Non-Profit Labor Group Goes Live

America in Solidarity has just gone live with a Union Web Services next generation new web site that will drive its organization's growth and fundraising in 2006 and beyond.

The foundation of the new site is an integrated web content management system (CMS) and CiviCRM open source database that allows AIS to quickly promote news about campaigns and events held around the country to a centralized web site used by it geographically separated members. The integration allows AIS to keep in touch with members who are receiving regular updates from their site, and mobilize them in their respective geographical areas.

America in Solidarity is a non-profit organization founded by ILWU Longshoreman Todd Iverson and Gail Ross, both form Tacoma, Washington. The goal of the organization, according to Iverson, is to "encourage politicans to take a stand for the working people of America." To accomplish this, Iverson's organization encourages legislators nation-wide to sign the America in Solidarity "pledge."

The pledge reads, in part :

"As a leader of the American people, I vow to protect the men and women that built this great country. Americans have always done what is right, and today I pledge to choose what is right when it concerns America's working force...

  • I believe an attack on the American worker is an attack on America.
  • I believe American workers deserve an honest and fair wage.
  • I believe affordable health care coverage should be provided to American workers and their families.
  • I believe in providing a safe and healthy work environment for Americans.
  • I believe that an injury to one is an injury to all.

Accoridng to Iverson, pledge signers are eager to attach their names to the pledge because it demonstrates their commitment to working people and the labor movement .

America in Solidarity approached Union Web Services because it had outgrown its existing web site and content management system (CMS). According to Iverson, the old system "was hard to use. As a result, the site was hard to update and gradually, what we were calling news had become outdated and stale. Since the orgnaization works on issues of the day and frequently hopes to influence pending legislation and mobilize support for our various campaigns, we needed a web site that reflected that. Without that, we ran the risk of alientating funders and others potential members. We considered it critical to our growth plans for the organization."

Working closely with Iverson and his AIS colleagues, UWS built a site that reflected the expansiveness of the organziation and gave AIS an easy way to update news content and critically, schedule meetings and manage attendance at organizing meetings it sponsored and hoped to sponsor around the country.

Certain customizations led the group to present its unique mission in a graphical way that made the impression of a nation-wide organziation.

Additionally, UWS used its open source tools to develop a fully customizable, scalable database that simultaneously acted as a safe repository for AIS' member information, while permitting an open architecture to quickly and easily incorporate new prospective members. Thanks to this database component, AIS has the ability to communicate with its members in real-time as news occurs, leading to quicker mobilization for its campaigns nation-wide.

Iverson describes the UWS team as "competent and professional."  He is also pleased that since the AIS site has gone live "183 new members have signed up on our web site to volunteer with the organization and we are now in constant contact with them. These are people we did not know previously. I'm really impressed with the referrals from Google - and the traffic we get from it."

About America in Solidarity :

America In Solidarity is a grassroots campaign to educate voters on working family issues and to help elect politicians who care about America‚Äôs working families. We are a non-profit, non-partisan group that has had enough of politics as usual. Over the past two years, we have given thousands of volunteer hours to help elect politicians who have signed our pledge to protect working families, produced several community events to educate the public on the issues, and signed up hundreds of new voters. Together, we can make a difference and take back our country from the excessive greed of our corporate foes and the politicians who pander to them. To learn more about America in Solidarity, please visit our new web site at www.americasolidarity.org