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Clergy Support Trust - Graphics from the website and logo

IE Digital and Clergy Support Trust runner-up for Best New Website

Corporate member IE Digital's new website for Clergy Support Trust was named runner-up at the Premier Digital Awards. The site has already delivered considerable impact for the charity and its beneficiaries, with an 84% increase in grant applications year on year.

The new website, which launched in March 2019 to coincide with the charity's new name and rebrand, was nominated in the "Best New or Redesigned Website" category at the Premier Digital Awards, and bagged the certificate for second place. These awards recognise websites that, by design, content and purpose, have added something new and fresh to the Christian web.

Clergy Support Trust’s rename and rebrand from "Sons & Friends of the Clergy" was designed to address some misperceptions around the name, and make them more visible to the people that need their support the most. They wanted to become more accessible, particularly to female clergy, and ultimately double the number of clergy families they support. Because asking for help is never a sign of weakness.

To combat the stigma associated with asking for help, IE Digital created an 'Eligibility Checker' tool, which is central to the new Clergy Support Trust website. This allows beneficiaries to quickly and discreetly explore their eligibility for various grants, to allay any unfounded fears that they might be turned away. This functionality stemmed directly from a recommendation made by IE to the charity during the initial research for the brand, to help beneficiaries to understand what they can potentially apply for.

The Eligibility Checker was used over 3,000 times in its first four months. Moreover, with some of the barriers to asking for help removed, applications for grants have increased by 84% compared with the equivalent period last year. The more inclusive, confident and visible new brand, and the improved online user experience, have also played their part in the success of the new website.

The website was designed with Clergy Support Trust’s different audiences in mind, and a simplified user journey. IE put real stories of beneficiaries and their families at the forefront of the website, showing the difference the charity regularly makes to real lives. To explain their work we use a helpful, empathetic tone of voice, reflecting the charity's people who offer a caring listening ear, without judgement.

The significant uptick in grant applications is an excellent sign that the new website is indeed bringing the charity to more people, and will lead to more clergy families in need receiving the support they need.

Visitors to the site have doubled in number since the new site went live. And thanks to a clearer content structure and user-focused design, the number of pages visited per session has halved, showing that people are finding the information they need more easily.

Source: IE Brand