Meet the Client
Eugene Southtowne Rotary is the second largest (and fastest growing) Rotary chapter in District 5110. Southtowners are highly dedicated and active community members. They strive to make significant impacts and improve the lives of those most in need locally, nationally, and internationally.
UplinkSpyder CEO, Deanna Rivera, is an active member of Eugene Southtowne Rotary. She learned about the group in 2010 after meeting with then president, Mitch Hagstrom, VP of Pacific Continental Bank, who wanted to improve the Southtowne website during his term. She told him she couldn’t do an effective job without joining. Deanna fell in love with the group and with Rotary, and has been a member ever since.
Challenge Faced by Southtowne Rotary
The main challenge the club faced was the need to attract new members in an effort to grow, since membership had stagnated with the recession. Their hope was to attract a younger generation, more women, and a more diverse set of skills, cultures, and interests. At the time, over 50% of the membership was comprised of retired men.
A second challenge was the need for an electronic membership system. Members wanted to access contact information for fellow members without the need for a constantly updated paper copy.
Last, they wanted something that could be updated easily, preferably by more than one person, and which current and prospective members could navigate with ease.
The first website UplinkSpyder built was in a content management system (Joomla) that allowed for a blogging platform, a membership system, and the ability to consistently add and change content. This site launched in 2011 and worked very well for Southtowne until 2015. At that time, Rotary District 5110 moved every club’s membership database in to one larger system, thus eliminating the need for Southtowne to have its own system that also required login (a frustration for older members).
Additionally, between 2011 and 2015, mobile devices became the primary technology accessing the website. It became apparent that a more mobile-friendly design was necessary, particularly for new and younger members.
In 2016, UplinkSpyder launched a brand new, freshly designed and mobile friendly website. We took advantage of the years of experience Deanna had collected as a Southtowne Rotarian to provide an even more user friendly and informative platform for communicating the ongoing work of the club. Because Southtowne has so much information that needs to be shared, we did our best to ensure that everything is clearly organized and easily navigated.
Our favorite features of this website include:
- A feature page highlighting Southtowne’s annual Wine & Salmon Festival.
- A dynamic display of current projects that the club supports.
- A constantly updated and engaging members only section.
- A diverse and extensive blog, composed mostly of weekly program summaries. The blog brings a ton of traffic to the site, and has become a local news source.
Rotary club growth can be attributed to many factors. Southtowne leadership and the active and amazing work of the membership committee for a start. However, the website has definitely been a factor in helping to grow membership over the past many years at a time when many Rotary clubs are seeing declining membership. As of September 2016, Southtowne has 105 members, which is a growth of over 25% since Deanna joined in 2010. Most new members are under the age of 40 and at least half of all new members are women.
In addition to the creation of their website, UplinkSpyder provides the following services to Eugene Southtowne Rotary:
- Ongoing updates to content, including content writing.
- Occasional email marketing/survey support.
- Occasional Facebook advertisement placement.
- Optimization and management of social media accounts.
- Regular site updates and maintenance.