Case Study: Creating Designs For A Community-Driven Cause

"Penji allows us to reliably and repeatedly have exceptional design, when we need it, on our terms."

Dan Rhoton

Executive Director

  • Industry


  • Membership


  • Company size


  • Location

    Camden, NJ

Designs made with Penji

Hopeworks is a non-profit focusing on technology, entrepreneurship, and education.

What is Hopeworks?

Hopeworks is a non-profit based out of Camden, New Jersey. The non-profit focuses on technology, entrepreneurship, and education by connecting youth to life-changing opportunities. They gain on the job experience and work with businesses in the local community. The organization was founded in 1999, with the first trainees joining in 2000. In 2012, Hopeworks became a sanctuary certified to prevent more students from dropping out of their programs. Besides connecting students directly with employers, they hold networking events, resume workshops, and mentoring opportunities. Over the years, Hopeworks has seen many successful students leave prepared for the job market. The non-profit’s goal is to help young people in Camden break the cycle of violence and poverty in their community. 


Dan Rhoton starting working at Hopeworks in 2012 as the chief impact director before becoming the executive director in 2015. Since joining Hopeworks, he knew he wanted to have an efficient long-lasting impact on Camden’s community. As a non-profit, it’s can be difficult to deal with marketing and finances. Many non-profits work long hours with a small staff to ensure their communities are taken care of, and Hopeworks was no exception. The staff wants to teach youth about jobs and technology, but the website also needed a redesign to attract new students and employer connections. This meant looking for a quality professional at a low budget. At the same time, he wanted to make sure Hopework’s designs were coming from a community-driven company. 


Dan noticed Penji after learning about our services and impact. Just like Hopeworks, Penji was motivated to offer opportunities to youth in Camden as well. When Dan saw our portfolio, he knew Penji could help Hopeworks’ mission and vision. Penji is affordable for qualified non-profits through Penji For Non-Profits, an initiative to help community-focused non-profits for a fraction of the price. All Penji asks for is for the non-profit to continue supporting their causes. Dan was excited to talk to our team of designers and talk through the website’s redesign. His team had a vision in mind for every page. 


Hopeworks’ website is up and running smoothly, but the work doesn’t stop with a site redesign. The nonprofit continues to work with local youth in the Camden community through a network of dedicated local employers and their growing number of alumni. Recently, Hopeworks was one of 29 recipients of the Camden City Community Grant Program, an initiative to support Camden nonprofits. The program also teamed up with The Hummel Family Foundation to create the Camden Capacity Fund, a fund to help other non-profits and small businesses in Camden get web development and training they may need. If you’re interested in seeing how Onyx Valley offers people of color the opportunity to learn user experience, check out the customer story here

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