Poppyscotland, a charity which sits within the Royal British Legion group, provides support for the Armed Forces’ community across Scotland. Particularly, those who have served, those still serving and their families.
Poppyscotland provides life-changing support to the Armed Forces community. Money raised from the Scottish Poppy Appeal and Poppyscotland’s year-round fundraising enables them to deliver support to members of the Armed Forces community in Scotland by providing tailored funding and assistance. The charity also funds services in advice, employment, housing, mental health, mobility and respite.
Manifesto’s project with Poppyscotland focused on rebuilding the charity’s main website in the lead up to the 2020 Scottish Poppy Appeal.
“Working with Manifesto has not only enabled us to achieve economies of scale across the wider RBL group of charities, but their expertise with Sitefinity has enabled us to adapt the platform to meet our distinct needs. The new website has been universally welcomed by beneficiaries, donors and staff alike, and our analytics underline its success.” – Poppyscotland
Sticking to one clear voice
Visitors to Poppyscotland’s previous site were greeted with an inconsistent set of interfaces. The look and feel, imagery, functionality and tone of voice, all varied across each area of the site.
These mixed experiences were, in part, down to the breadth of services the charity offers. But it was also down to the content management system (CMS), which was no longer fit for purpose, as the charity grew.
As a result, Poppyscotland was keen to create a new website. One which continuously builds awareness and engagement through consistent messaging and branding.
Bringing Poppyscotland under the family tree
To maximise the Royal British Legion’s investment in Sitefinity, and its accumulated share of editorial knowledge, the Manifesto team used the same technology that the Royal British Legion’s website is built on to mould Poppyscotland’s new site. The National Memorial Arboretum, another charity within the RBL group, also uses Sitefinity. This gradual shift of all the group’s brands onto the same technology and modules allows for the sort of consistency Poppyscotland envisioned for its own web build.
The site is, however, sufficiently separate, in terms of look, feel, URLs and editorial access, from its parent. But the underlying code, along with the component structure, is exactly the same. This means Manifesto’s team used as many of the same modules as possible, all the while connecting the backend to a new pattern library. That way, the web branding would be specific to Poppyscotland’s branding.
By utilising an already-working code base and scalable infrastructure, the charity saved time on building a website from scratch. Not only this, but it meant the RBL could share and reuse its learnings – such as workflows and permissions – with Poppyscotland. And on top of that, the two charities can go forward with a shared set of resources, including security, Sitefinity core updates, and digital support.
A seamless move to digital donations
The site launched in October 2020, coinciding with the start of the Scottish Poppy Appeal. The 2020 Appeal took place in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, which forced thousands of Poppyscotland’s dedicated volunteers to stay at home and meant a potentially catastrophic drop in donations. The new website therefore took on even greater importance.
The new site presented a much more compelling proposition and ease of navigation. Powerful storytelling lay at the heart of this and, thanks to a digital advertising campaign, traffic to the site was significantly up on previous years. Once on the site, the conversion rate was exceptionally high and those who would traditionally supported the Appeal with a cash donation in a collection tin seamlessly moved to digital donors.