“We’re now getting lots of notifications on social media, even from people we’ve had no prior contact with, but they’re sharing our articles and stories. It makes you realise the impact it’s having.”
Josh Mclean, Communications Manager at Hestia.
Hestia is a crisis support charity, helping adults and children in London and the South East to a life beyond crisis. Hestia strives to ensure that everyone within its care receives the right support to rebuild their lives, working in areas such as domestic abuse, modern slavery, disabilties and offender rehabilitation. Staff and volunteers build honest, respectful relationships with service users to support and encourage them to lead their own recovery process.
When Josh Mclean, Communications Manager, joined Hestia in 2017, his primary focus was managing the new website redesign. It was also one of the first projects under his entire control, so it was important to get it right. The team already knew that its online presence needed to drive its fundraising, but the existing digital platform didn’t reflect this clear CTA. Josh worked extensively with key stakeholders in the charity to refine these goals, before choosing the NFP Website Suite. Together with Access, he customised the platform so that every element was aligned with this target of raising as many donations as possible, including the use of content, planning site maps and more. A working website went live within three months.
Once the website was live it was crucial that Josh could show its benefits to the senior team at Hestia. The Access NFP Website Suite is data-driven and provides insights into whether web traffic was generated by a blog, news story or social post. These analytics allow Josh to easily show the board how the customer journey has improved, highlighting the value and impact of the new digital campaigns, while also enabling the charity to reach new audiences.
Hestia supports numerous causes, so creating clear-to-follow appeals is crucial for its targeted fundraising efforts. Josh explained:
“The website has been great for creating appeals for fundraising events. Donors have told us how easy it has been for them to make their own appeal and share it with their audience. Being able to hear that it’s working is really good. From this, we’re confident it’s a process that we can repeat again and again.
“Lockdown changed how we’ve been able to work in an events space. Using our platform, we’ve still been able to utilise our past contacts and share their stories through appeals, events and more.
“We’re now getting lots of notifications on social media, even from people we’ve had no prior contact with, but they’re sharing our articles and stories. It makes you realise the impact it’s having. Whenever we launch a new campaign or a press release to announce a report, it’s easy for us to use the analytics to see how many people have downloaded the report, and the steps they took to get there. This shows us the site map is working, the user journey is effective, and CTA is being met.”
This element proved particularly useful throughout the UK lockdown period, which presented significant strain on the charity's service users. Hestia needed to source as many donations as possible, so the website’s functionality was put to the test.
Communications were focused on high-priority concerns, such as domestic abuse, ensuring that donors and new audiences were aware of the issue. A wider coronavirus urgent crisis appeal was also launched to raise money for food deliveries and support for women, children and domestic abuse refugees in need.
Service user stories were a big part of the campaign, used to drive understanding of those affected by the causes that the charity seeks to help.
Access NFP Ad Grants was added to Hestia’s Website Suite package, helping to drive up site traffic. Campaigns are customised and adapted according to the ongoing fundraising campaigns by the dedicated team at Access. Josh said:
“The Googe Ads really does drive that additional online ‘footfall’. The lockdown period has been really challenging but because of the media that we’ve received, our SEO has increased massively. Compared to similar organisations, our ads keep us at the top of the search, which benefits us via the donations we receive.”
“The more people we get to our website, the more fundraising donors we gain. Our website was always set up for external audiences, not necessarily the service users. All the comms that we put out is geared towards that audience.”
“My main piece of advice is to really know what you want in the long run. After you know that, then you can incorporate the other elements to help with this, such as content and news articles.
“You need to have an understanding of all the different parts of the website that can support you. Take the time to learn how to utilise a small blog in a newsletter or in social media for example. Know your ultimate goal and be mindful of all the different aspects that can contribute towards that.
“As part of our Access installation, we were invited to a workshop training day, with lots of other organisations that were starting that process as well. Even though every other company had a completely different objective to us, it was really beneficial because we could hear their ideas and think about how they could apply to our goals. It was great to bounce off everyone in the room, and to work with Access to get the expert advice.”
If you are interested in learning more about the Access NFP Website Platform or the Access NFP Google Ad Grants, request a demo and one of our specialists will be in touch to understand your needs.