Screen capture of CASA of St. Louis' volunteer portal

Casa of St. Louis

Connecting volunteers through a comprehensive, secure portal.

  • Design
  • Mobile & Desktop Development
  • User Experience
  • Workflow Consolidation

The Challenge

When the Manager of Volunteer Engagement at St. Louis’ CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children) reached out to one of our design agency partners to build a secure, online portal for their volunteers and staff members, Kestrel was their first suggestion to tackle the project.

With their public-facing site built on a less robust platform than is ideal for password-protected content, we knew this was an opportunity to shift them toward a WordPress site, which offers a wide variety of functional customization through their open source library of plug-ins.

Project Goals

Improve Volunteer Engagement

Provide Centralized Area for Volunteers to Get Information

Refresh Look, but Maintain National Brand Guidelines

Aside from providing a communications platform for CASA’s volunteers, it was also important to create a simple and helpful interface for the staff who would be managing the platform – from uploading a new volunteer list, to adding and editing the various custom post types.

Staying true to Kestrel’s goal to continuously be a resourceful partner in the evolution of the websites we built for CASA, we made an easily accessible WordPress Training Guide page with a variety of how-tos for the administrators to quickly access. This resource will live on through any changes in regard to website management, and allows us to add new reference content anytime we implement new functionality or a common question comes up.

Our Solution

One of the unique challenges that a portal presents is getting user permissions and member roles in place, seamlessly uploading each user’s profile information and having a plan for keeping that information up-to-date with other internal systems.

With strong collaboration between our developer, project director and the client team, plus a little help from BuddyPress and WordPress’ native customization features for users, we were golden. The experience for the front-end users (participants) of the portal was just as clean and useful as it was for the back-end users (administrators).

Not only did CASA of St. Louis' volunteers and staff need a centralized places for communication, documents, events, and trainings, they also wanted a flexible authorizing system that could grow and expand with their needs. We streamlined the process for standing up new pages, giving their team firsthand experience in preparation for redesigning and rebuilding their public-facing marketing site in the coming years.
We were excited to partner with Kestrel on this project. Having no one on our staff whose background was in web development or design, our team was grateful for the expertise the Kestrel team was able to provide in all areas of our project and the patience they demonstrated in walking our team through the various aspects of developing and launching the site. The Kestrel team was communicative throughout the process and always willing to help troubleshoot. They showed genuine interest and care in how the site would be utilized and the needs of our staff and volunteers by asking thoughtful questions and providing various options that would best benefit our team. Their support was invaluable in helping us create this much anticipated resource!
Beth Fultz
CASA of St. Louis
Visit CASA of St. Louis' public-facing site