A powerful digital platform for a registered Canadian charity

woman at desk
Client /

YWCA Toronto

Service /

Digital strategy and website development

Industry /

Non-Profit Organizations 

YWCA Toronto is a registered charity that acts as a leader in transforming the lives of marginalized and disadvantaged women and girls in Toronto. YWCA Toronto helps women escape violence, move out of poverty, and access safe and affordable housing. They work tenaciously to break down barriers that prevent women and girls from achieving equality.

Business Challenge

YWCA Toronto was using an outdated and rigid CMS that prevented the organization from effectively communicating its message and reaching its audience.

From an end-user’s perspective, the YWCA Toronto website did not have an engaging or dynamic user experience and was not functional on a mobile device. The site had a navigation system that made it difficult to find content, and did not meet web accessibility requirements.

YWCA Toronto administrators recognized that their site’s dated design was not consistent with the YWCA brand’s guidelines, and the site and CMS lacked key functionality, such as streamlined online donations and responsive design, to allow the charity operate efficiently.

woman reading book

flexible and intuitive platform

streamlined online donations

responsive and accessible

Transformative Vision

YWCA Toronto engaged Enginess to consult on and implement a new website and CMS that would bring its brand presence up to date in today’s digital landscape.

Extensive service design-oriented stakeholder discovery sessions were conducted with all YWCA representative lines of business to understand and re-imagine YWCA Toronto’s personas, tasks, and content needs. Based on these sessions, our strategists completed an overhaul of the website information architecture and user experience to improve processes around supporting the creation of engaging content, call-to-actions, navigation and online transactions.

Content inventory and content mapping exercises were performed to realize YWCA Toronto’s needs for net new content, as well as to review existing content and identify that which was outdated or redundant. Our strategists led the YWCA Toronto team through its content audit and helped synthesize their content requirements into a fresh user stories with intentionally prioritized information architecture and a variety of content types.

Deliverables and Outcomes In partnership with Clear Space Design, our team created a custom front-end design that aligns with YWCA Toronto’s brand standards, offers a responsive mobile experience, is AODA / WCAG 2.0 Level AA compliant, and which has flexible page templates and content widgets built into the CMS.

To help YWCA Toronto determine the best CMS to fit its needs, our team performed a comprehensive platform evaluation, including live demos and analysis of total cost of ownership. We reviewed open source enterprise solutions, including WordPress, as well as .NET solutions, including Sitefinity and Advantage CSP, and presented our findings to YWCA Toronto stakeholders.

Advantage CSP was selected for not only its inherent content strategy tools, features, and functionality but also for Enginess's ability to act as a professional technology support partner to the business through hosting, ongoing technical support, security, upgrades and future development. Advantage CSP’s SnipCart ecommerce integration is leveraged to facilitate online purchasing of products, as well as order management, sales tracking, reporting, and integrated shipping. Our strategists also guided the business with making improvements to other third party software for managing donations and petitions.

woman with child 

Business Impact Summary YWCA Toronto’s new website is a flexible and user-friendly platform that exemplifies the brand in both style and spirit. It provides an accessible and mobile-friendly destination for YWCA’s audience to learn about its programs and offerings.

The functionality offered by the Advantage CSP platform enables administrators to collaborate efficiently. An enhanced ecommerce toolset and streamlined processes for online donations have created opportunities for revenue growth. The project was completed on-time and on-budget, and Enginess continues to provide professional support services to ensure uptime, performance monitoring, and help desk for CMS usability.

The new YWCA Toronto website meets the organization’s mandate for content marketing, program advocacy, philanthropy, and service advertising, while the platform acts as the foundation for endless scalability in the future.