They have built 31 schools. They have filled 173 libraries. They have enrolled 1,500 parents for training and trained 157 teachers. More than 100 American High Schools have participated in their Student Service Learning program and more than 3,615 students have enrolled in their schools. The organization is called School The World and they are making an impact. Armed with a noble vision, laser focus, and nearly $1 million in revenue from donations, grants, and corporate sponsorships, School The World may be on track to change the world.
The organization’s success does not come without its challenges, however. If the vision and focus is their vehicle, the financial support they have received would be the gas that moves it forward. When an issue stifles or cuts off support completely, then the goals, objectives and overall success of the whole organization are compromised. School The World’s website, schooltheworld.org, is the portal to that much-needed revenue discussed earlier. The site is used to educate potential supporters, update current sponsors, register students for the Student Service Learning program and, perhaps the most crucial function, collect donations.
Lynn Song is the organization’s marketing manager. Her job is to ensure that people are aware of School The World, what the organization does and appropriately motivate participation. She states with pride.
The way our strategy works, is we enable the existing infrastructure and give them muscle and fuel for them to execute.
Managing the schooltheworld.org website is one of the many responsibilities on her plate. She has explained that the non-profit uses GoDaddy as their site host, WordPress as their preferred CMS, and 3rd party developers for design and development.
The importance of the non-profit’s website can be difficult to grasp for many. However, Lynn clearly explained why their site is arguably one of the most powerful tools in their business.
Because we’re non-profit, our website is even more critical to our core business. It is the website that allows people to donate and provides information to help people get involved. Whether it is a monetary donation, or volunteering to participate in a service project, our website is our lifeline to the rest of the world. We’re not a business with a brick and mortar location. This is what we’ve got. And, when that goes down we’re basically non-existent.
Unfortunately, the site had gone down. After what appeared to be a website virus possibly caused by outdated plugins, the site’s database was compromised and subsequently shut down. Many businesses and website owners are unaware of the potential threat posed to a hosting company when a website is infected on a shared server. However, that single site compromise could endanger the hundreds (potentially thousands) of other sites on that server. For a hosting company, the potential for an infected site to adversely affect server performance warrants careful handling. The delicate situation is often complicated as the hosting company can be forced to protect other websites by placing the one site in a type of quarantine best assisting the infected client.
In this instance, schooltheworld.org received a notice of the compromise from their host. And, like so many, were both shocked with the news, unfamiliar with the circumstances, and unsure of the proper resolution.
One day our website disappeared. And, we got a very technical email from GoDaddy saying, ‘Your website has been shut down due to viruses/outdated plugins compromising your database’. We didn’t quite understand what the email meant, but what we did know was that our site was down.
When a business’s site disappears, it is a scary moment. The cause of the disappearance does not matter nearly as much as the recovery. Because of this truth, the sole motivation of an organization which relies on their website will be to get the site back up and running as quickly as possible. In this instance, School The World actually had a volunteer team (Student Service Learning program) on the ground in Guatemala. To facilitate the trip, students will go out and raise the necessary capital to get them to their learning destination. The complication for School The World arises when these donors or the donor’s friends, see a Facebook post or Twitter update and decide to visit the website to learn even more about the organization. If the site is unavailable, that could be a missed opportunity. Unfortunately, this period of downtime persisted over a few days. Yet, as Lynn recalls, the story does resolve on a positive note.
Before we contacted Sucuri, we tried using another independent IT consultant. But he took a long time and we were not sure that security was his core expertise. Our website was down for 4 or 5 days, which is unthinkable. I told our CEO, ‘Why waste time? Let’s go with someone who knows this space and can to get this delivered!’ After receiving word of mouth recommendation from my web designer/developer friend, I contacted Sucuri. I spoke with a sales rep, gave the necessary information and within a matter of hours our site was back up. You guys REALLY delivered. We were pretty panic-stricken. To have someone respond so quickly when you’re panicked was wonderful!
Up and running again, the organization powers forward; continuing to till the ground and move toward educational advancement. The Sucuri Security solution implemented by School The World for schooltheworld.org, affords the organization the much needed assurance that they can maintain connection with their donor audience and continue to spread the great news of their
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