Website Awards

How a 2010 Web Award Winner Is Raising Funds for Refugees

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Thu, Mar 10, 2011 @ 11:10 AM

Reading Room of London, England won a Stevie Award for Non-profit Web Site of the Year in the web awards categories of The 2010 International Business Awards.

International digital agency Reading Room has offices in the UK, Australia, Singapore, and Dubai.  It aims to achieve business objectives online for its clients by providing services that span the full lifecycle of digital communications, including

  1. Strategic planning, creative, and technical consultancy
  2. Design and development
  3. Digital marketing, social media, and measurement
  4. Usability and accessibility testing
  5. Hosting and management services

Margaret ManningReading Room used these skills to develop the award-winning web site for the non-profit organization Australia for UNHCR, the fundraising arm of the UN Refugee Agency in Australia, which aims to help Australians change the lives of refugees and displaced people around the world.

Established in 1951, the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) provides and coordinates international relief for refugees and displaced people, offering them protection and assistance at every stage of their ordeal. As well as providing emergency shelter, food, water and medical care, UNHCR strives to improve refugees' quality of life and future opportunities. The organization provides infrastructure, schools and income-generating projects in established refugee camps and communities. UNHCR currently cares for more than 36 million people in 126 countries—80% of whom are women and children who have been forced to flee their homes because of conflict, disaster, and persecution.

UNHCR’s goal was to create a profound emotional connection between donors and those in need, extending the life of the relationship by deepening the
understanding of the work UNHCR does.

The striking design of the award-winning Australia for UNHCR web site compels the user to explore further, enriching their experience, and deepening the bond between donor and recipient.

One-off donations reached over A$850,000 within a year of the site going live. In addition, pledges worth more than A$110,000 per year in monthly donations have been made, demonstrating that UNHCR donors are now making a long-term commitment.

Best Interface Design
A 2010 Stevie Award for Best Interface Design also went to Reading Room for their work for the Wellcome Collection, which explores connections between medicine and art.  Wellcome asked Reading Room’s UK team to help bring their collection to life online and place it at the fingertips of a worldwide audience. The team transformed their online presence, resulting in a dramatic rise in visitor numbers online. The result: Visitors are now spending more time investigating and discovering on the site.

Receiving Awards Two Years Running
Margaret Manning, Reading Room CEO, said: “Naturally, we're delighted to win not one, but two of these highly prestigious awards—especially as this is the second year running that we've been successful. At the 2009 IBAs, we won in the Interface Design category for our stunning work for WWF UK, so to go and better that by adding two more coveted Stevies to our name is a credit to the brilliant achievements of our teams in the UK and Australia.”

Want to be honored with a Stevie Award for your websites and blogs as Reading Room was?  Read 10 Tips for Winning Web Awards in the 2011 Stevies, our free tipsheet.

About Margaret Manning
Margaret Manning is CEO and founder of international digital communications consultancy Reading Room. Over the last 15 years, Manning has grown Reading Room into an award-winning consultancy. She has been a visionary in championing the power of the Internet from its birth. As a renowned digital thought leader, Manning is a highly regarded keynote speaker at international events on the future of digital strategy and social media. Her philosophy is to stimulate thinking on the communication benefits of the Internet, focusing on the web as a “channel for business” through the creative use of technology, design, and content, with the challenge for global brands to integrate local, social, and mobile elements.

About Reading Room
Reading Room is an international digital consultancy founded in 1996 and now with 170 staff working from London and Manchester in the UK; from Sydney, Brisbane, and Canberra in Australia; and in Singapore and Dubai. Reading Room clients come from numerous sectors ranging widely in size, including Skoda, Royal Mail, The Fairtrade Foundation, LOVEFiLM, The Glenlivet, and G4S.

Topics: website awards, International business awards, stevie awards, web awards, best websites