Design Story: Diabetes Education Nonprofit Website Puts Supportive Systems to Work

by | Sep 7, 2016 | Case Study, Inspiration

Care Matters, Inc. is a nonprofit that provides free education to people affected by diabetes worldwide via their nonprofit website.

The founder, Dr. Cori Cooper, had a dream to start this nonprofit since she was a little girl—and she needed a website that matched her desire to teach diabetes prevention education online and reach a geographically diverse audience.


Brand Strategy

We started with thorough research and discovery where I got to know more about Dr. Cori’s vision for Care Matters, Inc.

I love working with nonprofit organization because I get to speak to different audiences—in this case program participants, staff, board members, and donors—and although most folks think these two target audiences are completely different, they sometimes aren’t. In this case it’s because people who typically choose to align themselves to a cause do so because they were impacted by it at one point in their life.

Based on our initial brand strategy research, I created a guiding document that distilled our findings and a mood board to set the tone for the brand strategy and nonprofit website design project.

Care Matters | Nonprofit website design and brand strategy moodboard by Jamie Leigh
The next step in brand strategy is to get clear on the nonprofit’s goals, mission, vision, brand archetypes, values, audience profiles, and brand voice.

All of this brand strategy and research support a clear foundation where I build brand assets such as a colour palette, logo marks, typography, patterns, and more that align with their core values.

Brand strategy is a very collaborative process where I worked with Dr. Cori over a series of workshops via Zoom.

Care Matters | Brand values board by Jamie Leigh
Once we finalized Care Matters, Inc.’s brand strategy and assets, I created a Brand Guidelines document that includes all of the work we have done up to this point.

This document helps everyone who represents and/or works with the nonprofit to understand the brand strategy and how to get the best out of the brand’s assets by clearly outlining the pillars, audience, values, voice, logos, fonts and more. It helps to inform all future design decisions!

The Results

The resulting brand look and feel is elegant, abundant, and educational while still being accessible. It was important that the look and feel would support a motivating, nurturing, and encouraging environment without being pushy, preachy, overwhelming, or boring. Care Matters, Inc serves highly intelligent, successful folks who have been told all their lives that they must deprive themselves of pleasure. We were here to tell them that they can THRIVE and learn to enjoy life while protecting themselves from diabetes.

“There is no one else I trust with my website and I loved watching the design unfold. It is beautiful and unmatched among virtual diabetes prevention programs. Jamie’s work far exceeded my expectations; she goes above and beyond for me and my businesses.”

 Dr. Cori Cooper, Founder and Executive Director, Care Matters Inc.

Care Matters | Non-profit brand guidelines book by Jamie Leigh

Website Design

Then we put the new brand strategy and visual identity to work as we hashed out the website specifics, sitemap, and website design mockups.

Dr. Cori and I discussed the comprehensive layouts and how they would meet her brand strategy goals; from there I went to work developing her website.

We also had some specific guidelines to follow in reporting to the CDC that I took into consideration when designing and developing the site. Care Matters, Inc. pre-diabetes education program is in partnership with the CDC, so they have strict guidelines for who can be eligible for the program, what the program content is, how long the program must be, and how Care Matters Inc reports back to them.

Care Matters | Non-profit website design by Jamie Leigh

Supportive website systems development

It was a super interesting challenge to solve! I had to create the solution based on very, very specific requirements. I did extensive research to find out the best membership, community, and data collection plugins.

I created a slick system that fully automates the customer journey and is in compliance with the CDC reporting requirements:

  1. Potential program participant visits website, is curious and/or worried about diabetes, then finds more information
  2. They take a quiz to find out if they’re eligible for the program
  3. Quiz “score” lets them know if they are eligible and prompts them to either register or share and/or donate based on their quiz score
  4. An automated email reminder invites them to register for the free program or share on social media if they haven’t already.
  5. They register and receive immediate access to the members’ only area with instructions, community forums, and program content (videos and PDFs).
  6. Each unit is dripped out once per week to complete the year-long program.
  7. Care Matters Inc meets CDC data collection and reporting requirements through a weekly “check-in” that participants must complete before they are able to move on to the next module.
  8. All of this content is then easily exportable into an excel spreadsheet in the exact format that the CDC requires, meaning their administrator only has to download, save, and upload it to the CDC.

The program content is simple enough that clients can manage it on their own, and program retention and completion is encouraged through the many interactive elements of the site.

“I couldn’t have completed this project without Jamie. When I was overwhelmed with the magnitude of it she supported me to get to the finish line.”

– Dr. Cori Cooper, Founder and Executive Director, Care Matters Inc.

Care Matters | Nonprofit Learning Management Systems Design and Development by Jamie Leigh

In addition to a custom WordPress website, I also created:

  • Brand strategy
  • Visual brand identity including 25-page brand identity book
  • Digital Strategy development
  • Program eligibility quiz
  • Membership website
  • Private social network
  • Editable user profiles
  • Private members forum
  • Data collection and submission system
  • Online donation system
  • Integration of all of the above into a MailChimp list segmented for marketing, program, donation, and board of director’s interest groups
Dr. Cori Cooper testimonial for Jamie Leigh nonprofit website design

“Jamie Leigh helped me to strategize in addition to branding and developing the website. Jamie built much more than just a website; she really supported the development and growth of our organization. I value her immensely!”

Dr. Cori Cooper, Founder and Executive Director, Care Matters Inc

Is your organization wearing a one-size-fits-all website that needs a more custom approach?

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