donors and sponsors.
Our objectives were for the website were to:
Portray Cholmondeley as a trusted organisation with a focus on children and family preservation.
Create a warm, friendly site, inviting for people to explore and learn from.
Be a hub for fundraising information and have the ability to donate easily online.
Simply and effectively provide ‘services’ information about Cholmondeley, so that service users can easily find the information they need.
Be easily updateable internally so information could be kept fresh and engaging.
Prior to starting development, we spent time researching the websites of other charities’ seeking online donations and how they showcased this. We then put together a sitemap and navigation structure determined by target audiences and the navigation pathways they would take, information required and the hierarchy of that information.
Key development functionality requirements that were included:
Ability to donate online. This included integration with a direct payment system and customised emails sent after donations were made.
The donation manager in the backend was built to allow ease of reporting for the Cholmondeley staff.
The events and news sections were developed in a blog style to showcase information, and the ability to feature these sections on the homepage was also included.
Fullscreen mosaic principle - the colourful block-like format clearly demonstrates that Cholmondeley is about children.
The homepage shows three key feature boxes above the fold (the upper half of the front page) to allow easy navigation for each target audience.
Orange was used for the key CTAs (calls to action) to make them stand out, with the donate button really prominent in the header.
Cholmondeley’s ‘Value our Children’ philosophy is made prominent in the design via colours and illustration.
Since the new website has been live, there has been a 43% increase in website traffic, compared to the same period the previous years. The team at Cholmondeley are very proud of their website. It showcases who they are and what they do, while making it easy for each audience group to locate the information they need.