The Mountaineers is a community built around passion for the outdoors. For more than 100 years they have been teaching skills, sharing adventures, conserving land, and helping people explore and enjoy the lands and waters of the U.S. Pacific Northwest. Their website is the critical link between the outdoor activities they offer and their thousands of members and volunteers.
An outdated website and a convoluted, ad hoc process.
The Mountaineers' 2003 website was way past its prime and failing to meet the needs of a growing community; a major redesign project was necessary. The new website had to be easy for volunteers and members to use, and had to simplify and improve their business processes. That meant leaving a lot of the old tools and processes behind and designing new ways of doing things. They kicked the tires on lots of systems, and in the end decided that Plone integrated with Salesforce.com was the perfect combination.
A beautiful, modern, and engaging website with easy to find content, user friendly e-commerce, and robust back office reports.
Plone+Salesforce is a great combination for non-profits because of the extensive integration possibilities and deep Salesforce license discounts. For The Mountaineers, it meant that their oceans of data—about members, courses, activities, rosters, routes and places, committees, etc.—could be seamlessly synchronized between these two best-of-breed systems. Member signups, donations, address changes, etc. on the Plone site all get pushed to Salesforce where staff can use extensive and customizable reporting features. Staff can also edit data in Salesforce, and have it pushed to Plone. Synchronous or asynchronous, individual or bulk data transfers can be used as necessary, which helps The Mountaineers minimize the expense of their Salesforce API calls.
Organizations need to give users ways to find what they are looking for. Faceted search is a great way to provide an engaging search interface for data-rich content. For example, when searching for courses or activities, users can filter their results by various criteria such as "climbing courses" at the "Bellingham branch" for "beginners" starting after a particular date. Because Plone makes this information readily accessible, it is easy for members and guests to learn about the many ways The Mountaineers can help them explore the outdoors.
The Plone site provides an easy to use registration process for people to sign up and pay for memberships, courses, activities and books, use coupons, and make donations. This is powered by a server side shopping cart that connects to the Stripe payment API. Credit card information is transmitted directly from the user's browser, so it never touches the Plone site and PCI compliance is easy.
Mountaineers.org has tens of thousands of pages that are curated and managed by hundreds of volunteers. Staff need to ensure that each volunteer has the right permissions in the right places. Plone makes this easy: staff assign users to groups (like "Bellingham Climbing Committee") and then give the groups roles (like member, leader, staff) either globally or on a certain section of the site (like the Bellingham Climbing Committee's courses). Then the actions those users can take on a given page (add, edit, publish) are determined by their role at that location.
There's a lot more on the site to make users happy—there are trip reports, blog posts, badges, maps, and many more resources. The Mountaineers is thrilled—in their own words:
"When we were looking to upgrade to a new website platform, our goal was simple: to make it easier for people to find out about us, get involved, and volunteer. We've been thrilled with Plone from the very beginning. It has a beautiful front-end and an easy to manage back-end. Plone has also offered new and unexpected ways for our community to engage with us, and with built in SEO capabilities it's introduced an average of 58% more unique visitors to our site each month. The platform has completely changed our volunteer and staff experience, and with further training and adoption it will transform our ability to help volunteers execute on The Mountaineers' mission."
–Martinique Grigg, Executive Director of The Mountaineers
Have lots of members and content? Use Salesforce.com? Upgrade to Plone today!
"We've been thrilled with Plone from the very beginning. It has a beautiful front-end and an easy to manage back-end. Plone has also offered new and unexpected ways for our community to engage with us..."
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