I started work with Oxfam America in April 2003 as the primary maintainer and technical lead for the agency website, oxfamamerica.org. In the summer of 2004, I led the relaunch of the site, working with vendors and internal teams to create a well-branded, usable site with enhanced content, clear information architecture, a professional design, and a powerful and flexible content management system. The design of the site was done pro-bono by design firm Corey McPherson Nash, and the content management system by Enfold Systems.
In January of 2005, the site proved its worth many times over as it supported Oxfam’s response to the tsunami in southeast Asia. We were able to quickly post vital content, including a press release only hours after the disaster, and to present Oxfam as a leading aid agency addressing the emergency. In the course of two weeks, Oxfam America raised over $30M, including over $14M in online donations. The site was redesigned again in the fall of 2007.
The site ran on the Open Source content management system Plone, with aggressive caching to improve speed. The backend administration interface is easy for non-technical staff to use, and includes a WYSIWYG editor and a number of other tools to improve the management of the site. The new system was transparently integrated with the organization’s email and fundraising tools, which used the GetActive (later Convio, soon to be Blackbaud) platform. I worked closely with Enfold on the setup of the system, including coding and integrating all of the public templates.