The Nerdery - Overnight Website Challenge

Twin Cities 2011, March 26-27

Working Family Resource Center

Paired with Ratchet


The Working Family Resource Center was established in 1985 as a program of the St. Paul Public Schools to provide early childhood education to working parents. Over time, we began to work directly with employers and broadened our educational focus. WFRC’s classes now include parenting from birth to age 18 and many topics that address issues throughout the life cycle. In 2007, we incorporated as our own 501(c)(3) non-profit, and now provide services throughout Minnesota. Because of our fast-growing on-line services, we reached 25,000 individuals in 2010 including many who struggle to maintain a living-wage job, juggle multiple responsibilities, and positively parent their children.


WFRC’s unique combination of parenting and work-life education gives parents the tools to not only be better parents, but to reduce family stress and create stable home environments.

• We teach parents the skills and knowledge so their children enter kindergarten ready to learn

• We teach parents how to guide their children to be successful throughout school and into adulthood

• We teach parents how to manage the many daily concerns that impact their lives at home and at work such as managing finances during the difficult economy, caring for their own elderly parents, and improving their health and the health of their families

What new functionality we are looking for

On-line classes are the fastest growing component of WFRC’s work. In the last 4 months, we have seen class registrations grow from less than 100 to over 1,000 participants in just one of our programs. Making it clear and easy for clients to register for classes and locate the resources relevant to them is critical for us to continue to reach as many parents as possible and provide the education and support they are seeking to balance work and family and positively parent their children.

WFRC’s web site needs to become more user-friendly for both parents and business clients and remain relevant to both markets. Our site needs:

• To be easy for parents to register for on-line classes, access recordings, podcasts, and other resources

• To be easy to navigate for employers to access information about WFRC services

• To allow employees to go to one specific location for their company to access classes/recordings

• A search function for overall user-friendliness

WFRC’s web site needs to be easier to manage on the administrative end. We need:

• Secure logins for employer services

• A structure that will allow us to move towards a membership model where both parents and business clients can access separate libraries of classes

• Automation that allows us to more easily carry out such tasks as entering class participants and donors into databases and listservs, send out RSS feeds as new classes are posted on-line, etc.

How the new functionality will help

On-line classes are the fastest growing component of WFRC’s work. In the last 4 months, we have seen class registrations grow from less than 100 to over 1,000 participants in just one of our programs, Early Learning Counts. Making it clear and easy for clients to register for classes and locate the resources relevant to them is critical for us to continue to reach as many parents as possible and provide the education and support they are seeking to balance work and family and positively parent their children.

How our organization will use the technology

Who will use the technology

Before & After Snapshots

Thumbnail_screen%20shot%202011-03-18%20at%204.05.31%20pm Thumbnail_homepage

34 Messages from Supporters

2011-02-08 19:46:06 UTC
Julie P

The Working Family Resource Center is the best resource for helping parents do the difficult job of parenting. I attended classes with WFRC when I worked downtown St. Paul and I look forward to attending more of their webinars from the comfort of my desk now that I'm in the "other" downtown. Please help this little giant, the WFRC, enjoy the benefits of a leading edge website so they can more easily offer their services to parents everywhere.

2011-02-08 20:08:31 UTC

WFRC does a great job of reaching out to parents and families at all stages of life. They would be able to do an even better job with a new web site that could maximize the use of technology.

2011-02-08 20:15:35 UTC
Conor O'Phelan

The Working Family Resource Center is an amazing resource for families of all backgrounds. I have been consulting them on their web strategies over the past couple years and keep stressing that their long-term viability and reach depends on their web presence.

A new website would bring Working Family to the next level, and help them reach their goal of self-sustainability. I cannot imagine an organization who could use this opportunity more!

Thanks for the work that you do.

2011-02-08 20:47:53 UTC
Emily Johnson, Development Manager at WFRC

I know families who have lost their jobs and homes. I know families living paycheck to paycheck. Yet even in such difficult circumstances they are committed as ever to do all they can for their children.

Whenever I speak to parents about our work, they are thrilled to learn about the classes and resources WFRC has to offer. I am truly grateful to be able to contribute to such important work!

2011-02-08 21:37:42 UTC
Jan Hayne, Dads Make a Difference

WFRC has been doing this work for a long time ... educating parents to achieve better work/family balance is good for parents, children, families, employers, and communities. As our world becomes increasingly reliant on technology to assist with that educational process, it's important for WFRC to keep up with the times to increase access to and administration of their services. Winning this challenge would provide a HUGE resource plus for them.

2011-02-08 22:35:55 UTC
Karen Carr, Revitalize Live Coaching, LLC

Working Family Resource Center is a terrific example of great work contributing to the truth in 'it takes a village to raise a child.' I hope this opportunity to expand their web capacity happens! Their reach is expansive and vital to parents across the region.

2011-02-11 15:37:19 UTC
Philomena Morrissey Satre Diversity and Inculsion-Work Life professional in the Twin Cities

I have worked with the Working Family Resource Center on behalf of my corporation for over 19 years. Wow! You may ask why? Work Life issues impact our team members every day when our team comes to work. We have through a partnership with WFRC been able to offer Work Life and Wellness classes every month to our team members with a wide variety of topics from: Elder Care, Parenting, Stress Relief, Weight loss, and How to Stay Out of Debt just to name a few. WFRC provides quality learning with practical solutions. It is a well run, and service focused organization. The staff is wonderful to work with and very proactive in their relationship with our organziation. I would highly recommend WFRC

2011-02-11 16:45:53 UTC
Beth Quist, Executive Director of Working Family Resource Center

During this time when budgets are being crunched and individuals are doing more with less, the demand for WFRC's online delivery model is growing rapidly. It is imperative that WFRC remain on the cutting edge with technology infrastructure and web design in order to serve an increasing demand for programs in a seamless and cost-effective way. More and more families are turning to online programs and websites for the work-family information they need and WFRC is there to provide it. Please support us in this endeavor!

2011-02-12 02:54:28 UTC
Lynda Enright, Be Well Nutrition Consulting

WFRC offers valuable education and resources for individuals and families. Considering the current health status of so many adults and children today those resources are crucial and can have a significant impact on improving the lives of those it reaches. A new website would allow WFRC to have even greater reach and help more people to live healthier lives.

2011-02-12 04:36:28 UTC
Marti Erickson, Developmental Psychologist & Co-host, Good Enough Momsâ„¢ (

There is nothing more important to our society than good parenting, and WFRC knows exactly how to reach parents where they are with the information and support they need. WFRC also knows how to do much with little, a critical skill in today's world of shrinking dollars for nonprofits. A new website would enable WFRC to serve parents more efficiently and effectively than ever, thereby strengthening families, promoting optimal health and development for children and ultimately benefitting our whole society.

2011-02-14 14:06:17 UTC
Lisa K. Vosbeek, Manager of Work Life Education of Working Family Resource Center

I know families of all sizes. As I talk with many of these families one thing is clear to me, parents need education and resources to be effective, and engaged parents.

Today, WFRC is reaching more parents than ever by providing parent education through online programming. To continue to meet the growing needs and demands of these parents it is imperative that WFRC stay on the cutting edge of technology. With continued support, we will be able to continue to enhance our website which provides educational programming and resources to parents at all income levels.

2011-02-15 23:55:13 UTC
Toni Schutta, Parent Coach, Families First Coaching,

Working Family Resource Center provides a unique service that no one else does: providing working parents with the highest quality parent education. The staff is top-notch and strives to understand the needs of working parents and provide them with important information in the most convenient way possible. Since many families now have two wage earners, the work place is the perfect venue for reaching busy parents.

2011-02-16 17:59:21 UTC
Amanda Madrid, Family Educator at Way to Grow

What a innovating way to educate busy parents about child/family wellness. A great program deserves a great website!!

2011-02-16 20:51:39 UTC
Amanda Dustan, McGladrey

At McGladrey we utilize the WFRC for our monthly WorkLife Webinars. WFRC allows us an opportunity to provide all employees (no matter where they are) access to information around key topics that impact their life- stress management, financial concerns, wellnes topics etc. I have no doubt that as more and more companies learn about WFRC's resources and the impact they can have on employees, they too will want to offer it. WFRC will need to ensure their website can support the demand so more people can benefit from this valuable resource.

2011-02-16 21:11:32 UTC
Mary Kosak

I can't tell you how often the topic of parent education comes up in various meetings. Everybody realizes the vital importance of parent ed and how every parent wants to do what is best for their children. The Working Family Resource Center is a provider of high quality parent education, and their online seminars are outstanding. Being able to learn online removes many of the barriers to accessing parent education - like distance and time. When asked why more people don't take advantage of the resources of WFRC, the answer was marketing and the lack of awareness. I agree with the above testimonial, "A great organization deserves a great website!"

2011-02-16 21:17:45 UTC
Tim Quist, Compensation Manager, Analysts, Inc

The WFRC provides vital educational services to working parents and families across all socio-economic statuses, and as such it is imperative that the web-based tools the Center uses to provide education to each and every client is user-friendly, well laid out and is scalable as the Organization grows. An effective website achieves all of these criteria and more, and given the mission of the WFRC, I know of no other Organization that is more deserving of this offering.

2011-02-16 21:28:18 UTC
Shereen Jensen, Actuary, Blue Cross Blue Shild of MN

The inforamtion WFRC provides has helped me be a much better parent to my children. My children are seeing the benefits of what I learn as well.

More and more this information is provided through electronic means. The website is so important to helping people access it. Changes to the website could benefit so many families in many ways.

2011-02-16 21:42:05 UTC
Tina Feigal

I am a parent coach who has done trainings for WFRC. The people who make up the organization are dedicated, hard-working, and unique in their compassion. If anyone deserves to win a web site, it's WFRC. Think about their reach, and their potential reach, in supporting families all over the state! There is no more important job than helping parents know what to do to create emotionally healthy, productive citizens for the future. If I had this free web site, I would definitely give it to WFRC!

2011-02-16 22:02:42 UTC

WFRC is a tremendous resource for parents and families. The content is excellent, top notch, and they have been creative in moving toward delivering that information in the most accessible format.

David Rodbourne
A Parent.....and .....Vice President
Center for Ethical Business Cultures
University of St.Thomas
Minneapolis, MN 55403

2011-02-16 22:22:41 UTC
Barbara Wulf, Stress Reduction Faciltator, Meditation Matters

As someone who has worked with WFRC for a number of years, I can't say enough about their family and workplace programs. A new website that is helpful, well organized, and easy to navigate will not only better serve their existing clients, but will also create more awareness around their important mission as they strive to reach new audiences. This new site will really help give WFRC the boost it needs to grow as and organization and become an incredible resource for the community and beyond. I can't think of more deserving organization!

2011-02-17 01:26:24 UTC
Sharon B

WFRC is a great organization to help educate parents and especially low income ones. Classes are reasonably priced and they are constantly updating new information and research into their educational resources,

2011-02-17 01:35:33 UTC
Ginger L. Zierdt

The Working Family Resource Center is an amazing advocate and champion for young children and their families - a real innovator of helping mothers and fathers develop work-life integration! I wish them all the best, and hope they receive the opportunity to develop their vision for a website that helps advance their mission!

Ginger L. Zierdt
Center for School-University Partnerships
117 Armstrong Hall
Minnesota State University
Mankato, MN 56001

2011-02-17 01:43:55 UTC
Rani Murdoch Zappa

I am proud to be connected with the WFRC. I have facilitated workshops through their in-person and webinar programs and know first hand the positive impact the workshops have on parents in the workplace. A more user friendly website will enable the WFRC to reach even MORE families - and that will benefit the parents and their children!

2011-02-17 01:45:03 UTC
Diane Cushman, Executive Director, National Council on Family Relations

WFRC is committed to providing educational opportunities to working families at the worksite. Until the web, all programs were delivered at the worksite. The advent of the world wide web and more recently online webinars has allowed WFRC to deliver programs to many more people at a fraction of the cost of in-person delivery. An enhanced and updated website will extend the reach of WFRC and as a result improve the lives of more working families.

2011-02-17 03:13:29 UTC
Barb Kuklock

The Staff at Working Family Resource Center works harder, is more committed to their cause and loyal than any staff I've ever worked with. They have an incredible mission to help families in all stages of life. A website refresh would allow them to continue serving these families even better ... reach more folks who need their help.

2011-02-17 03:24:11 UTC
Gina Armada

Working Family Resource Center is an excellent resource for parent and work-life balance information. With an updated web site, the organization would be even more effective at sharing resources with those who need it!

2011-02-17 03:53:09 UTC

WFRC provides research based education on topics from birth to death. The educational information provided helps each one of us make intelligent decisions under the most emotional times in our lives. We are so busy attempting to be the best at all that we aspire, be it spouse, daughter, mother, CEO, line worker that we have no time, no energy to learn about research based best practices in today's world regarding relationships, parenting and being able to communicate our thoughts, our feelings, our desires. WFRC is a new way and a growing way to help individuals, families, businesses, and organizaion learn and grow! I am personally grateful for the information, the education WFRC has given to me in person, on the web, and in email to help me grow through the vast spaces of our lives. Thank you WFRC!!!!

2011-02-17 03:59:25 UTC

The WFRC's services are such a blessing! They are there with support
for the Twin Cities working families.

2011-02-17 05:50:48 UTC
Leanne Sponsel, PhD

As someone who works "for" WFRC as a consultant, I am impressed with their clarity of mission and the organized way they handle their business. I appreciate their open mind position as they venture into alternative ways to educate and support families. They are doing important work! - and I know they will use a new web site in positive and creative ways.

2011-02-17 05:56:31 UTC

One of their on-site classes helped my wife and me to make some decisions about our daughter and kindergarten and how to handle a biting toddler (that was a few years ago). In a way, it changed our lives.

2011-02-17 13:54:15 UTC

As a working parent, I truly value the webinars offered. There are informative, interactive, and very helpful. I wished I had known about them sooner because I would have taken more in the past. What a great resource for all parents and we are very lucky to have WFRC here for us.

2011-02-17 14:38:35 UTC
Chris V.

WFRC pursues a wonderful mission to help parents provide a better life and life skills for their family. To think that this small organization could reach twenty five thousand people last year alone is staggering! By doing this, these families now have improved skills for a healthy family structure. This then enables these families to positively contribute back to the communities in which they live! This has been a tremendous benefit to the entire community in which WFRC serves today.

A new website is imperative in today's technology environment in order to expand their services in a more efficient manner as this non profit organization has limited staff resources.

2011-02-17 15:26:12 UTC
Karl M

I have worked with WFRC for almost 17 years as an instructor and I have had the opportunity to see how hard the staff members work as a team to passionately and compassionately fulfill the a mission that is truly worthy of this reward. As someone who works closely with WFRC to design and develop web based content, I would encourage you to consider the tremendous amount of good that would result from providing WFRC with a new website.

2011-02-17 16:54:34 UTC
Jason Samuels, Technology Manager, National Council on Family Relations

The Working Family Resource Center does great work that helps families. As an organization that provides educational programming they've already moved towards delivering services online. A CMS driven website could directly increase their effectiveness and benefit the families they serve. WFRC really deserves a new website, and would benefit from it like few organizations could.

Our Mission

The Working Family Resource Center provides parents with education and support to help them manage the competing demands of work and family, resulting in healthy families and communities where they can thrive. WFRC presents classes on parenting and on broader topics that impact families, such as money management and elder care. WFRC’s goal is to make parent and work-life education as accessible and convenient as possible for busy families. We offer on-line classes that can be watched anytime, from anywhere, and we work with employers to present classes directly during the work day.