The Nerdery - Overnight Website Challenge

Twin Cities 2011, March 26-27

SARA (formerly, Goodhue Wabasha Sexual Assault Services)

Paired with Hard Corps

We have 2 full time staff members, 1 part time staff member and 5 volunteer on-call advocates. Our very committed volunteers put in an average of 113 on-call hours a month. We currently have 9 people serving on the SARA Board which is comprised of community members, law enforcement, social workers, advocates, and medical personnel.

Our services include a 24 hour confidential support line available to victims, family, friends, community members and service providers. Our advocates can also provide support in person or on the phone. Advocates attend medical exams, law enforcement interviews, court hearings, and other appointments. We have support groups for victims/survivors and secondary survivors (friends and family).

When we are not providing direct service to victims we are involved in primary prevention including, presenting in classrooms to schools in the area about topics such as healthy and unhealthy relationships, boundaries, and acquaintance sexual assault. In addition to presenting at schools, we give presentations to community professionals as well.

What new functionality we are looking for

Where do I begin with this question? Anything would be better than what we have now but there are certainly specific items that we would like for our website. For starters we would like a page just for victims to access with information about sexual assault with a quick and easy way to email us directly. We would like to provide links to other resources in the community that would be helpful to someone. Next we would like to have a page where people from the community could get involved with our agency, including ways they could donate to us and sign up for our E-Letter. An event page that we could update ourselves would be great along with pictures from events held previously. Lastly, we would like a private access point for volunteers so we can post the on-call schedule and other pertinent documents so we could communicate more efficiently with them.

Overall, our vision for the website is to provide clear and easily accessable information for not only victims but also community members, service providers, and volunteers.

How the new functionality will help

A new website would help us fulfill our mission on many different levels. Not only could someone confidentially lookup information on how they could get help after an assault but it could allow them to take the first step towards healing and empowerment. A new website could engage community members already supporting our cause but it could reach new people seeking information about the agency and sexual assault.

How our organization will use the technology

Who will use the technology

Before & After Snapshots

Thumbnail_screen%20shot%202011-03-18%20at%203.56.21%20pm Thumbnail_home-new

8 Messages from Supporters

2011-02-16 21:06:26 UTC
Emily Nelson - HOPE Coalition

SARA is a wonderful organization and a HUGE asset to our community! As a fellow non-profit employee, I fully support SARA in this project! there ahve been many times that people in our commmunity have asked me about heir website - "Why can't I find it? are they still in business? There's nothing on it and everything is outdated." As a small non-proft that does GREAT work it is a shame that they are so limited with their technology. In this era of tech savvy, and Internet-driven communication I feel it is absolutely necissary for SARA to update their website. They have made a great effort to get with the program and have joined facebook, twitter, and the like...but their website is from the stone-age! Please help this small, yet wonderful, non-profit!!!

2011-02-17 19:24:46 UTC

In order for SARA to be able to get their important resources & information out to the community, and especially clients in need of help, they need a website that provides the information needeed. I am supporting them to find that help that is needed to provide a website for them in order to connect with those in need. With everyone looking to the web for information it is very important for them to provide the information needed in that way. Although the website they have now does provide an overview for SARA, it DOES NOT provide enough.
I feel that it very important that someone out there with the skills to help this wonderful organization will be generous enough to help not only SARA, but to all those that need the support from them.

2011-02-17 21:36:42 UTC

I've seen the amazing work that this agency provides to our community members--unfortunately their website isn't as incredible as the work the do! They need a website that is just as professional and supporting as they are to the victims and survivors in our community.
Sexual assault victims are often afraid to seek help and commonly look to other resources before ever speaking to an individual for help. SARA needs a website that can provide information, resources, and opportunities to connect to the dedicated and passionate staff that are there to support them.

2011-02-18 01:48:24 UTC

SARA is very needed in our community...with a recent assault where a perpetrated was shot we are again reminded that YES this does happen in our community. We need the services that SARA offers and with a quality website they can reach more people who need them.

2011-02-18 05:01:06 UTC

This program offers life saving support to the victims in our community. But we also offer information and resources outside of your community, such as "Breaking Free" in St. Paul, Minnesota. With a quality website, we can continue to grow in numbers to fight against sexual assault, not just in our own community, but in communities across the state. I believe that the SARA Program desparatlely needs the upgrade,so that our voice will continue to be heard. The most vulnerable amongst us needs the Sara Program and we need to reach them.

2011-02-18 23:16:51 UTC

Sexual assault victims often seek out initial information online before "taking the leap" to make a call to a crisis line or seek help in person. If SARA had a professional-looking and accessible website, victims of sexual assault would be much better served in this community!

2011-02-22 19:07:15 UTC

Sexual assault happens everywhere, often, to all demographics, and is one of the hardest experiences to seek help with.
SARA provides excellent direct services, victim-centered information on sexual assault, as well as local and statewide training.
Having a website would dramatically increase accessibility to these services, resources and training that may be available and the more people who can seek help for, or understand sexual assault, the healthier our communities will be for everyone.
Please consider SARA for your website challenge.

2011-02-21 19:44:47 UTC

I worked for SARA (formerly GWSAS) for 7 years. When I first started, the website was limited and outdated. It had been created by a volunteer who had moved on and there was no way to access the site and update it. After two years, we found another volunteer to create a new website and discontinuted the old one. Unfortunately, shortly after creating that website, the volunteer moved on and once again the aency was stuck with an outdated website and no way to edit it. Four years later, we found new volunteers to create a website that staff would be able to edit once it was complete. Unfortunately, due to a delay in developing a new agency logo, the partially completed website remained dormant for a year. After the new logo was finalized, SARA was once again faced with the issue of a website that could not be accessed because the volunteers had moved on and the site was not complete. Noticing a pattern here? Currently, the limited website available was created by staff who have no training in website development. Clearly, after more than 9 years the agency desperately needs trained professionals to create a website that can easily be accessed and edited by the staff, thus alowing SARA to have a useful and technologically sound way to communicate with clients, community, and volunteers. Please, please, help them break this cycle once and for all!

Our Mission

SARA actively, supports, educates, empowers, and advocates on behalf of victims and others impacted by sexual violence as well as provides prevention, awareness, and outreach programs for the communities of Goodhue and Wabasha Counties as well as Prairie Island Indian Community.