The Nerdery - Overnight Website Challenge

Twin Cities 2014, April 12-13

Women of Nations

Paired with The Pixelsmiths

Women of Nations is a 44 bed domestic violence shelter in St. Paul, MN. As the third-largest domestic violence shelter in Minnesota, we support women and children through times of crisis by offering safe shelter, advocacy, and support.

While we welcome women of all nations, we offer culturally specific services to Native American women. All residents are invited to participate in traditional Native American healing practices including: beading, smudging, talking circles, full moon ceremonies, sweat lodges. Women of Nations is one of very few non-reservation based programs that offers Native American culturally focused domestic violence advocacy and support.

What new functionality we are looking for

We need a website that will allow women with violent partners to quickly access helpful: risk assessments, characteristics of an unhealthy relationship, emergency phone numbers, and contact information for Women of Nations. Simply having these resources on the webpage is not enough—because of the nature of domestic violence, women need to be able to quickly escape the website to an innocuous webpage if their abuser enters the room.

In addition to information for our clients, Women of Nations would like a website that integrates with our current social media streams, allows us to easily update donation request lists, an event calendar, and a place to blog about news in the domestic violence and Native American communities.

We’re really good at helping domestic abuse survivors find safety and shelter. We are less skilled at updating websites, so a website that we could make small changes on (blogging, adding new photos and events to) without feeling like we’re going to lose our minds is essential to our organization

How the new functionality will help

Our current website is static and difficult to search for pertinent information. This has some direct impacts on how we provide our services:

1. The difficulty in quickly finding information can add a significant degree of danger for women in crisis trying to access information they need to find help.

2. Women of Nations depends on both financial and in-kind contributions to keep our doors open. Our current website is difficult to edit and lists of donations quickly become outdated. Our “donate now” button is more of an afterthought than an prominent part of our website.

3. Our current website is unattractive to prospective funders and volunteers. When information is difficult to access or a website isn’t particularly user-friendly donors and volunteers go to other organizations where information is more readily available.

How our organization will use the technology

Who will use the technology

21 Messages from Supporters

2014-03-05 18:48:31 UTC
David Amitrano

Women of Nations current website doesn't give enough credit or information to the services that we currently offer. I believe that a new website with more information and services about us,will help us improve the lives of more women and children that are subject to domestic violence.

2014-02-28 18:22:05 UTC
Anna Burgason

Women of Nations' current website does not do the organization justice at all! The organization does incredibly important work serving women and children -- all on a low budget. A website overhaul would provide access to vital information for the women they serve, donors, and other affiliates. Please consider WON -- they deserve it!

2014-02-28 18:08:00 UTC
Michael Boulette

Women of Nations is a fantastic organization doing vital work for communities that are often overlooked. But to stay focused on the work they do, WON needs to be able to get their message out--both to those in need of their services and partners that might be able to help. Please consider WON, and all the women and children they help, for this challenge!

2014-02-28 18:31:40 UTC
Tabitha Leeds

I love working for Women of Nations. The work we do is an important part of our community and a neccesity for the women and children who use our services. Our current website is complex sometimes and would make it difficult to those who need our services to get access to them. Also we have no emergency button. If women are looking at our site and need to leave quickly to hide the information from their abuser there is no way for them to do that. Also it would be great to have a website that is easy to update with current shelter needs. This could include volunteer projects, in-kind items, wish lists, resource list, etc. It would be an amazing gift for WON to participate in this challenge and could help us reach more women and children in need. Thank you for considering us.

2014-02-28 18:37:59 UTC
Carol Logan

Women of Nations' website needs a make-over. We need new graphics and a new, more modern appearance. The Programs page doesn't describe the services very well. The How You Can Help page is dismal. It state you can volunteer but doesn't list the types of opportunities available. It states "Donate Goods" but does even give a list of the most needed items or give the reader an idea of what we could use. The website doesn't really show what it's like or what one could expect coming to WON. WON is a very important resource for women and children and our website needs to be re-designed in a number of areas. PLEASE HELP US!

2014-02-28 20:52:11 UTC
Jeremy DeCory

I have worked for Women of Nations for 1 year now. I love my job and hope every day brings change and good things to the clients we serve. Our current website does not do any justice to the programs and services we offer clients. It could be such a powerful and effective tool to prepare and info women looking to leave an abusive situation. Our website needs help to make this an effect tool for our community. If women were better informed about what to expect coming to the shelter and other services provided by looking at the website. I feel we would have more women not being afraid to leave abusive situations. I thank you for considering Women of Nations for the Overnight Website Challenge!

2014-03-03 15:37:02 UTC
Kelly Prosen

Women of Nations is an extraordinary nonprofit. In the past year, we served over 1,000 women and children fleeing domestic violence. But while we're phenomenal a advocating for women and children, we lack the knowledge and expertise to build an effective, easy-to-navigate website. A woman's ability to access information quickly and easily in the midst of a crisis is paramount. Our current website is not nearly as navigable as it should be.

For a small organization like ours, a rebuilt website is so much more than a website. It's a new opportunity to effectively communicate our mission and vision to our community partners and a chance to better serve clients in crisis.

2014-03-05 17:48:40 UTC
Della Plume

We are losing out on so much from a social media perspective!! I think of how many lives could be saved by updating our website.

2014-03-05 18:29:26 UTC
Brittney Babb

The number one question I get when I go out and do presentations in the community is "Do you have a website?". I somewhat cringe when I tell them "Yes we do!" , because it's not the best one I've come across. I believe for us to expand our work to other communities
(such as reservations, younger women, schools, colleges, etc.), computers/ technology is our surefire way to reach these certain populations. Now it's as simple as looking at your phone to look something up. For the women we work with, having access to us with a QUICK click of a mouse or button is something we need, especially in emergency situations most of them are in. Our job is to help these women and children in emergency situations and be quick and proactive, and I think a better website would help with this process.

2014-03-06 19:32:06 UTC
Tasha Belshan

All of the hard work that Women of Nations does it is not justified by our website. It is outdated and hard to maneuver. It could be made much more efficient for victims of domestic violence and the community to figure out immediately what services we can offer them, our contact information, and how to safety plan, also what volunteers, staff, or donations we are looking for among many other possibilities! Please help us as Women of Nations win this challenge to benefit victims of domestic violence and the community.

2014-03-07 18:54:26 UTC
Tara Durheim

Women of Nations is a wonderful non-profit and super deserving of a new website. Have you seen it? It's dated and difficult to navigate. This not only hurts their ability to get the word out on what they do, but also potentially dangerous for women who are in abusive relationships in need of helpful information, fast. Please help them!

2014-03-07 20:42:40 UTC
Jesse V.

Women of Nations serves a critical role in our society for supporting victims of domestic violence, and they are especially critical as a place for supporting Native women to find and access safety and support. However, with the current website, this organization lacks ease of readability and visual appeal that may cause women who are already hesitant to seek help to question the credibility or accessibility of this organization. This first impression may prevent women from being able to visually find the information they need easily and/or may make them wonder if a place with such out-of-date technology is equally out-of-touch with their needs.

Of course, WON is a very credible and current organization that can and does help women in need, but their website seems to impede rather than support their mission and accessibility. Please help them so they can focus on their actual work of saving and improving lives rather than fighting the issues and inefficiencies of an outdated site.

2014-03-08 18:34:48 UTC
JJessica S

Women of Nations is a very important non-profit that serves hundreds of women in the twin cities area. Their staff are hard working and passionate. Their website is of poor quality and they do not have the funds (non profit, hello!) to fix it. Please help WON continue and advance their very important work by giving them another tool to do so-- a website that is user friendly and easy to update and navigate.

2014-03-10 15:51:32 UTC
Melinda B.

A website is an incredible tool to communicate our information to a nation-wide audience. Like all other methods of mass communication, once you've made your initial investment and have your site up and running, the bigger job still lies ahead to keep it updated and maintained. A primary goal of our website is to keep women coming back to your site again and having an easy time doing so. After all, we want long-term relationships with your customers. The best way to encourage these is to give them valuable, up-to-date website.

2014-03-13 16:22:30 UTC
K.M. Leehan

Women of Nations serves a very specific and vital need in the community. The success of an organization like this is dependent on effectively they can communicate their mission and message to the community-at-large. In the age of the internet, that means having a navigable, appealing and most of all, USEFUL website. As it stands, WoN's website is...well, not great. It's awkward, and finding information is counter-intuitive. An opportunity like this- for a serious re-design and a major improvement in their online profile (especially without the already overworked staff having to learn to code and doing it in their off time) would be of immeasurable benefit.

An overhaul would do 2 things: Allow the women and children served by WoN - and future clients- easier and faster access to a community that can save their lives. Sometimes the barrier to reaching out for help is as simple as frustration- you can;t easily find someone to talk to to, someone to turn to or someone to help you out of a dire situation.

The second great thing this would do is make it easier for supporters to see what WoN is up to. This generally translates directly into more donations and wider support for an organization. As they stand, the WoN program assists over 1000 women in children- if they can reach that much farther and communicate their mission that much wider, how many more might they save?

2014-03-13 16:22:47 UTC
Jessica S.

Women of Nations fills a critical need in serving women who may otherwise not receive valuable life-saving support. A fresh new website that clearly depicts their mission of vision would mean increased internet traffic, improved customer support, and increased funder support. Let's help women be all they can be because of support from Women of Nations!

2014-03-13 17:08:58 UTC
Jamie Sands

People use the internet for a lot of silly reasons. It's also being used to change lives and save lives. Women of Nations has been using the internet to assist thousands of women and children living in crisis. A newer, easier to navigate website would help them do even more for their clients!

2014-03-13 20:12:11 UTC

An organization that is focussed on the safety of families in dangerous domestic situations needs to be easily navigated. Having looked at this website I can see there is very little information provided, it looks incredibly antiquated, and the key safety information is not as easily found as it needs to be. Those who work for Women of Nations are dedicated to improving the lives of these women and their families, and improving their website is crucial to their success. Please help them do their best work!

2014-03-13 22:07:19 UTC
Andrew W.

The wonderfully caring and professional staff of WON do a great job providing an essential service to a community in need. Unfortunately their website doesn't mirror the asthetic and sophistication of the staff. Please help the Women of Nations update their antiquated website.

2014-03-14 00:21:00 UTC
Victoria Piehowski

First Nation women have suffered gender based violence at incomprehensibly high rates, and the value of providing culturally relevant services for this group is incalculable. Women of Nations services are open to all women and children experiencing domestic violence; they provided safe haven to over 1,000 people last year alone. A domestic violence agency must have a safe escape button on their website, period. Additionally, the site must be improved so that survivors can access relevant information as quickly as clearly as possible. Time and talent dedicated to this organization's website will have an immediate and real impact on the community.

2014-03-21 04:34:43 UTC

I agree that the Women of Nations website is in dire need of a makeover. This website does no justice for the organization. Wonderful and major changes have been going on at Women of Nations, so we need a website to match!!!! Pick Women of Nations! Do it for the all the women and children who are victims of domestic violence!

Our Mission

Women of Nations provides supportive services including crisis intervention, advocacy, and shelter for Native American and other battered women. We also educate the public on domestic violence issues.