The definition for omnificent means unlimited in creative power. The urban definition for omnificent means having unlimited awesomeness, being all-awesome. At Ocoos, a premium website company offering innovative options, both apply. Here’s why you should consider Ocoos for your church or non-profit website.
By: John Sotomayor, Photos by Conan Segrest
The mission to establish a community foundation that would serve as the centralized portal for philanthropic donation and a unified voice for all local non-profit entities was a bold one – so the website had to be the very best. The Community Foundation of Ocala Marion County found that website provider in Ocoos, right under their noses.
“We were involved with Ocoos from the very beginning, when they were one of the first clients in the Power Plant Business Incubator,” said Barbara Fitos, Executive Director, Community Foundation for Ocala/Marion County. Frank Hennessey, a retired hedge fund manager and founder of the Community Foundation, was very involved with the Ocala/Marion County Chamber of Commerce at that time, which managed the Power Plant, so Hennessey’s experience was called upon to facilitate the orchestration of the business incubator concept. He met Dr. Razdan, founder of Ocoos, through that affiliation.
“We discussed the dynamics of what they were doing, and we were fascinated by the whole approach,” said Fitos. “As they evolved the platform, Dr. Razdan said they were going to add a non-profit component, and asked if they would be interested to help him pilot that.”
The Community Foundation had a wonderful initial website design but as a start up, was open to improvement. The Ocoos non-profit model fit extremely well with the client profile they planned to attract.
“We started to explore that possibility and the more we talked, the more Frank [Hennessey] and I realized this was an absolute best fit for us,” said Fitos. “The idea of being able to create a viable working website that had all of the features that we would need in terms of the capability of highlighting and showcasing all of our products and service lines; being able to have the blog features, the back end features that are so secure – more so for our purposes than an open source Word Press product – caught our attention.”
In today’s tech-reliant society, every organization needs an efficient, all-purpose website, including churches and non-profits. A church or non-profit’s website is frequently the first place potential or current donors discover the organization’s ministry or service.
There are seven major reasons why your church or non-profit would benefit from an Ocoos website.
You are well versed in your church’s or non-profit’s mission, but the public may not be. “A website allows people to learn about your cause, and hopefully, be moved to donate,” said Razdan. “This means you need an online platform that spreads your message with well-written, SEO-friendly text, and compelling photos and images that hold the attention of folks casually surfing the web.”
“To be able to tell the non-profit story on a business platform – was intriguing,” said Fitos. “In terms of telling the story of who we are, what we do, how clients can interact with us and how existing donors can interact with us … We are able to connect the people to the right parties, and that is all because of the ease of access.”
[Subhed] Donor Management
Collecting the contact information of donors is a top priority for non-profits. “A robust website allows you to collect valuable contact details from donors, such as names, phone numbers, and email addresses,” said Razdan. “Your donor management system allows you to easily access this information, sending targeted emails to donors, engaging them, building relationships, and ideally, growing donations.”
Every non-profit manager knows special events and galas are essential to raising money. “The hours of work that go into planning such an event could be for naught if your event isn’t properly marketed to attract guests,” said Razdan. “Your website can help you market non-profit events through email campaigns, or creating special pages on the website to promote the function.”
The Florida Horse Park website created by Ocoos is an excellent example of event marketing. “They usually have a new event every week, and they use our calendar as well as the home page to advertise those events and draw people in,” said Zack Ackerman, senior Front End Developer.
Social Media Management
Staying relevant in the increasingly competitive world of non-profits is challenging. “The successful non-profits keep themselves engaged in conversation with their counterparts, donors, and the public through social media channels like Facebook and Twitter,” said Razdan. “An online platform can help you manage your social media channels, helping you stay in close contact with the people who matter.”
“The blog piece was amazing, everything connects automatically,” said Fitos. “If I make a blog post, it automatically goes to our Twitter account, so we are making those inroads needed on social media to reach new people who follow us on our Twitter feed.”
If the church or non-profit does not utilize social media, Ocoos will set up the sites they wish to use. Ocoos does not create the content, but will manage the ads for the church or non-profit, and post content.
Accept Online (and Mobile) Donations
Ultimately, non-profits depend upon donations for survival. A website that allows you to accept donations online, making it easy for donors to offer their financial support, presents your non-profit an edge.
The Accelerate Ocala First Step Fund, an entrepreneur loan fund offered through the Community Foundation, seeks donations from the general community for those efforts. The program is facilitated by use of the website online donation system.
Youth Philanthropy in Action, is another wonderful Community Foundation grant program for middle school students. Non-profits with thermometer campaigns track goals on the Community Foundation website. Ocoos provides the platform that can manage this process so effectively and seamlessly for the Community Foundation by imbedding Flip Cause – the Paypal for nonprofits – through iframe.
“These days, an increasing number of people access the internet from mobile devices like smartphones or tablets,” said Razdan. “This means your website should be optimized for mobile, and accepts donations via mobile devices, as well.”
Rather than struggle using a DIY website builder or spend your budget hiring a web developer to create your site, you have the option to use an online platform builder designed especially for the non-profit sector, like Ocoos Websites for Non-Profits.
Ocoos offers a full-service concierge who works directly with your non-profit to build a site that meets your needs and goals — and integrates all of the features we’ve discussed. Ocoos also offers a 24-hour, US-based support network, should you have questions or issues you need immediately handled.
“Having these back-end tools makes it so the client does not require Word Press wordplay then go to third party hosting to get widgets to have different check out options,” said Ackerman. “We have them as part of the system and integrated into the back end.”
Running your church or non-profit means you are busy handling your ministry, and do not have time to concern yourself with tech support. No need, as Ocoos handles all of your tech support for you. Plus, Ocoos offers adaptability in their services. If you can come up with it, they can provide it.
“Concierge Service with Ocoos is a Godsend for someone like me who is somewhat technologically challenged,” said Fitos. “If I get stuck or face a complex situation, the concierge service responds quickly and efficiently; with immediate feedback and results.”
Ultimately, what Ocoos wants to do is build a network community of churches and non-profits, similar to Facebook. Once they have collected enough, Ocoos can interconnect them and build that network.
“The Non-Profit Business Council is now affiliated with the Community Foundation, so we are now able to link all of them to our Non-Profit Resource Page through Ocoos,” said Fitos. “We were thus able to expand that network.”
SEEK (Search, Educate, Empower, Knowledge) is the Community Foundation’s latest service to non-profits. “Our attempt with SEEK is to inform the Ocala/Marion County community about the non-profit resources and the work being done in the non-profit community,” said Fitos. The intent by the Non-Profit Business Council was to effectively demonstrate the viability of the nonprofit community as an economic driver.
If a donor seeks a cause to support, the Community Foundation can showcase the array of non-profits on their website, which Ocoos has devised as a win/win, by being able to tell the story, and make those connections between non-profits and donors.
“Because they are an umbrella, they are able to advertise all the people they work with, and each one can have its own page,” said Ackerman. Each non-profit is listed on the Community Foundation website in a concise, user-friendly format, with links to their individual pages.
The fact that you have a very sophisticated and secure system at a very reasonable cost that provides this interconnected network, that is locally owned and locally supported, makes the difference.
Problems with Current Solutions
• Variable quality, customer service, and competence
• Rare developer knows design, eComm, security, servers
• High costs and risk of developer going out of business
Do It Yourself (DIY) Tools:
• DIY is hard. Most non-profits are not experts in design: It’s not easy to optimize for user behavior
• eCommerce: Connecting to merchant accounts
• Server Scaling: Do you know how to backup your site?
• Security: Example, the latest Russian hacking incident.
• DIY is not free. Costs include: Your time (bank on 7-10 hours minimum)
Other Satisfied Clients
Ocoos has many other local church and non-profit clients, utilizing various services.
Ascension Lutheran Church (Ocala): They wanted a website for awareness, along with a weekly Pastor’s sermon blog. Ocoos also created their logo. Graphic design is an additional service.
Church of God (Ocala): They desired live-streaming of their weekly church service, provided by Ocoos through an i-frame to imbed U-Stream.
Tone Up for Tune-Ups (Southfield, MI, near Detroit): Tone Up for Tune-Ups is a non-profit that organizes marathons to raise money for people who need work done on their cars and cannot afford it. The non-profit organizes the marathons and people donate. The website is set up for marathon registration and an option to donate without running. There is also a sponsorship page. Of all the non-profit clients, they use the Ocoos system to the fullest, due to use of the registration feature.
Ocoos in a Nutshell
We Build Your Website and Help Manage Operations
• Attractive website optimized for mobile platforms and search (SEO).
• Easy ability to manage donors, donations, and receipts.
• No need to manage hosting, domains, browsers, and devices.
• Social media management.
• Concierge set-up with direct control by customer.
• Premium service at an affordable cost.
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