Partners for the Common Good (PCG) is a nationally renown non-profit organization, certified by the U.S. Department of the Treasury as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), focused on facilitating financial capital lending activities within lower income domestic areas and communities. One of PCG’s most prominent offerings is CapNexus – a system that essentially serves as a web-based clearinghouse to help capital seekers build relationships and network more efficiently with socially minded entrepreneurs, developers, capital providers, and public sector officials. The CapNexus portal was originally developed in 2012, making use of Drupal 6, with a wide variety of custom-built components. The site operated very successfully for a number of years, although PCG gradually began to realize that some the customizations of their system had been accomplished at the expense of maintainability, making even simple updates overly complex. PCG acknowledged in late 2015 that it was time to update the site, although they chose to continue working with Drupal, because of its flexibility and shallow learning curve.
PCG solicited a number of bids for the project, and ultimately selected Portland Webworks given our familiarity with the Drupal platform and our reputation for delivering scalable, extensible implementations. After collaborating with PCG staff to define technical requirements and a new design approach, we selected Drupal 7 for the build, allowing us to deliver improved functionality in a way that would remain aligned the underlying Drupal architecture – rather than fighting against it. Some of the noteworthy features included contemporary single-page application functionality to support robust resource searching and browsing, integration with SalesForce CRM, adaptive automation of workflows, direct messaging, and private forums. It also included new user interface that would be fully responsive to mobile users.
The new CapNexus platform re-launched in early 2016, and since then system participation has surged to more than 600 CapNexus users and 1,400 readers of the CapNexus Newsletter. Users are reporting that they are very pleased with the new and intuitive design, while the client has likewise welcomed the system’s new automations and integrations, greatly enhancing organizational and administrative efficiency.