Hyde Park Neighborhood Club
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 Parents and community members tell us that it is difficult to navigate, and it often falls out of date because staff find it difficult to update.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.
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