Online Content Management for Nonprofit Organizations- Flexibility, Support, Engagement.

Molly Byrnes, Account Director
#Drupal | Posted

At Phase2 we team up with non-profit organizations to help them develop the right Content Management System (CMS), to not only enhance end user experience, but to improve the experience for content editors and developers.

Here are a few examples of web solutions that we have developed for our clients:

Flexibility and Speed:

It is becoming increasingly important for nonprofits to disseminate information on their website, quickly and efficiently. Having the flexibility to edit and add new pages and content, while also having an easy way to reuse existing content across a site (like large images and videos), is an effective yet cost-efficient way that nonprofits can use their website to inform stakeholders and visitors on their efforts.

One example of this is when the Robin Hood Foundation came to Phase2 in need of a flexible content solution for their website. We helped them implement  a Pane Stack and WYSIWYG framework that allows them to be both flexible and fast by building production-ready pages through intuitive configuration and without coding. We also gave them the ability to insert video content, social media widgets, and custom interactive call-to-action elements. The flexibility and independence of this system provides a lot of creative empowerment to content editors. This ultimately helped them react (and without breaking the bank) to their rapidly changing communication needs, as well as effectively scaling massive traffic spikes for events such as their 12 12 12 Concert for Hurricane Sandy.

Robin Hood Tools

from Phase2 on Vimeo.

Backend Support:

Nonprofits are increasingly interested in creating content-rich websites dedicated to connecting with other like-minded organizations, staff, and users to easily share information across their networks. But with dynamic content management systems comes different ways of managing content and code updates. Finding ways to streamline and standardize this process can be an incredibly useful tool for budget-stressed nonprofits or those with small in-house developer teams.

In our recent work with Green Schools Alliance (GSA), we worked beyond Drupal to create best practices for code collaboration. By leveraging tools like a free nonprofit Bitbucket Teams account, we were able to easily create a shared code repository to consolidate team-owned code and keep all the code secure and organized.  We also created a deployment workflow to be used for dispersed developers to follow for their local development , and pushing code to production. By creating these best practices, we were able to streamline the workflow process so that it is easy for developers to contribute and improve the website.

Distributing Content: Whether it is for education, policy, research or civil service, nonprofits often house large amounts of data on their websites. But what is most important to many of these organizations is that their members and users can find information they are looking for easily, while also discovering related ideas and insights.

Take a look at our work with The Wilson Center. We helped to create their new site based on our OpenPublic Drupal distribution. Here, we created a content collection that allows editors to create multi-faceted relationships between content items as well as to promote related content. For example, editors can include an item about girls’ schools in Afghanistan under both the education and gender topics, as well as the Middle East region. The result is a highly organized and usable site that adds greater value to its content.


Our increased ability to communicate online has completely changed our expectations for nonprofits.  Online communities are looking for a more contextual social experience. For this reason, nonprofits are looking for tools that foster a social and community approach to enhance their engagement.

Robin Hood took full advantage of an enhanced online engagement framework. We h integrated several social media channels such as Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr into their website.   Interactive content is automatically fed from these social media sources and displayed on the Robin Hood site, eliminating the need for dual entry. Additionally, the site and its interactions are friendly to mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. With these functions in place, Robin Hood is able to get information out and engage with donors, media and others in an efficient way and has become a powerful tool for leveraging the social nature their site visitors.

If you are interested in learning more about how nonprofit organizations are leveraging open source software for their online presence, and you are in the New York City area, join me at NYCCamp, the New York City Drupal camp.  I will be leading a non profit's summit on July 15th!





Molly Byrnes

Account Director