The Nerdery - Overnight Website Challenge

Chicago 2017, March 18-19

Hyde Park Neighborhood Club

Paired with Coding Temple

HPNC has been providing programs for youth since 1909 when the organization was formed as a part of Chicago’s Juvenile Justice and Settlement House movement. The early mission was to provide a safe space for children to engage in enriching activities during the hours that they are not in school. Nearly 108 years later, we are proud to continue to support the youth in Hyde Park and to have expanded our reach to include children and families from Hyde Park’s surrounding neighborhoods and Chicago’s greater South Side.

Programs: HPNC's current programs include Early Childhood Play-N-Learn, an after-school program and summer camp for children ages 5-14, a theater program for middle schoolers, a mentoring program for at-risk kids in grades 6 and up, recreational athletics for all ages, and summer employment programs for teens. All of our programs are designed to promote healthy child development, to build social and cultural awareness, and to give families and youth a sense of belonging and community.

Population Served: Each year, HPNC serves approximately 700 families from 35 zip codes, 15 schools, and 13 different neighborhoods including both well to do and several with mean family incomes at 35-50% below the federal poverty level. The racial breakdown of children in our programs is 60% African American, 23% White, 10% Asian, and 7% Hispanic. Many are multi-racial with 18% endorsing more than one race. While approximately 50% of our families pay full tuition, 45% of the children in our after school and summer camp programs receive state subsidized childcare funds, and 100% of the teens in our mentoring program and over 50% of the children in our athletics programs are supported by privately donated scholarship funds or city grants targeted at families that qualify as 'poor' or 'very poor' according to U.S. Census criteria.

What new functionality we are looking for

The current website does not reflect the depth or quality of our programs. Parents and community members tell us that it is difficult to navigate, and it often falls out of date because staff find it difficult to update. As a consequence we do not fully benefit from even the most simple web-based marketing and our staff are often pulled into time consuming phone communications with parents and community members unable to find the information they need.

We are seeking help for improved functionality in the following areas:

- Maintenance - we need a website that can be maintained by personnel with limited technical/programming background. For example, content should be easy to update and we should be able to easily upload and rotate photos and videos.

-User Friendly - our clientele (including parents, volunteers, program partners, and donors) should easily be able to navigate our site and quickly find what they are looking for and links to third party online enrollment and payments should be seamless

-Comprehensive - our site should include clear descriptions and photos from each of our programs. It should also showcase recent or upcoming special events and provide clear path for supporters seeking ways to get involved (as volunteers, donors, event sponsors, etc.).

- Practical - We want our website to be readable on desktop, tablets, and smart phones. We would also like one or more password-protected pages for internal communications and document sharing.

How the new functionality will help

Potential clients, volunteers, and donors who find us through referral or through web search on various devices will land on a site that is quickly engaging and that clearly communicates that our programs are high quality, easily accessible, and welcoming to families and children of all backgrounds. Users will easily find their way around, quickly locate the information that they are seeking, and will find it easy to engage with our organization. This will assist us to promote our programs, to achieve high enrollment, and to attract and retain modern families and supporters who expect an organization of our caliber and longevity to have a solid web presence.

One of the ways that we support our mission is through revenue generated through space rental. An improved website will help us to promote our rental program. It will also allow us to more effectively co-brand and draw traffic from rental groups with an independent web presence.

How our organization will use the technology

An improved website will become an important face of HPNC. It will be something that staff and current clientele can refer people to for information on all aspects of our programming as well as information on how to get involved with our mission. This will in turn increase operational efficiency at all levels of the organization from reception, to enrollment, to fundraising. At the most mundane level, it will reduce the amount of time that staff spend on phone calls and drastically reduce paper usage (fliers, registration packets, instructional guides for on-line enrollment, etc). Higher level uses will include staff referring potential and returning clients to the website for program schedules, registration information, event details, and links to our program and community partners' sites. Finally, if we can build in password protected pages, the site will regularly be used for sharing documents with our Board of Directors and between members of internal work groups.

Who will use the technology

An improved website will be regularly utilized by HPNC staff, enrolled and prospective families, volunteers, and many other stakeholder groups.

Current and Potential Families: Information about programming, schedules, and registration procedures.

Volunteers: Information about volunteer opportunities and application processes

Current and Potential Donors: Clear reflection of how their contributions are making an impact, evidence of mission in action, easy access to event information, clear process for making donations

Board Members: Having a 'behind the wall' section to facilitate easy communication and sharing critical information

Community and Program Partners: Improved opportunity for co-branding, promotion, and marketing.

Before & After Snapshots

Thumbnail_chi2017-hpnc-before Thumbnail_chi2017-hpnc-after

38 Messages from Supporters

2017-02-12 19:07:32 UTC
Alicia C.

From Tot Lot to music class to tumbling, my kids have taken advantage of the wonderful programs HPNC has to offer since they could walk (or even before)! HPNC is a true neighborhood institution, serving all people across all categories. It is a place that nurtures the cultural and social lives of our community. As a parent, I can attest that a re-vamped website would be a great boon to this organization as it works to reach more people and to be even more welcoming.

2017-02-12 21:15:04 UTC

Our children have attended programs at HPNC for many years and gained huge benefit from them. HPNC is a true heart to the Hyde Park community and provides so many and so varied opportunities for local children to gain experiences without having to travel all over the city. The current website is functional but not much more. It would be great for us who know about HPNC to have a much improved portal, but it could also be such a great opportunity for opening up HPNC to new families.

2017-02-12 22:21:41 UTC
Amy Wishnick

I am the nonprofit consultant that worked with HPNC to develop their current strategic plan. A new website would be a significant move toward achieving HPNC' goal for increased visibility. HPNC provides meaningful programs for youth and a new website would add great value and magnify its presence! Thank you!

2017-02-11 01:53:32 UTC
jeremiah oconnor

hi, i teach the tumbling and acrobatics classes at HPNC and i have heard many times from my students' parents that they have had difficulties registering for my classes online as well as having access to accurate and current information regarding my program, other programs and events at HPNC. a smooth running and quality website is essential to developing and maintaining a respected brand and i am convinced that my program, the families involved and the hyde park community in general will prosper in accordance with with an improved website and excellent online presence for HPNC.

2017-02-11 06:41:02 UTC
Claire R

HPNC is great. I've attended a lot of the great events they've hosted - Southside Pie challenge, kids music classes, tot lot, holiday parties - and recommended them to many for childcare referrals. But I found out about most of this stuff through word of mouth, because the website is confusing and missing a lot of info. If this website is updated, I'll look forward to finding out a whole bunch of other stuff HPNC does that I didn't know about!

2017-02-10 23:57:37 UTC
Persis Berlekamp

Hpnc is an absolute treasure, with programs ranging from baby sign language to after school basketball. It isn't just that the participants benefit from each individual program but that these happen in shared spaces in a manner that brings the whole community together. Upgrading the website would mean more even families would better understand and be able to join in all the terrific things Hpnc does.

2017-02-10 21:35:19 UTC
Brian Bock

As a relatively frequent user of HPNC's website, their current layout simply doesn't do its quality programming justice! Half the battle is promoting HPNC's wonderful services to new and returning users alike and this is difficult to do with "ho-hum" presentation and functionality. Providing professional website service to this stellar organization will have a great impact on the families that utilize its services, their employees and the overall community! Thanks for your consideration!

2017-02-10 22:42:54 UTC
Bethany Pickens

I am a Board member and Website that is easy to navigate will be very helpful to HPNC.

2017-02-10 22:52:58 UTC

The HPNC is a fantastic neighborhood staple. An improved website for both the staff and community members would be appreciated by all. Currently the website navigation is not up to par for they type of venue and service provided by the HPNC. Please help our community and the HPNC by updating the website to become an efficient user friendly site for all!

2017-02-10 21:02:55 UTC
Anne Renna

Please help HPNC improve its website to show our community how much our organization has to offer. We have a wide array of high quality programs and we want our families to be able to learn about them, register for them, and support them. An attractive, functional website will allow us to more effectively and efficiently fulfill our mission. Thank you!

2017-02-10 22:05:40 UTC
Katrina Carrizales

HPNC is a wonderful organization that makes a huge impact in the community through it's high quality youth programming. That said, our website is not at the same high level of standard as the organization. Revamping our website will greatly improve our visibility to the community and overall, make life better for all users and visitors!

2017-02-11 03:02:50 UTC

HPNC is a neIghborhood gem. Like all organizations, they do a ton and want everyone to know about their amazing offerings! A website rehaul would help current and future families better understand who they are and what they do. That way, more people will know how amazing HPNC is. We love it and know others will too.

2017-02-11 05:21:13 UTC
Terri Smith-Roback

Hyde Park Neighborhood Club provides a wide variety of valuable services and programs for families on the South Side of Chicago. HPNC offers daycare and after school care, academic enrichment programs and family activities. The center hosts many quality extracurricular activities including Gymnastics/Tumbling and Roller Derby.
HPNC's website does not do it justice. The Club is an invaluable resource for families in the Hyde Park and surrounding neighborhoods, but the website is cumbersome and often difficult to navigate. It is perhaps due to HPNC's eclectic and vast offerings and it's flexible scheduling and payment options that the it's website is not as always as user friendly as one would hope. It is sometimes difficult to find the program or activity I am looking for because the categories are not intuitive. I have never had success making an on-line payment either.
I am not complaining -- designing a website for a community organization with several programs running at different times according to various schedules is a daunting task. I hope you will step in and design a website that truly reflects the quality of our neighborhood club.

2017-02-11 03:44:50 UTC
Todd Martin

The Hyde Park Neighborhood Club is exemplary.

This is how existing communities are strengthened and how new communities are built. Through an insightful pairing of in-house programming and thoughtful space-sharing, HPNC is the rare organization that earnestly strives to understand and meet the needs of its neighborhood, forming strategic partnerships to strengthen their outreach.

They deliver.

Whether it be facilitating the academic and social growth of local youth through direct mentorship, introducing children to the numinous wonders of Shakespeare, or providing a safe place for kids to dribble or kick a ball; HPNC ensures that our young people have opportunity.

They are remarkable.

And the Nerdery can grant them a clearer, more powerful voice. As a neighbor and as a program partner, I assure you, they ought to be heard. Heard by individuals and families that need their programming. Heard by like-minded benefactors that could lengthen HPNC's reach. Heard by local organizations that could grow under their auspices.

A new website would be transformative for HPNC.

HPNC makes a difference in lives. Help them make that difference bigger.

2017-02-11 16:09:27 UTC
Jocelyn malamy

I'm not sure what we would have done without the tot lot when my daughter was small. Trying to entertain a toddler during the long chicago winter is tough! I also made friends with other parents there, and some of these friendships remain eight years later. This is an important part of our community.

2017-02-11 15:50:06 UTC
Eileen Holzhauer

Hyde Park Neighborhood Club offers great, dynamic programs. Please help us update our website to make it as dynamic and inviting as our programs.

2017-02-11 17:26:34 UTC
Angela Powell


I am the Programs and Accounts coordinator. I receive multiple calls each day and many many emails from parents about not being billed. The website does not make it mandatory to choose a class option so parent do not receive the appropriate billing discount. I have to go in all the time to fix their account. Parents are never able to fine the information they need easily. It's always a pain especially when parents are billed incorrectly and I have to send an email with the corrections. Our families and staff would really appreciate a more user friendly website. It would make all of our lives easier.

2017-02-13 00:39:50 UTC

The cumbersome website of HPNC does not allow HPNC'S clients to easily flow throughout the website and learn about all of our various programs, classes and special events. The website is mobile friendly either, which we all know is crucial in today's times with many families using phones instead of desktop computers for most of their needs. A website makeover that becomes more user-friendly would save our staff and clients valuable time and energy.

2017-02-13 02:00:25 UTC
Lincoln Brown

I'm the director and founder of Shakespeare's Youth, a program which works with inner city students to develop a knowledge and love of Shakespeare. Every year my actors perform a full length Shakespeare play in our mini theater at the Hyde Park Neighborhood Club.

In our fourth year at the club I have developed a wonderful relationship with the people who spend their days making sure programs like mine thrive. My actors love HPNC. As middle school students, they come to the club and are given the opportunity to work, learn and grow as Shakespearean actors, but most importantly, to develop as confident young boys and girls who want to share their craft and their strengths as young people within their communities.

Our biggest need is reaching out to all young people, not only those who live in our local community. The Hyde Park Neighborhood Club needs an improved website that will reach out to young boys and girls throughout the city of Chicago. It has been frustrating, with the reduced lack of city and state funding, that HPNC cannot commit any financial resources to improve their website and communicate with so many that that could be a part of something so genuinely positive and unique. An improved vessel of communication is desperately needed and deserved.

Thank-you so much for your consideration,
Lincoln Brown

2017-02-13 01:34:52 UTC

I love this organization, but the website seems to clearly demonstrate that the HPNC team spends all of its time running great programs rather than pulling together a workable website! I get all my info about what's offered at HPNC through what seems like word of mouth while I'm at the building. I'd love to be able to have a navigable website to find out more about the programs available to different age ranges and at different times of the week (or year).

2017-02-13 02:04:36 UTC
Miriam Sierig

As HPNC's (outgoing) Director of Development and the person who has been trying to manage part of our current outdated website behind the scenes, I cannot emphasize enough how dearly needed a website overhaul is to the families we serve. We live in a busy city and parents rely on us every day for a variety of programs for their children. The website is the center of our communication with parents (and with older kids). In its current form, the website does not serve either: it is cumbersome to navigate, not very well organized, and lacking in some important functionality. It is not what people expect when they interact with an active organization like ours. And inasmuch as it functions poorly, it can end up creating confusion for parents, kids, and administrators.
In addition to practical considerations, a website should give everyone - including the people who invest in the organization - an impression of what is going on inside. Unfortunately, the website currently does not reflect the amazing work HPNC does with kids. Our work is so much better than our website.
Please help us improve our website - it will serve the hundreds of families we serve here on the South Side!

2017-02-13 04:58:10 UTC
Cristina Alexander

HPNC is my 2nd home I have grown so much from being there as well as witnessing constant/positive changes in my years of employment. From offering more programming, down to the physical changes and overall growth within the organization. I love that it so diverse, offers families many opportunities for youth to be engaged positively, and everybody is like family. However, as the Early Childhood Program Coordinator, I do spend a lot of time constantly reminding families things verbally and apologizing because the website is confusing.I truly believe to go along with our growth and physical changes HPNC website deserves an friendly update to better service our current families and help bring in more families from communities that need programs like we offer for their children.

2017-02-13 06:10:28 UTC
A McLean

As a member of the team and someone who has background in this area, I definitely know the importance of having a website that speaks to your brand and can engage consumers . HPNC's programs have a value that can be best explained and represented through the user experience on the website. That is usually our first, or second, point of educating a potential visitor. The site is a little clunky and can move much smoother. Right now, the site does not do justice in really showcasing the value that we bring to the community. HPNC is going through a period of transformation with its new leadership and branding efforts, this website revamp will be an integral part of this change. It is very much needed and we realize that to have a good site would be expensive. So this opportunity would be exactly what we need.

2017-02-13 04:11:22 UTC
Stephen Benson

The HPNC exists to serve children and their families. By offering high quality programs to children without reference to the social, cultural, racial or economic background of their families, HPNC has created a more equitable model of service to children. HPNC alumni can be found everywhere across chicago, Illinois and beyond. They are teachers, students and leaders. They all share a bond that is the HPNC. Because HPNC resources go to kids and families first, the web-site has not been prioritized. An opportunity to partner to obtain a more user friendly online face of the club is a unique opportunity that will help HPNC improve access for families.

2017-02-13 04:25:15 UTC

HPNC is a very important place for the south side of Chicago. It is a treasure.

2017-02-13 17:30:52 UTC

I love HPNC. It's a tremendous asset to Hyde Park and the South Side. The website is cumbersome. It would be incredibly helpful to busy families to have a more user-friendly, comprehensive website.

2017-02-13 17:42:00 UTC
Nicolas Owens

They Hyde Park Neighborhood Club is an essential institution in our community with a reach beyond the walls of its physical building. For example, HPNC provides recess monitors and staffing to Ray School, where my sons are students. Thanks to energetic, enthusiastic, trained staffers from HPNC, my children and 700 other students have an active, fun and safe recess experience at school. Please help HPNC improve their website so more members of the community can imprecate the organization's deep and broad commitment to our community.

2017-02-13 17:46:02 UTC
Marianne Crusius

I hope HPNC wins the overnight website challenge because I want to know what after school and summer camp programming options are available to my grandchildren. I know that HPNC is an important provider of high-quality care and enrichment opportunities for children in our area, but I am not always certain how to find the information I want on HPNC's website. Thank you.

2017-02-14 02:30:08 UTC
Ann Toebbe

HPNC is a neighborhood gem. We've use their programs for after school care and days off school and they are a lifesaver. My daughter is in her second year of tumbling and she love the class and Coach Jeremiah. We are so lucky to have HPNC near our school and close to home.

I've had trouble navigating the website. I seem to never be able to find the parent portal and often I'm unable to pay online. Since HPNC offers so many valuable services, it should have website that reflects it's warm and welcoming spirit and makes it easier for parents and caregivers to search it's programs and get registered.

Please help HPNC interface better with the community and give it a new website!

Ann Toebbe

2017-02-14 15:51:07 UTC
Irene Claude

The Hyde Park Neighborhood Club is the south side home of Marsha's Music as well as many other organizations who serve children and their families. Having a website that is easy to use will make HPNC's service to the community even more valuable, as the HPNC needs a website that is easy to manage and navigate so that time can be spent on serving the community and not on trying to update a website, and so that the community can easily learn about all the wonderful classes HPNC offers!

2017-02-14 16:14:53 UTC
Ginger Odom

As a parent of an HPNC student, I am very excited at the prospect of a new site with improved functionality and EASE OF USE. In the past, I have given up any hope of on-line registration, and simply driven to the Club to do enrollment. The HPNC site NEEDS an updated "flow" to allow for parents to register and pay for programs remotely, in a seamless and easy-to-navigate manner. Fingers crossed for a new site!

2017-02-14 22:48:57 UTC
N Hackett

HPNC provides vital services and connection for parents and children of south communities alike. It is constantly innovating to better serve the needs of families and deliver high quality enrichment program to local and neighboring youth. The website is essential to outreach with the community as well as supporters informed and engaged of its many diverse offerings. It is essential that non-profits like HPNC have high caliber, cost effective, and timely channels to reach its population so that critical dollars can be better spent on programming to reach youth in need.

A revitalized website would have an immediate a direct impact on HPNC's ability to deliver on its mission and assist in maintaining a critical connection to its service population. I am proud to support HPNCS in this endeavor.

2017-02-14 22:50:28 UTC

HPNC is known all around the area for having great programs, but not for its website. Because it doesn't work very well, there is virtually no word of mouth encouragement to go to the website. So, the programs are not getting the full exposure they deserve.

2017-02-14 16:27:35 UTC

HPNC programs are an incredible asset to the families of Hyde Park and the South Side. However, the website is cumbersome, non-intuitive and difficult to navigate. It is frustrating as a user, and creates unnecessary hassles for the staff. With the current site, the staff must spend time to correct billing, offer guidance to confused families and outline the various programs -- a properly functioning website would be far more effective in presenting the programs offered (and making the programs searchable) and efficient in terms of registration and billing.

HPNC offers tremendous programs and acts as a hub for Hyde Park and the community of the greater south side of Chicago. The HPNC website should reflect these qualities and provide an interface that is attractive, functional and efficient. The site should also contain a mobile-device interface that is functional.

The programming at HPNC is modern and inclusive; as the "face" of the club, the site should be, too.

2017-02-15 20:18:45 UTC
Emlyn Eisenach

As a board member I am enthusiastic about spreading the word about the excellent programs HPNC has to offer to the community. Unfortunately, however, the current HPNC website does not do justice to our organization and is not nearly as effective a tool as it needs to be in helping to connect the public to our high-quality programming. Please help us to make much needed improvements!

2017-02-15 20:53:03 UTC
Colleen T.

Hyde Park Neighborhood Club has supported the neighborhood youth through quality programming (regardless of economic background) for over a hundred years. I love that HPNC has been such a pillar to the community, generation after generation. Even alumni now sign up their own children for the same opportunities they had.

Despite top-notch programming, HPNC's website is the only thing holding them back — it’s overwhelming for busy parents to figure out how to sign up their kids, and frustrating for staff to update (time better spent be focusing on programming). HPNC deserves a website that serves their community as much as their programs.

2017-02-16 15:26:35 UTC
HPNC Volunteer

I have volunteered with all age ranges that HPNC works with, and they do a great job involving students, parents and volunteers! The staff works very hard, and dedicate their heart and soul to the kids and their educational and personal development. Unfortunately, the website doesn't reflect all the great work that they are doing so it is hard to learn about past activities and future events. I think a new and improved website would enable better community outreach and communication, free up valuable time among staff, and perhaps even enable the youth to learn more about website management and help develop timely content!

2017-02-16 15:44:37 UTC
Ayanna S

HPNC has great programs; our family has benefitted from the programs since our kids were toddlers. As a community member, I appreciate that HPNC offers high quality programming for kids from birth to age 18.

Recently I was honored to join the team at HPNC. Part of my responsibilities include updating the website, to say that it is cumbersome may be an understatement.

The current website does not do the organization justice. It is challenging for users and difficult for staff to update. Updating the website is critical for the next phase of growth for HPNC.

Our Mission

HPNC, a nonprofit organization, provides high quality childcare, academic support, and enriching activities for infants to teens of diverse backgrounds, so they can learn grown and thrive. Children in our programs learn, grow and thrive in an environment that fosters a sense of belonging and reflects the unique diversity of our neighborhood. Our core values, the principles behind our everyday programming as well as our long term strategic direction are: Inclusiveness, Quality, and Community • Inclusiveness – HPNC is committed to serving children and families who reflect the full racial and economic diversity of Chicago’s South Side. From early childhood through the teens we are committed to bringing children together from all backgrounds. We accomplish this by pulling together multiple streams of funding so that nobody is ever left behind. • Quality - At HPNC we believe that all children deserve high quality, professionally led programs. To this end, we hire accomplished instructors to lead classes that we make available to all who wish to participate, not just those who can afford it. • Community- HPNC creates a supportive community among children and families enrolled in our programs, provides leased space to multiple community minded youth organizations, and is actively engaged in the life of our surrounding neighborhood. .