The organisation, which raises £5,000 a month online, aims to have collected £500,000 and signed 10,000 new members on its web site (www.RNLI.org.uk) by 2007.
The two-phase project begins with building a content management system through new-media agency M-Corp, which will enable the RNLI to manage its entire web infrastructure in-house. Going live this year, the system will provide e-marketing capabilities, online donation and membership sign-up.
M-Corp will be incorporating other web sites for RNLI Events, Beach Rescue and Beach Safety, which it designed, into the main RNLI site.
The second phase, yet to be pitched, will include rebuilding and redesigning RNLI.org.uk, to go live in the second quarter of 2004. The redesign will reflect the RNLI's recent brand refresh, with a new look and feel. Navigation and usability will be improved in line with the Disability Discrimination Act.
Victor Gibson, e-programme manager at the RNLI, said: "We want people to know our values, goals and achievements, which an effective site will facilitate. The content-management system lets us have more brand control and reduce costs. Our plan is to carry out effective, timely communications with our supporters. The web will be the hub of our digital activity."