The Nerdery - Overnight Website Challenge

Twin Cities 2011, March 26-27

Mobility for Independence

Paired with

Our mission is to provide mobility equipment (wheelchairs, scooters and handicap accessible vehicles) to disabled children and adults.

Mobility for Independence was founded in 1990 as the Leo Grossman Fund. The founder, Leo Grossman, suffered from a rare genetic illness (Buerger’s Disease) that eventually required multiple amputations over numerous years leading to his immobility and confinement to a wheelchair. Unable to continue his previous vocation in teaching and coaching, Leo’s unbreakable spirit enabled him to continue providing goodwill and community service through motivational speaking. Not having any means of transportation, his friends and family organized a “Wheels for Leo” celebrity roast that raised the necessary money to purchase a specialty-equipped van. With the use of this van, Leo was able to travel throughout Minnesota providing inspiration to others in need. Touched by the generosity of his family and friends, Leo decided to dedicate the rest of his life to providing mobility to those in need by the creation of The Leo Grossman Fund. Leo was determined to ensure mobility to the disabled and it was fitting that he became determined to pass onto others the example of generosity that was bestowed upon him. He was insistent that the disabled be able to live independent lives and influence their communities in a positive way. During his life, he was proof that quality of life depends on what lays insides a person’s heart. Sadly, Leo passed away in 1992 but his dream continues on through the organization’s mission.

In 2000, the Fund’s name was changed to Mobility for Independence in order for others to more easily identify with the organization’s purpose. Since 1990, the organization has helped over 75 individuals become more independent and has provided almost $700,000 in Mobility Grants to disabled children and adults in the Minnesota community.

The need for mobility for the disabled is overwhelming! We receive calls daily from parents and families who suffer from Muscular Dystrophy, Cerebral Palsy, Multiple Sclerois, Lou Gehrig's Disease and spinal cord injuries (to name just a few). They have no way of getting their loved ones to doctor's appointments, school functions, family functions or to work and are desperate and out of options.

We are a small nonprofit located in Minneapolis, MN but we service people in need throughout the five-state region (MN, IA, SD, ND and WI).

What new functionality we are looking for

We would love a website that is simple and easy for all of our applicants and donors to navigate.

Our nonprofit has been around for 20 years and most people hear about us through word of mouth and recommendations - but having a real, professional website would spring us forward and allow our message and mission to be spread to a wider audience and increase our visibility and generate more interest to support our cause!

We have applicants that we would love to highlight and a website that would enable us to increase the fundraising for these individuals and their need.

We have past recipients that we would love to showcase to our donors what their donations were able to achieve.

We would also like to have a section for our donors to make their donations online (we have paypal, ebay, MissionFish and other donation opportunities that we would like to highlight) and make it easy for them to donate. We feel that we could increase our general donations by 100% if we had a professional and secure website.

We have a huge inventory of auction items that we would like to sell online as well.

How the new functionality will help

We had a volunteer helping with the website (and who set it up) about 7 years ago. She had to leave and I took over updating the website, etc. I had ZERO experience and no idea of what I was doing but I managed to put together a nice little website. Well, about 1 1/2 years ago, the company that was hosting the website went out of business; not knowing what to do, I set up a Go Daddy account and attempted to transfer all the files to that host site. Since then, I've been completely intimidated to get the site back up and going and it has languished severely.

I beleive with the right website, we could increase our visibility; showcase all the applicants (that we are currently fundraising for) and highlight all the past recipients.

We would love to be able to perform functions such as sell silent auction items and increase online donations.

We believe that we have all the pieces here but we need the expertise and help of something like this challenge to put them all together to show the world what we are; who we help and the desperate need that is out there for small organizations that do what we do!

How our organization will use the technology

Who will use the technology

Before & After Snapshots

Thumbnail_screen%20shot%202011-03-18%20at%203.48.36%20pm Screenshot_thumbnail

Our Mission

Our mission is simple. “Mobility for Independence is committed to improving the lives of children and adult with disabilities by helping provide a means for them to become more mobile.” Mobility is critical to an individual’s self-esteem and self-reliance. Those individuals that Mobility for Independence can benefit will go on to live a more fulfilling personal and professional life and have a crucial impact within their community. The organization’s overall goal is to raise the necessary funds to help individuals in acquiring safe and reliable transportation and mobility thus improving their quality of life. Increased mobility enables our recipients to have self-sufficiency and greater access to the “outside world” such as obtaining employment; pursuing educational opportunities; having access to medical facilities; attending social and religious activities; as well as an overall peace of mind that they are not entirely dependent on others for their mobility needs.