For nearly a decade South Side Fire (SSF) has provided children on the South and West Sides of Chicago with programs that develop a sense of community, teach physical skills, provide opportunities for leadership, and engage empathy.
In 2008 we started as place for kids to learn to play soccer at a high level, coached by experienced professionals. We have grown into a charitable organization that promotes the development of our children on and off the field. Our youth grow as complete individuals, through opportunities to participate in community and travel soccer, training as junior coaches and referees, academic enrichment, and mentoring.
The families of SSF hail from 54 zip codes and speak 12 different languages. The 250 kids in our programs range in age from 4 to 18 years. Our community is comprised of a wide variety of cultures, customs, and resources. Financial aid is provided by private donations.
What new functionality we are looking for
Generally, we hope to entirely overhaul our site to make it more intuitive to navigate, to make the work simpler and the results more powerful that end-users (our families) and staff can accomplish, to incorporate a good deal more back-end functionality, and to make the site more aesthetically pleasing and attractive to users.
Specifically, we are looking to:
1) Implement a front end that is easily navigable across platforms (computer, tablet, phone, watch, etc.) with a consistent, exciting house style to consolidate our brand, improve the user experience of our audience, and draw new views.
2) Create an easy to use bi-lingual (English/Spanish) user interface.
3) Develop a consistent, nimble information architecture that handles user information confidentially; collects relevant data regarding users, potential benefactors, program partners and other resources; makes data available for complex queries.
4) Develop a straightforward, secure system for accepting payment for programs, accepting cash donations, managing in-kind donations, and managing fundraising events, including the sale of tickets, gifts, raffles, etc.
5) Implement a back-end that allows for the easy management and publication of timely content, organizational calendars, team-rosters, academic enrichment pairings, etc.
How the new functionality will help
Simply, a beautiful website that is easy to navigate, simple to use, and powerful will be transformative for our organization. The site, its architecture, and its functions will facilitate the accomplishment of work, rather than serve to complicate it.
Our families will be more aware of our services and our staff will be more able to provide these services with the power made available by new website functionality and with the extra time at hand that can be invested in developing new programs.
How our organization will use the technology
The new technology will allow our staff to bring services to our audience more effectively, whether it be more easily registering families, simplifying and clarifying transactions, or serving critical information quickly and efficiently.
The presence of a bi-lingual interface will be crucial to broadening the communities we serve and the quality of the product they experience.
Who will use the technology
Families--Registering for programs will be simpler, time-critical information can be pushed in timely fashion to devices of choice, general organizational information will be more easily at hand.
Staff--Robustly updating the website will take less time, a broader audience can be more easily served, currently manual tasks will be automated.
Board--High level planning will be facilitated by centralizing organizational information and making it easily available to query, the organization's financial health will be improved by facilitating donor development, managing existing philanthropy, and easing the distribution of financial aid to deserving families.
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