Ayima In The Press: Helping A Non-Profit Stay Connected

David Burgess

Ayima were delighted to be featured in the press this week for our ongoing work with Nazareth Housing NYC, a homelessness non-profit working with some of the most vulnerable individuals and families in New York.

Ayima began working with Nazareth Housing back in 2012. We were asked to present a panel entitled Extreme SEO Makeover at the SMX East conference where 3 SEO’s, myself included were tasked with providing pro-bono SEO services to a non-profit for a period of 3 months. The challenge was to enhance the profile of the chosen organization via organic search.

I began discussions with Michael Callaghan, Executive Director of Nazareth Housing earlier in the year and they gracefully accepted our offer of assistance. The project then expanded into our creative department designing them an entirely new web presence with a modern, professional look & feel as making changes to the legacy site were so problematic.

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The new CMS saved internal stakeholders around 26 days of website admin per year as the old site relied on manual updates to every single page.

The SEO was pretty successful too:

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So fast forward to October 29th 2012 when New York and the Eastern seaboard was ravaged by Hurricane Sandy. Personally, I was homeless for 3 weeks. My friends and I watched from our building as the East River poured down Water Street in FiDi. Our two offices in Manhattan were both left without power as a result of flooding. After 2 days of living in darkness, I was able to get out of town on a US-wide, road trip of clients but many others were not so fortunate. The East Village and Lower East Side were hit really hard in particular, as were the Rockaways. These areas are considered home to many of Nazareth Housing’s clients.

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Michael, James Saracini and his extended team were on the ground on the morning after Sandy and for the weeks following, cycling into the city to visit those most in need. The whole of downtown Manhattan, south of 34th was without power. If you know New York, you’ll get some idea of the epic magnitude of the problem. Their efforts were huge as you can see from this video shot day 1, post-Sandy.

So, bringing this post back to the news. During the blackout, Ayima’s operation in NYC was utterly reliant on mobile hotspots. Seeking out a quiet space, with power and Internet was impossible. Then, once the calm was restored, I was invited as a guest at Nazareth Housing’s Annual Benefit last year and got chatting with Kate McGowan, Director of Development & Communications. I heard that their teams struggle because their internal systems are all web-based and whilst in the field with clients, properties would never have the WiFi connections that are so often taken for granted.

We therefore decided to provide the Nazareth Housing team with a set of wireless hotspot devices that has allowed them to use their tablets whilst on the go. Michael Callaghan stated:

“With mobile access, we can assess and respond to families and individuals in need, even when utilities or Internet fail. These are highly stressed populations with which we engage every day, so the ability to remain connected is critical. These MiFi devices and Verizon’s network have been a game changer for us.”

We’re delighted and proud to continue to support Nazareth and their work in NYC.

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