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Year End Donations Fund Running Water


Website Migration

Surfrider Foundation

Dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the ocean, waves and beaches, for all people.

The Challenge

Based in California, The Surfrider Foundation uses its thriving activist network in coastal communities nationwide to “protect our special coastal places, ensure our ocean is healthy and wild, keep pollution out of the water and make sure every beach is clean and accessible for all to enjoy.”
Surfrider’s donors and volunteers are “members” assigned to a local chapter, who then have the opportunity to participate in campaigns and events.
However, Surfrider was presenting its members and others with an inconsistent online experience. This resulted from a disjointed network of websites on a variety of content management systems (CMS) across 80 chapters, 10 regions, and headquarters (HQ).
Moreover, these individual websites were built on CMS platforms like ExpressionEngine and Wordpress, making them notoriously cumbersome to revise and saddling staff with disparate analytics.

As such, CauseMic needed to address the following questions from Surfrider:

  • How can we unify our online presence to strengthen our brand and the user experience?
  • How can we save our team time and hassle when it comes to publishing content that drives our mission forward?
  • How can CauseMic empower our lean team to execute a project of this complexity?

Our Solution

To address Surfrider’s multiple concerns that centered on their online technology:
  • We seamlessly migrated the HQ website from ExpressionEngine to the recommended HubSpot CMS. We then partnered with Surfrider to consolidate all websites within the HubSpot CMS, creating chapter- and region-specific templates based on their requirements at the local level. This ensured specific community needs and capabilities were reflected on each site, while unifying the online experience for all users.
  • CauseMic provided web development support where required to ensure both brand standardization and properly configured reporting and analytics.
  • To execute this complex undertaking, CauseMic facilitated the entire project management process. This included (a) prioritizing requirements, (b) facilitating decision-making for a multi-department website team, (c) organizing risks and dependencies, and (d) ultimately helping to configure an integrated CMS solution that brought everything under one roof.

The Results

HubSpot CMS more than met Surfrider’s requirements. Already leveraging HubSpot Marketing Hub for membership and volunteer communications, HubSpot CMS allowed the Surfrider team to see a more comprehensive view of the user journey across online channels and locations.

By migrating all websites to HubSpot CMS using customized web page templates, the project unified Surfrider’s online presence, strengthened their brand, and improved the user experience across chapters and regions.

HubSpot‘s user-friendly interface and drag-and-drop functionality greatly simplified content publishing, saving Surfrider's team time and hassle. Additionally, its partitioning capabilities enabled staff to create silos within their account so that team members, such as volunteer leaders, were able to see and/or change the information relevant only to their work.

The project brought together departments that had not previously worked closely, fostering collaboration and alignment on priorities. CauseMic's comprehensive support in organizing risks, dependencies, and project details enabled Surfrider to successfully navigate the website overhaul and achieve their objectives.

By consolidating all websites into a single content management system, the risk and time-consuming oversight associated with managing multiple users and logins were significantly reduced. It also relieved the oversight challenges faced by a technical team of two.

Communicating across owned, paid, and earned channels, the Surfrider team built trust via a cohesive, consistent message with how to hold big oil accountable.

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DigDeep web designs
  • “Sometimes you need to know when to utilize outside resources like CauseMic, who are experts in these kinds of website migrations.”

    Surfrider Foundation

    Ruarri Serpa
    Senior Technology Manager

  • “CauseMic managing timelines and deadlines was everything.”

    Gus Gates
    West Coast Regional Director

  • “Project management work from Franny was very helpful to not have to keep track of the entire project and dependencies.”

    Ed Mazzarella
    Senior Director of Network Strategy

  • “HubSpot CMS was a good selection to fit our needs.”


    Michelle Kremer
    Chief Operating Officer

We can help your team do a lot more!

We’ve assisted hundreds of nonprofits plan for and implement game-changing digital integrations, often requiring website restructuring that optimizes donations.

And we’re here to help with yours.

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