How does a scholarship foundation in its very first full fiscal year, having just sent its inaugural group of nine graduating seniors to university to the tune of $75,000 in freshman-year tuition, maximize a web presence so that it serves two audiences and two purposes? When it’s the Dare 2 Be Great Foundation, it reaches out to Alchemy Communications.
Those two purposes: To get students to apply for the scholarships, and to attract the support of members of the Delray Beach community who have the resources to help finance the scholarship program.
The site therefore had to have a “curb appeal” that would appeal to these visually oriented, highly intelligent, media-savvy high school seniors, yet have the necessary polish and language donors look for to convey the long-term goals and commitment of the Dare 2 Be Great founders and principals, a fantastically committed yet diverse group of individuals with one thing in common: a passion for nurturing excellence in students who might otherwise never have the chance to experience the higher education they deserve.
Dare 2 Be Great is the brainchild of founder Morgan Russell, a longtime Delray Beach resident, real estate developer, and philanthropist who spent 20 years dramatically changing the face of Delray Beach by creating a model of success for downtown redevelopment and revitalization before liquidating personal real estate assets in order to explore another model of success: A scholarhsip foundation that that would empower students to think outside the box and not be limited by finances, creating a model that didn’t just hand checks to bright students but instead establish a relationship with recipients to help them succeed.
He immediately turned to co-founder Jeff Perlman to help him establish the model and to recruit others who could help. Jeff enjoys a storied career in politics, business, and journalism as a former Delray City Commissioner and its former Mayor (and a finalist for Florida Mayor of the Year and World Mayor of the Year), the current President of Delray Brand Group, a business development firm, and as the current editor of Atlantic Avenue magazine. Among a lengthy list of past and present community service, Jeff sits on the Board of Directors of the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County, where Alchemy is a member and responsible for much of its marketing materials, new membership materials, and the look of its website redesign.
But Dare 2 Be Great found Alchemy through networking geniuses Mikaela and Georgio Fernandez of LadyLash Studios, who just happen to share a building with Morgan Russell’s office (it’s one of his many properties in Pineapple Grove, which he was instrumental in revitalizing).
The site needed to offer multiple ways for students to find the scholarship application, both through traditional navigation items and call out boxes in the pageframes; the ability to quickly find the latest news, updates, and events; a place for video testimonials from parents, students, mentors, and the administrators, teachers and/or guidance counselors at areas high schools about the Foundation; an area with photos and bios about each scholarship recipient that allows for updates to be posted by the students themselves regarding their progress and experiences; an explanation of the mentoring program; a section waling students through filling out the scholarship application; and all of the necessary contact information for both students and potential donors who have questions.
Alchemy worked again with Matt Kakuk of Localmanagement.us to handle the site programming, and both companies reduced fees by 50% because of Dare 2 Be Great’s non-profit status, and knowing that its founders funded those first nine scholarships themselves.