Nonprofit Spotlight: Maui Ocean Center Marine Institute

The Maui Ocean Center Marine Institute is a nonprofit organization of scientists dedicated to ongoing research and rehabilitation of marine animals, outreach education programs, and the propagation of endangered species of Hawaiian corals.

Earth’s marine environment is in constant need of our support. With recent news attention to the tragic health decline of the Great Barrier Reef, it is comforting to be reminded of organizations working to protect, recover, and restore our oceans.

moc-nonprofit-websiteThrough use of their nonprofit website, MOC Institute is able to educate the public, accept donations, and update the community of Maui on current projects. One project they have continuously supported is the cultivation and care of endemic Hawaiian corals. Due to the warming of ocean temperatures caused by climate change, many reef-essential species of coral worldwide have come under immense stress, diminishing Earth’s coral reef population. The MOC Institute houses a “coral bank” which provides care to many Hawaiian coral species, as well as a cultivation program that successfully propagates coral, eventually returning it to its natural habitat in the nearby ocean.

One of MOC Institute’s goals is to eventually build a rehabilitation center for sick or injured sea turtles. Currently, there is no such facility on the island of Maui; all sea turtles in need of care are transported to a rehab center on Oahu which does not have the capacity to provide long-term care. The future plans for MOC Institute include a complete rehabilitation center where hurt or ill sea turtles will be nursed to health, then returned to the wild.

Located on the shore of Maalaea Harbor, MOC Institute consistently work hands-on to rescue and rehabilitate a diversity of precious marine life, all essential to the health of our oceans’ ecosystems. MOC’s nonprofit website feature high-quality ocean photography and images of their coral banks, as well as documentation of current projects. The GivingPress theme’s responsive pages are well-utilized, and contact information is easily accessed at the top of the page, making it easy to receive community support. Without the efforts of nonprofit organizations like these, the ocean as we know it might be quite different, declining at a much faster rate. Through outreach programs and public education, MOC Institute hopes to instill a greater understanding and appreciation of our oceans and the marine life that depend on it. For more information about Maui Ocean Center Marine Institute, visit their website.

Nonprofit Spotlight: BirthWaves

Since the launch of GivingPress, we have been exposed to a variety of great organizations, and are continually blown away by their selfless acts of kindness. Recently, we were introduced to BirthWaves. The kindness and empathy of their nonprofit services deeply moved us.

So this week, we would like to spotlight the Bbirthwaves-screenshotirthWaves nonprofit organization. They provide doula services specializing in pregnancy and infant loss. Doulas are trained professionals, or birth companions, who provide emotional and physical assistance throughout pregnancy, childbirth, and into the postpartum phase. BirthWaves is a network of certified doulas who provide a variety of services to grieving mothers and families who have lost a child to miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant death of any cause. These incredible women offer their unconditional support 24/7 to all families at absolutely NO cost to the family, regardless of income, religion, or any other factor. The nonprofit organization does rely solely on donations from the community, but all of these amazing services are absolutely free to families in emotional need.

According to the BirthWaves nonprofit website, research shows that 10-25% of pregnancies in the U.S. end in miscarriage, resulting in an astounding 600,000 miscarriages per year. In addition, there are approximately 25,000 stillbirths a year. It is hard to imagine the emotional effect these numbers play on hundreds of thousands of mothers and families across the nation. If there’s any silver lining to be found, it’s that these compassionate women are willing and available day or night to provide comfort and support any way they can. The free doula services provided range from early stages of pregnancy, labor and delivery assistance, postpartum support — including light housework and meal preparation for recovering mothers. The bereavement doulas even help with funeral arrangements for the family in efforts to ease the painful process of losing a child. We personally appreciate BirthWaves selfless, inspiring cause and for making a difference in the world and the lives of so many families.

For more information about this incredible group of women and to offer a donation to their cause, visit the BirthWaves nonprofit website.

A Free Nonprofit WordPress Theme – GivingPress Lite

GivingPress is excited to announce the release of the free WordPress nonprofit theme, GivingPress Lite.

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GivingPress is passionate about improving the appearance and functionality of nonprofit websites. The Lite version of our GivingPress WordPress theme is freely available for any nonprofit organization with web hosting and WordPress.

The theme features a fully responsive framework that molds perfectly to any mobile device. That means more donors can access your site more easily. The design is professional and modern, giving your nonprofit website the updated appearance it needs.

The donation section can be easily customized within the WordPress customizer by navigating to Appearance > Customize within the WordPress admin. Link the “Donate” button to another page or your external donation service, such as PayPal. In addition, you can easily upload a logo, manage custom menus, add a header image, change the background color, contact information and much more within the WordPress customizer. Setup your website with the GivingPress Lite theme in a matter of minutes!

GivingPress Lite is a simplified version of our GivingPress Pro theme, provided to all GivingPress members and available for purchase on our site. The pro version features a ton of extra customization options, page templates and functionality.

GivingPress Lite is available for download on our site, or within the WordPress theme directory. Having the theme in the directory ensures that it meets the highest WordPress standards of code and security. In addition, your installed GivingPress Lite theme will receive continual updates.

Get your nonprofit website started with the GivingPress Lite theme!

Our Experience Exhibiting At The 16NTC Nonprofit Technology Conference

david-jeff-booth-16ntcWe recently exhibited GivingPress at the 16NTC Nonprofit Technology Conference in San Jose, CA. It’s been nearly 2 weeks since the conference, and we’re still reeling from the experience.

Our heads have been buried in the design and development of GivingPress over the past year. Jeff and I have been so focused on launching the service that we nearly missed the exhibitor registration deadline. Within a couple weeks I scrambled to get the signage and promotional materials designed and printed in time — the last of our signs arrived literally minutes before leaving for the airport. The 16NTC conference was the culmination of all our hard work. We hoped it would be well received.

GivingPress is a new startup in the nonprofit space. This was our first experience exhibiting at a conference of this scale. We had no idea what to expect, and the anxiety was mounting.

The staff at NTC was extremely helpful. Upon our arrival we spoke with Eileigh and some of staff members at the exhibitor services. They calmed our nerves, and we immediately felt welcome.

Jeff and I came from a background in WordPress. There’s a comradery within that world that doesn’t exist in most industries. Most WordPress business owners are like us. They’re good-natured, young professionals with humble beginnings. We started by volunteering time in the form of code, design and support to the growing WordPress community. We have established great friendships over the years, even among our competitors. Going to a WordPress conference is like going to a high school reunion. It’s a bunch of friends talking about our lives, families and business. We love being a part of that community. It’s a rarity in business, and we try not to take it for granted.

We were extremely pleased to find the nonprofit industry has a similar comradery. Our booth neighbors at Capellic were a startup like us, and they were a pleasure to work beside. Everybody we spoke with was extremely friendly. We were in great company, and felt at home at 16NTC.

Before the conference we hadn’t spoken with many people about GivingPress. We obviously knew what it was, but we didn’t have much experience explaining it to people outside of our company. The conference honed our pitch of GivingPress with each new visitor to our booth.

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We were told most web designers and agencies avoid building sites for smaller nonprofits like the plague. “There’s no money in it, the client support is a nightmare, and it’s not worth the time.” This was music to our ears. We have been providing website solutions to hundreds of thousands of customers with small budgets for over 6 years. We know how to automate website creation and manage support expectations. Our gut feeling that we were targeting an under-served niche was validated.

The response to GivingPress was overwhelmingly positive! Nobody was offering an affordable and professional website solution catered to nonprofits. Nearly every small to medium sized nonprofit we spoke with needed a new or improved website. GivingPress serves a purpose for the largest group of nonprofits that nobody wants to help.

Jeff and I came away from the 16NTC Nonprofit Technology Conference feeling validated for our hard work, and knowing we are on the right track. We’re more motivated than ever to make GivingPress the go-to solution for nonprofit websites. We’re looking forward to 17NTC!

We’re Quietly Opening The Doors

After several months of development, we have soft launched our website solution for nonprofits. GivingPress is currently accepting early applicants, providing them with 3 months free service!

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What Is GivingPress?

In short, GivingPress is a full WordPress website solution for nonprofit organizations.

With a website from GivingPress your nonprofit will receive all the essential tools needed to create a successful website. Your site will be hosted in the ultra secure cloud hosting environment from Amazon Web Services with SFTP access to your server. In addition, your website will feature a beautifully designed and customizable template capable of accepting donations, creating fundraisers, events and projects, showcasing staff and board members, promoting news, selling products and more.

In addition to adding new features, integrating services and providing customer support, our team is continually maintaining and updating the GivingPress software. With GivingPress, your website will always be at the forefront of web technology.

Our Experience

GivingPress was founded by David Morgan and Jeff Milone. We have several years of experience creating websites for nonprofit organizations. We founded the popular WordPress theme company, Organic Themes, as well as the hosting company, Kahuna Host. Organic Themes was among the first and most successful WordPress theme companies.

Our popular NonProfit Theme has been used by thousands of organizations for their website solution. The positive response to our NonProfit Theme sparked a passion to create a better website solution for nonprofits, and the concept for GivingPress was born.

In addition, we have released the Organization Theme on WordPress.com for nonprofits. More recently, we have released the free  GivingPress Lite theme within the WordPress theme directory.

GivingPress founders both have a history of working with nonprofit organizations.

Jeff was the technology advisor on the board of the Leroy Homer Jr. Foundation. A nonprofit that was created in honor of Leroy Homer, First Officer of United Airlines #93 when it crashed in Shanksville, PA on September 11th, 2001. The foundation provides scholarships to students interested in a career in the field of aviation.

David was the technology advisor for AIDC, a nonprofit that worked to develop the agriculture of third world countries through education and training. He also manages and maintains the website for the Sophie Deloria foundation, created in the memory of Sophie Deloria. Proceeds from the foundation go towards improving school facilities in Maui county. In addition, David has volunteered time to designing brands and websites for other nonprofits.

We believe our track record of creating successful businesses within the web software industry, in addition to our personal experience working with nonprofit organizations makes us perfectly suited to create this website solution for nonprofits. We’re excited about providing small to medium sized nonprofits with a complete and powerful website solution at an affordable rate!