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Garfield Park Conservatory Moves to a Modern Fundraising Platform

Becky Davis recently helped moving a Chicago Landmark, Garfield Park, to a modern website using WordPress and a modern fundraising tool: namely, Give.

Becky Davis recently helped move a Chicago Landmark, the Garfield Park Conservatory, to a modern website using WordPress. Becky believes that WordPress and ongoing education is how you empower clients.

As an active participant in the community (volunteer, and organizer at WordCamp Chicago) and leader of her web agency, Becky Davis knows all about empowering others to succeed.

About Garfield Park Conservatory

The Garfield Park Conservatory is a Chicago landmark owned and operated by the Chicago Park District and has showcased ‘landscape art under glass’ for over 100 years on the West Side of Chicago. The Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance is a non-profit partner organization that works within the Conservatory to provide educational programming, special events and resources to Conservatory visitors. For the Alliance, empowering their nonprofit team on the web had always been a challenge

Becky and her team’s approach to web development provided them a way to manage their site without a website developer.

Why Becky Chose WordPress.org and Give

Becky typically recommends WordPress. Why? Because anyone can use it to update content. And when WordPress was already being used for a blog for Garfield Park Conservatory, it was a great transition to move their whole site over to WordPress — an enterprise-level content management system (CMS).

Give works with legacy payment gateways like Authorize.net and that worked for the Chicago landmark, too.

“Authorize.net has been the elephant in the room for Garfield Park Conservatory for 20 years. Give integrated with Authorize and that was a major factor in our decision.”

Leveling Up Clients with Becky’s Unique Approach

“After making a custom theme and installing credible plugins, my approach begins with training.”

Many developers will hold back the website until the site is perfect. Becky wants her clients to get into the site and learn.

“I want them to get in there and learn how to add a post, learn how to create a form. It’s my goal to build their muscle memory.”

Leveling up clients’ WordPress skills is critical in today’s world of immediate moments. The ability to change content or donation campaigns is accomplished because of training during the development process.

Making it Easy

The nonprofit team that manages such a critical landmark is responsible for managing the website and donations, too. Prior to hiring Becky’s agency, Garfield Park Conservatory was managing their content with their host who would take days to make a change.

Now, the Education Coordinator and the donation staff can manage the website, change content, and create new donation forms.

“Give definitely makes it easy.”

A look at Garfield Park Conservatory’s modern donation platform with WordPress.org and Give.


  • Run by hosting and tech consultant externally
  • Had to submit ticket to update content
  • Donations were a painful many stepped shopping cart experience for users
  • Content updating took a long time
  • Required a technical person/developer
  • Limited customization

With WordPress.org and Give

  • Managed internally by conservatory team
  • Developed with expert WordPress agency
  • Single Form
  • Easily update content without the web agency involved
  • Accept one-time and recurring donations
  • Create events and manage photos
  • Improved donor reporting and accounting integration

By integrating their legacy payments system, Authorize.net, Becky Davis empowered the Conservatory to move from a legacy system to a modern fundraising platform and enterprise web property. As it goes, Garfield Park Conservatory, in all its beauty and wonder, is using WordPress to empower their team and improve their online fundraising campaigns.

“It’s so empowering for the Garfield Park Conservatory team to really understand how to do this web stuff.”

A look at Garfield Park Conservatory’s modern donation platform with WordPress.org and Give — before and after.
A look at Garfield Park Conservatory’s modern donation platform with WordPress.org and Give — before and after.

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