From SharePoint to Drupal: Wallace Foundation Unblocks its Content Team

Learn how the Wallace Foundation partnered with Pantheon, Yes& and IntelligenceBank to upgrade the organization’s website.
Monthly Visitors
20 Years
Worth of Content Migrated

The Wallace Foundation is a national philanthropy supporting an array of programs in the arts and education for youth. Their flagship website, having been around for more than 20 years, has gone through several upgrades and redesigns. The site was built mostly in Microsoft’s SharePoint CMS and hosted through Rackspace. 

Over the years, the organization’s needs exceeded SharePoint’s capabilities. Slow page speeds and other hurdles were impacting the user experience and stalling the editorial and the development team.

“You needed to hire a developer and custom code just about everything in SharePoint. It was not always easy for our communications team to make text edits without the developer’s help,” recalled Omar Salem, Web Technology Specialist, who’s been with the Foundation for almost two decades. 

To improve the stakeholder and user experience, the Foundation decided to migrate to Drupal. The results quickly exceeded expectations. 

My favorite part is that our editorial team has become self-sufficient. They don't have to come to me unless there’s a website glitch or a missing critical feature. They can go in and create or edit content on their own so that I can go back to my primary duties.”

- Omar Salem, Web Technology Specialist, the wallace foundation

Choosing Between WordPress and Drupal


Wallace Foundation homepage

The Foundation decided to leave SharePoint for good back in 2019, but the pandemic derailed their plans. In hindsight, the delay gave them more time to evaluate different website operations providers, DXPs and proprietary CMSes. Pantheon came out as a strong contender. Marketing agency Yes&, Pantheon’s strategic partner, sealed the deal by recommending Drupal and Pantheon for the organization’s website needs. 

We recommended Drupal because it has the flexibility to accommodate the Foundation’s many content types: podcasts, video series, complex infographics." 

- Beth Yezzi, Vice President, Account Management at Yes&

The agency overhauled the entire Foundation’s website, everything from the Drupal build to the user experience. With 20 years' worth of content, the search function was one of the biggest pain points. 

“Search was difficult to use. Users could not get to what they were looking for easily and once they found it, it was hard to locate again. And the Foundation’s site is all about research and content,” said Yezzi. 

Salem added: “We work on a city and statewide level with superintendents, principals and other stakeholders who can influence societal changes. The website is instrumental as an informational vehicle to facilitate these goals and share our extensive research.” 

Editorial Freedom and Speed for the Communications Team

Consisting of IT, communications and editorial, the web team updates the website almost daily. Around 50,000 visitors frequent the site every month. The organization has hundreds of online reports and materials to advance learning and enrichment for young people and the arts for everyone.

One of the measures of the website's success is the volume of report downloads. The Foundation invests significant resources to conduct educational research so “a download is an equivalent of a sale for us as a nonprofit,” said Salem. Consistent uptime and page speed metrics are critical for this website conversion. 

“Since we switched to Pantheon, page speed has improved a lot,” said Salem. 

Switching to New DAM: IntelligenceBank

One of the biggest undertakings during the migration process was the PDF repository. Hundreds of reports had to be brought over. The Foundations needed a modern solution to work as a central repository to keep those reports, photos, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoints and Word documents. 

The Wallace Foundation chose IntelligenceBank, a digital asset management (DAM) provider, to handle the storage, organization and sharing of content assets in one location. The Foundation uses IntelligenceBank’s Drupal connector to streamline their visual assets. 

One thing we love about the IntelligenceBank Drupal connector is the ability to select a preset without having to download an image or resize it. This connector streamlines the process and makes it quicker and easier to embed our full resolution, high-quality images in a format that is under 1MB."

 - Omar Salem, Web Technology Specialist, the wallace foundation

Correctly formatted images sped up the page load speed. To make further improvements, the Foundation is currently updating all the photos to make use of Pantheon’s Advanced Global CDN (AGCDN) with WAF and Image Optimization. These features provide an all-in-one solution to cover the Communications team’s needs: security, blazing-fast pages and streamlined management. 

Monthly Visitors
20 Years
Worth of Content Migrated

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