Community Geographic Domain Name Licence Application ‘How To’ Kit 18 May 2009

Community Geographic Domain Name
Licence Application ‘How To’ Kit
18 May 2009
Ref: How to Kit May 2008.doc
Community Geographic Domain Name ‘How To’ Kit
Table of Contents
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS.............................................................................................................................. 4
1
BACKGROUND ........................................................................................................................................ 5
1.1
1.2
1.3
1.4
1.5
WHO IS AUCD? ...................................................................................................................................... 5
WHAT IS A COMMUNITY GEOGRAPHIC DOMAIN NAME? ...................................................................... 5
WHAT IS A COMMUNITY WEBSITE?....................................................................................................... 6
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A COMMUNITY WEBSITE? ...................................................................... 7
WHY USE A COMMUNITY GEOGRAPHIC DOMAIN NAME? .................................................................... 7
2
PROCESS OVERVIEW ........................................................................................................................... 9
3
DOMAIN NAME AVAILABILITY...................................................................................................... 11
3.1
3.2
3.3
4
CONDUCTING COMMUNITY CONSULTATION.......................................................................... 12
4.1
4.2
4.3
5
WHY FORM A COMMUNITY WEBSITE GROUP? ................................................................................... 17
ESTABLISHING ROLES WITHIN THE GROUP ......................................................................................... 17
FUNDING SOURCES............................................................................................................................. 18
6.1
6.2
7
WHY CONSULT THE COMMUNITY?...................................................................................................... 12
WHO SHOULD YOU INVOLVE? ............................................................................................................ 13
HOW CAN YOU CONSULT THE COMMUNITY? ..................................................................................... 14
FORMING A COMMUNITY WEBSITE GROUP............................................................................. 17
5.1
5.2
6
IS YOUR DOMAIN NAME AVAILABLE?................................................................................................ 11
WHAT IF THE DOMAIN NAME IS NOT AVAILABLE? ............................................................................ 11
REGISTERING YOUR INTEREST ............................................................................................................ 11
WHY SOURCE FUNDING?..................................................................................................................... 18
WHERE CAN YOU SOURCE FUNDING? ................................................................................................ 18
ESTABLISHING A NOT-FOR-PROFIT LEGAL ENTITY ............................................................. 20
7.1 OVERVIEW ........................................................................................................................................... 20
7.2 TYPES OF NOT-FOR-PROFIT LEGAL ENTITY ........................................................................................ 20
7.2.1
Company Limited by Guarantee ............................................................................................... 20
7.2.2
Incorporated Association .......................................................................................................... 20
7.2.3
Co-operatives ............................................................................................................................ 21
7.3 FURTHER INFORMATION ...................................................................................................................... 21
7.4 HOW TO REGISTER ............................................................................................................................... 22
8
DEVELOPING A WEBSITE PLAN..................................................................................................... 23
8.1 OVERVIEW ........................................................................................................................................... 23
8.2 ELEMENTS OF A WEBSITE .................................................................................................................... 24
8.3 WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT APPROACHES .............................................................................................. 25
8.4 THE DEVELOPMENT PROCESS.............................................................................................................. 26
8.4.1
Planning .................................................................................................................................... 27
8.4.2
Development .............................................................................................................................. 30
8.4.3
Testing ....................................................................................................................................... 30
8.4.4
Launch ....................................................................................................................................... 30
8.4.5
Management & Maintenance.................................................................................................... 30
8.5 COMPLETING THE WEBSITE PLAN ....................................................................................................... 33
9
DEVELOPING A BUSINESS SUSTAINABILITY PLAN ................................................................ 34
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9.1 OVERVIEW ........................................................................................................................................... 34
9.2 POLICIES AND ISSUES ........................................................................................................................... 34
9.2.1
General Issues ........................................................................................................................... 34
9.2.2
Sponsorship & Advertising Policy ............................................................................................ 35
9.2.3
Privacy Statement...................................................................................................................... 35
9.2.4
Website Disclaimer ................................................................................................................... 35
9.2.5
Media Policy.............................................................................................................................. 36
9.3 WEBSITE SUSTAINABILITY .................................................................................................................. 36
9.4 FINANCIAL SUSTAINABILITY ............................................................................................................... 36
9.4.1
Sponsorships & Donations........................................................................................................ 37
9.4.2
Advertising................................................................................................................................. 37
9.4.3
Directory Listings...................................................................................................................... 37
9.4.4
Issuing Email Addresses ........................................................................................................... 37
9.4.5
Grants ........................................................................................................................................ 38
9.5 MARKETING THE WEBSITE .................................................................................................................. 38
9.5.1
Launch ....................................................................................................................................... 38
9.5.2
Ongoing Promotion................................................................................................................... 39
9.6 CWG MANAGEMENT SUSTAINABILITY ............................................................................................... 39
9.6.1
Shared Vision ............................................................................................................................ 39
9.6.2
Effective Leadership.................................................................................................................. 39
9.6.3
Skills Range ............................................................................................................................... 40
9.6.4
Succession Planning.................................................................................................................. 40
9.7 COMPLETING THE BUSINESS SUSTAINABILITY PLAN .......................................................................... 40
10
COMPLETING THE CGDN LICENCE APPLICATION ......................................................... 42
11
REGISTERING THE CGDN WITH AN APPROVED REGISTRAR...................................... 43
© Copyright 2006 .au Community Domains Pty Ltd as trustee for .au Community
Domains Trust ABN 26 185 331 457
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Community Geographic Domain Name ‘How To’ Kit
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
auCD would like to acknowledge the huge amount of work done on the How to Kit by the
staff and students at the University of Wollongong.
auCD would also like to acknowledge the work of several other organisations and people
in the development of this How To kit:
•
One City One Site Working Party
•
cBallarat Ltd
•
Bathurst Community Website Inc
•
Wollongong Community Website Inc
•
Koonwarra Sustainability Centre - VIC
•
Wyndham Telecentre – WA
•
Kerry Webb - InTACT – ACT
•
Grace Chu Te - deepWEB, Coochiemudlo Island – QLD
•
Linda Woodrow, Manager, [email protected]
•
Peter Riches - Red Pony: Technical Communications for his professional
assistance with writing, editing, proofreading and website formatting.
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Community Geographic Domain Name ‘How To’ Kit
1
BACKGROUND
1.1
Who is auCD?
.au Community Domains Pty Ltd (auCD) is a not-for-profit company acting as trustee of
the .au Community Domains Trust, established by .au Domain Administration Ltd (auDA)
to facilitate the development of Community Geographic Domain Names (CGDNs).
The aim of auCD is to
•
provide support services to communities who want to register their geographic
domain name for a community website portal.
•
process applications based on policy and guidelines for the purpose of preserving
their Australian geographic names for use by the relevant local community.
auCD is funded from proceeds of the commercial geographic domain names ballot held
by auDA in 2005.
auDA is the not-for-profit body endorsed by the Federal Government as the policy
authority and industry regulator of the .au domain name space.
1.2
What is a Community Geographic Domain Name?
Domain names
A domain name is simply an address on the internet.
The most common use is as part of a web address, where the domain name follows the
‘www’ part of the address (for example: www.aucd.org.au).
Internet addresses ending in ‘.au’ are registered in Australia as part of the .au domain
space. Within the .au domain name space there are several second level domains, such
as ‘.com’, ‘.net’, and ‘.org’. These second level domains are used to differentiate between
different types of enterprise (for example: ‘.com’ is for commercial entities, ‘.org’ is for
charities and non-profit organisations and ‘.edu’ is for educational institutions registered
at the state or federal level).
History of CGDNs
auDA has created eight new .au second level domains (2LDs), one for each Australian
state and territory:
•
act.au
•
nsw.au
•
nt.au
•
qld.au
•
sa.au
•
tas.au
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•
vic.au
•
wa.au
The One City One Site (OCOS) working party, formed in 2000, proposed the release of
new geographical 2LDs as a way to protect and promote the geographical area and its
community.
OCOS carried out a pilot study in three localities – Ballarat, Bathurst and Wollongong –
and the auDA board subsequently approved the release of the geographic domain
names for community website use.
Using CGDNs
These new Australian geographic names are reserved for use by the relevant local
community. Names will be available for all addressable localities such towns, cities or
suburbs (see www.aucd.org.au/policy/ Schedule A for details of localities that qualify for a
community geographic domain name).
To be eligible to license a community geographic domain name (CGDN), the applicant
must be a legally registered not-for-profit entity and representative of the local community
(see www.aucd.org.au/policy/ Schedule B for details).
All CGDNs will be registered as third level domains (3LDs) using the locality name (for
example: ballarat.vic.au, bathurst.nsw.au, wollongong.nsw.au). These names can only be
used for community websites that reflect community interests such as local business,
tourism, historical information, culture, special interest groups, events, news and media
(see www.aucd.org.au/policy/ Schedule C for details).
1.3
What is a Community Website?
A community website is a single entry point or gateway that provides information specific
to that location.
Community websites can provide easy access to a host of information relating to your
local city, town, suburb or area, for example:
•
local businesses
•
sporting clubs
•
community and other common interest groups
•
tourism information
•
events calendar
•
up-to-the-minute news (e.g. sports results).
Community websites can remove geographic and social barriers, allowing a community
to build connections, exchange ideas, collaborate on projects and bring economic
benefits through local business. It can also reach people outside the community,
encouraging visitors or providing information to people interested in relocating.
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As each community is different, so is each community website. As a guide however, you
might include things such as a community events calendar, a local business directory, a
community services directory and community feedback facility, plus tourism and historical
information relating to your area.
1.4
What are the Benefits of a Community Website?
It puts your community on the map!
A community website is a fantastic communications tool to help connect people in the
locality with similar interests and outlooks. It can help people find businesses to shop
locally and support the local economy, or provide people with a history of the place where
they live.
Because it is run by the community, the website will reflect the needs, activities and
issues of the broader community, rather than sectional interests.
The website can be used to establish ties within the community. Being connected helps
build understanding and shared values, which in turn helps build a strong, sustainable
community and increases the general wellbeing of community members.
A listing of all local businesses will inform people of the products and services that are
available locally, contributing to the economic stability of the community. It can also be
used to advertise job vacancies.
Once the community website has been established, an online forum can be introduced to
enable people to post and read comments on a particular topic. This not only informs
people (including local councils, media and members of the public) of the key issues and
events in the community, it also encourages citizens to actively participate by giving them
a voice on the internet.
The website can also promote your community to people outside the local area who may
want to visit or are thinking of relocating. The website can be a vehicle to present your
community’s interests, activities and aspirations.
1.5
Why Use a Community Geographic Domain Name?
By using a community geographic domain name (CGDN), anyone looking for local
information will be able to find your website instantly. The CGDN is simply your locality
name, your state/territory and the Australian country code (for example: ballarat.vic.au,
townsville.qld.au).
A CGDN provides users with the easiest way to find specific locality-based information
without resorting to a search engine, which usually lists the most visited but not
necessarily the most relevant sites.
In addition, the checks and balances that regulate the use of CGDNs mean that users
can be certain they are accessing a true community website. The policy prevents
individuals or single organisations from establishing a CGDN website for their own gain
or simply to provide a gateway to another site.
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What if we already have a website?
If you already have a community website representing your locality, you can apply for a
CGDN to give it a simple, standardised and intuitive home on the internet.
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Community Geographic Domain Name ‘How To’ Kit
2
PROCESS OVERVIEW
In order to set up a community website using your local community geographic domain
name (CGDN), you must first license that domain name.
By licensing a CGDN, you are able to use that domain name for a period of two years
within the terms of the CGDN licence (see Policy 3a in 0 for details).
This ‘How To’ kit has been developed to take you through a step-by-step process of
applying for a CGDN licence through auCD and then registering that domain name.
The process
The application process can be broadly summarised as follows:
•
register your interest in the domain name with auCD
•
form a website group that represents the local community
•
register the community website group as a not-for-profit legal entity
•
develop a Website Plan and a Business Sustainability Plan
•
provide this documentation to auCD with your completed application form
•
register the domain name with a Registrar offering CGDN licensing.
See Figure 1 for a flowchart of the application process.
Note: There may already be a not-for-profit legal entity that represents your local
community, and can provide evidence of broad community support, in which case you
could proceed straight to the development of your Website and Business Sustainability
Plans (see section 4 for details of the community representation criteria). However, it still
may be useful to establish a community website group (or sub-committee) to focus
specifically on the application requirements and develop the initial website.
What you will need
To license a community geographic domain name, you will need to provide the following:
•
the certificate of the not-for-profit legal entity registration
•
a copy of the not-for-profit legal entity’s constitution
•
evidence of community representation and support (see section 4)
•
a Website Plan (see section 8)
•
a Business Sustainability Plan (see section 9)
•
a completed auCD on-line application form (see section 10).
What this kit provides
This kit has been designed to take you through the application process, providing you
with the necessary information and templates to form a community website group and
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Community Geographic Domain Name ‘How To’ Kit
register it as a not-for-profit legal entity, provide evidence of community representation
and complete a Website Plan and Business Sustainability Plan.
Application for
community geographic
domain name licence
1. Check domain
name availability
Visit the website to
see how you can
contribute
Is the
domain
name
available?
NO
YES
Is there an
existing
community
NFP?
Does it
meet the
auCD
criteria?
YES
YES
Contact auCD
UNDER
APPLICATION
NO
NO
2. Register interest
3. Conduct
community
consultation
4. Form CWG and
establish roles
Register interest
5. Source funding
Form CWG and
establish roles
6. Apply for NFP
legal entity
Source funding
7. Develop
Website Plan
KEY
NFP: Not-For-Profit
CWG: Community Website Group
CGDN: Community Geographic Domain Name
NO
Contact auCD
8. Develop
Business
Sustainability Plan
9. Complete
CGDN licence
application
Is the
application
approved?
YES
10.
Register
CGDN with
approved
Registrar
Figure 1 - Community geographic domain name licence application process
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Community Geographic Domain Name ‘How To’ Kit
3
DOMAIN NAME AVAILABILITY
3.1
Is Your Domain Name Available?
The first step to licensing your community geographic domain name (CGDN) is to check
that it is currently available.
Visit the auCD website to check the availability of your CGDN.
If your CGDN is available, you can then register your interest in licensing that domain
name. It is important to register your interest as detailed in section 3.3 below.
If the domain name is already under application, please advise auCD by emailing
[email protected] that you are also interested in the development of a community
website for that domain name. auCD will notify the other applicant(s) of your interest. You
may still apply, but auCD would encourage you to combine your resources and
enthusiasm to work together.
3.2
What if the Domain Name is Not Available?
If the domain name is not available, this means either:
•
the CGDN is not a registered addressable locality (see Policy 1 in 0 for details of
what localities can be registered), or
•
the CGDN has already been registered by another group.
In the case that the domain name has already been registered, we recommend you
contact the registering party through the website (if it is online), or contact auCD by
emailing [email protected] to see how you can to contribute to its development.
3.3
Registering Your Interest
Before you proceed with your application, we recommend you register your interest in the
domain name. This will alert auCD of your intention to apply for a licence for that CGDN.
so that if another group also registers their interest in that name, auCD can encourage
both parties to join resources.
To register your interest, go to www.aucd.org.au/resources/contact and click on the
Register Interest panel.
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4
CONDUCTING COMMUNITY CONSULTATION
4.1
Why Consult the Community?
Once you have established that the domain name is available and registered your
interest, you can begin the application process to license that particular CGDN.
Community geographic domain names will only be licensed to groups that can
demonstrate that they represent the local community. In accordance with the auCD
policies for registering a CGDN, the applicant must be able to show:
•
the application is being made on behalf of a registered not-for-profit legal entity
•
the members of this legal entity represent a broad range of community interests
and groups
•
the members are elected or are the most appropriate representatives of their
particular community or interest group (in most cases you will need a minimum of
eight members).
If there is already a not-for-profit legal entity that represents your local community that
meets the above criteria, and you can provide evidence of community representation, you
can proceed to the development of your Business Sustainability and Website Plans (see
Sections 8 and 9). However, it still may be useful to establish a community website group
or sub-committee to focus specifically on the application requirements and develop the
initial website.
If you do not have a not-for-profit legal entity that meets the above criteria, the following
sections will take you through this process.
How community consultation helps you
Community consultation is important not only as a requirement of the application process,
but it will also help to:
•
contribute to community understanding and awareness of the project
•
assist in sourcing the range of skills required to develop and maintain the website
•
encourage community members to contribute their time and expertise.
Interested people may be willing to join the initial community website group and even
provide or source seed funding for the initial licence fee, not-for-profit legal entity
registration fee, and website development costs.
Expected outcomes
At the end of your community consultation, you should have:
•
established broad community support for the website
•
a list of volunteers with a range of skills willing to contribute to developing and
managing the website
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•
evidence of community consultation in the form of attendance sheets, expression of
interest forms and letters of support
•
adequate funds for the CGDN licence, initial website development costs and, if
necessary, registration of a not-for-profit legal entity.
4.2
Who Should You Involve?
You may already have people you know who would be interested in your community
website, however it is important to have a community consultation process to ensure that
everyone who is interested has an opportunity to contribute.
Even so, there is no reason why you cannot target specific groups within the community
as well as the general public. Your list might include:
•
Local council
•
Potential stakeholders and business partners:
•
•
−
Chamber of Commerce or trader’s association
−
Local businesses
Local leaders and groups:
−
Sports and recreation clubs
−
Service clubs (Rotary, Lions Club, etc.)
−
Arts/cultural groups
−
Technology or PC users groups
−
Other special interest groups
Community services:
−
Tourism office
−
Educational institutions (schools, universities, TAFE and CAE colleges, etc)
−
Health services
The local council
It is highly advisable to contact your local council, as they are often an excellent source of
information and can play a special role as active and representative members of the local
community. The local council also has a vested interest in promoting the local area.
Councils can be encouraged to get involved in the development of this local public asset
through membership of the community website group (see section 5). They may also be
willing to offer meeting venues at reduced rates or at no charge, and even provide
website or information technology skills.
Potential stakeholders and business partners
It is important to identify local stakeholders and possible business partners.
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Stakeholders are those people who, while they may not contribute to the website directly,
have an interest in a community website. They can also act as representatives of a
segment of the community with an interest in the outcome.
A stakeholder might be someone not involved in the development phase, but can see the
potential of an operational site. They could be a small business owner who doesn’t have
the time to contribute now, but is interested in progress reports. The local tourism office
may be involved in promoting a wider region, while still being interested in events and
activities in the community.
Stakeholders can often contribute ideas and help connect different groups to assist with
the long-term success of the website.
Business partners are local business owners and managers who may be able to assist
with seed funding or ongoing contributions, either as donations or by pledging advertising
or sponsorship support. Business partners may include local solicitors or accountants
who are willing to provide legal or financial advice to assist the website group.
Local leaders and special interest groups
Local common interest groups such as sporting clubs, historical societies, arts or cultural
groups or traders associations often have people who have experience in managing
committees, or are skilled in influencing people. You can approach these people directly
about a community website, or enlist their help in running a public meeting.
Community services
Your website is an ideal vehicle for providing information about local services including
health and education services, as well as tourism information. Educational institutions are
often able to harness a variety of skills, particularly from younger members of the
community. Details of health services available in the community will be helpful for many
website users, while your local tourism office can be an invaluable source of information
regarding upcoming activities and local area information. They may be able to assist in
both sourcing and updating this content to ensure it is always relevant.
Other interested members of the community
In addition to targeting specific groups, you should also provide other members of your
local community with a chance to become involved. By informing the public of the work
you are doing and providing contact details for the website group, you can invite
contributions from people who otherwise might not know about the project.
4.3
How Can You Consult the Community?
The method of consultation will depend on a range of factors, including:
•
the size of your community
•
the resources available
•
who you are consulting.
Whichever method (or methods) you choose, you need to make sure you consult a broad
cross-section of the community to ensure the website is truly representative and you can
satisfy the eligibility criteria.
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Direct consultation
Where you have already identified potential contributors, you can usually contact them
directly through a telephone call or email, followed up with a meeting. When contacting
your local council, try writing to the General Manager or the Mayor first to arrange a
meeting and explain the project. They will be able to nominate the most appropriate
person to represent their interest on a continuing basis.
Use your local telephone directory or local council website to identify and contact
business, stakeholders and common interest groups in your region.
When approaching possible business partners, you will need to convey the benefits the
website can provide to their business, such as increased exposure, potential feedback
from the local community and advertising opportunities to reach new markets.
Public meetings
A good way to gauge broad community interest and to find people eager to contribute
their time and skills is to hold a public meeting. You will need to find a suitable venue,
someone to run the meeting and someone to give a presentation.
The meeting should be promoted locally, giving people sufficient notice of the date, time
and place that it will be held. This can be done by:
•
advertising in local media
•
providing a media release to local media outlets
•
writing a letter to the editor of the local newspaper
•
displaying notices on community bulletin boards
•
handing out information flyers or delivering them to letterboxes.
An alternative to holding a public meeting is to hold smaller forums with specific interest
groups. For example, there may be a peak body for seniors groups, sport and recreation
clubs or for services and activities aimed at young people. Smaller meetings will enable
you to engage more fully with the audience and clearly identify issues relevant to the
particular group.
It is a good idea to have an attendance sheet at the meeting so people can provide their
name, address and contact details, along with the type of contribution they are willing to
make. Some people may be willing to donate their time, some may be able to make a
financial contribution, while others may have experience in developing websites or writing
business plans.
Other consultation methods
Many of the methods used for advertising your public meeting can also be used to inform
the community of the project and provide a telephone number or email for people wishing
to become involved.
These additional methods of informing the community about the community website and
inviting participation might include:
•
an advertisement in the local media (newspaper, radio station, etc.)
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•
a notice or article in an existing community newsletter or bulletin board
•
a display in the local shopping centre
•
an information flyer drop in letterboxes.
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5
FORMING A COMMUNITY WEBSITE GROUP
5.1
Why Form a Community Website Group?
To successfully apply for a CGDN you need to prepare a Business Sustainability Plan
and a Website Plan. This will be much easier if you have a group or sub-committee of
interested people who are willing to contribute their time and skills to achieve this goal. In
most cases, the community website group will be responsible for developing and then
managing the website once it is online.
5.2
Establishing Roles within the Group
Once you have found people interested in joining a website group, you need to consider
the skills they can contribute. Apart from personal attributes such as long-term
commitment to the project, being motivated and organised, an effective group would
include:
•
management skills to run meetings, organise committees, assist with business
planning, developing business relationships and source funding
•
legal skills to assist with the development of policies on acceptable website
content, advertising/sponsorship guidelines, and organisational rules and
constitution
•
financial skills to assist with bookkeeping, preparation of financial records or to act
as Treasurer for the group
•
marketing/media skills to help promote the website, organise advertising or
sponsorship opportunities, liaise with local media and source stories of interest to
them and run promotions
•
IT skills to assist with website design and development, assess host and software
options, and complete the Website Sustainability Plan.
Once you have people with a range of skills and who are representative of the broad
community you can allocate roles. Your group will most likely need a President or
Chairperson, a Treasurer and a Secretary. Other responsibilities can include marketing,
media liaison, legal and website development. These can be handled by individuals or by
forming sub-committees to work through issues, develop guidelines and implement
agreed actions.
Once the group has been formed, you will need a name, preferably one which tells the
community who you are and what you are about.
You will also need to agree how you will communicate within the group. If all members
have their own email address this is an effective communication tool. Alternatively, some
internet companies such as Yahoo (www.yahoo.com) and Google (www.google.com)
provide online group services, with features such as email addresses and mailing lists,
bulletin boards and online calendars, which can be restricted to the members of your
community website group. Visit their websites for more details.
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6
FUNDING SOURCES
6.1
Why Source Funding?
Before you complete your application to license a community geographic domain name,
you will need to give some consideration to the initial costs and how you will cover these.
Your community website group will need some initial funding to cover the cost of hiring
venues, establishing a not-for-profit legal entity, applying for the CGDN licence and
possibly employing a website developer.
In addition, there are likely to be ongoing costs, such as website hosting and further
development, although you may be able to offset these, at least in part, through
advertising or sponsorship of the website.
6.2
Where Can You Source Funding?
While this list of potential costs may seem daunting at first, there are a number of
avenues for raising the seed funding to get your project off the ground:
•
State and federal government offer a range of grants, details of which can usually
be found on various department websites.
•
Local business people may be willing to donate money towards initial costs. To
encourage local income, you could consider waiving advertising or sponsorship
costs for a set period.
•
Corporate funding – many large corporations such as Telstra, Australia Post and
the major banks have a community grants program. Alternatively, some
corporations support the community through their local outlets. Visit their websites
for more information (usually found under headings such as ‘Corporate Social
Responsibility’ or ‘Sponsorships’).
•
There are also many simple things you can do to raise money locally, such as
holding a raffle, or having a BBQ or cake stall in the local shopping area.
There is also a wealth of information to be found on the internet. Try the
Federal Government's Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous
Affairs portal at http://community.gov.au for topics ranging from starting, managing and
developing your community organisation to grants & funding, and internet tools & tips.
Also try the Australian Government's Regional Development Network's Area Consultative
Committees (ACCs) which are non-profit, community based organisations funded by the
Australian Government under the Regional Partnerships programme who find local
solutions to local problems. More information and links to your local ACC are at:
http://www.acc.gov.au
A listing of available grants across Australia and how to successfully apply is at
www.ourcommunity.com.au in the Find & Manage Money section.
For simple clear advice on the steps involved in getting grants go to
www.aucd.org/howto/templates/ and click on the link to Seven Steps to Getting A Grant.
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This overview of the grant application process was prepared by Linda Woodrow, the
Manager at the Kyogle Community Technology Centre.
Other cost saving resources:
For information on information and communication technology (ICT) issues of specific
interest to not-for-profit organisations and links to a wide range of products and services
to assist organisations to make savings please visit the following websites:
CommunIT - helps community and not-for-profit organisations to increase their ICT
capacity - visit their website at: www.communit.info
Donortec - assists charities and nonprofit organisations with Income Tax Exempt status
by providing software and hardware for very low or discounted fees in conjunction
with their donor partners - visit their website at: www.donortec.com.au
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7
ESTABLISHING A NOT-FOR-PROFIT LEGAL ENTITY
7.1
Overview
There are various types of not-for-profit legal entities, the most common being:
•
public company limited by guarantee
•
incorporated association
•
co-operative.
Before deciding on which not-for-profit legal entity is right for your website group, do
some research about the types available, the reporting requirements and how to apply for
registration. You should consult your own legal and financial advisers before proceeding
to registration.
7.2
Types of Not-for-Profit Legal Entity1
7.2.1
Company Limited by Guarantee
A company limited by guarantee is a public company where the liability of company
members is limited to the amount the members undertake to contribute to the property of
the company if it ceases operation.
Some of the conditions imposed by the Corporations Act 2001 are that the company
must:
•
have a minimum of three directors and one secretary
•
have a least one member
•
have a registered office address located in Australia which is open and accessible
to the public
•
prepare, have audited and lodge financial statements and reports at the end of
every financial year.
Visit www.asic.gov.au for more information.
7.2.2
Incorporated Association
An incorporated association is a legal entity separate from its individual members.
Associations are incorporated under state or territory legislation so they are restricted to
operating within that jurisdiction.
1 The material contained in this section is provided as general information only. You
should consult your own legal and financial adviser before finalising a legal structure for
your not-for-profit entity.
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The advantages of an incorporated association are that it has a separate legal identity
that can continue regardless of changes to membership. It also provides financial
protection by limiting personal liability to outstanding fees.
An incorporated association is a simple and affordable means of creating a separate
legal entity for community based groups with limited resources. An incorporated
association will generally need to:
•
have a management committee
•
hold an annual general meeting
•
keep minutes of all meetings and proper accounting records.
As legislation varies from state to state, it is important to visit your state or territory
government website for more information (see Section 7.3).
7.2.3
Co-operatives
A co-operative is an organisation concerned with providing the collective needs of its
members who benefit from the combined power and influence of the group (for example:
purchasing, distribution or marketing power).
Each member has one vote so co-operatives are democratic and designed so that any
surplus funds are normally reinvested or distributed to members.
See the state and territory government websites listed in section 7.3 for more information.
Note: The OCOS pilot sites indicated that an incorporated association was the preferred
not-for-profit option because it limits the liability of individual members and is particularly
suitable for community-based groups. However, it is appropriate to consult a lawyer or
accountant before making your final choice.
7.3
Further Information
You will find more information regarding establishing a not-for-profit legal entity on the
Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) website and various state and
territory government websites.
The ASIC website (www.asic.gov.au) provides information about registering a public
company limited by guarantee. This type of company is registered under Commonwealth
legislation (known as the Corporations Act 2001) and is recognised Australia-wide.
Each of the state and territory governments have websites with information and advice on
the other types of not-for-profit entity, including incorporated associations and cooperatives. These entities are mainly governed by state legislation so visit the appropriate
website for your state or territory.
State and Territory Government Websites
Australian Capital Territory
Register General's Office
www.rgo.act.gov.au
New South Wales
Office of Fair Trading
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www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au
Northern Territory
Consumer & Business Affairs
www.justice.nt.gov.au
Queensland
Office of Fair Trading
www.consumer.qld.gov.au
South Australia
Office of Consumer & Business Affairs
www.ocba.sa.gov.au
Tasmania
Office of Consumer Affairs & Fair Trading
www.consumer.tas.gov.au
Victoria
Consumer Affairs
www.consumer.vic.gov.au
Western Australia
Consumer & Employment Protection
www.docep.wa.gov.au
7.4
How to Register
Once you have chosen the most suitable not-for-profit entity for your website group, you
will need to complete an application form from the appropriate government department
website. Generally, in order to complete the application form, you will first need to:
•
decide on a name for your organisation
•
outline the purpose of the organisation
•
nominate one or more public officers
•
source funding for the application fee.
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8
DEVELOPING A WEBSITE PLAN
8.1
Overview
The purpose of including a Website Plan, along with the Business Sustainability Plan, in
your CGDN application is to:
•
ensure the community website meets auCD policy guidelines regarding content and
function
•
provide evidence that the website meets community expectations and so will
benefit the entire local community
•
demonstrate the community website group’s ability to develop and maintain the
website in an effective and timely manner.
For information regarding funding, see Section 6. For more information regarding ongoing
website sustainability, refer to Section 9.
To help you develop your community website, auCD has provided this basic overview of
the website development process, together with ideas on how to make your site
successful. This overview is intended as a basic guide only, and you are advised to seek
more detailed information before undertaking the project.
The Australian Domain Name Administrators (auDA) have produced an audio series
on using the internet. The series gives practical information to both new and
experienced users. To listen go to www.letstalknet.com.au.
An excellent source of general information about creating a presence on the internet is
the e-Strategy Guide for Nonprofit Organisations. The guide, which was developed by
the federal Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts
(DCITA) covers topics such as Online Security, Website functions and Creative Web
Use. Visit www.e-strategyguide.gov.au.
The Department of Families, Community Services & Indigenous Affairs has a website
portal at http://community.gov.au with a section title Internet Tips & Tools.
FAIRTEL has a website on public eduction and awareness about consumers’ rights and
benefits when selecting and transferring telecommunications services (including the
internet) at www.fairtel.org.au.
For information on information and communication technology (ICT) issues of specific
interest to not-for-profit organisations and links to a wide range of products and services
to assist organisations to make savings please visit the following websites:
CommunIT - helps community and not-for-profit organisations to increase their ICT
capacity - visit their website at: www.communit.info
Donortec - assists charities and nonprofit organisations with Income Tax Exempt status
by providing software and hardware for very low or discounted fees in conjunction
with their donor partners - visit their website at: www.donortec.com.au
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The National Library of Australia, in conjunction with Flickr, provide a rich online pictorial
resource of rural and urban images in their Picture Australia Ourtown Project.
To read about this project visit www.pictureaustralia.org.au
Australian Flexible Learning Framework - provides a 'Resource Kit for Creative
Communities' where community groups can source online guidance, ideas and tools for
developing e-learning. Some great links and ideas on developing and organising online
information. Visit http://creativecommunity.flexiblelearning.net.au
Free Web page Headers – provides free quality graphics you can use for your website
header. They also have links to helpful resources including fonts, plugins, templates,
stock photos, software, scripts, tutorials, and other useful tools for webmasters. To view
their gallery of graphics, visit http://www.freewebpageheaders.com/gallery/
Developing a website can be a complex process, particularly if you have never done it
before. It’s a good idea to involve people with experience in this field in your community
website group if you can. They will be able to provide guidance, recommendations and
possibly even web development skills.
A successful website requires more than just good design. If website content is not
regularly reviewed and updated, people will have no reason to re-visit. Events calendars,
news articles and sports results must be kept up-to-date, while business directories must
provide current information. A dynamic site attracts more visitors and repeat visits, which
is the key to a successful site, particularly if you are trying to attract sponsorship and
advertising.
When developing your Website Plan you are also asked to consider how you will
continue to manage and maintain the website.
Before you start, we also recommend you have a look at some existing community
websites. The original pilot sites are a good place to start:
•
www.ballarat.vic.au
•
www.bathurst.nsw.au
•
www.wollongong.nsw.au
8.2
Elements of a Website
A website can be broken down into three basic components:
•
textual content
•
design
•
functionality.
The textual content is any information users read on the site, including menu headings,
news articles, directory listings and contact details.
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The design is sometimes called the ‘look and feel’ of the site. It includes elements such
as the fonts, colours and background used throughout the website, as well as any
images, animations and even sound.
The functionality is how the website ‘works’. It includes things such as what happens
when a user clicks the ‘submit’ button on a form, or uses a search facility to find specific
information in a directory. The ‘back-end’ systems that make up the website, such as a
content management system, are also part of the functionality.
Once developed, you will also need an internet service provider (ISP) to host your
website. ‘Hosting’ is a service where the files that make up your website are stored on a
computer known as a ‘server’ which is permanently connected to the internet, enabling
people to download those files and view the website.
All of these elements interact so each needs to be considered carefully before you begin
development. For example, if your preferred ISP does not support the software used by
your website, you will either need to consider an alternative host or use different
software.
8.3
Website Development Approaches
There are three basic approaches to developing a website:
•
hire a professional web developer to create the website or parts of the site (e.g.
graphic design, programming)
•
develop the site yourself using website development software
•
use a ‘templated’ website solution such as auCD’s ‘Community Site in a Box’.
Whichever approach you take, it will be a lot easier (and cheaper) if you have a good
idea of what you want your site to look like and how you want it to function from the start.
Using a professional website developer
Each website developer will have their own way of working and development
methodology. The important thing is to find someone who:
•
you feel comfortable working with and explaining your ideas
•
can give you a good indication of the costs (or even better, a fixed price, usually
based on a scope or specification) and development timeframe
•
can develop the website you want within your budget.
If you are working with a web developer for the first time, check references and websites
they have developed previously. Also make a list of other websites noting what you like
and don’t like about them to discuss with the web developer.
Using a website developer can often result in a very professional looking and functioning
site, although it can be expensive, particularly if you don’t establish exactly what you want
and what it will cost up front.
Going it alone
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If you have the skills and software in your community website group, you may decide to
develop the site yourself using commercial or free software packages. Generally you will
need HTML-editing software for creating the web pages (for example: Macromedia
Dreamweaver, Microsoft FrontPage, Adobe GoLive, Evrsoft First Page) as well as
graphic software for creating and manipulating images (for example: Adobe Photoshop,
Apple iPhoto, CorelDRAW).
While creating the website yourself is likely to be cheaper than employing a professional
website developer, this approach is only recommended if you have the necessary
technical expertise and experience required to use website development software.
Using a ‘template’ solution
A ‘template’ website solution is a good alternative if you don’t have the skills to build the
website in-house or the budget to employ a professional website developer.
There is a range of different products on the market, but generally they all use a content
management system (CMS) with templates for the ‘presentation layer’.
All the content elements of the website (text, images, etc.) are stored in the database.
The CMS is used to enter, delete and edit this content and set up structure of the site.
Most content management systems use a simple, text-based system accessed through a
standard web browser such as Microsoft Explorer, Mozilla Firefox or Netscape Navigator.
When a visitor accesses the website, the content is drawn from the database and
displayed within the template-based graphic interface.
auCD offers a template solution specially designed for creating community websites.
Community Site in a Box provides:
•
automated site builder with an integrated CMS
•
selection of templates and the ability to change background images, fonts and
colours.
•
directories that are re-nameable
•
a business directly powered by localised Sensis Yellow.com.au
•
news and events sections
•
statistics on website use
•
the ability to issue individual geographic email addresses to the community
•
hosting
For more information and a demonstration go to www.aucd.org.au and click on
Community Site in a Box.
8.4
The Development Process
Developing a website requires a range of skills – from technical skills (graphic design,
programming, writing, etc.) – to management and business skills to ensure the website is
managed efficiently and sustainably.
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This next section explores the major steps in the development process.
8.4.1
Planning
Like any other major project, the key to developing a successful website is planning. You
will need to consider the various elements of the website (content, design and
functionality) and how they will all interact.
Structure and content
A website usually consists of an index or ‘home’ page linking to a number of sub-pages.
While there is no limit to the number of sub-pages in a website, it is important that they
are structured logically so users can navigate the site successfully.
A good place to start planning a website is to develop a site map. This is simply a
pictorial representation of all the pages within the website. For example, your website
may have an Events page providing a listing of local events in the coming weeks. Each
event listing could be linked to another page that provides full details of that particular
event (for example: what it is for, when and where it will be held). The sitemap would
show that the home page links to the events page, and the events page then links to the
events details page.
Try to keep your website structure simple so visitors feel comfortable exploring. Rather
than show every link in the menu on the home page, sort them into groups (for example:
show the menu item ‘Events’ on the home page, and then links to all events listed on the
Events page.)
Remember to check any links to external websites regularly to ensure they are still valid.
Your community will probably have lots of ideas for what they would expect to find on the
website. It is important that you think about who the website is for and how they are going
to use it when planning the content. If possible, involve members of your community in
the planning process.
Your community website should:
•
provide information which is relevant and useful to the community
•
create a ‘picture’ of the community that reflects its values
•
generate enough traffic (website visitors) to make it attractive to advertisers and
sponsors.
There are a number of elements common to most websites, such as an index or home
page, contact details and ‘about us’ information. As a community website, you are likely
to want to include other content such as:
•
business directory
•
community group listing (e.g. sport and recreation, arts and cultural, historical, other
common interest groups)
•
tourism information
•
events calendar
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•
latest news (e.g. sports results, local council initiatives)
•
local weather (see www.bom.gov.au for available services)
•
sponsor details and advertising banners
•
community feedback form
•
links to external websites (e.g. local council, regional tourism office, chamber of
commerce).
You may also want to provide information to your community about depression and
referral resources and link to existing online resources that can provide this. For
example, you could link to the beyondblue website at www.beyondblue.org.au which
provides information about depression, anxiety, postnatal depression and bipolar
disorders for individuals and their families living with these conditions. The beyondblue
website also has online checklists, printed materials, education resources and referral
pathways. Information about beyondblue, its programs, partners and research activities
are also detailed with personal stories and web links to other relevant sites.
Also, it is worth thinking about including a privacy statement and a website disclaimer on
the site.
The primary aim of a privacy statement is to tell website visitors what personal and
technical information is collected from them, and what this information is used for. There
are privacy laws designed to safeguard the use of personal information and it is important
that information you obtain from your website is not used for any purpose other than for
which it was provided (for example: information supplied in a feedback form should not
be used for marketing). See Section 9 under Policies & Issues for more details.
The aim of a website disclaimer is to protect the community website group from loss or
damages arising from information presented on the website or contained in linked
websites. Again, see Section 9 under Policies & Issues for more details.
Design
When you visit other websites you will notice that the design, or the ‘look and feel’ of
these sites varies greatly. Some will have a corporate look, while websites targeting
children will use bright colours and possibly animation and sound.
The design of your community website should reflect your community, and also be
attractive to potential visitors to your site. Once you have an idea of the content for your
website, you can begin planning the design or the ‘interface’.
If you are working with a professional designer, try to be clear about what message you
want the design to convey – warm and friendly, fun, professional or energetic – think of
words that describe what you have in mind. It may help to show the designer some
different websites and talk about what you like (or don’t like) about their design.
A common mistake in developing a website is to ‘over-engineer’ it. There are a few
standard design rules that help visitors find their way around each new website they visit.
For example, most websites have a menu at the top of the page with a link to the home
page on the left. Website visitors want to be able to find the information they are
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interested in quickly and easily, without having to learn a new navigation system every
time.
Also, it is best to keep elements like sound, animation and video to a minimum. Not only
can they be expensive to produce, but they can also be unnecessarily distracting as well
as increasing the download time of the website, particularly for visitors with slower
internet connections.
Functionality
At the simplest level, a website can be a few static, text-based pages. A more complex
site might use a database to store content and include functions such as a search facility
or feedback form; while the most the most sophisticated websites employ animation,
sound and videos as well as member’s areas, forums, user polls and a range of other
functions.
The most common functions to consider for a community website are:
•
search facility enabling users to find information on the site
•
feedback form for users to submit their comments
•
business directory listing the names and contact details of local businesses
•
calendar to promote events
•
public forum for community members to post news and events.
Be aware that different functions require different software and that not all hosting
services support all software. The functionality of your website will also depend on your
budget. The more complex the functionality of your website, the longer it will take to
develop and the more costly it will be.
If your community is small, you might be able to create a listing of businesses and events
in a static HTML page. However, this means you will need to edit the HTML page
whenever details change.
For larger sites (or where funding permits) it is better to use a database to store and
manage this information. A database provides for more sophisticated searching because
it allows each entry to be associated with more than one category. For example: the
Children’s Greek Dance Academy could be listed under ‘children’s activities’, ‘ethnic
groups’ and ‘recreation clubs’. This makes it easier for site visitors to locate information,
regardless of where they begin searching.
A content management system can be used to easily add, delete and edit information in
the database (see Section 8.3).
When planning the functionality of your website, work out what you want your site to do
and then decide how you can best achieve this. If you can’t afford everything to begin
with, you might take a phased approach to get a simplified version online first.
Alternatively, you may have to scale down your ambitions to meet your budget.
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By being clear about what functionality you want in your website, you will be in a better
position to discuss this with your web developer to find out how they will do it, what it will
cost and how long it will take to build.
8.4.2
Development
Every developer will have their own website development methodology. What is
important is that you are comfortable working with them and that they can provide you
with regular reports so you are able to monitor the progress of your website.
If you are developing a more complex site, you should be able to see prototypes well
before the finished product is launched. Even if it is a simple site, make sure your
developer provides you with documentation at each major stage. For example, you
should see and approve an image of what the design for each major page in the website
will look like before the actual coding begins.
If you have a concern, raise it with the developer at the time, as changes are more
difficult and expensive to make at the end of the project. It is important to establish a
good relationship with your developer and communicate regularly so that any problems
can be resolved quickly.
8.4.3
Testing
The key to testing is to test as much and as often and you can. Test at key project stages
rather than wait until the entire website is completed.
The level of testing will also depend on the complexity of the website. It can be as basic
as checking that all the links in the site go where they should. For more complex websites
with functionality such as an events calendar or news pages, submit dummy data to
ensure it displays correctly. Try entering data in as many different scenarios as you can
to make your testing as rigorous as possible. For example, when submitting events
information, check that both text and numbers are accepted and fields such as the date
display correctly on the web page.
8.4.4
Launch
Once your community website is completed you will be ready to launch it on the internet.
Having an official launch event is a good way to get some initial promotion and visitors to
the site. Get the local media involved if you can and invite as many people as possible.
Be sure to test the website in the live environment first to make sure everything is
working as it should.
See Section 9 for more information about launching your website.
8.4.5
Management & Maintenance
Hosting
Once you have developed your community website (and before you launch it), you will
need to nominate an internet service provider (ISP) to host the site so people can visit it.
Hosting costs can vary depending on a number of factors including:
•
the size of the website (measured in kilobytes, megabytes or gigabytes)
•
the number of people accessing the site each month
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•
the bandwidth provided by the ISP
•
the software supported by the ISP
•
other services offered (e.g. visitor statistics, email addresses).
Many web developers also provide hosting, or you can use a third-party provider such as
Telstra or Optus, or a specialist hosting service provider. A good starting point might be
to look in the Yellow Pages or on the internet under ‘website services’ or ‘website
hosting’.
Unless your website is permanently funded by a sponsor or you have a local business
providing in-kind support, you will need to raise enough money to pay the ongoing
hosting costs.
While your initial website may be quite basic, it is worthwhile investigating all the options
your host can provide. For example, you may want to get statistical information such as
how many people have visited your website and the pages they viewed. Or you may
already be thinking about possible future upgrades such as community email addresses
or a local forum.
Updating content
It is important that you continue to review and update your website content to ensure
people have a reason to keep visiting the site. If you have news articles or an events
calendar, these need to be updated regularly and new items continually added.
Directories should be maintained so the details provided are always current, and external
links checked to make sure they are still available and relevant.
It is also important to regularly check that any links you have on your website are up to
date. There are some free tools on the web that you can access to ascertain if you have
any links that aren't working - for eg. you can try: http://www.dead-links.com.
To ensure updates occur regularly, it is recommended that you have a regime that
establishes who is responsible for updating each part of the website, and how often.
Depending on the nature of the content, some sections might need updating daily or
weekly (for example: local news and events, sports results) while others may be updated
only monthly (for example: business directory, external links).
Maximising Search Engine Ratings (Findability)
•
Target Appropriate Keywords
•
Include The Keywords Within the Content
•
Make Your Site Usable
•
Make Your Content Information-Rich
•
Get Links from Relevant Sites
For more information please see :
http://searchenginewatch.com/showPage.html?page=webmasters#essentials in
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particular the sections on "Essentials of Search Engine Submission" and "Optimising for
Crawlers".
You can also submit your URL to Google and Yahoo search engines which may help in
your search engine rankings. Visit their following links for more information:
http://www.google.com/addurl/
https://login.yahoo.com/config/login_verify2?.src=siteex&.intl=us&.done=http%3A%2F%2
Fsiteexplorer.search.yahoo.com%2Fsubmit
Usability
You will want to ensure that your website is easy to use for the avery user so that they
can perform a task and/or find information on your site. Keeping it simple is important.
Accessibility
Web accessibility means that people with disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate,
and interact with the Web, and that they can contribute to the Web.
For an introduction to the necessity for web accessibility visit:
http://www.w3.org/WAI/gettingstarted/Overview.html
One of the tips for increasing accessibility include using "ALT" text for all images.
For more useful tips visit: http://www.w3.org/WAI/quicktips/
There are 2 relevant Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG):
http://www.w3.org/WAI/intro/wcag.php
Using version 1 is recommended at this point in time as it has been approved as a stable
and referenceable version.
The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission refers to the W3C guidelines as
part of its advisory notes under the Disability Discrimination Act:
http://www.humanrights.gov.au/disability_rights/standards/www_3/www_3.htmlThe
Australian Government Information Management Office explains the need for
government agencies to abide by the guidelines at:
http://webpublishing.agimo.gov.au/Accessibility
Remember
While building a website can be a challenge – with all the technical considerations and
new jargon to absorb – try not to be daunted. Often the best approach is to ‘learn by
doing’. You might find it better to start with a basic website and develop it in phases. This
approach has the benefit of:
•
giving the community website group a sense of achievement
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•
providing the community with an initial presence on the internet
•
using the initial interest and media promotion to attract more visitors and funding.
If you start simple and learn as you go, you will soon feel confident about making
changes or adding new functions. You will also be able to respond to community
comments and feedback when developing the website further.
8.5
Completing the Website Plan
auCD requires that you submit a Website Plan with your application for a CGDN licence.
Preparing a Website Plan will enable the CWG and your community to consider what
elements are important to building a useful and relevant website by encouraging
discussion about what your community really expects from a website. The Website Plan
can also form the basis for discussion with a web designer should you decide to use one.
If you are planning a phased implementation then a comprehensive plan can establish
what functions will be available in each development stage.
Please complete the Website Plan template available at
www.aucd.org.au/howto/templates and submit it as part of your CGDN application.
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9
DEVELOPING A BUSINESS SUSTAINABILITY PLAN
9.1
Overview
The purpose of including a Business Sustainability Plan, along with the Website Plan, in
your CGDN application is to:
•
demonstrate the community website group’s ability to develop and maintain the
website in an effective and timely manner.
For information regarding funding, see Section 6. For more information regarding actual
website development, refer to Section 8.
Most community website groups start out by focusing on developing a website as quickly
as possible. However, it is equally important that the website serves as a long-term asset
for the community. Research has shown that both the website and the CWG
management committee must be continually refreshed to ensure long-term sustainability.
In order to prepare a comprehensive Business Sustainability Plan, the CWG needs to
consider:
•
policies and issues
•
website sustainability
•
financial sustainability
•
marketing (launch and ongoing promotion)
•
management sustainability.
This section offers some guidance on how to plan for and manage the long-term
sustainability of your community website. This section will also take you through the steps
of completing a Business Sustainability Plan.
9.2
Policies and Issues
9.2.1
General Issues
There are a number of initial issues that the CWG will need to discuss and resolve so that
all members and the wider community understand what the website will and will not
provide.
Firstly, how will the community define ‘local’? This is particularly important when deciding
what local businesses and common interest groups are eligible for inclusion on the
website. It may not be such an issue in smaller or more isolated communities as it is for
larger towns or cities that include a number of localities. You will need to agree which
localities will be included in your ‘local’ area boundary.
The second issue is whether there will be a policy to exclude any businesses or
community groups from the website, for example, an adults only shop. You will need to
decide the basis for including or excluding these businesses or groups when it comes to
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directory listings, and any other policies that might apply, such as providing links to their
websites.
A possible solution is to allow these types of businesses to have a listing in the directory
but not provide a website link. This approach could be a satisfactory compromise
between supporting local business and protecting children from exposure to adult
content. However, each community is different, and its members will need to be
comfortable with any decisions taken regarding these issues.
9.2.2
Sponsorship & Advertising Policy
Your community website is more likely to be sustainable if it accepts funding in the form
of sponsorship or advertising. Generally, sponsorship covers donations of time, money,
goods or services; advertising involves direct payment in return for publishing
advertisements.
Businesses who sponsor the website are usually acknowledged in some way, which can
be anything from listing their name somewhere on the sight through to a prominently
displayed logo on the home page and inclusion in promotional literature as well. If you
have numerous sponsors there may not be sufficient space to display all the logos on the
home page and the CWG will have to devise alternative means of accommodating these
sponsors, such as allocating a sponsor to each page of the site, or rotating the home
page sponsors.
Organisations who advertise will pay to have their logo and advertising message appear
on the website. The CWG will need to structure advertising rates for various ad sizes,
position within the site (for example: home page, first level pages, second level pages)
and the time that the ad is displayed.
The CWG may decide not to accept sponsorship or advertising from certain types of
business (for example: those offering adults products). It is advisable to develop a
sponsorship and advertising policy that outlines the basis for rejecting a potential
advertiser/sponsor, as well as establishing guidelines for acceptable advertising content.
Refer to the Trade Practices Act 1974, which specifically prohibits false or misleading
claims about the goods or services that a company offers (see www.accc.gov.au
‘Business Rights & Obligations’ for more information).
9.2.3
Privacy Statement
There are privacy laws in Australia designed to safeguard the use of personal information
for communication or promotion purposes. Therefore it is important for your website to
carry a privacy statement to advise site visitors that information supplied by them will only
be used for the purpose for which they provided it, and not for marketing purposes. Most
websites carry a privacy statement which outlines:
•
what personal information is collected
•
what technical information is collected
•
what this information is used for.
9.2.4
Website Disclaimer
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The aim of a website disclaimer is to protect the CWG from loss or damages arising from
information presented on the community website or from information contained in linked
websites. It may be useful to read disclaimers on other websites to get an idea of the type
of information they provide. It is recommended you seek legal advice in drafting a
suitable disclaimer for your community website.
9.2.5
Media Policy
In larger communities with a diverse and active CWG, it may be useful to develop a
media policy. The aim of this policy is to establish which CWG members will speak to the
media on behalf of the group to ensure a consistent message is being relayed that is truly
representative of the vision and objectives of the CWG and the website.
9.3
Website Sustainability
For a website to be sustainable, it must maintain relevance for its target audience.
Factors that contribute to making a website sustainable are:
•
The target audience is aware that the website exists.
•
The website contains information relevant to the community and is easy to use.
•
Website content is kept up-to-date to encourage repeat visits.
•
The website has been developed in such a way that it is easy to manage.
Potential visitors can be alerted to the existence of the website through advertising or
promotional activities, or by holding a launch event to generate media interest as well as
word-of-mouth advertising.
Research shows that websites that create a good first impression encourage return visits,
which in turn makes your site more attractive to sponsors and advertisers.
Keeping website content up-to-date also encourages repeat visits – no-one wants to see
last month’s news. The information must also be relevant to the whole community and
not just some groups. In larger communities there may be many different audiences –
youth, indigenous, seniors, various ethnic groups – so think about having specific
information for each group.
Having reciprocal links with the websites of other organisations in the community is an
inexpensive and effective way to increase the number of visitors, and will also increase
the website’s visibility in search engines such as Google and MSN.
Lastly, the functionality of the website contributes to how easy it is for visitors to use and
for the CWG to maintain. You will need to consider how much time is needed to keep
information relevant and ensure that this task can be managed easily.
See Section 8 for more information on developing a sustainable website.
9.4
Financial Sustainability
As outlined previously, your website might be as simple as a few static pages of
information hosted for free by a local ISP. However, this type of website doesn’t
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encourage repeat visits and will quickly date and therefore of no value to the community.
Also, you may find that your local ISP cannot continue to provide free hosting so you will
need to start paying for this service. You may decide to add more functions to your
website, requiring the purchase of software or web designer services to make this
happen.
For your website to grow and continue to meet the needs of your community, it is
essential that the site is able to generate some form of income. Income can be generated
through sponsorships, donations, advertising, directory listings, email subscriptions or
grants. For more information on fund raising, visit www.ourcommunity.com.au and select
the ‘Funding Centre’ tab.
9.4.1
Sponsorships & Donations
Sponsorships cover donations of goods or services or money in exchange for
acknowledgement. Sponsors can be acknowledged on the website, by being mentioned
in media releases or having their logo on promotional literature or merchandising.
Some individuals or organisations may prefer to support the community website through
donations. They may give money, services such as web design or hosting, their time to
load and edit content, or undertake administrative tasks, and not expect anything in
return.
When seeking donations or sponsorships it is often easier to get products or services
rather than money. For example, a local ISP may provide free or discount hosting or a
web designer may provide an initial interface design for nothing. Local media may be
willing to provide free advertising or promotional items such as T-shirts or mouse pads.
Individuals are more likely to volunteer their time and skills, while local business and
community organisations usually prefer sponsorship opportunities. Consider approaching
major local industries, community groups like Lions or Rotary Clubs, the local Chamber of
Commerce or trader’s association and other local businesses.
9.4.2
Advertising
Website advertising is an excellent method of generating income, however not all
communities will agree. The community website group will need to gauge acceptance of
advertising as some people may be reluctant to visit a website with advertising, however
other people may view it more positively as a service for the community.
9.4.3
Directory Listings
You could consider charging for your business directory listing. Paid listings are
essentially another form of advertising but this approach may be more acceptable to the
community.
There are several options for directory listings, such as offering:
•
a basic listing for free and larger listings at a price
•
free listings for community groups and charities but charging for businesses and
industry.
9.4.4
Issuing Email Addresses
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Another means of generating income for your website is to offer the community individual
geographic email addresses. This will also encourage community members to visit your
site more often, which in turn will make it easier to attract advertising and sponsorship
funds.
9.4.5
Grants
There are many organisations – corporate, government and philanthropic – which provide
money to community groups in the form of grants. Typically, grants will be awarded for
projects that meet the guidelines established by the grant organisation. Grant guidelines
can be very specific, for example, to encourage young people to participate in the
community through volunteering; or can be interpreted more broadly, for example, to
purchase equipment or fund education programs. It is important to read these carefully –
assessment of applications will be based on how well they match the criteria.
You will first have to research what grants are available. For more information on grants
available in Australia, visit www.ourcommunity.com.au and select the ‘Find Money’ tab.
Alternatively, you could visit individual corporate and government websites.
9.5
Marketing the Website
Once development of your website is underway, it is important to consider how you will
launch the site and what ongoing promotion you will undertake. As always, you will need
to consider your various target audiences – website visitors, sponsors and advertisers.
You will also have to market the website for the purpose of applying for funding grants.
9.5.1
Launch
The purpose of holding a launch event is to generate both word-of-mouth promotion and
media exposure or publicity.
As word-of-mouth advertising is still the most effective and efficient means of promoting
your website, invite as many people to the launch as possible, including:
•
all members of the community website group
•
local media (newspapers, TV, radio)
•
local council representatives (both elected representatives and employees)
•
local traders and Chamber of Commerce representatives
•
any volunteers, no matter how small their contribution
•
any sponsors or advertisers.
Depending on the size of your community you could also invite representatives from
various common interest or community groups, as well as people from the fields of
education and health.
To help the media to understand the benefits of a community website, it is a good idea to
have an information pack available which provides background information on the CWG
and the site, a list of contacts, the website address and hard copies of some website
pages.
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9.5.2
Ongoing Promotion
There are many promotional options to market the website on an ongoing basis, including
advertising, direct mail, merchandising and brochures. You will probably want to start
simply with cost-effective ideas such as:
•
preparing a brochure to be handed out in the local shopping area or via a letterbox
drop
•
providing media releases to local media for editorials
•
running advertising in local media (newspapers, TV or radio)
•
approaching other websites to establish reciprocal links
•
undertaking a direct mail campaign either via Australia Post or email.
Marketing your community website will mainly be about promotion. Your CWG may have
the expertise in this area and be able to develop a complete Marketing Plan for the
website.
For more information, visit www.ourcommunity.com.au and select the ‘Marketing’ tab to
connect to a range of help sheets and available training courses.
If you have prepared a Marketing Plan, you can include it with your Business
Sustainability Plan. Alternatively, you can complete the appropriate sections in the
Business Sustainability Plan template.
9.6
CWG Management Sustainability
While the community website group is a not-for-profit entity formed to develop, promote
and manage a community website, it is still necessary to consider the factors that
contribute to a successful and sustainable management committee:
•
a shared vision
•
adequate leadership of the management committee
•
adequate range of skills
•
succession planning.
9.6.1
Shared Vision
For a CWG to be effective it is important to have a shared vision of the benefits that a
community website can bring.
The shared vision can be encapsulated in the organisation’s mission as part of the
Business Sustainability Plan. This will ensure any new members joining the CWG
understand immediately the purpose of the group and the goal they are aiming to
achieve.
9.6.2
Effective Leadership
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For any team effort it is important to have someone who knows what the organisation
wants to accomplish, how to motivate people, and how to plan and prioritise expenditure
and tasks.
An effective leader knows how to develop the organisation’s vision and express this with
passion and enthusiasm. They recognise when the vision needs to be updated or
recreated to ensure it still reflects where the organisation is going and remains relevant to
staff, volunteers and the community. This contributes to good morale and an ongoing
commitment to achieving the organisation’s mission.
An organisation that relies on volunteers needs leadership that is strong and supportive
to ensure tasks are completed within reasonable timeframes. This in turn keeps
volunteers committed and motivated as they can see the results of their efforts. It is
important to acknowledge the contributions made by volunteers and the management
committee. This can be accomplished with simple social events such as barbeques or
picnics to give people the opportunity to share ideas and experiences in a relaxed setting.
9.6.3
Skills Range
The role of the CWG is to manage what is effectively a small business so the
management committee needs to have a mix of skills including accounting, legal,
business planning, managerial, marketing and technical.
This may prove difficult in smaller communities and CWG members may need to take
responsibility for more than one area, and invite community members to form subcommittees to accomplish specific tasks. This provides opportunities to share
experiences and to learn new skills, while also ensuring the community is actively
contributing and involved.
9.6.4
Succession Planning
Another issue for the management committee is to ensure that when members leave
there is someone to take over their role and responsibilities. This is called succession
planning and can be achieved by either:
•
building redundancy into the committee, or
•
replacing the skill set.
Building redundancy is achieved by having more than one person involved in any
important task. For example, you might have two people actively involved in preparing
financial statements and acting as Treasurer, so that if one leaves, the other can step in
because they have experience in the role and an understanding of the management
committee’s accounting practices. It also provides opportunities for people to learn new
tasks and extend their skills.
Replacing the skill set means finding a new member with the same skills as the person
leaving. However, this may be difficult in smaller communities where building redundancy
may be a better option.
9.7
Completing the Business Sustainability Plan
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auCD requires that you submit a Business Sustainability Plan with your application for a
CGDN licence.
A Business Sustainability Plan provides an opportunity to analyse where your community
group is now and to think about where you want the organisation to be in the next 3-5
years. Even though the CWG is a not-for-profit entity, you still need to plan for the longterm sustainability of your organisation. A good Business Sustainability Plan will:
•
establish your objectives
•
give you an understanding of the market you are in and what you are offering
•
show the potential strengths and weaknesses of your organisation
•
give prospective investors, such as advertisers, sponsors or grant donors, sufficient
information to determine if your organisation is a suitable investment
•
schedule when events and financial milestones should be achieved so you can
chart your progress by comparing planned with actual results.
Typically a business plan will cover a period from one to three years.
For more information on developing Business Plans, visit www.businessplanning.ws for a
range of fact sheets or www.ourcommunity.com.au and select the ‘Boards’ tab.
The Business Sustainability Plan will demonstrate that your CWG is well equipped both
financially and through the collective experience of your members to develop and
maintain a community website.
Please complete the Business Sustainability Plan template and the Projected Profit &
Loss forecast available at www.aucd.org.au/howto/templates and submit these as part of
your CGDN application.
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10
COMPLETING THE CGDN LICENCE APPLICATION
All applications to licence a CGDN are on-line via the auCD homepage. Simply type in
your locality to see if it is available. If the name is available you will be linked to the
application form on-line.
The on-line application allows you to upload documents that are stored on your computer
- or enable you to confirm that you will fax particular documents to auCD.
Before applying for the CGDN licence check that you have all the information required.
The following checklist details the information and documents you will need:
•
Name/s of the locality.
•
Name of your organisation.
•
Type of organisation (if your group is not one of the options listed or is a subcommittee or working party within an already established community group you will
need to give details of the structure).
•
Contact details for 2 members including name, position, address, phone and fax
numbers and email.
•
Certificate of the not-for-profit legal entity registration.
•
Copy of the not-for-profit legal entity’s constitution.
•
List of current members of the CWG including Name, Business/Residential address
and the community group/s they represent.
•
Reasons why you believe your organisation is broadly representative of your local
community.
•
Evidence of community representation and support as outlined in Consulting the
Community.
•
Completed Website Plan.
•
Completed Business Sustainability Plan including your Projected Profit and Loss
forecast.
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11
REGISTERING THE CGDN WITH AN APPROVED REGISTRAR
Once your application is approved you will be able to register your domain name with an
auDA accredited Registrar that offers this service.
You will not be able to register a CGDN licence with a Registrar unless you have applied
for the CGDN licence via the auCD website homepage and have received an email
confirmation of approval.
Note that fees will only apply from date of registration with an accredited registrar who
offers this service. The Registrar will charge you their fee in addition to the auDA fee.
Note that auDA's fee will be reimbursed back to auCD to ensure that auCD can continue
to provide support services to communities and process applications based on auDA
policy and guidelines.
Visit www.aucd.org.au to get all the information on auDA accredited registrars who
provide this service and the applicable fees.
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