We're proud to provide services to our friends in Nonprofit.

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A national treasure migrated to AWS with no downtime.

Processes
  • Agile/Kanban
  • Continuous Delivery
Team Leadership
  • Senior Producer
    Sean Eddings
  • Senior Architect
    Rob Bayliss

StoryCorps is an independently funded organization that collects, shares, and preserves people’s stories to remind people of our shared humanity, to strengthen and build the connections between us, to teach the value of listening, and to weave into the fabric of our culture the understanding that everyone’s story matters. All collected stories are stored in their online archive, accessible to the public upon submitting a request or listening to recordings at various public library listening rooms. StoryCorps reached out to LCM for ongoing support and assistance with migrating their site’s archive of roughly 27TB worth of interviews and information to a new AWS platform.   

The main StoryCorps Archive access point was built on a robust Drupal platform consisting of over 60,000 interview records and approximately 27TB of associated metadata, WAVs, MP3s, JPGs and PDFs. The StoryCorps Archive platform connected with several critical business systems and performed around-­the-­clock ingests from their on­site storage arrays to the Drupal system, via rsync. StoryCorps was looking for a trusted and capable firm to migrate their entire Archive— including the website, connected services, and media— from their single-­server host to a combination of Amazon Web Services (AWS), EC2, S3 and Glacier.

Last Call Media performed a thorough analysis and audit of all StoryCorps’ source data prior to and following the massive migration. We worked closely with StoryCorps’ internal Digital Team and engineering consultants to design, test, implement, and ultimately maintain the new AWS server infrastructure.

The archive is now running smoothly on a robust AWS setup, configured to allow the platform to efficiently scale and grow as the archive does; to the next 27TB and beyond.   

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Automating essential fundraising and donation tools

Team Leadership
  • Senior Producer
    Alex Noonan

Last Call Media has enjoyed a long ongoing history working with The Society of St. Vincent de Paul that started back in 2014 and continues to this day. Originally brought in to tackle improving the online donation experience at stvincentdepaul.net, our work has expanded greatly from there over the years as we’ve served as a business, creative, and technical partner to the St Vincent de Paul team.

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP) is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the poor and providing others with the opportunity to serve. The digital experience SVdP offers to their community of supporters is an important part of achieving their mission. Last Call Media has been handling the ongoing feature development, the necessary support, and regular maintenance of the SVdP sites for the past several years.

Online donations made easy

Any time the SVdP team initiates a new campaign, whether fundraising for Thanksgiving, COVID-19 relief or homelessness prevention, a new web form needs to be created on stvincentdepaul.net

Last Call Media worked with SVdP to create an elaborate system for the site that relies heavily on a combination of web forms, Salesforce and Braintree. The web forms are integrated into the Drupal 7 site, Salesforce serves as the source of truth for creating and managing new contacts, while Braintree is used for processing online payments. Once we completed building the system, we began the process of rolling out functionality to enable SVdP to launch targeted giving campaign pages on their own. 

The new functionality enables the SVdP to independently handle any new campaign and helps the team keep track of all the different data points  while making the online experience of the supporters quick and simple.

svdp-donation

A streamlined process for scheduling pickups 

In addition to web forms for financial donations, SVdP faces an additional layer of complexity when scheduling pickups of donated goods like furniture and clothing. 

Previously, SVdP used a system of phone calls, taken at their call center, which were then recorded in Salesforce. These were then manually screened and assigned to driver routes each day. Because there is a limit to the number of pickups SVdP could perform in one day, there would often be situations where a person’s pickup had to be rescheduled because it was accidentally added to an already-full route.

Last Call Media worked with SVdP to streamline that process. We used Checkfront to automate the booking process, presenting a customized version of the booking interface within an iframe on SVdP’s Drupal site, connecting it to their existing Salesforce account, and cutting out the need for people to call into SVdP to schedule a donation pickup. We were even able to add a unique custom receipt URL, so after completing the booking process users are directed to a Drupal webform where they have the option of donating to SVdP to support their free pickup service.

The new process greatly decreased the amount of time the SVdP team needs to spend on each of these donations. Now they are able to schedule more pickups per zip code area per day and have confidence in the system they need to rely on every day.

Automated transaction reports  

When we started working with SVdP, their finance team needed to run several reports manually and cross-reference the data in order to begin the process of analyzing transaction reports. 

One of our projects together, as part of our ongoing support and maintenance relationship, was to improve the sites reporting capabilities by aggregating transaction data from their formerly separated eCommerce sites into one exportable master transaction report. 

Last Call Media turned a lengthy manual process into an automated one that makes a .csv available within a few clicks.

Last Call has been involved in improving the site’s essential fundraising and donation tools to make giving easier for users and also provide SVdP staff with powerful reporting and analytics data they can use for future campaigns. We’re proud to keep helping SVdP improve how they use technology to deliver services to their community, recruit and manage volunteers, and encourage donations. We remain excited by our involvement with such a charitable organization and we value the high level of trust and open communication that drives our relationship.

If you’re in Central or Northern Arizona, go to stvincentdepaul.net and be part making a difference with The Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

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Brand New NERDy!

Team Leadership
  • Art Director
    Molly Taaffe

Rethinking the Lil NERDy character

NERD has used the Lil NERDy character for a long time, but we felt the character could use a little refresh for the 2020 NERD Summit. We wanted to bring a warmer more illustrative tone to Lil NERDy, and give the event a unique theme that helped to express the values and mission of NERD.  

 

Bringing a refreshed NERDy to life

We brainstormed several ideas but landed on a theme around cooking and food. This theme is rich with metaphors about working together, each ingredient adding to the final result, and a robust menu of content for attendees. From there we started sketching layouts. It turned out that Lil NERDy looked really cute in a chef’s hat!

lil NERDy character slicing a tomato over their head

We tried to produce images that spoke to the metaphorical meanings of the theme. NERDys sharing food, cooking together, or adding lots of ingredients. We also created some custom images, such as the call for volunteers, and hackathon email images.  

Nerdy cooking with child
Nerdys sharing pizza

Remixing an existing character was a challenge, because it had to remain true to the feeling of the mascot, but also be refreshed enough that it was clear 2020 had a unique look and theme. We had to establish rules, such as the eyes always being darker than the body color, to make sure they looked cheerful and lighthearted, and hands and feet being simple shapes.  

2020 NERD Summit Tee Design

Another element we brought to this theme was patterned backgrounds. We illustrated foods and cooking tools, and added them behind event collateral, to add another dimension to the illustrations when used in emails and on social media. This added depth to the imagery, and consistency to event collateral.

Food Pattern for NERD Summit 2020

 

We were able to create a library of Lil NERDys, supplemented by two patterns, that tied into the theme and were informative in the event marketing materials and collateral. NERD Summit had to make a quick pivot due to Covid-19, and was a remote event. We were still able to utilize Lil NERDy across many digital assets and bring some warmth to a then-unfamiliar new event type.

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Learning Page Redesign.

Processes
  • Agile/Kanban
  • Agile/Scrum
Team Leadership
  • Senior Producer
    Kelly Albrecht

Working with the International Land Coalition gave us another opportunity to use our agile design process, generating ideas and a few unique solutions.

ILC has a lot of work going on around the world and we wanted to give users a way to explore the content on the site about each specific project that’s going on and the members involved.

Our approach was to focus in on the exploration aspects. What would give users the best sense of context of these global projects? How do we give attention to the members involved? What’s the best experience for sorting through the variety of project categories, subcategories and locations? And how do we present all this information without overwhelming the user?

How We Did It.

Building a relationship at the start

It was crucial we let ILC know that this is a journey we’ll both overcome together and they have our full support, as well as expertise with regards to questions or insight. They had many different goals for the project, but with the specifics undefined, we worked with them to help figure out the details and create a fully-realized vision.

The project’s dynamic was healthy constant dialogue between our creative team and everyone on the ILC team. We listened to their insights, we heard the things we needed to consider and the parameters we should work within. As things progressed, we started checking off the points on everyone’s checklists in order to be confident about the direction we were going.

First problem: Tools for finding relevant content

As mentioned before, ILC has many internal organizational projects. We needed an experience that helped users easily find content relevant to them. We mocked up a few ideas for a filter mechanism then iterated, each time pointing out the pros and cons then making changes specific to the drawbacks. This was our solution:

Image of ILC Filter
Image of ILC Learning Page Filter

The thought process behind it was pretty straight forward. Present a lot of options and information without overwhelming the user, make it accessible while browsing and allow some filter terms to tell their own story on hover. It took a few tries to get here, but we believe it accomplishes those goals.

Second problem: The Map

I mentioned context earlier, during the project we decided a map did a great job of showing the global reach of ILC.  We utilized the core framework of an existing map on their website but completely redesigned the visuals and added a little more functionality. On first load, we show users the globe with a few markers showing the number of their members. Users from there have the ability to zero into an area or region of interest, finding which member(s) are doing work and what the projects going on in those areas are. Here’s the break down:

Image of ILC Learning Page map
Image of ILC Learning Page map

Our work was well received by the ILC board and our solutions for giving their site users the best sense of context of resource content from all over the globe was deployed on time and budget. Site users are now experiencing new ways to learn about ILC members through new ways of exploring a variety of categories and locations.