Dynamic Catholic: Building a strong infrastructure for content and commerce.

About Our Partner

Dynamic Catholic is a nonprofit which was started to create the “best Catholic content in the world—resources for life and faith that would change lives.” But after awhile, their team asked themselves, “What’s the point of creating the best Catholic content in the world if the people and parishes that need it the most can’t afford it?” So they re-defined their mission, as if it wasn’t a big enough challenge to create the best Catholic content in the world, and decided they would make it free for everyone. Their team aims to re-energize the Catholic Church in America by developing world-class resources that inspire people to rediscover the genius of Catholicism.

Project Details

  • Migration from Volusion to Magento Enterprise
  • Salesforce.com Integration
  • Integration with FlexOMS (Order Management System)
  • Amazon S3 Media Storage
  • Custom WordPress & Magento Integration
  • Subscribe-Pro Recurring Donation and Payment System
  • Integration of 3rd Party Tax Rules and Accounting Systems
  • Marketo Marketing Integration
  • Quickbooks Enterprise Integration

Project Story

The Dynamic Catholic team came to Gauge with the hope of launching a redesigned responsive website in seven months. They wanted their new site to integrate and work seamlessly with other third party software vendors and wanted to migrate all of their 30k subscribers to the new site. They wanted to give their website a modern look and feel that would better relate to their viewers. Additionally, when they first spoke with us, not every page of their site was responsive which made it hard for their customers to browse their content while on a mobile device. The Dynamic Catholic team is made up of a large number of individuals who were all eager to participate which made the project incredibly collaborative.


As Dynamic Catholic grew and continued to create engaging and helpful content for the Catholic community, their technical infrastructure started to show its age.

When they came to us, their team was struggling with many different technical challenges: 4 different WordPress installations, a failing Quickbooks integration, a separate Volusion powered eCommerce storefront which was prone to crash upon high loads, a very poor mobile user interface, and a poor integration with their marketing software. All in all, this created many operational challenges for them and restricted their ability to fulfill their mission and provide excellent support to the Catholic community.

On-Site and Hands-On

As always, when presented with a challenge like this we got very excited about the opportunity for transformation. Being able to address the many challenges Dynamic Catholic was facing was a great opportunity for us to work closely with their team. Over the years we’ve found that the best way to make sure that we talk about all of the disparate elements, integrations, goals , and departments involved in a project like this, is to work together in the same room for a few days. We call these workshops our “on-sites”.  They provide a great opportunity to focus, work through ideas and brainstorm, as well as fill up a few whiteboards. Often we make weeks of progress in a single day and it provides us a really great opportunity to get to know the client team. Our experience with Dynamic Catholic was no exception. George Dushensky was our main contact for their team and he was able to facilitate team involvement from all over the Dynamic Catholic organization which helped get the project off to a great start.

A Major Mobile Conversion

A big part of this project was making sure that we improved the user experience for mobile users. As is the case with many companies, Dynamic Catholic had an eCommerce store and a CMS system that wasn’t user-friendly to mobile users. They had been working on older platforms, getting the most out of their investment in their original build, but it was time to catch up with the needs of the modern user and take advantage of new responsive technologies.

We started from the ground up and reimagined how the store and all of the content pages should look and function. Heavy emphasis was put on the product detail, events, programs and books templates. We also worked very closely with their internal design and content teams to brainstorm about layout, navigation, and other structural elements to ensure that their team was able to fulfill the needs of their audience. The result was a store that’s easy to use and combined the strengths of both our teams. The Gauge team was able to bring our knowledge of the Magento and WordPress platforms, responsive design, front-end technologies, and mobile first design philosophy to the table. The Dynamic Catholic team was able to bring their in-depth knowledge of who their audience is, what they are looking for and what is important to them.

Unified Systems & 3rd Party Collaboration

Working with many different systems each containing siloed information is a problem many retailers face. When accounting can’t talk to eComm, and marketing can’t talk to customer service, the growth of the organization is limited. Dynamic Catholic had experienced this first-hand and they were ready to move past it.

The systems we implemented were able to overcome these challenges and allowed for the effective exchange of information throughout the business. We facilitated the integration of Magento, Quickbooks, Salesforce, Subscribe-Pro, WordPress, Marketo, and FlexOMS all in a way that created many operational efficiencies for the DC team.

One of the key roles of our team was to work with the Dynamic Catholic team and all of the 3rd party developers from other systems in order to manage the project timeline and ensure that all the custom integration code was delivered, tested and functional. Multiple companies like SFG, Subscribe-Pro, Webgility, and Jitterbit all did the heavy lifting to build the deep integration code while working with our team to provide access to the data and organize development efforts on their new platform. All of these companies produced excellent results.

Donation Automation

The Dynamic Catholic business model is built on donations to their ambassador club. Their team works hard to create valuable and helpful content for the Catholic community and they do this all while asking for a donation rather than charging for the product up-front. Since this is the foundation of their company, it was important to get this right. Migrating from one system to another was crucial and we had to work hard to source a modern system which was innovating and stable to ensure that the DC team wouldn’t have to make another migration for many years.

We worked very closely with Garth Brantley at Subscribe-Pro to get this all done. This was a complex integration which allowed them to take larger donations from parishes across the U.S. by adding a valuable echeck feature, this contributed to their bottom line directly.

Close Development Collaboration

The Dynamic Catholic team had a number of talented front-end developers, so they wanted to share the workload of the development work in order to control cost, and also accelerate the timeline. This allowed their team to move quickly and easily, and to adapt to internal needs throughout the project. It also put them on a great footing to update and improve their store post-launch. The Dynamic Catholic team was truly involved in every aspect of the project from day one and helped us create a better outcome.

Marketing Insight

Dynamic Catholic goes about revenue growth a little differently since they focus so heavily on content marketing. They provide valuable content to new audience members and in turn they receive donations which power their organization. In order to maximize the conversion from a book “purchaser” to an actual donor, they have developed highly sophisticated marketing funnels and processes. The challenge they faced when starting this project was being able to accurately track the deep data they needed to report on how effective their efforts were. Specifically in tracking details between a specific users actions throughout their store and content. Understanding whether an individual had purchased a book, downloaded some resources or given a donation was critical for them to create custom tailored and personal marketing material to both encourage the ideal behavior, but also in providing relevant and helpful content to match where the user is in their life cycle. This was achieved through more robust integrations with Marketo, WordPress, Salesforce and Quickbooks Enterprise.

Content is King

One of the key barriers to a great customer experience was the path a user had to take to complete a book purchase. Many times the user would land on a landing page, article, or other forms of content which would lead them toward a helpful resource like a book. Most of those content pages were powered by WordPress and due to the disconnect between both systems, both platforms delivered a very different user experience and this created confusion and frustration for their audience. Carefully analyzing the path that typical users take and optimizing the layouts and integration of Magento and WordPress helped to dramatically remove friction between one system and the other to where we were able to create a seamless experience that allowed a user to accomplish their desired goal very quickly. Layer in the improvements to the mobile layout, and this resulted in a dramatic transformation for the Dynamic Catholic users.

Key Results

The goals of this project were never to create a massive increase in sales. Dynamic Catholic is driven by donations and many of their resources, like books, are 100% free. The goals for this project revolved around providing a robust and integrated eCommerce, CMS, CRM and accounting infrastructure which would allow their internal departments to work more effectively together through better exchange of information. We accomplished all of that through facilitating integration work with the necessary 3rd party companies, as well as working closely with the Dynamic Catholic team to ensure a highly optimized user experience when downloading content, or making a donation.

  • Transactions:  +14%
  • Sessions: +40.86%
  • Pageviews: +11.48%
  • Avg. Session Duration: +25.13%