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The anatomy of our new website

I have had an incredibly hard time telling the story of Duplessy Foundation in easy to understand way. The following post will detail some breakthroughs I have made in telling the story via our website.

The DNA of Duplessy Foundation

Disenfranchised people creating meaningful work

In trying to explain why Duplessy Foundation exists, it was easy to be wordy or take a lot of time. With the phrase above, I was able to touch on all the most important aspects of our purpose.

Let me break it down

Disenfranchised people

I love helping people do meaningful work. I will help anybody. The bad news is anybody is the absolutely worse target market. I had to go back to my personal story to really understand the people I really, really find the most joy helping.

I grew up the son of two immigrants from Haiti. I was fortunate enough to graduate from a high school that lost its accreditation. In college, I created a conference for minorities struggling to succeed in the sciences at Colby, Bates, and my alma mater Bowdoin College.

When I started Duplessy Foundation, I focused on career coaching for people born and raised in Boston’s inner city primarily from low income backgrounds.

All of these people have been left out of the traditional pipelines of access to resources. When I point them to resources it makes me feel the most fulfilled.

Even as things have evolved with podcasts and success groups, my target audience has always been people who feel left out or disenfranchised from career success.

Doing meaningful work

A few years ago I quit a job in executive coaching that paid well, had great benefits, and was intellectually stimulating. I was helping some of the top executives in the world. I was coaching people that made between $200,000-$1M annually.

So why did I quit?

I did not feel fulfilled. I did not wake up looking forward to what I was going to do that day.

My parents worked hard as immigrants (now US citizens) to get me to college so I can have an easier road at life than they did. My mom once worked at McDonald’s and Burger King at the same time. My dad worked at 2 hospitals and drove a cab concurrently.

The irony was that I did not want the easy road. I wanted a worthwhile road that would challenge me, utilize my skills to their greatest level and help a lot of people.

Practically, I quit because the career coaching I was doing for my fellow 20-something friends for free – felt awesome. When I would counsel the young entrepreneurs from low income background like me, I felt alive.

I want everyone who grew up, personally or professionally, outside the traditional means to success to feel alive too. They deserve careers that make them feel like they are contributing and not limited by their background.

How is all this related to the website design?

Understanding exactly who the Duplessy Foundation website is designed for will help us figure how to make this site most useful.

What is the theme for the Duplessy Foundation website?

In a word: People

The website will be about continually showing the progress of our 3 avatars.


 Website Concept Mockup - Avatars

Jay – 21 year old artist who wants to turn her art into a business. Passionate but disorganized.

Jane – 29 year old young professional working 60 hours/week with leadership potential and no sense of career direction

Derrick – (that’s me) 34 year old non profit professional trying to create a sustainable social enterprise that creates massive value

These avatars are based on real people. I want our website to speak to them and address their issues. Duplessy Foundation’s page should be seen as a resource, community, and a place for growth.

They also represent the three pillars of our mission:

Purpose Fellowship: Dedicated to helping young creative entrepreneurs to turn their craft into a business. We will use blog posts about Jay‘s progress to tell the Purpose Fellowship story.

Purpose Rockstar: Dedicated to helping mid career professionals find meaningful work via coaching. Our podcasts and blog posts will be focused on helping Jane navigate her career.

Leadership: We are going to honesty talk about our failures and triumphs to help others in nonprofit. These podcasts, blog posts, and content will be designed with new/open-minded nonprofit leaders like Derrick (me) in mind.   

Home page draft#1

Home Page

This is a rough mockup of the home page. We will have minimal text. The images of the avatars will serve as links to landing pages about Purpose Fellowship, Purpose Rockstar, or Duplessy Foundation’s operations.

Here is a 2nd version of the Home Page

Home Page Mockup 2













Here is a 3rd version created by Marketing Intern Erin

Home Page Mock up 3a

About Page

About Page Mock Up









The About Page will tell our story via our avatars. There will be a brief description of the issues each avatar encounters and how we can help them. Each avatar image will be a link to a landing page specific to that aspect of Duplessy Foundation.

Avatar/Persona Landing Page

Avatar Landing Page









The Avatar/Persona Landing Pages will have a short summary of the avatar’s participation in one aspect of Duplessy Foundation (Purpose Fellowship, Purpose Rockstar or Leadership).

There will be links to featured blog posts below the summary.

Below the links will be a call-to-action that will ask people to join our email list to learn more. The mailing list will be for people who are specifically interested in the aspect of DF summarized on the landing page.


Our goal is get visitors to go through this flow

Home Page – Avatar Landing Page – Blog Post – Promise of awesome resource – Email Opt-in


Blog Post – Promise of awesome resource – Email Opt-In

Every step of the way there will be a CTA (call to action) to join our subscriber email list.

There will be other pages on the DF website. The main pages that will convert visitors into potential supporters and email list subscribers have been detailed above.

The Home, About, and Avatar Landing pages will be about attracting visitors to the relate to the stories of our avatars. I would love to hear your ideas and thoughts.