CLIENT: Angel Fund
Angel Fund, a nonprofit organization serving businesses, turned to Red Rooster Group for Marketing Consultation services that would help them to increase clients, event participation, donations and volunteers.
Initiated as a support center for struggling businesses, Angel Fund has provided consulting services to help its business clients address their problems and link them to appropriate parties and resources. In recent years, Angel Fund has evolved to help both “older generation” businesses and new sectors such as technology and marketing. They have tested new programs, such as informative seminars, and a business acceleration bootcamp program. Additionally, Angel Fund is an SBA lender, but has yet to achieve the full impact of that offering.
Angel Funds’ goals were to maximize the impact that it gets from various initiatives so that it could be more successful in serving more businesses, as well as getting more volunteers involved in the organization to serve as consultants to businesses, and attracting more donors. However, the model that Angel Fund was using wasn’t a successful foundation for achieving these goals. The challenge was that businesses didn’t want to be considered “clients;” they didn’t want to admit that they needed help. In order to be successful, Angel Fund had to change the perceptions and stigmas associated with their role in the community.
- Increasing number of clients from 5-10 new qualified clients per month to 20 per month.
- Increasing the number of loans made from a few per year to a few per month.
- Increasing participation in events.
- Increasing number of volunteers.
- Increasing donations.
- Changing the perceptions about Angel Fund’s role in the community and who can get help.
- Changing stigma about getting help from the Angel Fund.
- Changing the perception about the loan qualifications.
- Changing the perception about donating to the organization.
Brand Positioning & Marketing Strategy
To address these challenges, Red Rooster Group proposed a series of strategies:
Brand Positioning Strategy
Red Rooster Group proposed the idea of reframing Angel Fund as a network where businesses can get the help they need in a positive, pro-active way, with the invitation to “join the network.” By repositioning the organization as a network, Angel Fund now appeals to businesses who were turned off by the idea of using a self-help or social services resource. Different levels of “membership” in the network will be created to engage people in different ways.
To address the issue that their print publication was getting less of a response, we recommended a strategy of transitioning to an online content strategy with a regular stream of blog posts and social media interaction. In addition to being able to engage more people, this saves the organization money.
Recognizing volunteers as the the core support for this organization who could spread positive word of mouth within this close-knit community would be a formidable means of creating positive buzz about the organization. We recommended the following strategies to foster volunteer engagement: assigning a volunteer captain to oversee the volunteer efforts, recruiting a volunteer committee, providing increased training for volunteers, creating systems for getting feedback from volunteers after client meetings, promoting volunteerism with promotional cards at events, featuring volunteers on the website as an incentive for businesses to choose who they want to receive advice from, and showing appreciation to volunteers with thank you cards after an event.
To encourage more business people to engage with the organization, we have recommended using “lower threshhold” support group style events to get people to see the value of the business network without an obligation to “become a client” of the organization.
To help the organization raise money, we recommended building out donor opportunities to provide specific things that donors can support. These can include sponsoring specific programs, events, corporate sponsorships, or “adopting” businesses or sectors, “business scholarships” for businesses with particular needs, etc.
We also developed a Marketing Plan that provides the overall strategy and specific tactics of how to best reach the audiences with half of their allocated budget. The Marketing Plan outlines strategies in 4 areas: increasing participation in programs, increasing volunteer engagement, increasing sponsorship support, and increasing loan applications. The plan describes the tactics for accomplishing goals, parties responsible, and costs, on a month-by-month basis.
The consulting process began with meetings with the core team from Angel Fund to discuss the organization’s history, services, and challenges. We created an organizational assessment summarizing the organization’s goals and opportunities moving forward. We also developed a Marketing Plan for the next 4 quarters. Three additional meetings were used to present the Marketing Plan and refine the tactics and costs allocated to each area. A final marketing plan was created, which was discussed with staff and presented to the board for discussion and approval.
The Old Website
The Angel Fund’s old website did not accurately reflect the organization’s services and looked outdated, so, we redesigned the website to reflect the organization’s new focus.
The New Website
We redesigned the website around a content strategy, featuring news items of interest to the audience. We enhanced the organization’s brand presence with a stronger header, and re-focused their message on with the positive message to “Join the Network.” All services are clearly accessible as sidebar from the homepage, and there is the opportunity to sign up for email newsletters and take other actions, while logos of the affiliates enhance the organization’s credibility.
- The result was an overall shift of the mindset regarding The Angel Fund. The organization is undergoing a transition into a “network” structure that fosters collaboration and shared resources. Already, the Angel Fund is seeing results from their new approach. A recent event gained an abundance of positive feedback and new inquiries for people wanting to join network.
- Angel Fund is now equipped with the overal strategy and tactical plan that will drive them to achieving their goals. The marketing plan will save the organization 50% of it marketing budget.
- The transition from print to digital for the online content strategy is a positive change for the organization and will allow for more content and better tie ins to the website and social media to attract a wider audience.
- In light of the new direction, Angel Fund is now considering a new name that better supports its new focus.
Red Rooster Group has been engaged to assist further with the brand transition and ongoing marketing efforts.
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