George Eastman, founder of the Eastman Kodak Company, changed the world with his bold leadership and passion for philanthropy. To honor his legacy, The University of Rochester launched the George Eastman Circle annual giving society. As a marquee philanthropic organization for the University of Rochester, it required a website design that reflected the historical importance of George Eastman and the future impact alumni philanthropists can have on the University.
The goal of the site is to present the George Eastman Circle to members and prospective members, educating them on the impact they have on the University. The site serves as a communications gateway to current members, displaying events and current happenings at the University. It’s also geared toward increasing membership, allowing new members to join and make a gift through the website. While regional officers will be involved, they wanted to automate as much of the process as possible. The interactive membership form allows members to choose their gift level- specifying monthly, quarterly, annually or one-time payments. The regional officers particularly like that members can easily designate their gift, automatically splitting it for the member among up to 26 funds the University offers. Gift processing is then passed from the website to the University’s payment processing system.
With ease-of-use in mind, the website was developed with a full content management system (CMS). This system allows University staff, with minimal training, to update all information on the site. They can add news articles, add upcoming events or even add designations to the membership form. They can also feature new members on the site through the members’ stories section. This was integrated throughout the site to convey the passion members have for the Rochester community and the University.
The site has been well received by University of Rochester staff, alumni and George Eastman Circle members. There are currently plans to outfit the site with responsive design- one that is optimized for mobile phones and tablets.