Web Design: Their Opportunity (theiropportunity.com)

Their Opportunity is the creation of Randy Gill. At a professional development retreat over four years ago, Randy was challenged by a presenter to do “more”. After self-reflection and consultation with individuals who are part of Randy’s core influencers, he identified just what that “more” is. Tapping into his roots of strong community and an avid sports (hockey…one time Junior player and now OMHA Referee and High School hockey coach) enthusiast, Randy realized that there are significant barriers for children to enter into sporting activities. He also realized that he needed to do more than just provide access to resources for kids – he wanted to build stronger communities. As a result, recipients of Their Opportunity funds are required to “pay-it-forward” through community service and engagement. The pay-it-forward model builds on the team-work skills that the children gain in their sporting activities.

Being the sole web designer for version 2 under the direction of President & CEO Randy Gill Matthew was in-charged of the entire design. Going with the Content Management System WordPress we were able to find a theme that fit the design of this growing charity. This version was quite small and included a pdf form for help putting their kid into a sport. Included a promotional video (by Ron Prestige)  and info about the Charity.

As the charity grew a team was put together to build version 3 of our website (see right). Working with side a Marketing and Graphic Design expert as well as a second in command to the President & CEO Randy Gill. Still using WordPress for our backend and Content Management System and a new theme we were able to expand the site further as rapid growth his Their Opportunity. This site consisted of an expanded menu, a page for each of the fundraising events and campaigns. We removed the pdf application and inserted forms so they could apply for funds, and turn in their give-back report. We listed our major supporters, Added a media section for all of our Interviews, Newspaper Articles and TV Interviews. We added stories about some of the kids that got into sport and their give-back stories. We expanded our About section and added a contact form link for each e-mail listed in the contact section. During this me the Charity moved to a new location and we added a new section for the “Their Opportunity Charity Hub” Then we added the links to our social media and photos we decided to host on Facebook. This version of the site ran from 2012-2016 and in-between was moved to a new host that in the end could not meet all of our needs.

For version 4 of our site, their was a change in the team and we welcomed a new expert in Marketing and Graphic Design and Randy’s 2nd in command left the Charity Sticking to the tried and true WordPress content management system a totally new site and the host was setup. We took the existing site and as a team sat down and stripped the site to what we thought we could move over to version 4. Working alongside our new teammate we were able to find the perfect theme. Working to totally rebuild the entire site we first went with demo/temp location to make sure everything was in order. The site integrated with our cloud-based client management system for the application for funding once sent would automatically end up in our database. We included better and more secure forms. All the events had their own mini-site at eventname.theiropportunity.ca (using the same theme/look with the event information) and our major campaign Dimes 4 Time was given its own domain. We also split “The Charity Hub” and it too got its own domain name.  At the bottom of the site (every page and post), their is our contact information, a small about paragraph and embedded Twitter. We setup a copy of our Facebook photos on our own host/server and embedded all YouTube videos. On the top, we acknowledged our promenade sponsors. Scaled back the menu adding Events and Campaigns together as one drop down. This version was done in 2016 and is our current design.

Going from Sole website designer to a team to changes in the team has taught me a lot about the value of “two heads are better then one” I have learned a lot from each current and former members of the website team and value the time spent in learning what had to be done to make the site work for The Charity to help in #connectingcommunities