The Flyin Ryan Hawks Foundation (flyinryanhawks.org) is a nonprofit organization inspired by the life of well-known extreme skier Ryan Hawks. Hawks passed away at the age of 25 from injuries sustained during a Freeskiing World Tour event in Kirkwood, California, in 2011. The foundation’s mission is twofold: to share Ryan’s 14 core principles for living with the world, and to provide adventure scholarships to those who have financial need and live by Ryan’s core values. The organization also offers clinics run by Flyin Ryan Coaches, where participants learn Ryan’s core values and principles of living and have fun skiing at the same time. Foundation supporters become members of the “Flyin Ryan Family,” and receive Good Deeds, the organization’s quarterly newsletter, along with stickers they can display to spread the message. All of the foundation’s activities focus on the ultimate goal of helping people make better decisions in life and positively affecting human behavior.
It was skiing that brought the Flyin Ryan Hawks Foundation and bMighty2 together – SJ Grundon, daughter of bMighty2 co-founders Bryan and Holly Grundon, was a scholarship recipient in 2011. Upon reviewing the foundation’s website, the Grundons suggested to Peter Hawks, Ryan’s father and executive director of the organization, that a makeover might be in order. He agreed, and the project began.
Hawks and Samantha Stetson, the foundation’s tech manager, felt that the old website wasn’t keeping up with the changes in the organization. They desired more functionality, greater interactivity, user-friendly navigation, and the flexibility to grow with the foundation. They also needed a platform that would give them greater control over the content. Above all, they wanted an inspirational website that would focus on people and tell their stories in a compelling way.
With Project Manager Todd Warnock at the helm, bMighty2 developed a new website for the Flyin Ryan Hawks Foundation that would meet their current needs, yet be flexible enough to accommodate added functionality in the future. The new website is based on WordPress, a robust, well-supported content management system (CMS) used by millions of sites across the web. Foundation staff have complete control over the content, and can decide what content will be displayed, as well as where it will be displayed.
Social media has also been integrated into the new website, with connect buttons now easily found at the top of each page, rather than hidden at the bottom. The home page features both a Facebook feed and a blog feed; the blog includes not only news items and information on upcoming events, but also posts from Flyin Ryan Coaches and scholarship recipients. WordPress’s blog feature enables coaches and scholarship recipients to upload blog posts quickly and easily, any time of day or night.
The updated website also incorporates a fresh, new look and feel, with bolder graphics and more noticeable calls to action. Also prominently featured on the new home page is a short video on Ryan, which includes skiing footage of him and interviews with friends and colleagues. The design is fully responsive, and will display on a wide variety of desktop, handheld, and mobile devices.
With the updated website now live, the Flyin Ryan Hawks Foundation has taken the next step in its growth as a nonprofit organization. Thanks to bMighty2, their new website can help spread Ryan’s message of living life to the fullest to its largest audience yet.
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