Fostering Effective Volunteer Engagement with Enhanced Web Presence

During Microsoft’s 2012 Asia Pacific Tech4Good Summit, held in Indonesia, Bishan Home for the Intellectually Disabled from Singapore shared with the participants how a recent upgrade conducted on its website helped create greater awareness of its activities.

One of the first purpose-built residential homes for people with intellectual disabilities in Singapore, Bishan Home collaborated with the People Sector Infocomm Resource Centre (PSIRC) to enhance its website. They utilised a Content Management System (CMS) built on open-source software with plug-ins and widgets that provide required features and social media integration. Thanks to the new CMS features, Bishan Home is able to update its web content regularly and streamline operations.  

The PSIRC, a nationwide initiative by Nanyang Polytechnic, supported by Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore and National Council of Social Service, is aimed at supporting the adoption of information and communication technology (ICT) solutions in the nonprofit sector.

Dennis Lim, CEO of Bishan Home for the Intellectually Disabled, said, “Through the recent website revamp, the Bishan Home website is now more engaging and has a compelling design that encourages return visits. The website also sets the tone for the kind of volunteers we are looking for —volunteers who want to engage and touch the lives of people with intellectual disabilities.”

Mr Lim estimated that the number of visits to the Bishan Home website increased by around four times, hitting an average of 40,702 visits per month in the first six months following the website revamp.

Bishan Home’s success in generating greater awareness through the Internet highlights the importance of maintaining a credible and professional web presence for nonprofit groups.

As an alternative to websites, nonprofit organisations can leverage blog-hosting services to connect with existing and potential audiences — the webmaster would only need to be familiar with basic HyperText Markup Language (HTML) programming, and the use of HTML codes for images and text display on a web page.

For beginners, Windows® Live Writer is a free desktop blog-publishing tool available through Microsoft Outlook that enables anyone to write HTML code without knowing how to programme, enabling the webmaster to create a professional-looking blog without incurring additional cost for support.

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