University of Minnesota

University Foundation

Foundation website, responsive design
Foundation website, responsive design

The University of Minnesota Foundation is responsible for managing gifts and fundraising for a major U.S. university. Two distinct departments within the Foundation were merging into one, and the University had a new Drupal-based platform that they were encouraging for use by all departments.

Merging Departments

The project presented many challenges. The Foundation had maintained two distinct sites related to giving–one for the broader university and one distinctly related to health and medicine. Merging the two departments meant merging staff and merging online content, all while adapting a new content management system and new design.

We needed to preserve existing URLs and search results, introduce a new means of content management, import content from external event management software, and create a new responsive site design.

Foundation website, homepage
Foundation, impact of giving
Foundation website, events

Telling a New Story

Through planning and discovery, we were able to identify the focus of the new site. Telling stories about donors and the impact of people’s giving became central to the new site. We studied comparables, and consulted with the client on sitemaps and wireframes.

The new homepage led with an important story of giving, a highly visible link to donate, and additional stories of giving below. Donors desired an easy means to find a cause to support, which is represented by a large “Find a Cause” search form on every page. Site navigation reflected the new direction as well, with targeted links on giving, impacts of giving, giving campaigns and events, and recognition of donors.

Impacts of Giving focuses on a series of relatable stories, detailing how someone’s gift truly made a difference. Editors can easily attach links and summaries of related stories beside each story.

Gifts at Work allows editors to easily embed animated Adobe Edge files within a page, creating interactivity and visual interest.

Additional Features

The mobile-first site redesign was based around existing print materials, and a series of key landing pages with large graphics. Editors can easily add related content callouts to various sections of the website, as well as drop in videos, slideshows or image galleries as needed.

An online version of the print magazine “Legacy” was brought to the website, with a series of online tools for serving chapters of Legacy content on the web.

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