Seattle Parks Foundation

“We had an almost existential conversation about our website. Did we even need an About Us page? We were sure what we didn’t want was a clunky, self-aggrandizing, cookie cutter web presence.”
– Lee Warnecke, Development Manager, Seattle Parks Foundation


The Seattle Parks Foundation wanted to re-imagine their website from the ground up. The existing site was a hybrid of WordPress and NetCommunity™, and required multiple developers to maintain — not to mention frequent manual rekeying of the transactions from Network for Good into The Raiser’s Edge®.

As they thought about a redesign, the internal team developed a strong point of view that the majority of content included on traditional websites held little to no value for their prospective audience. “The Foundation has been trying to focus on the idea that it’s not about us,” said Lee Warnecke, Development Manager at the Foundation. “It’s about people who care about parks and public space in our city. We wanted to institute that idea across the website.”

They turned to the individuals at Nonprofit Garden to collaborate on the possibilities of an innovative NetCommunity site.


Nonprofit Garden and design partner Colombo Designs engaged in a highly customized process with the Foundation to support a full NetCommunity™ implementation for the web.

In the discovery session for the redesign, Nonprofit Garden’s consultant, Rebecca Leifert, first shared common best practice examples from implementation, then explored ways to accomplish the Foundation’s more “radical” thinking within NetCommunity™. Rather than diving in to fill standard holes and build page after page, the team instead used white boards and construction paper to rapidly prototype design and user experience ideas. The completely responsive website features several innovations:

  • A simplified design aesthetic to ensure that pages weren’t just mobile friendly, but also mobile optimized
  • Design that showcases photography, as opposed to decorating a template
  • Donation and event sign-up forms embedded with relevant content
  • A rejection of the account profile section


“Desktop computers are for work, mobile devices are for both work and play, what both of these mediums do is connect people” said Warnecke. “The Foundation is all about connections. This site informs people of Seattle Parks Foundation’s role in the city, and connects them to great public space projects.”

In addition to strengthening relationships with their former audiences, the Foundation has seen substantial increases in constituent record additions to their database, as well as a significant reduction in the staff time required to maintain data.

Visit the website at Seattle Parks Foundation

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