The Nerdery - Overnight Website Challenge

Kansas City 2014, April 12-13

Rosedale Development Association

Paired with DANGER ZONE

In the beginning, Rosedale Development Association (RDA) was formed to address community issues, such as crime, flooding and housing, in the Rosedale neighborhood of Kansas City, Kansas. It replaced the older Rosedale Community Council, which was formed in 1945, and added social services to its focus. Over the past 35 years, RDA has worked to give a voice to the Rosedale community, and has become an integral part of the neighborhood’s landscape.

Today, RDA continues to build a strong community and improve the quality of life by working with local residents, businesses, and institutions. While the Rosedale neighborhood still has its share of crime, housing issues and the occasional flood, RDA has successfully “taken back” Rosedale one block at a time, working to remove drug houses, provide youth with alternatives to gangs and strengthening neighborhood groups and businesses. Currently, RDA is involved in a major land use plan implementation, a community childhood obesity prevention effort, community economic development activities and youth programs around Rosedale, in addition to its on-going work as a community resource and advocacy center.

What new functionality we are looking for

Our current website was built by a staff member several years ago off a Wordpress theme. Most of the content was moved from our old site without much reorganization, and most pages are layers and layers thick.

We are running out of bandwidth on our site, not because the site content is too large, but rather because the site design has multiple layers that are each built off each other. Discount ASP (our host) has increased our bandwidth now, but we were unable to upload anything to the site for several months. We would like to be able to change the appearance of the site internally so it is more user friendly. We would also like to integrate our Salesforce (Nonprofit CRM) and Mailchimp (e-newsletters) sign up into the site so we are not duplicating spreadsheets. We would like to also investigate the possibility of people applying for our youth programs online. Another desire of ours is to digitize the hundreds of historical files we have here so they are more accessible to the community.

We would also like to make it more interactive and visually appealing. While we have a lot happening here at any given time, our website is a little stoic and stagnant.

How the new functionality will help

Rosedale was home to the first fiberhood in Kansas City as well as the KC Start Up Village, and while many in our neighborhood still lack regular access to the internet, our community is becoming increasingly connected. A new website will help us to keep the community updated on our work; engage residents, businesses and volunteers; and increase our efficiency internally. A new website will also allow us to market the community as a desirable place to live and work in.

How our organization will use the technology

Who will use the technology

Our Mission

Rosedale Development Association is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit community development corporation, serving the Rosedale area of Kansas City, KS and Wyandotte County. RDA’s mission is to work in partnership with residents, businesses, and institutions to build a strong and healthy community and to improve the quality of life for those who live, work, and play in Rosedale. RDA’s programs include both economic/community development initiatives and social services. The Rosedale neighborhood was a separate city until 1922, when it was annexed by Kansas City, Kansas. However, the neighborhood maintains a unique identity and sense of pride today, with many residents identifying as Rosedalians before Kansas Citians. Today, Rosedale has approximately 14,000 residents within its four square mile area. RDA is uniquely positioned to answer to the needs of the Rosedale community because of its long history of community engagement; its collaborative and visionary approach to neighborhood and community development; and its relationship with the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas. RDA’s history of community engagement stems from its focus on Rosedale as a geographic area rather than on a specific neighborhood issue. This community wide focus has resulted in RDA’s involvement in everything from pet rescue to crime prevention to youth development. This broad vision of a healthy community ensures that RDA works with all members of the community – from public housing residents to landlords – to address the unique concerns they have. RDA is a collaborative force in the community, empowering community leaders to work with developers and the Unified Government to envision the future of the neighborhood. This is perhaps most evident in the two major planning processes undertaken in the past decade. The Rosedale Master Plan and the Green Corridor Master Plan set guidelines for future development based on the results of extensive community meetings and focus groups facilitated by RDA. Finally, RDA has fostered good relationships with many members of the Unified Government through years of collaboration. This consensus model of community organizing has served the Rosedale community well. RDA often fills in the gaps in city services, painting over graffiti, investigating vacant properties and serving as a bridge between Rosedale businesses and residents and the Unified Government.