Fellowship of Christian Athletes
LightCMS Powers Hundreds of Local Area Websites for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes
For the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), managing nearly 250 websites with 1,000 staff members spread across the country and around the globe requires a content management system with some specific capabilities. Yet, when the nonprofit organization began its search for a platform on which to run its myriad of sites, it came up short.
"We looked at a lot of terrible content management systems," admitted Danny Burns, Director of Digital Ministry for the FCA.
"One of the main reasons we chose LightCMS was the freedom and flexibility of the templates."
Ultimately, FCA found LightCMS, a perfect fit with functionality allowing their staff the freedom to build and manage sites on their own while staying true to the organization's look and feel.
FCA works with athletes and coaches in a vast array of sports to not only improve their athletic performance, but also grow in their Christian faith. It does this through four primary areas of ministry: camps, campuses, coaches and community.
Up until a few years ago, the FCA was running all of its sites with a home-grown content management system. Knowing it would need a new system to expand beyond its 100 sites to the nearly 250 it has today, the FCA began a year-long selection process that ultimately ended with LightCMS.
Local FCA staff, administrators or volunteers manage their regional and local sites, like NortheastFCA.org. Support and training comes from the FCA National Support Center in Kansas City. This means the organization requires a system that isn't overly technical and can be implemented with minimal training. LightCMS meets this need beautifully.
LightCMS's on-page editing style is a huge benefit for FCA's non-technical users, allowing them to see the changes as they're made. Plus, FCA's site managers are thrilled with the vast capabilities LightCMS offers such as photo galleries, blogs, calendar of events and form builders. These were not available on FCA's previous system.
LightCMS's flexible templating system allows FCA to offer staff the ability to choose and customize their own website designs, while still ensuring each design is consistent with the FCA brand. FCA even developed its own "Site Customizer," a custom application that works with LightCMS to provide even more design options to site owners.
"One of the main reasons we chose LightCMS was the freedom and flexibility of the templates," Burns said. "For the non-technical user, we wanted to protect the look and feel of our brand, while giving our users the flexibility and control over some of the design aspects. LightCMS allows us to give them a lot of control but also to keep them in line with our best practices and consistent branding."
Together, FCA and LightCMS have provided an incredible array of design options for FCA websites, including fully responsive designs which work well on desktops, tablets, and smartphones alike. According to Burns, LightCMS's capabilities have far surpassed the FCA's early expectations.
"I don't think we ever envisioned the kind of customization we're doing today," Burns said. "It's really easy for those without design experience but if you have design experience it doesn't handcuff you."
Following its launch on LightCMS, FCA saw demand for local sites more than double over two years. The support that the FCA receives from LightCMS has helped the organization to handle this growth, according to Burns.
"It never feels like we're just another number. That's super encouraging especially as LightCMS continues to grow."
"We've traded enough emails and been in the relationship long enough that we feel like we know the team and we are really excited about the partnership," he said. "It never feels like we're just another number. That's super encouraging especially as LightCMS continues to grow."
LightCMS's cloud model also spares Burns and the FCA a lot of the overhead, patching and infrastructure costs that other deployable content management systems require. And LightCMS regularly adds enhancements which are added automatically with no downtime. On the whole, Burns counts the move to LightCMS as a great decision.
"This has been a big win for our staff. The feedback we get is that the system is easy to use and the support and value of LightCMS is great."
You can learn more about FCA at www.fca.org.