Minnesota Public Interest Research Group (MPIRG)
MPIRG is a student-directed nonprofit that engages college students and community members to be active citizens by teaching them the necessary skills to get involved in the democratic process. All of MPIRG's issues are chosen by our student and community members at our annual Issues and Actions Conference. MPIRG staff then work with the students to form campaigns around these issues to make change on their campuses, in their cities, and across the State of Minnesota.
What new functionality we are looking for
We want a website that will be a resource for our students and community members to connect and engage with our organization. With a new website, we can strengthen our ability to organize around our current issues. In order to accomplish these goals, we have 4 main points of emphasis that we would like wrapped in an eye-pleasing package.
- A new website that allows us to speak as an singular organization through blog posts, news stories, press releases and social media integration.
- We need a content management system with a low learning curve.
- Our members need to easily navigate our content so we can keep them up to date on the latest developments.
*Increased connection with our issues and avenues for action.*
- A new website will need to show how community members and students can take action and stand with us on current issues. This may include integration with facebook events, online donation, petitions, form letters, social media sharing, etc.
- Online donations should include the option for crediting specific organizers.
*A better way of displaying information on the front-page. We need to maintain a strong top-line message while also showing the flurry of activity.*
- The site will have to somehow reconcile top-line messages being emphasized while also showing the feeds of activity from the campuses.
- Users need to be able to see both the latest major developments and the rallies, calls to action and events that are the incremental steps toward victories.
*Better way of displaying our past victories to highlight what we have stood for over the past 4+ decades.*
- Our current members and potential members need to see the incredible victories weâ€™ve had in the past.
- A new website needs to show how support from the community leads to positive change.
How the new functionality will help
Founded in 1971, we at MPIRG are proud of our grassroots heritage. We've influenced incredible change through the power of community organization. But we know that the definition of grassroots is changing as well. In the last few years, some of the most important issues in our stateâ€™s history have been greatly influenced by online organization. MPIRG has been around since 1971, but that doesnâ€™t mean we need to rely solely on the same tactics we used 40 years ago. Nor can we continue to afford to. As a student-directed nonprofit, we are propelled by youthful energy and we need a portal for the state to be inspired by young activists.
With a new website, MPIRG could more effectively organize and empower the community behind the issues we work on. We could more easily spread important news, rally public support and mobilize donors. Simply put, we could do more and do it more efficiently. Even though we know having face-to-face conversations will always be the best way to inspire individuals, we also need the ability to speak with one voice.
For most people in the community, they hear from MPIRG once a year at their door or by phone. Although a few minutes a year may not seem like much, we have a huge opportunity to build long-lasting relationships with community donors, but only if they know their donation is worthwhile. People need to see a return on their investment and in 2014, most people stay connected online. But when they see our website, they see a relic of several years ago that doesnâ€™t demonstrate our effectiveness. Without seeing how their support has helped fuel our many victories, they wonâ€™t see the value in continuing to support us. The next time weâ€™re at their door, they may choose not to get involved at all. Support from the community has allowed us to achieve so much, there is absolutely no reason we should be this quiet about it.
When someone asks, â€œDo you have a website?â€ we shouldnâ€™t have to be embarrassed for them to see it. It should be a way for people to connect and join us in our mission. It should be a way to proudly show them what weâ€™ve accomplished and what we can continue to do together. Getting the community behind us has been our strength since 1971, an improved web presence is the tool we need to continue that tradition.
How our organization will use the technology
Who will use the technology
65 Messages from Supporters