Friends of the Parks (FOTP) is a park advocacy organization, dedicated to preserving, protecting, and improving Chicagoâ€™s parks and forest preserves for all citizens. For the past 39 years, FOTP has increased commitment to Chicago's parks by working from the grassroots up:
~Leading nearly a thousand Chicago public school kids (every year!) on nature hikes through our Nature Along the Lake program, creating the next generation of nature lovers and environmental leaders
~Organizing thousands of community and corporate volunteers to clean up and improve community parks
~Leading the country's largest Earth Day event, citywide, every April
~Establishing park advisory councils to empower citizens in their communities
~Developing new parks across the city
~Renovating playgrounds and play spaces with community park champions
~Presenting workshops and lectures to engage and inform Chicago's citizens
In short, Friends of the Parks is Chicago's Best Friend.
What new functionality we are looking for
The core goal of a new website would be to easily interact with our constituent base. Our current website is text-heavy, with a style that isn't welcoming to the more contemporary demographic that we'd like to engage.
We'd like the overall ethos of the site to be event-driven, promoting action, rather than text-driven.
Design-wise, we would love something clean, crisp, and simple. A design that encourages photographs and graphics. A design with a lateral-scrolling main feature, to catch a viewer's eye and ignite their interest in making parks awesome.
Function-wise, the following features would be great:
-A "Donate" or "Become a Member" button on the front page
-Integrated event registration box on the front page, for volunteer events, community action days, education events, and other exciting parks events.
-A "Featured Video" type of section on the front page, linking to a collection of past featured videos, where we can share the stories of community parks champions
-A survey/questionaire function, so we know what Chicagoans are thinking about the issues of the day
-An integrated blog with most recent post(s) on the front page, to promote a free flow of ideas
-Partner/external links, to highlight our fellow green orgs and partner groups
-Integrated Facebook/Twitter links
-An "FOTP Swag" type of link/page integrated with CafePress where people can easily order shirts/mugs/etc. with FOTP logo on it
How the new functionality will help
As we enter our 40th year this summer, FOTP finds ourselves at an exciting crossroads. Our first few decades have been focused on securing public land for the people of Chicago, and we've achieved great things in this arena. Now we look to expand our reach to encourage Chicagoans to use, steward, and enjoy these public spaces.
Many of our older members and constituents find the web to still be a challenging frontier, while our younger constituents desire and demand the cutting edge of simple, accessible websites. We want to be able to bridge these two demographics with a site that is cool, fun, and contemporary, but that maintains a welcoming aura.
With a new website, we can expand our reach to tens of thousands of new parks users and outdoor enthusiasts, and recruit exponentially more people who want to find fun in Chicago's parks.
How our organization will use the technology
Who will use the technology
10 Messages from Supporters