A blog by the Brick Factory The Brick Factory

Join our team: Junior Strategist position

We’re Brick Factory and we build websites:

The Brick Factory plans and executes world-class digital campaigns for non-profits, trade associations, advocacy groups and brands. We understand that results matter, and use cutting edge technology to help our clients reach their goals.

We believe in simple solutions, setting clear goals, and providing great service to our clients. We believe a good website or campaign is never done and the launch of a website is the beginning, not the end.

Why You Should Work for Us:

  • You’re at the core of a small team – you’ll have plenty of opportunity to take on responsibility.
  • You’ll be constantly challenged and will learn something new every day. Trust us – you won’t be bored.
  • You get to develop great relationships with your clients where they value your advice and experience.
  • You get to work for some great causes: from saving tigers to ending Alzheimer’s to empowering global youth.
  • We’re fun to be around.

(more…)

donate

Six non-profit websites with effective calls to donate

On Giving Tuesday a few months back I got seventeen emails from eleven different organizations asking me to donate to their cause online.  These are great organizations I believe in and have relationships with.  I would have liked to give to each and every one.  But, like most Americans not named Mark Zuckerberg, I have a finite amount I can afford to donate to charity each year.  Deciding who to give money to is sort of like asking a parent to choose which child they love the most.

My glut of emails on Giving Tuesday is a great indication of how competitive online fundraising has gotten for charities.  Donors have tons of great choices.  Charities have to fight for each and every dollar they raise online.  To succeed in this sort of ulta competitive landscape, non-profits must have the small details right.

One detail that can make a giant difference is are the calls to donate on non-profit websites. Tyically very little thought is given as to how to get visitors into the donation funnel as quickly as possible once they are on a non-profit website.  Amazon has spent countless hours making their online purchasing process as simple as possible.  The Obama campaign was famous for using data to optimize its donation form.  This kind of optimization is foreign to most charities.  Most throw a big red donate button into their site header and expect the money to flow in.

Here are six non-profits that have clearly spent time optimizing their websites in an effort to maximize online donations.

(1) More than a Costume

More than a Costume is a micro-site produced by Doctors of the World during last year’s Ebola outbreak in Africa.  The site asks for visitors to donate money to help equip volunteer doctors with a real Ebola suite.  Very good example of how to show how money will be spent to personalize the donation.

morethanacostume

 

(2) charity:water

charity: water’s online fundraising efforts are consistently innovative and effective.  During the 2015 giving season, their homepage asks donors to make a donation in honor of the people you care about.  The ask was compelling and the donation process was dead simple.

charity-water

 

(3) Greenpeace

In addition to the ubiquitous big Donate button, Greenpeace includes a quick donate tool in its template that allows visitor to enter an amount and frequency.  This tool, shown in the upper left of the screenshot below, is accessible on every page of its website.

greenpeace

(4) American Cancer Society

If you visited the American Cancer Society website in December, you would see the pop up below urging you to give before the end of the year.  The counter is clever and the photo of Frankie is adorable.  It is also a nice touch to allow use to click a button to not see the pop up on future visits.

american-cancer-society

(5) Food for the Poor

The Food for the Poor homepage includes a really compelling call to give $3.65 per month to feed Maria, a seven year old from El Salvador.  If you refresh the page you will see photos of different children in the space.  The site also include a quick donate feature in its site template.

fooforpoor2

(6) Invisible Children

The Invisible Children website features a well designed donation button that is fixed to the right side of the page.  This means the call to donate is a constant presence as  you navigate the website.

invisiblechildren

Attack of the Clones: 2016 Candidates “Borrow” Obama’s Donation Page Design

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then the digital team that worked on the 2012 Obama campaign must be feeling downright exalted. 

After a bunch of experimentation and testing, the 2012 Obama campaign ended up with a donation page layout that included a large, inspiring quote of the candidate and a stepped donation process that made it dead simple to give (you can see an updated version here).  Clearly the design worked, as the campaign raised more money than any other campaign in history.

I think it is safe to say that most of the 2016 candidates had a look at the Obama campaign’s donate page and decided to follow a similar template.  Check out the graphic below.

copycats

Our 2015 Holiday Card

holiday_card_final

Twenty Great 404 Error Pages

Human being are fallible creatures, so when surfing the web it is inevitable that they will occasionally mistype a URL or try to access a page that no longer exists.  When this happens visitors hit a site’s 404 error page which tells users and search engines that the page they are looking for can’t be found.

On most sites the 404 page is a throw away.  It is the last thing that web developers put together and not a lot of thought is put into it.  This 404 page from the Washington Post is an example of the sort of soulless 404 page you typically run into.

However some sites go the extra mile and use their 404 pages as an opportunity to connect with visitors by highlighting key content and/or showing some personality.  Here are twenty sites, presented in no particular order, that have taken the time to put together outstanding 404 pages.

(1) Hillary Clinton

On her Presidential campaign website Hillary Clinton uses her 404 pages to show her playful side.

 

hillary-clinton-404

(more…)