Case Study: Big Bend Cares

Case Study: Big Bend Cares

Big Bend Cares is a nonprofit agency providing education and comprehensive support to people infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS serving the Big Bend Region of Florida’s Panhandle. Big Bend Cares is the only HIV/AIDS organization to provide case-management services, and is the primary AIDS service organization providing HIV/AIDS education in this mainly rural region.


For more than 12 years, Big Bend Cares’ web presence/content and marketing materials were produced by a volunteer. In 2012, the volunteer retired from the agency. Big Bend Cares was left with a dilemma: having a website that required frequent updates but not having the skill in-house to manage it. Over the course of the dozen years they relied upon their volunteer, the agency grew significantly both in scope and public recognition, and they needed a website and marketing materials that were appropriate for their stature within the community. Further, the Big Bend Cares Board of Directors wanted web content to be managed in house.

Big Bend Cares also needed marketing support for their four major annual fundraisers, support that used to be provided through volunteer service. While the agency’s stature and reputation in the community were on the rise, their corporate look was suffering. Sponsors were unhappy with the advertisements they were receiving in event materials, and the quality of event-specific graphics had declined to a level not befitting the agency.


7Hills Communications designed and constructed a website for Big Bend Cares that met all the agency’s requirements and desires. To address the issue regarding in-house management of content, 7Hills provided a web-based content management system and several training sessions to provide an overview of the tools and methods necessary to maintain day-to-day web operations. 7Hills also provided quick-reference web-authoring documentation. 7Hills Communications continued to provide technical support, keeping the website streamlined and free malicious hacking attacks. Subsequently, Big Bend Cares contracted with 7Hills to maintain all of their website content.

In 2014, as the result of ongoing problems with Big Bend Cares’ third-party web hosting provider including problems that caused downtime and data loss, 7Hills Communications migrated the website to its own servers and developed an automated system to back the website up to the cloud on an ongoing basis. With this system, any needed site restoration is never than 24 hours behind in content updates.

To address the image challenges Big Bend Cares was facing, 7Hills Communications provided support for marketing materials including event logos, sponsor advertisements and miscellaneous art.


Old & New Comparison

Old & New Comparison

  • Big Bend Cares was extremely satisfied with their new website, especially the password-protected “Board Only” section, which solved a long-term business problem relating to the transfer of information from executive management to the Board.
  • The website is now a mobile-friendly design, optimized for computer, phone, or tablet viewing. This improves the experience for visitors and the site’s Google rank.
  • The agency received a tidal wave of positive feedback from the Big Bend’s nonprofit community on the new web presence.
  • Google rankings for the website skyrocketed to number-one positions for the search terms “AIDS Tallahassee” and “HIV Tallahassee.” Previously, they were not listed in the first five pages. The website achieved a first-page Google ranking under the search term “Tallahassee nonprofits.”
  • Sponsors expressed delight at the quality of the sponsor ads that appeared in fund raising event materials.

John L Horne is the Creative Director of 7Hills Communications. When he’s not driving his Wacom, he drinks quite a bit of coffee and plays drums.