AIDS Organization’s Site Lacks Passion, Power
For those of you who don’t live in New York City (or haven’t seen a Broadway show recently), Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS has a reputation in town for living up to its tagline as “the nation’s leading industry based HIV/AIDS fundraising and grant-making organization.”
According to the 2006 annual report on the organization’s Web site, BC/EFA’s annual income was just less than $15 million. So our expectations were pretty high as we set out to critique this particular site.
If we had to bet our paychecks, we’d say it was built (and maintained) with one objective: to offer lots of actionable giving choices at the lowest cost to the org-anization. The site’s main navigation options emphasize online donation/action areas (such as event ticketing, auctions and store) with a bit of programmatic content (about BC/EFA, volunteering, etc.). Powering all of this is a hodgepodge of back-end software tools, such as Yahoo! for the store, Convio for donation processing and PatronMail for e-mail. Clicking on some of these links generates entirely new areas in the main navigation, forms that seem unrelated to the site’s overall look and feel, and other surprises that can make it hard to get around or even get back to the homepage (in some cases, you end up leaving the site altogether).
Some of these tools work nicely (especially PatronMail, an e-mail marketing system that specializes in commun-icating with arts and culture constituents), but the mix of them makes the site feel fragmented and unsophisticated. Consolidating into one fully robust content management/constituent relationship system would make life easier and more seamless over at BC/EFA, and create a more reassuring exper-ience for the visitor.
Easier navigation, please
The options for visitors are varied, but what’s lacking is an audience-centric approach to help them find the right content. For example, why not create a section of the site for theater fans and put all the events and related content there? Another section might focus on content for grant-seekers, and another might focus on the organization itself. By structuring it in broader, more audience-oriented terms, the site would feel more streamlined and help people find what they’re looking for faster.