Strategy & Development Guide - The Bridge School

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Please note this disclaimer about the PPT - we ended up not using it at all, but it doesn't mean it wasn't a useful exercise for determining our current positioning. What was particularly helpful to me was: (1) understanding our shortcomings in segmenting our audience and communicating with each of the four stakeholder groups through specific channels and unique messaging, and (2) assessing the weak points in our marketing funnel (using the traditional marketing funnel framework). I think it's really easy to underestimate the importance of clear communication strategy and understanding of "lead generation" (yes, even non-profits should have a lead generation and "user" retention strategies). It's not a perfect document, but it was certainly helpful.
  • 1. The Bridge School High Level Strategic Guide
  • 3. Identifying Stakeholders The outreach mission of the school is to raise awareness, create meaningful relationships, and inspire giving with each of the four stakeholder groups: Children/Families – the students and families for whom we exist Educators – individuals and institutions looking for resources and support in our area of expertise Corporate Sponsors – organizations that contribute financially or in-kind, and who share our beliefs Supporters – individuals who care about our success and/or contribute to our cause
  • 4. Refining Messaging Stakeholder Group Message & Call-to-Action Method Children & Families The Bridge School is a non-profit organization whose mission is to ensure that individuals with severe speech and physical impairments achieve full participation in their communities. Learn about our education standards, enrollment, or transition services… 1. Website 2. Direct Mail 3. Email Educators The Bridge School is a leader in alternative means of communication (AAC) and assistive technology (AT) applications and the development, implementation and dissemination of innovative life-long educational strategies. Attend the annual conference, gain innovative industry insight, or experience our classrooms… 1. Website 2. Conference 3. Experiential learning Corporate Sponsors The Bridge School is a powerful presence of unmatched brand equity and good will in the Bay Area, with a unique mission to help children with severe communication and mobility disabilities through events like The Bridge School Concert headlined by Neil Young. Become a corporate sponsor and help us share our vision with our local community and the world… 1. Website 2. Printed Materials 3. Personal Meetings Supporters (and the general public) The Bridge School is a unique non-profit organization helping children with severe communications and mobility disabilities through fundraising efforts such as The Bridge School Concert with Neil Young. Help us reach our fundraising and awareness goals by joining our email list, becoming a social media advocate, donating to our cause, and/or volunteering… 1. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram 2. Email 3. Blog
  • 6. Bridge School PEST Analysis POLITICAL 79% of nonprofit leaders meet with public officials and their staff On average, government grants make up almost half of contributed income of nonprofits Politicians engaging in social advocacy in legislation for disabled people Governments shifting burdens to nonprofits, instead of addressing needs in underserved communities ECONOMIC 66% of companies in Northern California were at or above revenue targets (2013) There are 72,000 active charities in CA (of which 15,000 are focused in education) CA nonprofits doubled overall revenue growth rate since 2008 Marin, Alameda, and Santa Clara counties have the highest nonprofit revenue per capita (followed by San Mateo & Santa Cruz counties) SOCIAL Babyboomer leadership being replaced or supported by Gen X Donors don’t just give, they engage – create events and campaigns around participation TECHNOLOGICAL Website and mobile presence necessary Skilled volunteers are the new pro bono Crowdfunding is now mainstream
  • 7. Bridge School SWOT Analysis STRENGTHS Brand Equity/Social Presence Credibility/Talent/Longevity Inspirational History Successful Concert Fundraising Committed Founders Close Artist Relationships Single Significant Corporate Sponsorship WEAKNESSES Lack of Endowment Few Corporate Sponsors Limited Awareness Outside Bay Area Limited Board Engagement Small Board Old Website Small Staff OPPORTUNITIES Help Board Attain Additional Meaningful Members (advice, network, support) Improve Website & Communication Strategy Cultivate Relationships Through Warm Introductions Estimate Donor Lifetime Value & Optimize Paid Outreach Creating More Events/Opportunities for Giving and Engagement/Optimize VIP Experience Grow teacher training program + reach THREATS Ending The Bridge School Concert Exhausting Relationships With Recurring Artists/Sponsors Exhausting Resources Non-profit space is crowded in the Bay Area; very competitive environment
  • 8. Bridge School Competitor Analysis Resource San Francisco Education Fund Reading Partners Oakland Public Education Fund GreatSchools First Graduate Program Expenses 73.6% 76.5% 88.6% 87.2% 72.7% Fundraising Expenses 18.1% 9.9% 2.0% 3.5% 16.2% Contributions, Gifts, and Grants $1,263,247 $9,010,273 $2,417,986 $6,704,733 $1,298,143 Fundraising Events $518,285 $85,143 $0 $0 $220,599 Program Expenses $1,704,757 $8,795,789 $3,034,711 $8,917,627 $1,093,681 Leader compensation $111,205 $189,139 $18,563 $288,807 $109,250 Charity Navigator Rank (out of 100) 83.88 93.03 94.81 97.07 80.03 Charity Navigator – San Francisco Charities, 2012 Data
  • 10. Vision Education Awareness Collaboration Perpetuity Branding Continuity & Consistency Ubiquity Leverage Relationships Board Engagement & Expansion Warm Introductions to Potential Donors Silicon Valley Community Foundation Peer Non-profit Organizations Fundraising Annual Concert Bi-annual Gala or Awards Ceremony Annual Fireworks Semi-annual Auctions Summary
  • 11. Vision Education Awareness Collaboration Perpetuity Assure sustainability Prepare for growth in: Capacity Programs Training teachers Research Planned Events – concert, auctions, gala, fireworks Local News engagement – feel-good stories Online link-building and partnerships with content sites (blog) Cuba Trip – national attention, opportunity for great PR Social Media Help families Work with educators Engage institutions Find new sponsorship commitments from companies Raise money for the Endowment Re-invest a fraction of Endowment funds into further fundraising activities Diversify events to include other sources of income (add auctions and fireworks) Donor Retention activities The Bridge School will communicate its goals by setting comprehensive expectations and detailing a tactical framework for execution.
  • 12. Branding The Bridge School brand is the school’s biggest asset. With over 66% of people now researching brands online before forming their opinion, our website and social media presence are critical in raising both awareness and money. Continuity + Consistency Ubiquity Leverage Ensure that all owned, bought, and earned media outlets and printed/emailed communication materials have a consistent look and color scheme (website, Facebook, twitter, Instagram, press kit, sponsorship packet etc.). Adhere to a specific brand “voice” with all communication (i.e. conversational, pedantic, formal etc) Commit to telling stories; create a memorable tagline. Create a comprehensive content creation and sharing protocol Blog Facebook Twitter Instagram Recruit prominent social media personalities (local and/or national) to collaborate in social sharing around event time Develop more events that engage with the general public Have some artist memorabilia items (and branded inventory) available for sale year-round Actively assign value to your internet and social media properties and pitch partnerships to advertisers, peers, and potential sponsors (i.e. site traffic, likes, shares, retweets, followers/fans as compared with peer properties) – communicate value of collaboration Estimate Donor Lifetime Value & Optimize Paid Outreach
  • 13. Relationships Board Engagement & Expansion Warm Introductions to Potential Donors Silicon Valley Community Foundation Peer Non-profit Organizations & Institutions Help the Board understand the school’s new goals – collaborate with the Board to pivot additional resources to sustainability efforts Seek additional Board Members and refocus on vision for long-term funding of the school Create opportunities for long-time supporters to become members of the Board in order gain industry advice, access to a wider benefactor network, and get financial support Leverage existing corporate relationships and significant donors for warm introductions to peer companies and individuals Leverage existing relationships with artists when possible to recruit celebrity spokespeople Re-engage with SVCF and open conversation about giving to causes supporting education for disabled children Request advice in mentorship, relationship- building, and strategy for fundraising Leverage existing peer contacts for potential new donors or partners Cultivate new peer relationships Collaborate with a big university in a joint study in order to form closer ties with influential staff & board members The Bridge School must build relationships with both new and existing stakeholders through commitment, communication, and compromise.
  • 14. Fundraising & Awareness 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Grants & Contributions (r = 0%) $2.5M $2.9M $1.4M $1.6M $1.6M $1.6M $1.6M $1.6M Concert (r = 10%) $1.8M $1.8M $1.0M $1.3M $1.4M $1.6M $1.7M $1.9M Gala (r = 0%) $3.0M $3.0M Fireworks (r = 10%) $0.5M $0.6M $0.6M $0.7M Auctions (r = 0%) $0.1M $0.1M $0.1M $0.1M Total Event Revenue $4.3M $4.7M $2.4M $2.9M $3.6M $6.9M $4.0M $7.3M *r is the estimated growth rate based on the average growth rate of non-profit revenues in California The Bridge School should diversify its fundraising efforts in addition to pursuing non-event focused donors.
  • 16. Measuring Outcomes Goal Expectations Improve Branding Increase web traffic by at least 50%; drive users to donate or sign up with email Increase referrer traffic from external sites Increase organic search engine ranks for: the bridge school, education charity, special education Improve email-to-website, and social media-to-website engagement rate Grow Corporate Relationships Attain at least one additional big corporate sponsor (such as Salesforce) – secure $1M/year commitment Obtain 2 sponsors in the $500K category Obtain 4 sponsors in the $100K category Successful stakeholder cost-benefit analysis Optimize Events & Participation Quadruple VIP Concert Ticket sales Brainstorm future events (that are not capital- or artist-intensive) Engage in Public Relations Put out one national story per year Put out 4 local news stories per year Recruit social media personalities to help advocate our cause in 2 focused campaigns (first, around the concert, and second around Giving Tuesday in December) Build relationships with 2 prominent, local online publications (SF Gate, San Jose Mercury)
  • 17. Relative Timelines Website Optimization Content Migration, Donor, Member, Sponsor mechanics Create Blog Recruit Volunteer Part Time Writers + Maintenance Staff Sponsor Outreach Sponsorship Kit Identify Prospects Meet Prospects + Pitch Close Sponsors Building PR Press Kit Blog + Social Media + Linkbuilding
  • 18. Task Ownership Chart Vicki Executive Director - Lead Board restructuring & recruiting process - Resource allocation - Public speaking - Closing sponsors - Public relations voice Mariya Strategy Lead - Execute branding optimization plan - Support Vicki in closing sponsors - Support Vicki in outreach strategy - Train staff on content creation & sharing policies (adhering to outcome measurement) Adam Marketing Lead - Lead online marketing & awareness campaigns - Help brainstorm Facebook paid advertising plan with a focus on generating site visits, email subscriptions, and fan growth - Collaborate with Mariya and Ernie in optimizing paid & earned media outlets Ernie Relationship Lead - Cultivate relationships & interest with corporations and individuals - Facilitate warm introductions to potential corporate sponsors - Advise on online presence & marketing Neil Board Lead - Help get board buy-in for pivoting from concert focus to long- term sustainability focus - Advocate for and screen additional board members - Assist task team with connections or items
  • 19. APPENDIX
  • 20. Bridge School Marketing Funnel Awareness Knowledge Interest Consideration Intent Action Loyalty Referral/Advocacy Engage Outside Concert Key Measures: • Social Media shares, likes, tweets • Word of mouth Key Measures: • Ticket Sales • Email Subscriptions • Total Donations • Average Donations • Phone calls Key Measures: • Website visits • Linkbacks • Blog article sharing • Facebook Fans • Twitter re-Tweets Recommendations:  Partner Marketing  New Content Creation - Blog  Paid social/mobile advertising Recommendations:  New Content Creation – Blog Recommendations:  Email Marketing (remarketing & email automation)  Direct Mail  New events or engagement opportunities
  • 21. Board Member Fee Research Annual minimum donations from board members, known as give-or-gets, work as financial and fundraising tools for nonprofits – Chicago Case Study. Organization No. Board Members Board Member Fee Annual Revenue from Board Annual Operating Budget Goodman Theatre 72 $50,000 $3,600,000 $18.7 M Chicago Academy for the Arts 24 $2,500 $60,000 $3 M Chicago Sinfonietta 29 $6,000 $174,000 $2.3 M Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, Chicago 17 $10,000 $170,000 $1.3 M *The Price of Board Membership – Chicago Business
  • 22. Resources Causes Count: the economic impact of California’s nonprofit sector National Council of Nonprofits – Sector Trends Strategic Communications Planning for Non-Profit Organizations: A Data-Based Application of a Seven Step Model Strategic Planning & Analysis Toolkit What does your brand say about you? 5 Big Company Branding Strategies Any Business Can Utilize Why is Blogging Important? Who Rules Social Media? Trustees Find Board Seats are Still Luxury Items Colorado Nonprofits Communications Toolkit 2014 Innovation Economy Outlook
  • 23. Resources Resources: Communication & Marketing *by United Way (exhaustive list) Disability and Politics The Digital Giving Index Infographic Aggregate Fiscal Data of Grants
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