Site Visit: Merlin

The international aid charity hopes its new site will help to double the number of donors

Merlin
Merlin

Name: Merlin

Agency: Burnett Works

Spend: £50,000

Accessibility: Most pages are WC3 AAA

Merlin, the international aid charity, sends medical professionals to crisis-affected areas around the world to help set up long-term healthcare systems. The charity was founded in 1993 and now works in 17 countries.

Development

Merlin hired the marketing agency Burnett Works to create a new website as part of a wider rebranding exercise that it was conducting with another external agency.

Design and content

The new site, www.merlin.org.uk, makes it easier to give by including a large donation banner on most pages. It also offers the options of donating a set amount and choosing Gift Aid, as well as signing up to regular donations. Blogs, photos and video galleries are uploaded in a reportage style to provide a more personal feel. The volume of the content is light but easy to navigate.

Special features

The bespoke Flash map allows users to zoom in on any of the regions Merlin is working in and access information relating to projects. It also allows donors to choose which of Merlin's projects they most want to support, rather than offer a general donation. There is a strong emphasis on social media, with links to networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, featured prominently on each page.

Merlin says:

"We aim to double our donor income over the next four years, and our new website will play a crucial part in ensuring that we succeed. The approach we adopted with Burnett Works helps to attract new donors and keep them giving."

Score
Navigation: 5
Accessibility: 3
Innovation: 3
Content: 3
14 out of 20

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