University of Central Missouri Alumni Foundation

UCM Foundation Improves Online Experience with Website Redesign

The mission of the University of Central Missouri Alumni Foundation (UCM Alumni Foundation) is to engage alumni and other constituents in support of the University through a variety of opportunities, including service and financial support.

In July of 2015, the UCM Alumni Association and the UCM Foundation, two separate organizations, merged their operations and governing boards to create a singular focus on student success, called the UCM Alumni Foundation. As a part of the merger, the newly formed Foundation adopted Raiser’s Edge to help manage its constituents and fundraising efforts. In addition, Jenne Vanderbout, the assistant vice president for alumni and development, chose Blackbaud NetCommunity to help transform the Foundation’s website into a more user-friendly experience. “We did it all at once, moving to one database  management system and online tools that could work together,” she says.

Before the move, the Foundation’s website wasn’t telling the compelling story needed to draw in alumni and other supporters. “Our website was horrible,” recalls Jenne. “It was hard to find things. We didn’t feel that it focused on the things we needed to focus on, and we didn’t feel that it told our story very well.”

Because of this lack of captivating content and clarity, website traffic was extremely low and the Foundation team had trouble engaging alumni and supporters.

Designing and developing a new website is a huge task requiring lots of coordination and effort from all involved partners. Jenne appreciated having to only work with one vendor, because it kept the website redesign process running smoothly. “Blackbaud was the only company that could do it at the level we wanted it done,” says Jenne. There were a lot of hands and opinions in the mix, but together they transformed the website into one that worked for the Foundation and its users. “Everybody throughout the entire project was fantastic. There are so many pieces and so many teams that came in at different points,” says Jenne.

When the new website went live in July of 2016 it represented the first time that the UCM Foundation and UCM Alumni Association were housed on the same page as a single organization. With the website’s eye-catching design and easy-to-use navigation, the Foundation is optimistic about the future of online engagement. “One thing that we’ve been excited about is the flexibility to deliver a clear concise message.” With a stronger message and better flow, supporters are able to find the content they’re looking for—including how to donate—much faster.


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