Children at school

SOS Children's Villages

Using the CoreMedia CMS increases donation income for a good cause.

SOS-Kinderdorf e.V. has been advocating for the needs and rights of children for almost 60 years. The focus of the work is on abandoned or neglected girls and boys as well as disadvantaged disadvantaged families. There are currently 45 SOS communities in Germany, including children's villages, family and counseling centers, and training centers.

Worldwide, the association finances 129 children's villages. Around 2,800 employees work for the organization, 130 of them at the headquarters in Munich. Donations are vital to the work of the association, and in order to attract donors and supporters, good and up-to-date information is very important.

The Challenge

High performance despite limited resources

SOS Children's Villages has had its own website since 1996, which the association has continuously expanded over time. In addition to the editorial work for the various projects and SOS communities, the area of donations, sponsorships and supporters was also expanded. Here, SOS Children's Villages offers various models tailored to the individual needs of potential supporters. As the site grew, so did the number of employees providing editorial support for the online presence.

When the organization considered relaunching the site in 2008, the following goals were central:

  • To attract new target groups for SOS sponsorships through an improved online presence.
  • To improve the processing of donations and sponsorships - To attract new groups of donors

To achieve these goals, the structure of the website was to be made more modern and emotional. In addition, SOS Children's Villages employees should be able to edit the web presence more easily.

"The donation market is a big challenge for us. It is becoming increasingly difficult these days to attract the attention of our supporters", says Thomas Laker, Communications Officer at SOS- Kinderdorf. "With a modern online presence, we also want to address younger people. We hope to attract new interested parties through a target group-oriented presentation. In addition, our concept for supporting members and sponsors is very complex, as we offer different variants to support our work. This starts with the option of a one-time payment and extends to various graduated donation amounts. We also wanted to map this with the new site."

For SOS Children's Villages, the technical implementation also had to be as cost-effective as possible.

The Solution

Relaunching the entire website as a dynamic presence

SOS Children's Village was supported in the project by Aperto, a digital communications agency. For the relaunch and implementation, Aperto called in their long-standing partner CoreMedia. "Aperto and CoreMedia are professional and efficient. They understood the requirements of our employees working on the website and also created an editorial team that actively supports us," says Thomas Laker.

For the relaunch, SOS Children's Villages fundamentally overhauled its entire web presence. On the one hand, this involved a new design orientation, but on the other hand, it also involved the technical implementation of the newly defined focal points. CoreMedia's Content Management System (CMS) played a pivotal role in this process, as it offers the possibility of preparing content individually and in a target-group-specific manner, making it available in a uniform layout if required, and enabling pages to be displayed on different mobile devices.

Today, in addition to the classic appearance of, additional microsites and about 50 facility pages of the individual SOS communities run on the CMS in a uniform layout. The mobile website is also set up as an independent page in the CMS and can be accessed on all portable devices.

SOS Children's Villages can control the mobile presences individually depending on the end device and still manage them centrally via the content management system.

In addition to the conceptual design of the website, the web team also optimized the donation process. For example, the various payment service providers were integrated via suitable interfaces. This, too, was easy to implement with the system.

CoreMedia CMS makes it possible to create individual modules and use them again and again in different contexts. With the help of the workflow management, the editors of
of SOS Children's Villages are able to work together effectively in the system. In addition, it was extremely easy for the editors to familiarize themselves with the system. The employees responsible for editorial content received a two-day training course on the content management system and the new editorial system and were thus ready to start work.

The project began in September 2008, with the official relaunch following in March 2009. In its future work on the website, SOS Children's Villages will benefit from the fact that CoreMedia is constantly developing the system. This provides planning security and sufficient potential for future requirements within the association.

The donation market is a big challenge for us. It is becoming increasingly difficult these days to attract the attention of our supporters.

Thomas Laker, Communications Officer SOS Children's Villages

The Results

Twice as many website visitors and a 35 percent higher conversion rate

In the first six months, the editors at SOS Children's Villages were able to implement numerous activities based on the CoreMedia CMS. They wrote more than 2,000 news items and created over 7,000 detail pages, more than 1,100 report pages and over 17,000 images and other documents.

Due to the easy and target-oriented handling of the CMS system as well as the new attractive website, SOS Children's Villages was able to increase online donations by 25 percent - in the area of online generated sponsorships, the closing rate even increased by 35 percent. In addition, the SOS Children's Village website is becoming increasingly popular. The number of visits to the website increased by 51 percent.

"We are very satisfied with the implementation. The system runs reliably and without failures. Through the relaunch, we have managed to attract interested parties and donors from the new target groups and are pleased with the growing response," says Thomas Laker. "Of course, this spurs us on".

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