Thompson Island Outward Bound Community Evaluation
The Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center seems like an amazing place. After poking around the website, I felt like I really got a feel for the space, the opportunities found there, and the functions it performs- for students, corporate staff and visitors alike. As I wandered around the site looking for pathways that a supporter could take towards greater engagement, I was excited to find a few initiatives. Most importantly, Thompson Island has a large, prominent banner encouraging supporters to fundraise for them at FirstGiving. Thank you! So many nonprofits use FirstGiving tools, but then fail to post them to their site when this is a wonderful, simple way for boosters to show support! Also intriguing was the Young Professionals Network, which seems to be a rather new initiative that aims to formalize and encourage support from young professionals in the Boston area. I took a peek through some photographs from their first day, which seemed like a lot of fun. I only wish there were some stories to read about people's experiences.
My biggest recommendation for the Thompson Island site is to try and make the online space more about the people who enjoy the island. I would have loved to read stories about student experiences in programs, from new or seasoned instructors, or even from corporate employees who participated in a team building day. Just as I mentioned above that I got a great feel for the place itself, I did not get the same about the community of people within that space. Putting these stories online would be a powerful tool to add to pages such as the donations page or as a way of encouraging more advocacy about the organization.