Conflict Resolution Minnesota
Conflict Resolution Minnesota (CRM) is a non-profit organization of alternative dispute resolution professionals based primarily in Minnesota. Our members practice in all facets of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), including mediation, community mediation, education mediation, restorative justice, court-sponsored mediation, and arbitration. We are a chapter of the Association for Conflict Resolution.
What new functionality we are looking for
CRM is looking for a whole new website. Our current website functions with drupal and CiviCRM and we would be willing to move forward with these as bases if they were better configured to fit our needs. Overall, the website needs to serve as a connector for three distinct groups:
1) CRM members. These are practicing ADR professionals or organizations that have paid for an association membership. Ideally, they would have a username and password allowing them access to extra resources on the website.
2) The public. These are people who are looking for a mediator/arbitrator or want to know more about conflict resolution.
3) Prospects. These are people who might eventually become members or attend a CRM event. They would not have a username/password or access to the same resources as members.
The website’s primary function would be to connect public with resources through
1) An integrated search engine. Members should be able to upload and edit a profile, and the public will be able to search for a member/ADR professional with a search engine that pulls from an integrated database (we currently use CiviCRM for data management).
2) Access to general information. The public would also be able to learn more about ways to resolve conflict outside of the courts, read anecdotes/testimonials, and view research.
3) A webform to contact the board and CRM administrator. We would also like to be able to add/edit webforms for a “Contact Us” form and for any additional forms we might add in the future.
The secondary function would be to connect members and prospects with resources. Members and prospects should be able to register and pay for membership, the annual conference, and any events that CRM hosts. When they register for any of these, they should receive an automated message that lets them know they’ve successfully completed the process. We also need the functionality to integrate a merchant account so members and prospects can pay registration and continuing education fees online. Ideally, member registration payments would also be recorded in the internal database so the board can easily access who has updated their membership. The database would also store member contact information that other members can access and that can be used as a makeshift email listserv.
We also need the ability to access and update page and site content. CRM is a membership-based organization, and its needs are constantly evolving. We would like to be able to edit copy and graphics within any given page. We often need to edit copy for changing events and updates within the organization. We would also like to be able to add and edit sub-page content. For example, under a “Services” page, we could add another page for a new service that a newly registered member provides.
Lastly, we are looking for a more appealing aesthetic. Right now, our website lacks the visual appeal necessary to draw in and connect key stakeholders for the association. We need a website that looks clean and modern to provide a more user-friendly experience.
How the new functionality will help
A new website would serve to increase connectedness. CRM has over 100 individual and organizational members statewide. We know there are many more people in Minnesota who are experts in helping people resolve conflict in a constructive way. We also know that there are people in conflict who need help. Our organizational goal is to connect those groups and foster a community that knows how to handle conflict productively. In order to do this, all of the stakeholders need to be connected through a central location. We hope that a newly designed website can be that central location. We want to connect the public to services and resources, members to clients, members to members, members to resources, and prospects to resources. We want the new website to be the go-to resource in Minnesota for people who want help with their conflict.
How our organization will use the technology
The primary use of the website would be the public search engine. Our organization is made up of paying members, and one of the primary benefits of memberships is the ability to reach out to potential clients through the website. If our website functionality increases, the public will be able to more effectively search for the services they need, and our members will benefit from that use.
Another key day-to-day piece will be record maintenance and upkeep. Because CRM relies almost entirely on volunteer effort, automated record updates are essential. A fully functioning website allows members to update their information and pay membership dues without having to wait several weeks or more for someone to manually update the website.
Lastly, the website should serve members every day by keeping members connected and informed about relevant news, new research, updated legislation, upcoming CRM events, continuing education information, and any association news.
Who will use the technology
CRM is primarily based on the efforts of the Board. Board members should be able to access some administrative pieces of the website in order to edit copy for new events and organizational information. CRM also has an administrative contractor who will be accessing the site regularly to update information and extract records from the database. With some of the added automatic registration pieces we’re seeking, the Board, the administrative contractor, and the members would benefit from a streamlined registration process that cuts down on miscommunications and confusion. Members would also benefit from a new site that allows them to add and edit more robust profile information. In turn the public would get a better user experience, hopefully increasing client traffic for our members.
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