Boys & Girls Club of the Mountain Empire Website

One nonprofit’s journey to a website.

Established in 1973, the Boys & Girls Club of the Mountain Empire’s mission is to “enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.” Like many nonprofit organizations, the staff, as well as the board of directors, of the Boys & Girls Club of the Mountain Empire (BGCME) found themselves wearing many hats. To lighten their load, they reached out to Hillhouse Creative for assistance with their marketing efforts and website.

Exploring Content Management Systems

Normally, we recommend WordPress to all our partners, but unfortunately BGCME’s opinion of the platform had soured based on a past experience with a previous developer where they weren’t given enough control of the backend of their site.

As a result, the organization initially chose Odoo as their preferred content management system. BGCME was hopeful it would address their website needs and Odoo’s drag-and-drop page building functionality would make it easy for staff to update and maintain the site. During the development process, however, it became obvious that Odoo’s all-in-one hosting and development package could not provide the same flexibility as WordPress.

  • Design and page layout was is restricted due to lack of options
  • Costs increase if you require anything beyond the functionality of base product 
  • The inability to “pick up and go”—moving your site to another content management system or host means starting back at square one

On top of the maintenance and customization limitations, a temporary page created in Odoo while the larger site was being developed, was prompting security errors and neglecting to redirect users from BGCME’s old URL. This was causing confusion, frustration, and lost traffic.


Website vs. Facebook

After confronting the pitfalls of the Odoo platform, but still feeling the burn of their past experiences with WordPress, the organization looked to Facebook as a potential solution for maintaining their online presence. BGCME knew their staff was already familiar with Facebook and the organization had established internal procedures with team members to keep the platform updated. They believed this approach would be more economical—it would prevent BGCME from having to outsource web edits and avoid the need for staff to require special skills or training.

BGCME turned to Hillhouse for guidance, we shared our concerns about relying solely on a Facebook page, and explained a website would allow BGCME to:

  • Establish credibility
  • Create a hub for all communication and marketing efforts
  • Gain control of their brand content—now, as well as in the future
  • Reach potential members, donors, and volunteers who are not on Facebook
  • Take advantage of Google’s Ad Grant for nonprofits—a component of our recommended marketing efforts 

Great Futures Start with a Solid Foundation

Once we made them comfortable that a website was the right choice, BGCME entrusted us to build a site for them with WordPress. We used content and graphic elements from the original Odoo website to create a simple, one-page site. Much like the nonprofit’s well-known tagline, “Great Futures Start Here,” their new site will give the organization the foundation they need to establish a trusted online presence. Now BGCME can share their website with existing and potential members, donors, and volunteers—making it easier than ever to take meaningful action to further the organization’s mission.

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