Designed to Engage: a Customised Website for NTS Foundation USA

Connecting countries, our website clicked with donors and members holding Scotland close to their heart

Our website located new members, attracted donations and showcased a stunning Scotland

How Our Customised WordPress Website Called Across the Pond for Members and Donations

The National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA encourages Americans to help care for the natural and cultural heritage properties protected by the National Trust for Scotland (NTS).

Two areas are key to the Foundation’s aims:

  • Attracting and maintaining memberships
  • Securing donations

Pushing go on these ambitions required a new website. Excited to be creating the site, Hookson quickly identified the need for the functionality that would soar above and beyond the Foundation’s principal aims. Although a highly technical job, we would of course also ensure a personality-packed website. One that would showcase the Trust’s magnificent properties as well as creating excitement about planning a trip to Scotland.

A Strong Foundation With a Customised WordPress Website Build

Following the technical and creative review that kicks off every Hookson website project, we began our build on the WordPress platform.

WordPress’ flexibility would allow Hookson to seamlessly integrate the membership and donation functionality the Foundation required. It also welcomed Hookson’s designs for the website: a UX-powered location whose visuals celebrated Scotland’s beauty and NTS’ stewardship.

Customising a Multi-step Membership Functionality

Creating a bespoke sign-up experience, we devised a checkout process divided into a short series of logical steps. These steps communicated both clarity and trust, and smoothly guided new members across the signing-up journey.

We customised layouts for this process, ensuring styling was on-brand and mobile-responsive. Hookson was also able to design membership forms capturing precisely the details the Foundation required – essential information for highly targeted and cost-effective future campaigning.

Introducing WooCommerce for a Trusted, Secure E-commerce Experience

UX and security are at the heart of every online transaction. So following the hard work of persuading visitors to become members, it has to be easy and safe for site-users to commit.

Addressing these areas, Hookson introduced WooCommerce functionality to the Foundation’s website. A market-leading e-commerce platform, WooCommerce would be flexible and powerful enough for the range of transactions this successful site went on to attract. Our robust e-commerce gateway welcomed every major payment method too, and it functioned beautifully on mobile, desktop and everything in-between.

Bringing Scotland closer, we turned engagement into action

Integrating Donations Functionality Directly On-Site

From day one, Hookson understood the importance of attracting donations from visitors. We therefore set about designing an enticing functionality for garnering funds.

On the technical side, we integrated thoughtfully-designed donation forms directly on the new website. Going way beyond a mere Donate button, this asset delivered an arresting visitor experience, boosted UX and presented a trustworthy, Foundation-owned process.

Ensuring In-House Customisation

Next, looking ahead, we ensured the Foundation would be able to design and customise its own donation forms and tune these into specific future campaigns. Our customised WordPress website made it a snap also to add new content. So when Covid-19 hit, and severely compromised NTS visitor numbers, the Foundation was able to instantly react with an appeal.

Lastly, a prominent Donate link, fixed to the website’s header, offered a fast, familiar route to our optimised forms.

Enabling Donations at Sign-up Time

Importantly, Hookson was also able to introduce the opportunity for newly-minting members to bolster their membership payments with extra donations. We customised this functionality via WooCommerce, making it simple for already-engaged visitors to round-up a membership fee, or to choose their own donation amount.

In addition to drawing on in-the-moment donations, the website also highlighted donation schemes including Matching Gift (appealing to donors whose employers offer a matched-giving scheme) and Planned Giving (larger donations often connected with specific projects or properties).

Backing-up the Technical with Stunning Design

Providing persuasive context, we employed site-wide images of Scottish landscapes and artwork. Added to these, short donation-page copy presented both a practical and emotional case for funds.

Finally, across the wider site, we combined our compelling images with authoritative articles. These highlighted the Foundation’s role in Trust activities like restoring historic monuments, funding community projects and preserving Scotland’s natural environment.

We ensured functionality and UX combined with striking imagery and content

As well as creating a website high on functionality, we would ensure a soaring, personality-packed site showcasing magnificent properties.