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Case study: Rotary International

Rotary International Turns to Acquia as It Reinvents Member Engagement

Case study: Rotary International

Acquia Helps Deliver a New Digital Presence, and Acquia Cloud Keeps It Going

Rotary knew it had a problem on its hands when the latest website performance numbers came in. The website had spotty availability, the user experience was poor, and the content management system (CMS) was inflexible. Members, donors, and sponsors in numerous countries relied on the website as a platform for fundraising and communications as they tried to solve some of the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. But without the support of a modern digital business platform, the global network of volunteer leaders was at risk of missing important opportunities.

The Challenge

The challenge started with the sheer size of the non-profit organization. With more than 1.2 million business, professional, and community volunteers in 34,000 clubs on seven continents, Rotary needed a website that would create relevance and inspire engagement with members, sponsors, donors, and the general public. These key audiences sustain Rotary’s top philanthropic goal of eradicating polio and efforts to promote peace, fight disease, provide clean water, support mothers and children, encourage education, and grow local economies.

The technical challenge was to migrate from a self-hosted, legacy CMS to an open source solution that would be more responsive, scalable, and flexible. The site would also need to deliver a personalized digital experience that adapted to the needs of each website visitor. Given that the membership was spread among 200 countries and geographical areas, Acquia was tasked with helping Rotary deliver a user experience that reflected the imagery and language of different cultures and visitors.

The Solution

The first step in mapping the site redesign and functionality was to understand—and improve—the user experience. Rotary and its redesign partners interviewed and surveyed employees, members, donors, and partners, and conducted a content audit and gap analysis to develop a prototype. They user tested the site design and information architecture with more than 100 participants from many countries.

What users wanted was nothing short of a complete overhaul: make the site easy to use, wellorganized, fast, simple, comprehensive, and intuitive. They wanted everything at their fingertips, the right level of detail and language, and images to which they could relate. This wasn’t going to be a simple web redesign. It required an integrated, personalized, collaborative platform that would allow Rotary clubs to do more.

Based on the investigation, Rotary, in collaboration with its redesign partners, devised a unique strategy: build two sites. The public-facing site would help newcomers engage with the association, and the second, profile-driven member site—accessible through the public site— would present a customized, user-friendly experience, enabling members to connect, carry out service projects, and more. Acquia provided input on how this might best be implemented in Drupal.

The next step was to reconfigure and streamline the user experience on the member site. Working with design and web content management firms, the Rotary team set out to improve logging on and accessing third-party applications. They added Okta as an identity management solution and to provide single sign-on capability, which allowed both newcomers and members to access both sites easily.

Rotary added a workflow system for content editors and translators, discussion groups to facilitate online community involvement among members, interfaces for language, and location detection and collection. A fully functioning social networking site, complete with the ability to form connections, send private messages, and update CRM-integrated (customer relationship management) profile data, further enhanced the experience.

The public site and member site took a quantum leap in rich media. They now include an image-driven front page design and a mobile-first responsive web layout. This new setup creates a powerful publishing and content management platform that provides complete, automated control over the entire lifecycle of all types of media content. With it, Rotary can deliver highly targeted content and create more dynamic user experiences.

To host the new Drupal-based site and support its operations, Rotary selected Acquia Cloud, a fully managed cloud hosting platform from Acquia, tuned for Drupal performance and optimized for large enterprise Drupal websites. Drupal enables many functional modules that global organizations typically want, such as photo galleries and integration with Facebook commenting.

The Results

The new website went live, complete with the data migrated from the old site and an enhanced feature set worthy of a digital business. Together, Acquia and Rotary delivered a website that creates relevance and inspires engagement with members and reaches sponsors, donors, and the general public.

From the start, the goals for the new site were clear. It was to deliver a common communication platform for a worldwide, multilingual membership base, create a central point of access for a large number of information management systems, and raise public awareness of Rotary clubs’ efforts to help families in their own communities and around the world.

With the support of its team, Rotary was able to deliver all that to its members, with a digital experience that reinvents engagement and builds community

Acquia Cloud delivered cost efficiency and increased reliability

Company Information

Rotary International
Global service network of volunteer leaders
Dedicated to tackling the world’s humanitarian challenges operating in 200 countries and geographical areas
More than 34,000 Rotary clubs and membership of 1.22 million
Funded by sponsors, donors, and the general public around the world
Site designed and launched within 12 months
  • Acquia Cloud
  • Acquia Insight Subscription
  • Drupal 7