“After selling out, we’re even taking lots of pre-orders for a second printing run. We have an advantage over other similar charities as our website allows us to do so much.” Adam Baker, charity director at Refugee Roots.
Refugee Roots is a Christian charity working with asylum seekers and refugees to help to provide them with a place to belong. With a range of support services and a befriending scheme, it helps people to navigate the complexities of building a new life in the UK.
Refugee Roots knew that having an online presence was important, but lacked the tools and resources needed to create an effective website. Then operating with the name ‘Rainbow Project’, it used a basic WordPress platform that was maintained by volunteers. It provided little more than a shop window, displaying information, and while a PayPal donate button was added, engagement was low. The team was also active on social media, but posts weren’t regular, and the messaging wasn’t aligned to its website.
After years of focusing on other areas of the charity, Refugee Roots director Adam Baker enlisted the support of Access Nor For Profit for its digital transformation in 2019. The charity chose the Access NFP Website Suite, with the option to add an online shop, which was critical to the charity’s future plans.
Previously, the charity admitted its website had been ‘neglected’ by its staff. As a result, its functionality was poor and it was difficult to navigate. Now the website has a clear, simple interface that is “alive, vibrant and full of information.” Users who visit the website can quickly complete tasks, whether it’s to donate money or to access its befriending service, which was a “game changer” for Refugee Roots.
Using the Access NFP Website Suite platform, the user journey was transformed. Visitors are met with a clear ‘donate now’ button on the homepage, before navigating through to other online tasks.
The ‘Our Services’ page is particularly useful to the charity, offering a place for its service users to view a weekly calendar of events and reliable information. A specialist module on the platform enables the team to ensure everything is up-to-date by pulling through data from the CRM to display relevant and timely information in an easy-to-read format.
The charity also chose a package that enabled them to host an online shop, with impressive results, as Adam explains:
“We recently released a cooking book called ‘The Sharing Table’. Until then, we didn’t have any products to sell so we had no experience in running an online shop. Access made it really easy to add our book as a ‘product’, setting it apart from the main website as something distinctive. We sold 200 copies within three weeks.
“After selling out, we’re even taking lots of pre-orders for a second printing run. Being able to do that is really incredible and, it makes a huge difference. We have an advantage over other similar charities as our website allows us to do so much.”
Speedy and simple support for all levels
Access NFP Website Suite comes with a portal of webinars, masterclasses and easy-to-follow training content, which have proved valuable to Refugee Roots. Volunteers with little or no experience of using website-hosting platforms are easily trained on a number of levels and modules, depending on the role they take on within the charity.
Numerous simple to follow tutorials help users understand the essential platform functionality and administrative tasks, such as adding content. Training on specialist modules is also available for those more heavily involved in managing a fundraising campaign or driving volunteer recruitment, boosting their skills and experience. This allows the charity to focus its training on its targeted branding, communications and messaging instead, saving time and money, and ensuring campaigns deliver value.
Adam said: “There’s a very easy way of contacting a support team when there are issues. It’s really straightforward and you usually hear back quite quickly. When we were trying to get the website up and running to a tight deadline, the fact that we were getting quick responses and staff were solving problems quickly was very helpful.”
“If you’re in a position to be able to go through the whole process of planning and building a website, I’d highly recommend Access. We found that it was helpful for our business planning too, helping to identify a clear set of goals. If you can put time into that and the website maintenance, then this platform has so much to offer at a very competitive price.”
If you are interested in learning more about The Access NFP Website Platform, request a demo and one of our specialists will be in touch to understand your needs.