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Case Study

SmartBug Media Helps Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco Raise Donations by 25% and Increase Operational Efficiency

By offering a cohesive website and multi-functional platform, we helped this major non-profit boost donations, streamline volunteer opportunities, and achieve efficient workflows.

How We Helped

  • Information Architecture
  • UI/UX Design
  • Website Design
  • HubSpot COS Development
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Microsite Strategy
 

Results

Donations Up
25%
Website Traffic
Up
20%
Time Savings
25%

We felt that it was good to have someone familiar with nonprofits and how they work. Just knowing that SmartBug employees are involved with nonprofits on a personal basis, was a huge plus for us.

samantha-salas.jpg
SAmantha Salas
Digital Marketing & Web Content Manager, Habitat for Humanity

Overview

Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco  is an independently-funded local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International serving communities in Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo counties. At Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco our mission is to provide local families with a springboard to secure, stable futures through affordable homeownership, financial literacy and neighborhood revitalization.

In addition to building homes, Habitat Greater San Francisco offers financial literacy workshops that provide potential homebuyers with credit counseling as well as debt and money management education. Another core program, Neighborhood Revitalization, aims to extend the work of Habitat for Humanity into the neighborhoods where they build – beautifying parks and gardens, renovating community assets like schools and community centers and delivering critical home repairs to improve the health, safety and well-being of residents.

Habitat Greater San Francisco also owns and operates a ReStore, a volunteer-supported, discount home improvement store in San Carlos.  Proceeds from all ReStore sales fund Habitat Greater San Francisco’s homebuilding and neighborhood revitalization efforts. The collection of used items also has helped divert thousands of tons of waste from landfills.

Problem: mulitple platforms, multiple headaches

Although the Habitat Greater San Francisco website had been redesigned in 2012 — a major revamp that replaced a Dreamweaver-built site — it still had numerous challenges that kept it from being effective for visitors, donors, volunteers, and staff.

The site wasn't mobile-friendly, there was no way to do A/B testing, and it was only one of several platforms being used by the organization. Different tools were utilized for volunteer management, email marketing, website content, social media management, and customer relationship management. To toggle from one function to another, a staff member would have to log out of one platform and log in to another, often multiple times per day. Productivity definitely took a hit, notes Samantha Salas, Digital Marketing and Web Content Manager at Habitat Greater San Francisco.

"We needed something that could bring all these elements together, to simplify access and streamline our operations," she says. "I knew that if we could achieve that, we could start getting to the next level when it came to workflows and communication."

Another factor was the ReStore, she added. Although connected to Habitat, the store required its own microsite, rather than a page on the Habitat site. Without an autonomous online presence, the retail operation was struggling to do more brand marketing, and to update its content with SEO in mind.

Solution: SmartBug Media Fuels Habitat with Hubspot and Website Redesign

To deliver a comprehensive solution that worked across all facets of the organization, Habitat Greater San Francisco brought in SmartBug Media, and it didn't take long before the nonprofit was checking items off its wishlist.

Implementing the HubSpot COS (Content Optimization System), and providing both site and microsite design, SmartBug focused on providing Habitat with a solid foundation for its digital operations:

  • Unified, more functional customer management system for communicating with donors, volunteers and advocates.
  • Mobile-friendly pages that are easy to navigate and encourage donations and volunteer sign-ups.
  • Website design that "got the brand" immediately, with minimal revisions.
  • Effective launch of ReStore microsite that fulfilled the retailer's requirements for both autonomy and connection with Habitat Greater San Francisco.

Salas added that many people at SmartBug have served on nonprofit boards, which made Habitat even more confident in the vendor choice. "We felt that it was good to have someone familiar with nonprofits and how they work, and to know that SmartBug employees are involved with nonprofits on a personal basis," she says. 

SmartBug delivered far more than we expected, delivering a design and finished website that were rock solid, " continued Salas. "We are looking forward to working with them again in the future and continuing our run of great results.

RESULTS: Habitat Builds a More Solid Future

The comprehensive approach resulted in a streamlined operation and a much more effective website. Since implementing HubSpot and launching the new website, Habitat San Francisco has seen some major effects:

  • Online donations through their main donation page are up about 25% over the previous year
  • Web traffic has increased by 20% thanks, in part, to the ease of mobile design and on-page SEO boosting
  • Board members have raved about how fantastic the new site looks and operates
  • Allows Habitat to sign up more volunteers and ambassadors with an effective email marketing campaign that keeps them engaged
  • Streamlined marketing automation, allowing for more complex list segmentation and email marketing campaigns
  • Content is much easier to update and create, allowing Habitat to keep its communications fresh
  • Via integration with Classy, donors now have the ability to track their donation amounts and set up automatic donations

In terms of what's next, Habitat Greater San Francisco is looking forward to refining its SEO strategies and implementing more workflows, as well as taking advantage of reporting tools. Salas is confident that after SmartBug's contributions, the organization can continue to refine its operations — raising donation levels and volunteer involvement along the way.

"SmartBug delivered far more than we expected, delivering a design and finished website that were rock solid, " continued Salas. "We are looking forward to working with them again in the future and continuing our run of great results."