The Opportunity Trust

Digital product strategy for a mission-driven nonprofit. 

The Client

The Opportunity Trust is a non-profit organization created to ensure that everyone who calls St. Louis home is prepared to thrive. One of their major areas of focus is the troubled local education system.

The Challenge

One of the main barriers affecting the St. Louis school system is the difficulty families face in understanding the options available to them and making an informed choice about where to send their children. In response to this, the Opportunity Trust team decided to launch a new initiative. Their vision was at once simple and ambitious: a single, comprehensive website that local parents could reliably use to make informed school choices for their children.

The Solution

Our mission was to lead strategic planning for this new initiative. We started with in-depth research and discovery work to explore the real needs of St. Louis families. During this process, we spoke with over 180 families and dozens of school leaders. We also reviewed relevant academic research and consulted with experts and stakeholders in St. Louis and beyond.

Next, we audited the landscape of similar tools across the country to get a sense of what best practices were emerging. Armed with clear user needs, we conducted a series of product design sprints to develop a prototype. This included an information taxonomy to present school performance and demographic data, a user interface design and a unique filter and rating system families can use to narrow their options and make the right choice. The mobile-first prototype was user-tested by families and informed a set of functional and nonfunctional requirements to bring the full solution to life.

Next, Modern Craft oversaw the evaluation and identification of a development and design vendor, facilitated onboarding and took on the role of “the client before the client” to ensure the final site design, content, and platform reflects the user needs and goals identified in the strategy.

We also defined the brand strategy and identity for the new organization—called “Navigate STL Schools”—that will steward and manage the initiative. The brand strategy included the articulation of a name, vision, mission, brand story, traits, tone of voice, and visual identity.

Lastly we developed a marketing strategy to launch the new organization and website. This strategy laid out an ongoing marketing program to drive awareness amongst St. Louis families and build a strong referral network among other non-profit organizations and institutions serving under-resourced families in St. Louis.

The Results

Modern Craft and The Opportunity Trust have forged a strong partnership grounded in mutual trust. Our ongoing support has allowed this ambitious organization to scale fast, remain nimble and stay focused as they work towards their larger mission. We look forward to seeing Navigate STL School launch in spring 2020 and directly impact every family to find and access schools that enables each child to thrive.

The Opportunity Trust

Other work for this client has included:

  • Brand Strategy
  • Marketing Strategy
“Modern Craft is unique in their ability to quickly and deeply build an understanding of who we are as people, our vision for our organization, and the context in which we are operating. This approach, along with a talented team committed to constantly pushing their own learning and practice, has been transformative for our brand and marketing strategy and for the organization overall.”
Eric Scroggins

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