"We love Midwestern, and their partnership has been a catalyst in our growth as an organization. They help us navigate the complexity of the digital landscape."
- Christ In Youth
Christ in Youth (CIY) is a non-profit organization with headquarters in our hometown. They hold youth events, lead short-term missions trips, and develop resources that equip students to serve and influence others in their spheres. Their reach has grown from regional to national to global over the span of their 40 year ministry.
CIY is known for high energy youth events that are relevant and challenging. Their missions program trains teens to understand other cultures and empathize with different points of view, both at home and abroad. With their expansion into publishing, they’ve translated years of successful youth ministry into creative resources with a profound message.
Living in the same community, we were aware of CIY’s growing influence and the value of their work. Midwestern Interactive is a faith-centered company, so we share CIY’s core values and believe in their mission. Working with faith-based organizations like Christ in Youth is very rewarding for us.
CIY was facing a decision about how to spend their web development budget. As an organization with a national presence and multiple platforms, their needs were diverse. They had an in-house web developer, but they needed a wider variety of services than one person could provide. It was time for a change. They decided to outsource their web development rather than adding to their staff, and they chose Midwestern.
For the price of one in-house web developer, they got an entire web department. Part of what makes Midwestern unique is that we’re not a one-trick pony. We bring an entire team of experienced web developers, designers, copywriters, videographers, photographers, SEO experts, and more to our clients. When they hired us, CIY got access to all of those skill sets.
The first thing CIY needed was a main hub site for their events, plus individual websites for location-specific events. All of these digital portals needed to be user-friendly, mobile-responsive, and appealing to a young demographic. CIY also wanted assistance with promoting events and communicating with their target audience online.
We redeveloped all of their websites on a new platform, simplifying the process of updating and maintaining content for their event staff. When websites are easy for clients to use, they’re more likely to keep them up-to-date. Sites that are well-maintained with relevant information and fresh content increase SEO and create a more enjoyable experience for visitors. We also created a cohesive aesthetic across their sites that served as a visual link between individual events and CIY’s overarching mission.
The content we built focused on converting visitors to registrants. With revamped websites in place, CIY also asked us to help with digital advertising. We brought ideas and recommendations for CIY’s digital marketing and helped them develop creative communication across multiple platforms. The landing pages for regional events were linked to targeted digital ads and local radio advertising, which made each event feel local and specific, even if it was organized by a team of people in another state.
Our digital support for CIY’s events didn’t end with website registrations. We created on-stage digital tools that could be used at events to gather feedback from the crowd, and fillable forms that could be passed around via iPads at events. Our goal was not only to get teens to attend these events, but to serve their digital needs while they were there.
We know that for non-profits, outstanding events don’t happen without donors. Their ministry depends on creatively engaging donors and developing long-term bonds with them. To this end, we helped CIY implement better online donation systems and created registration websites for their donor appreciation events.
Midwestern also created platforms for customer service and sales in CIY’s online store, enabling them to tap into another source of income. Teens who attend CIY’s conferences can visit the online store to purchase event-specific merchandise, like t-shirts and hats. CIY also produces digital resources, documentary films, and training materials that youth leaders can implement in their local churches. All of these resources tie into CIY’s events and can be purchased through their website, enabling them to extend their mission beyond the conference experience
As we talked with CIY, we discovered that they had some behind-the-scenes software needs that we could address. Planning dozens of youth events around the country, which are attended by thousands of teens every year, can present a few organizational challenges. When CIY told us about theirs, we got to work.
One of the challenges they faced was organizing medical information for all the registrants at various events in a way that was accessible from any location. If a teen needed medical attention, youth leaders might scramble to find insurance details, important notes about allergies or other conditions, and parental contact info. Or worse, they might discover that all of this information had been left at home. With over 100,000 kids attending their events, CIY needed a simple way to capture medical details and access them quickly.
Midwestern developed cloud-based software for CIY that accomplished all of those objectives. First, it generates a link for youth pastors to share with parents. Parents click the link to fill out an Emergency Medical Release Form with all the information youth leaders would need in case of emergency. Then, parents digitally sign the form, and it’s archived in our system.
At every CIY event, administrators have access to these signed forms and the information they contain. It’s simpler for parents and youth leaders, and most importantly, it provides easy access to life-saving details.
The other piece of software we built for CIY solved a different organizational challenge. Not only does CIY produce multiple, high-quality events for teens every year, but those events also go on tour. For each event, they load semi trucks with thousands of pieces of gear - lights, audio, video, musical equipment, production equipment, and more.
CIY needed a system that could track the location of each piece of equipment and its maintenance history.
Midwestern built software that organized CIY’s equipment inventory, along with detailed information about each item’s history. When it’s needed for a tour, the item is checked out through our system, loaded into a truck, and sent to its location. Our system knows that item’s location at any time and when it’s due for maintenance. Every piece of equipment is included, from cables and mic stands to $10,000 projectors. Using the software we built, CIY knows where each piece of equipment is and whether it needs to be serviced before it goes out again.
When Midwestern partners with clients, our goal is to help them become more efficient at accomplishing their mission. Through regular conversations with CIY, we get feedback about how we’re doing as we listen to stories about the success of their programs. We also monitor data from their websites and see increased web traffic, growing registration numbers, and new registrants in previously unreached markets.
Midwestern helped CIY creatively reach their target audience and engage their donors through a variety of digital platforms. Through custom software solutions, we helped them overcome organizational challenges, making their events safer and their inventory more manageable. As CIY grows and changes, we’ll continue to evaluate how we can effectively present their mission.
Whether you’re a non-profit or a corporation, your company has a mission, too. The team at Midwestern has the diverse skills necessary to strengthen the work you’re doing and help you do it more effectively.
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