The Chill Foundation, the non-profit foundation started by Burton Snowboards’ founders Jake and Donna Carpenter, is an amazing organization. They have locations all over the country and engage at-risk youth in leadership activities through boardsports, including snowboarding, skateboarding, stand-up paddle-boarding and surfing.
Ages ago, I worked for the City of Portland, and one of my projects was public relations and promotion of the city’s skatepark project (which Portland has, sadly, let go by the wayside). This was one of the most gratifying projects I worked on during my time in the public sector, so it was awesome getting back to a subject I’d been passionate about so long ago. (Fun fact: my last day on the job at the City, then Mayor Tom Potter invited me to join him in cutting the ribbon for a new skatepark and I may have cried a little at that generosity.)
Chill had a nice WordPress based website but it didn’t have the storytelling vibe that they needed. It wasn’t edgy or boundary-pushing. It worked, it looked nice, but it didn’t match their work. My team and I were excited to re-envision what Chill.org could be, complete with a fab hero video (created by Vitae Sessions), vibrant colors, some edgy-feeling iconography, an interactive map and an awesome infographic created by my frequent graphic design collaborator, Ashli Hughes of Cascade Creative PDX.
This was a big project, with lots of what I call “mini-sites” highlighting each location. Wrangling this breadth of content can be a real challenge but we still managed to tighten up the site substantially.
Custom iconography representing the surfaces upon which Chill’s programs operate.
Non-profit websites are actually the most challenging sites I work on. They tend to involve more people and more content wrangling that websites for small businesses or stores. I actually love the unique process of creating non-profit websites, as it requires teasing out not only the client’s goals, but hearing the needs of multiple stakeholders–donors, staff, volunteers, participants–and ensuring that the website strikes the right balance with regard to all those audiences. It’s a tricky endeavor, but a fun one. (I’ll be starting a blog series on tips for non-profit websites in 2017–be sure to subscribe to the blog if you are interested in this subject or sign up for my general mailing list for even more content.)