(LOMBARD, IL) – According to the Autism Society of Illinois (ASI), Autism affects one out of every 50 children in America—and the number of children diagnosed each year continues to grow. As a result, building awareness about the disorder has taken on greater importance for the non-profit organization.
To get its message out, ASI launched a new website, www.AutismIllinois.org, in 2014. Developed by Stevens & Tate Marketing, the new site serves as a resource for parents, family members, educators, and medical professionals impacted by Autism.
“One of our main goals is to educate anyone who may come in contact with an Autistic individual—from teachers to bus drivers to restaurant owners,” said Mary Kay Betz, ASI’s executive director. “With education comes acceptance. And with acceptance, comes the ability to improve the lives of those affected.
“We had aspirations of what we wanted to accomplish online,” she continued. “Stevens & Tate came up with bold solutions to achieve our goals, and then offered guidance and leadership throughout the development process that went beyond expectations.”
“We had three clear objectives for the new ASI website,” said Mark Beebe, partner and creative director at Stevens & Tate. “The first was to easily deliver content to the multiple audiences who reference the site, second was to increase online donations, and third was to entice people to get involved.”
One of the first improvements Stevens & Tate made for the new ASI website was to focus on storytelling to connect with viewers intellectually and emotionally. Next, the agency simplified navigation to quickly take readers to the page most relevant to them.
“With such an abundance of content to deliver—information on Autism, resources, news and events, services, and ways to get involved—the site has to be easy to navigate so that individuals can locate what they need without having to weed through details they don’t,” said Beebe.
Drop down menus from the main navigation allow viewers to search for content from the home page, which also speaks to multiple audiences with messages on how to make a difference, join in upcoming activities and events, connect via social media, and shop for the cause. Videos visually illustrate important messages and engage site visitors.
“As with any not-for-profit organization, donations are the lifeblood for ASI,” said Beebe. “The new website has a prominent link on every page to encourage online donations—making it easy for someone to give.”
Visitors also have the ability to “Shop For The Cause” and purchase merchandise through an online store where proceeds benefit ASI.
Another area of focus on www.AutismIllinois.org is events. Promotional areas on the home page encourage participation and people can register online to join upcoming activities.
“Being able to connect with an advocate or supporter is crucial for those we serve,” said Betz. Therefore, the new website has a convenient “chat now” function where visitors can get immediate answers to their questions. Social media links also allow ASI to bring together people within the Autism community.
Since launching www.AutismIllinois.org, ASI has seen an increase in online donations, creating a positive return on the website investment.
“The team at Stevens & Tate kept us focused on the engagement of site visitors so results improved more rapidly than we ever imagined,” said Betz.
The Autism Society of Illinois (ASI) was founded more than 30 years ago to support individuals with Autism as well as their parents, families, professionals, corporate partners, and friends. The organization’s objective is to provide education, training, individual assistance, and practical support for parents; increase public awareness of Autism; and offer a referral network of professionals. ASI is the Illinois Chapter of the Autism Society of America (ASA) and is ranked in the top 20 of all ASA Chapters nationally based on the quality and level of support offered statewide.
Stevens & Tate Marketing is a full-service advertising agency offering award-winning, on-strategy creative; integrated message development; internet and digital advertising; and cost-effective media planning and execution. Stevens & Tate creates focused, targeted solutions for all its clients in the business-to-business, food/grocery, retail, travel/tourism, real estate, healthcare, senior living, and non-profit industries.
For samples Stevens & Tate work, visit the agency’s website at www.stevens-tate.com