Andrew Brownwvgazettelogo
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In an era when the go-to source for information is a Google search, a website is often the first impression people get of a group or organization.

As a result of one group’s efforts, several nonprofit organizations in West Virginia are now able to make that first impression a good one with new website designs.

Bricks Without Straw, a Charleston-based web development and graphic design company, is accepting applications for the third year of its Frank Brown Community Partnership program, which gives nonprofits the chance to win a professionally-designed website.

If the groups that won in the past are any indication, the program can have beneficial impacts on the charities lucky enough to receive help with their website.

The Bob Burdette Center, which operates after-school programs on Charleston’s West Side, was the first group to officially win the website design program two years ago.

Since then, Loren Farmer, the center’s executive director, said the group has benefited from its new online presence. She said it has helped parents looking for after-school programs, people interested in volunteering and social workers looking for local resources for some of the children they assist.

Like most nonprofits, the Bob Burdette Center, founded in 1998, operates on a constrained budget. Farmer said the free website design has allowed the Center to focus its resources on its real mission: the dozens of children it works with in the West Side.

Valicia Leary, the executive director of the Children’s Therapy Clinic, in Charleston, which won a free website last year, agreed with those sentiments.

The clinic’s website, Leary said, has enabled the group to better share the message and success of their work.

“It is a great way for us to tell our stories,” she said.

With a limited staff, Leary said there would have been no way for her to design a website while also controlling the group’s fundraising, marketing and day-to-day operations. In that way, she said, the Frank Brown Community Fellowship was a great opportunity for nonprofits.

Jamie Summers-Brown, Bricks Without Straw’s president, who started program, said he has received around 50 applicants in the past two years that were interested in winning the professional help with their website. In many ways, he said choosing one winner from the large pool of applicants has been one of the most difficult parts of the program.

“Some of these just stick with you,” Summers-Brown said. “I don’t know why, but it just resonates with me.”

- See more at: http://www.wvgazettemail.com/news/20160103/group-looking-to-help-nonprofit-with-website-design#sthash.PipYvQKS.dpuf

Bricks Without Straw is a digital agency and design agency based in South Charleston, WV United States and Ota, Tokyo, Japan.

We offer a range of web design services including: web development, e-commerce services and email marketing. We also offer a range of graphic design services including logo design and exhibition stands.

We love working with clients of all sizes in a range of industry sectors, creating and implementing inspiring and hard working concepts and campaigns for business-business and business-consumer clients.

Valicia Leary

Bricks Without Straw has continued to exceed our expectations with their design work, support and attention to detail. We would highly recommend their services. They have a wonderful team and we enjoy our working relationship with them.

Carol Fulks

Bricks Without Straw has continued to exceed our expectations with their design work, support and attention to detail. We would highly recommend their services. They have a wonderful team and we enjoy our working relationship with them.

Patti Hamliton

Bricks Without Straw is bringing our association into the 21st Century! He brings us ideas and innovation for our web site and other tools of technology that help us enhance our image and our message.

Rebecca McPhail

Bricks Without Straw has continued to exceed our expectations with their design work, support and attention to detail. We would highly recommend their services. They have a wonderful team and we enjoy our working relationship with them.

Bill Raney

Jamie is one of the most committed and energetic professionals we have ever worked with over the years. He seems to work all the time with full 24-7 accessibility and immediate response. Bricks Without Straw has raised our collective confidence for maximizing opportunities in today’s world. We simply could not have done it without them.

Jan Vineyard

The demands and responsibilities to our members mandate that the online presence of our associations and our internet capabilities are reliable and seamless. Add creativity to that mix and one gets the complete package with Jamie Summers-Brown and his staff at Bricks without Straw.