Helping VEDA Revitalize Their Drupal Website
Through a renewed investment in their Drupal website, the Vestibular Disorders Association has managed to not only increase the longevity of their website but use it to strategically further their mission. In this case study, you'll learn how a commitment to ongoing website support and strategy helped this patient-focused nonprofit reap the benefits of their Drupal website.
Getting VEDA's Drupal website above water
The Vestibular Disorders Association provides support to patients suffering from chronic dizziness, imbalance, vertigo, and other issues caused by inner ear and brain (aka vestibular) disorders. Their Drupal website is a central hub for their organization, providing their constituents with access to information, research, qualified medical professionals, and support groups to help improve their quality of life.
I've been working with a Drupal site for 4+ years and have had a number of website consultants. Each was technically good at their job, but neither responded to my inquiries in a timely manner or managed our workflow effectively. When I first talked with Brooks Digital I was impressed by their excellent communication skills and project management structure.
- Cynthia Ryan, Executive Director, Vestibular Disorders Association
When we first talked with VEDA in 2015, they were searching for ongoing Drupal support because their existing website consultant was overbooked and unavailable to help them in the capacity they needed. In addition, they were struggling to manage the complexity of their Drupal website and workflow, which had many features including a CiviCRM integration, membership capabilities, forums, medical directories, and multiple types of fundraising campaigns.
While VEDA couldn't initially allocate the budget for one of our standard support plans, we agreed to help them on a limited basis until a new budget year came around and they could allocate the necessary resources to improve their website. Through the first part of our relationship, much of our work involved a steady cleanup of some of the major issues impacting their website, including a laundry list of bugs and performance problems that were slowing them down or preventing them from serving their constituents adequately.
Surviving a fundraising nightmare
In late 2016, VEDA discovered they had been placed on an email blacklist. The impact of this was massive: around 30% of all their emails (including 1:1 communication between people such as the Executive Director and major donors) were simply not being delivered. And what's worse, the end-of-year giving season was just weeks away. If this email delivery problem persisted, VEDA would likely lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations that year.
Our support team mobilized to help VEDA identify the underlying issues that caused the email blacklist, which ended up being a combination of a dirty email list and a number of technical issues with their CiviCRM email configuration. We then helped them implement a temporary email delivery system to ensure their EOY fundraising campaign could be delivered, and worked with them to implement a number of email deliverability best practices that resulted in them being removed from the blacklist a few months later. While fundraising saw a slight dip that year, they escaped from a crisis technology situation that could have crippled them.
While this particular event was unrelated to Drupal, it was a great opportunity for our team to leverage our expertise outside Drupal to help VEDA when it mattered most.
A renewed focus on strategy
With VEDA's Drupal website above water, their focus has turned to an increased investment in their website and digital strategy to further the mission of their organization.
VEDA worked with us to implement landing pages to grow their email list using Google AdGrants, as well as a mobile refresh to give their phone and tablet-based visitors a better experience.
In the coming months, VEDA is working with us to refine their digital strategy based on a rebranding project they've recently completed. With their Drupal site above water, VEDA's attention has turned from putting out fires to looking to future growth.
And, most importantly, that future growth involves the use of their existing Drupal website as their organization's #1 marketing and program asset.