Syria Relief – A Leading Syria-focused Non-profit Organisation

Rezaid managed Syria Relief’s online portfolio, which included Web Development and Digital Marketing services, namely including revamping the existing website, improving its ranking and searchability on search engines, managing the NGO’s social media, and regularly engaging with new, existing, and potential donors online.

Industry

Not-For-Profit Organization

Technologies
  • MySQL
  • Bootstrap
  • PHP 7
  • JavaScript
  • AgoraPulse
  • SEMrush
  • Google Tag Manager
  • Google Search Console
  • Google Analytics
  • Mailchimp
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About Syria Relief


Syria Relief is a non-profit organisation that was established as a result of the Syrian conflict in 2011, by a group of friends of Syrian heritage who wanted to provide emergency humanitarian aid in the region. Initially assumed as a short-term project, since its inception the NGO has grown to become the largest Syria-focused non-profit charity organisation within the UK, and has helped more than 2.4 million Syrians in need.

Today the NGO is operating in some of the hardest to reach areas of Syria and its neighbouring countries. With established field offices in Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Turkey they are working closely with their partners, who are able to distribute aid in an effective, efficient and transparent way to ensure the provision of medical facilities, food, clean water, shelter, orphan support, protection and education.

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Challenges


In search of a digital marketing agency to outsource their online marketing and web development needs, Syria Relief reached out to Rezaid for holistic quality services.

Subpar Existing Website

After conducting an all-round soft audit, the Rezaid team knew that it had a challenging task of revamping Syria Relief’s website. Here are some of the issues that were highlighted in the audit:
  • GDPR protocols weren’t updated on the site – this may have led to penalties being imposed by the IT Governance UK
  • Website load speed was, 4.5 seconds, considerably above the recommended load speed
  • The website had missing meta descriptions, it had a high spam score, schema and OG tags weren’t properly implemented etc.
  • Website didn’t allow donors to donate to multiple projects/appeals.
  • UI and UX needed a complete overhaul

Integration of third-party services with WordPress

One of the challenges Rezaid’s development team came across was to integrate the NGO’s Donations Management System (DMS) to the existing site, which was developed on WordPress. Since it’s an incredibly strenuous task to integrate third party services with WordPress, the development team had to execute a complete overhaul of the website, integrating DMS with the website in order to streamline the process of documenting online donations.

Suspension of Ads Account

While being aware of the volatile political situation in the Middle East, we knew that we would have to face an uphill battle while using Facebook Ads and Google Ads during the promotion of sensitive issues affecting the region. Hence, the success of the online campaigns run for Syria Relief would heavily depend on our prompt response to any suspension faced on the NGO’s ads account.

Rezaid’s Strategy


The team had to find a way to seamlessly integrate not-for-profit’s Donations Management System with the website. The development team took a bold move and decided to develop a custom Content Management System using PHP Core. The following areas were custom developed under a stringent timeline:
  • Website Text management
  • Media management
  • Donation management
  • Webpage management: Create, Amend, Remove webpages
  • User management
  • Email management
Along with developing a custom CMS, the website was integrated with WordPay for processing donation transactions, as well as the Braintree gateway, allowing both single and recurring donations integration for transactions processing. Moreover, the new website was also integrated with MailChimp for subscribers, management and email automation.

Alongside development, the multiple issues highlighted in the soft audit had to be simultaneously addressed to in order to holistically improve the performance of the website. Our website design team worked with incredible flexibility, keeping our client’s satisfaction a top priority.  The website pages which were identified with thin content was articulately filled with riveting text and media while keeping the page size within the recommended size.

With effective search engine optimising (SEO) techniques, team Rezaid managed to bring the average page load speed down to more than half the time it took prior to the overhaul. Along with an improvement in the performance of the website, its online keyword search ranking improved considerably.



In January 2020, the NGO’s website ranked among the top 10 results for 124 keywords (increased by 50%) and ranked among the top 5 results for 66 keywords (increased by 45%).

Moreover, stats across all social media platforms improved in the span of these 13 months. With an amalgamation of informative, donation seeking, events related, and visual posts, alongside engagement with the target audience, Rezaid implemented a social media marketing strategy that considerably improved the charity’s online visibility and reputation. Followers on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter increased by 46%, 180%, and 19% respectively.

2 important campaigns were run on Syira Relief’s social accounts:

Leads Generation Campaign (Umrah Campaign)

An Umrah Campaign was designed specifically for collecting emails of potential donors which resulted in 3000+ subscriptions, increasing the email subscribers by 71%. It was run on Facebook as an on-Facebook leads campaign.

Donations maximising Campaign (Ramadan Campaign)

After extensive research, the Ramadan campaign was designed to facilitate potential donors to support the not-for-profit organisation’s efforts to the maximum. The frequency of donations during the month of Ramadan are usually the highest in comparison to other months, hence it was imperative to maximise donations during the span of the campaign. The online marketing campaign was a success, with the donation amount being 4 times more than the allocated budget spent.

Results


With the commitment and efforts of the Software Development and Digital Marketing teams at Rezaid, Syria Relief’s average web traffic increased by 33% (with organic search results amounting to one-fourth of the total traffic), donations worth more than £1 million were collected, email subscribers increased by more than 71%, Facebook followers increased by 46% and Instagram followers increased by 108% by the end of the 13-month contract. SR-ngo-case-study

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