MRG Foundation rebranding and website launched

MRG Foundation home pageHere at Blue Mouse Monkey we were continually inspired by our client the MRG Foundation during the thorough rebranding and website redesign process that wrapped up with the website launch last week.

Our work with MRG began in the spring with discovery: surveys, focus groups, personas, and analysis of the foundation’s position among its audiences of social-change activists, grantees, donors, and foundation peers. A visual redesign followed, (although unfortunately the new logo was delayed until next year) generating new fonts and color palette and a modernized look-and feel. Additionally, we collaborated with MRG to create a new tagline and new boilerplate descriptive text. All this on top of our traditional web strategy work encompassing information architecture, user experience design, user interface design, and WordPress development.

A special feature of the site is the Grants Archive, a searchable database of the last five years of MRG grantees, sortable by date, region, amount, issue area, and leadership, and fully integrated with MRG’s internal CiviCRM grants database.

The new brand strategy and website will serve as a solid foundation and help raise visibility for the MRG  Foundation as it moves forward with its plans for growth and even greater impact on social change in Oregon.

Elders in Action Website Launched

Elders in Action Website Home PageBlue Mouse Monkey is very happy to announce the launch of the new website for Portland non-profit Elders in Action. Elders in Action is an independent non-profit organization that advocates for older adults and provides meaningful volunteer opportunities.

EIA trains personal advocates to provide one-on-one problem solving assistance to elders at no charge. Volunteers assist in the areas of housing, healthcare, crime, and elder abuse.

Elders in Action also runs a citizens advisory group, and coordinates speakers and events. EIA is a powerful voice of older adults in the greater Portland area. The wisdom and talent of its volunteers works to build an age-friendly community. 

We designed the site to be elder-friendly, with intuitive navigation, larger font size, and prominent calls-to-action.

Spirit of the Salmon website launched

Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission sub basin plan map

Home page for the Spirit of the Salmon Plan Volume 2: Subbasin Plans, with interactive map of the Columbia River Subbasins

In Blue Mouse Monkey’s second major project for CRITFC, the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, we are proud to announce the launch of the brand new Spirit of the Salmon website. The Spirit of the Salmon Plan, also known as Wy-Kan-Ush-Mi Wa-Kish-Wit, was written in 1995 to provide a roadmap for restoring declining salmon populations in the Columbia river basin. This website presents the entire original plan documents alongside 18 years of data and restoration success stories, and helps make visible CRITFC’s position as a thought-leader in ecosystem stewardship.

The website is really three sites in one, each representing a hefty volume in the Spirit of the Salmon Plan. The top navigation strip leads to the home pages of the three sites, and the lower strip serves as navigation within each of the sites. The first site is the 2013 update to the Spirit of the Salmon Plan, the second site is the original plan from 1995, and the third site is a subbasin-by-subbasin analysis.

CRITFC’s goal was to make the Spirit of the Salmon Plan documents available online in an approachable, interactive format, to make the information relevant and accessible to the general public. As the quote below demonstrates, salmon are the icon of the Northwest as they shape many of our policies, even for those people who may not actually eat them. We are all Salmon People, or Wy-Kan-Ush-Pum, and it’s important to understand the importance of salmon in our lives.

As CRITFC says,

In Sahaptin, the word for salmon used in sacred ceremonies is “wy-kan-ush.” Also in Sahaptin, the word “pum” means “people.” The tribal cultures in the Columbia River Basin could rightly be called Wy-Kan-Ush-Pum or “Salmon People” for how completely these sacred fish shaped their culture, diets, societies, and religions…Salmon have shaped the culture of the newcomers to this region just as they shaped tribal cultures before them. Salmon are the icon of this place. They are valued as food, as a resource, and as a representation of the wildness and wilderness for which the Pacific Northwest is known. They shape our land use policies and power grid. Whether they realize it or not, every single person in the Northwest is a Wy-Kan-Ush-Pum. We are all Salmon People. Let us all work together to protect and restore salmon—this fish that unites us.

Gray Family Foundation website launched

Blue Mouse Monkey is super-proud to announce the launch of a new website for the Gray Family Foundation. Founded by Oregon philanthropists John and Betty Gray, the Gray Family Foundation’s mission is to support outdoor and environmental education for children, in order to encourage a strong local land ethic, sustainable communities and stewardship of the natural environment. The effect is to build in young citizens a sense of place and responsibility toward Oregon.

This young organization wanted a website that would raise the bar for foundation websites.

Storytelling is built in to the structure, with sidebar modules that present changing statistics about the foundation’s giving history, student narratives about their outdoor education experiences, and a home page that gives the visitor an “at-a-glance” impression of the Foundation and its impact. Additionally, a structure has been laid for future dynamic functionality, such as an interactive map demonstrating the Foundation’s impact across the state of Oregon, due to be rolled out in 2014.

The new site is built in WordPress, and is easy for Gray Foundation staff to keep updated during their grant cycles. It’s also easy for the Foundation’s board members to log in to a private Board area to review current grant applications, view board meeting schedules and minutes, and get updates from the Foundation’s director. Additionally, the responsive design allows users to access data from mobile devices.

With stunning photographs of Oregon’s landscape by World as Light Photography, the design works hand in hand with the Gray Family’s mission to foster a love of the land.

Stay tuned for Phase 2 of the Gray Family Foundation website project: an interactive map section to be launched in 2014!

Your Economy website re-launched

Blue Mouse Monkey is thrilled to announce the launch of the new YourEconomy.org website. Your Economy is an interactive resource center where you can explore and analyze economic activity in your own region and nationwide. YE houses more economic data than the U.S. census bureau, and it depicts the dynamic journey of jobs, sales, and establishments evolving through time.

We were particularly happy to work with Your Economy to improve the website, as we had been engaged in the first redesign in early 2012. Since then the needs of the project changed, and to take advantage of evolving web technologies, we decided to redo the whole site from the ground up. The result is a highly interactive, javascript-rich solution that enables you to dive deep into complex economic data in a matter of seconds. The YE website is designed to be user-friendly to a wide range of audiences, including the White House, state governors, economists, industry analysts, economic development experts, and the media.

Acumentra Health website launched

Acumentra health home pageHere at Blue Mouse Monkey we’re excited to announce the launch of a new website for Acumentra Health. Acumentra is a non-profit Quality Improvement Organization that helps medical providers and institutions in Oregon and Washington deliver better medical care.

We were very happy to transition Acumentra from their old static site into a completely redesigned new site built in WordPress. The ability to set up multiple user accounts with different levels of access means many more staff at Acumentra can take ownership of different parts of the site, freeing the former site administrator from update bottlenecks. Because Medicare beneficiaries are one of the audiences defined for this site, care was taken to make the site thoroughly Section 508 compliant.

Spirit Mountain Community Fund website makeover

Spirit Mountain Community Fund home pageBlue Mouse Monkey worked with the Spirit Mountain Community Fund (one of Oregon’s largest funders of non-profits) to launch their new website in 2010. Two and a half years later the folks at the Community Fund were ready for a makeover that responded to the needs of their audiences, as discerned through analytics. During this makeover we shuffled content into new places to make it easier for their main audience, grant writers, to find. In addition to rearranging content, we also changed the look-and-feel subtly enough to ensure the new site kept a relationship with the old site, but strongly enough that users were alerted to the fact that the site had changed.

As always, we’re happy to work with the good people at the Community Fund, and gratified to be helping them help Oregon non-profits!

Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission website launched

Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission website

Website for CRITFC, the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission

Blue Mouse Monkey is proud to announce the launch of the new Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission website. CRITFC is an enormously influential organinization in the Pacific Northwest, charged with managing fish and watersheds, restoring salmon through innovative science and policy advocacy, protecting archeological sites and tribal fishing rights, and educating schoolchildren, scientists, and the public about the ecological and traditional importance of salmon to the region. Working with CRITFC was an eye-opening experience for me in understanding the relationships between traditional tribal culture, fish and watershed science, protection and restoration, and how these issues touch everyone in the Pacific Northwest in some way or other, even those who don’t eat salmon. As CRITFC notes, we are all “salmon people” or wy-kan-ush-pum.

Upstream Public Health website launched

We are very proud to announce the launch of the new website for Upstream Public Health. Upstream is an Oregon non-profit that researches innovative public health solutions and moves them into the mainstream dialogue, providing expertise in regional policy and decision-making. Upstream’s old website obscured the impact of their work. Upstream enlisted Blue Mouse Monkey to provide them with a distinctive platform to frame issues, provide timely information to their audiences, and express the values and upbeat personality of the organization.

Medium-Sized Companies are the Economic Engine

Blue Mouse Monkey wants you to learn about your economy through a new lens! Did you know that existing, expanding companies contribute most to U.S. job creation? Not startups and not big companies, but medium sized-companies. In fact, from 1990 to 2008 existing companies generated 71 percent more new jobs than startups. And from 1995 – 2009 Stage 2 companies (those with 10-99 employees) represented only 10.9% of all establishments but they contribute a whopping 33.2% of total job expansion. The YourEconomy.org website has a larger dataset than the US Census Bureau, and they are able to crunch the numbers and come up with these previously unknown facts. See Blue Mouse Monkey’s case study and visit the YourEconomy.org website.