Part I: Background info
Empowering Peaceful Religious Communities
While not itself a religious organization, International Center for Religion & Diplomacy (ICRD) builds the skills, capacity, and ranks of women and men peacebuilders of all faiths to address the root causes of identity-based conflict and violent extremism in their communities.
ICRD’s approach works. After two decades of direct engagement, ICRD is a preferred partner among government, civil society, and grassroots organizations for conducting trainings, developing local networks, and facilitating multi-track initiatives to resolve many of the critical crises affecting the globe today.
Beyond Traditional Diplomacy
Religious convictions are a principal source of values for nearly 85% of the global community. As such, these convictions can be a significant factor in promoting divisiveness and enmity—or in building the trust needed to overcome violent conflict.
Because the influence of religious, ethnic, and tribal identities is frequently stronger than that of governments, the challenge of addressing conflict and violent religious extremism (VRE) often exceeds the reach of traditional diplomatic or military intervention. ICRD confronts this reality by employing a unique range of capabilities that effectively engage the belief systems and core values found at the heart of identity–based conflicts. ICRD maximizes programmatic impact by integrating its community-based approach with other peacebuilding efforts, particularly those of governments.
Part I: The challenge ICRD faced
ICRD has a long and rich heritage centered around the organization’s founder. As the founder was looking to transition day-to-day operations to new leadership, ICRD was looking to better establish their presence online and through social media outlets.
Their current branding was out of date, the website was not responsive, it was not designed in a content management system, and its outdated design did not reflect the quality of work that the organization does.
Part III: Our solution(s)
Because the scope of what ICRD needed was an update to their brand and digital assets, we took a phased approach to the engagement.
Phase 1: Brand Elements: The ICRD brand desperately needed an update. Their brand equity in the marketplace was strong, the look and feel was not making their organization appear current. We didn’t entirely overhaul their brand, but instead worked with the brand assets that they had and augmented these assets with an update to their logo.
Phase 2: Website Strategy: The old ICRD website lacked a central theme and focus. Prior to starting design, we sat down with the team transitioning out, and the new leadership team to develop a strategy. Their new leadership brought many new ideas to the table which everyone was excited about. Everyone knew that we needed to come up with a plan to help educate their diverse audiences about what ICRD does and the value they make when integrated into community partnerships. Our team took the ICRD leaders through an in depth audit of what type of content and user flows should be on the website to ensure user experience was top notch.
Phase 3: Website Design and Development: Based on the strategy the key stakeholders signed off on, our team then began handcrafting a custom website design around the goals and identity of ICRD. Once approved, our team went to work developing their custom website solution.
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Phase 4: Handoff: The ICRD team was engaged throughout the process and really wanted to learn so that they would be empowered to update the site themselves (including content, blogs, features, and plugins). So our team trained the internal team on how to use their website and get the most out of it.
Some of the highlighted features:
- Fully Responsive (mobile Friendly)
- Custom giving system
- Interactive map
- Engaging resource and blog area
Part IV: The Results
The ICRD team (and our team too) was thrilled with the results. They saw a 2000% increase in website traffic within the first month alone.
The first quarter showed a drastic increase in email subscriptions, which was a primary goal within the original website strategy.
The first six months the team received weekly accolades and positive marks from their peers.
“At long last, we have a brand new website (icrd.org) to share with you! Developed by the very talented and dedicated team and Cross and Crown, our new website is a great place to learn about the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy – what we do, where we’ve been, and where we’re going. If you want to learn more about how faith functions in the world of peacebuilding and conflict resolution, look no further!”