5 Kansas City nonprofits vie for $50,000 website makeover from Lifted Logic

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- A business' website is the first impression many people see.

Five metro organizations admit they need a little help online, and one company is stepping in to help through a $50,000 gift.

Lifted Logic said they give around $1 million in donations each year to Kansas City nonprofits, and this year, they wanted to make one shine.

"Your website's your first thing. It's a warm introduction," lead project manager in operations Todd Smidt said. "I tell our clients that by the time someone goes to your website, they should feel like they've already met you."

"We decided we wanted to get involved in the not-for-profit community because they help more people in Kansas City than anyone else," owner Adam Fichman said. "We knew that we needed to give back to make Kansas City a better place."

So they started a competition.

Nearly 200 local nonprofits entered the contest, and five were selected by the company's employees to be finalists. The prize is $50,000 in services for a website makeover.

Fichman said the money is a straight donation and not a tax write off for them.

The Finalists

Amethyst Place: This organization works to break the cycle of generational poverty and drug addiction by providing resources, drug treatment and all the support systems necessary to get their education and enter the workforce.

Operation Wildlife: This nonprofit is the only wildlife rescue in the state of Kansas.

They take in all animals with the exception of deer and venomous snakes. Even if the animal has a slim chance of survival, the staff and volunteers at OWL make sure every animal receives the best possible care.

Sunflower House: The nonprofit provides Johnson County with youth education programs, adult training programs, forensic interviewing and advocacy, and therapy for children who have been victims of abuse.

They also offer a variety of community events to promote abuse and mental health awareness, advocacy, education, and fundraising.

Safehome KS: This is the only domestic violence agency in Johnson County and the largest in Kansas. They offer free shelter (a 60-bed facility), including therapy for adults and children living in the shelter and to all victims who need outpatient therapy.

They are the only DV agency that provides free legal services; that includes court advocacy, protection orders, and attorney services.

Kansas City Autism Training Center: They promote state-of-the-art autism services and bringing them to Kansas City area children and their families.

This organization monitors the short-term and long-term success of their families through a variety of programs as well as their Astra Day School.

Safehome KS said it needs a website revamp to help those in domestic violence situations who might not have access to a traditional computer, and connect with their Spanish-speaking clients through translation applications.

"Our website is not mobile friendly, and our clients need something that's mobile and safe, and currently -- it's not that," said Carrie Emert, director of development for Safehome KS. "So it was very important to us to be able to have a website where our clients could feel confidentiality and could reach out to us."

The Kansas City Autism Training Center needs help with fundraising and finding staff to help serve more kids on the autism spectrum through a number of services to serve more kids on the spectrum.

"It would be great for us," Executive Director Ron Johnson said. "It would truly be great. We could help so many more families. We could expand into a number of different areas that we would like to expand into. It would be a glorious moment for us to be the winner."

"We want to help them tell their story," Fichman said. "We want to help the community understand what they do, how they're serving, and how they can help others get involved."

You can vote for your choice through the end of the month. To cast your opinion head over to Lifted Logic's site and make your voice heard.

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