MARKETING BLOG: Implementing topical homepages to build community in the non-profit world

We talked about this concept at WordCamp Grand Rapids on Aug. 24, 2013.

This hour-long presentation received an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 by attendees. (Median rating: 4.5)

Some of the comments from participants:
What was the best part of the session?
“Explaining the different ways to use your homepage. Also enjoyed the breakdown of how to update your page. Good job!”

“Learning about content strategy.”

“Outlining. Change often: Based on what’s hot, but not too timely. Visuals are important!”

“The inclusion of real world application to information. (Examples).”

“Hearing a detailed account of how United Way in Iowa uses its WordPress site was very interesting and helpful.”

“Great examples of keeping homepage interesting.”

“Great real-life examples. Not hypotheticals. Useful and relevant.”

“Explanation of why changing homepage is good.”

Other comments:
“Attended by mistake. Best mistake I made all day.”

“Very clear presentation. Really enjoyed it!”

“Great real-life examples. Not hypotheticals. Useful and relevant.”

Note to self: One person mentioned he/she wanted more specifics on how to upload images, etc., into a page. Another person mentioned a detailed discussion of deadlines for a project.


The CMS Association recognized our site and this concept and execution with the Best CMS Site of the Year (WordPress) Award for 2012-2013. For the announcement go here.

At United Way in Cedar Rapids, we try to build community awareness around specific topics. While our main areas (income, health, education and volunteering) remain the same, there are many sub-topics that we want to highlight throughout the year.

To accomplish this we create topical homepages for different time periods. For example, when we have a community event on Adverse Childhood Experiences we highlight this topic on the homepage. At the beginning of the legislative session we created a video that highlighted how we can help our families that do not earn enough to meet basic needs.

When we were looking to recruit volunteers for 150-some projects, we decided to launch a Virtual Volunteer Fair.

Using WordPress on the backend, this is relatively easy to set up.

Some elements on the homepage remain the same, of course, but we use WordPress’ static page function to:

– design our homepage as a page.
– and then push that WordPress page to the front and make it the homepage.

This allows us to create custom homepages based on a current time period’s topic and focus.

You can find some screen shots below:

The 12 Days of Giving


End of Year Donations




Thanking Donors


The 2013 Legislative Session


Adverse Childhood Experiences Community Forum


Volunteer Awards


Virtual Volunteer Fair


Summer meals 2013

United Way's Summer Meals Homepage 2013


2013 Corridor Business Journal Thank You

thank you cbj ad homepage 2013

Posted in Marketing blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


facebook icon Twitter Icon pinterest_icon_red  LinkedIn logo Youtube logo

© 2013-2015 United Way of East Central Iowa