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SOS Children's Villages Canada

SOS Children's Villages Canada

The international organization is comprised of 177 national associations committed to applying the federation’s statutes, standards, and financial and administrative practices. Each national association collects donations through its own fundraising initiatives. For the Canadian association, their main objective has been to increase their visibility and generate more donations from the Canadian public. Working collaboratively, the OPIN and Canadian SOS teams brainstormed strategies to better utilize their website with the goal of generating more income for the children’s villages. After establishing a clear vision and defining a number of deliverables needed to increase visibility, the association trusted OPIN to make it happen.

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How we did it

The Challenge

SOS Children’s Village Canada had worked with OPIN in the past, building its nationally focused Drupal website. The organization understood the importance of updating and upgrading its technology to expand its reach and audience. They also knew that, alongside their television spots and work with celebrity spokespeople, their website was key to engaging their donors.

In the few years since the initial engagement, SOS Canada had been experiencing spikes in traffic following natural and manmade disasters. They recognized that they needed a better way to engage site users that wanted to help out and, to influence the relationship.

The association believed that there was more they could do to leverage technology, expand their online visibility and improve the user experience to increase donations. They knew that online technologies and methods of engagement were constantly moving ahead and that they needed to use many different techniques to keep up with the changes.

Their challenge was to define and implement a number of strategic projects, to clear some of their technology roadblocks to success and, ultimately to increase revenue.

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The Solution

To increase user and donation numbers, the organization outlined key strategic projects. They included improving directed fundraising initiatives through the better use of technology and design, providing a completely responsive website with shared information and, utilizing targeted SEO strategies.

Highlighting initiatives and engaging users on the homepage as disasters occurred was a business priority. However, the association was unable to post their videos and their homepage was unable to quickly respond to the changes it needed. An enhanced landing page was created to support campaigns during emergency relief situations and site administrator-friendly video capabilities were added.

Inner pages used tables to display areas of information. To improve the table content via data sharing between country and village pages, two new content types were configured. With the data maintained in Excel, an importer was built to map the data and import it into the specific Drupal content type, allowing it to be displayed as needed, and without any additional work required from the site administrator. The tables themselves were reconfigured for hard-to-adjust information and to work effortlessly on mobile devices. 

Following a manmade or natural disaster, search engine queries for “donate children” and the event’s location significantly increased. By building additional SEO terms and functionality, searches are better captured, higher ranked and, visitors are directly channelled to the appropriate pages that they are seeking.

Image of SOS new website displayed on Apple desktop screen.


Not only because the website is now more visually appealing, but because it is also easier to navigate, resulting in greater engagement and more donations.

Dan Loftus

Director of Integrated Marketing

The Results

The work with SOS Children’s Village Canada has resulted in numerous successes. From a business point-of-view, a tangible ROI has been realized. There has been an increased spike in traffic before holidays, the prime donation time, and the general numbers are up.

The creative design won a silver medal at the International Creative Summit for the best non-profit website in 2014, beating out 5,000 competitors across 24 countries.

Our work with the association continues as we deploy smaller scale enhancements to the site as short-term projects. We are also providing ongoing backend Drupal support, handling module and security updates, as we migrate the website to Acquia Cloud Hosting to best handle future technical updates, the client’s multiple domains, and the numerous redirects.

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