Case Study: Social Media Marketing for non-profit

BACKGROUND

By the year 2016, I had lived in three different countries and worked for four different companies. I knew I was looking for something more, there was a missing link that was not letting me reach where I wanted to. I had never imagined I would end up working with an NGO.

 

When I got through SPJIMR PGPM program, I breathed a sigh of relief as I knew that I can now fill that empty void that was eating me from inside. Like any MBA program, this was rigorous; quizzes, presentations, assignments, end semester examinations, were a never-ending ritual. I did not complain as I was waiting to be in a place like this.

 

In June, we completed our general management modules and it was time for DOCC – an opportunity for a pampered child-like me to get some grounding in life, to witness the life in the slums, that I had just heard of but never seen.

 

THE NGO

There are three things I enjoy a lot – marketing, photography, and travel. I believe that my stars were perfectly aligned as I got to work on Marketing and Branding for SAATH Charitable Trust, an NGO based out of Ahmedabad. It was a two weeks project where we were responsible for revamping their marketing and branding strategy for fundraising.

 

SAATH is an NGO registered as a public charitable trust in Gujarat, India established in 1989. SAATH closely works with the vulnerable communities and empowers the socially marginalised by providing them livelihood linkages; imparting skills that lead to employment, health and educational facilities and housing and shelter.

 

In the last 28 years, SAATH has reached out to several slum residents, migrants, minorities, children, women, youth and vulnerable people in various cities like Gujarat, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Bihar, UP and Maharashtra and has touched the lives of more than five lakh individuals

Their Impact Sectors: Livelihoods, Health & Education, Services for the Urban Poor, Housing & Shelter and Micro-finance.

 

And We Began…

On our first day at the NGO, we were briefed about the problem they were facing with the Marketing and Branding. Their major source of funding came from the CSR funds of companies in Ahmedabad. They were not able to reach out to individual donors and wanted to address the issue.

 

Having had a little exposure in the digital marketing domain, we wanted to understand their current social media strategy; how they were reaching to philanthropists, donors, etc. and what content they were publishing. We realised that they had merely two posts on Instagram and non-influential content on Facebook. They hadn’t updated their Linkedin profile in over a year.

 

Before moving ahead with changes on their social media platforms, we decided to first explain to them the importance of social media, especially in audience engagement. We gave them the following pointers:

  • Social Media – organic and paid
  • Instagram hashtags
  • Content; photos and text
  • Frequency and duration of posts in a day
  • Audience engagement

 

The core team at the NGO were excited and wanted us to implement these ideas, in order to help them grow online and offline. We created a roadmap for both online and offline marketing. The online roadmap was: –

  • FIELD VISIT

    • Collect content for various programs
    • Collect pictures and videos for promotional activities
    • Show the ground reality more than the success story
  • PHOTOS & VIDEOS

    • Editing
    • Writing content
    • Relevant hashtags
  • ONLINE CAMPAIGNS

    • Instagram
    • Facebook
    • LinkedIn
    • MailChimp
    • We could not work on twitter (lack of knowledge + the NGO could not have a dedicated social media team)

 

We spoke to them about a budget for SEO and SEM – a method to reach the relevant audience faster and get a higher rate of conversion. They liked the idea but did not have the budget for the same. So, we decided to bring them conversions organically. We spent two days in the field, visiting several of their centres, meeting and interviewing the people they had impacted, capturing some heartbreaking stories. By the end, we had enough content to start running some impactful content.

 

Our first goal was to increase followers on Instagram. After researching on the relevant hashtags, we posted our first story and instantly saw an increase in followers. Simultaneously we were posting the same story on Facebook. We explained the quintessential need for everyone in the organisation to be on these platforms and for them to start sharing the posts. We leveraged our own contacts to share and like the posts and follow their page.

 

STRATEGY

We made sure that we posted two photos on Instagram, and published the same on Facebook. We also explained the importance of “Repost” on Instagram and made employees download the mobile application. The Director of SAATH was onboard with our need and sent out a company wide email to request employees to support our initiative.

 

Within a few days, the number of followers had grown exponentially and we realised it was time for a video post. We ran our first video campaign of girl who had benefited from the program. We got good feedback, followers sentiments were happy. They encouraged us to continue the good work.

 

While the Instagram post continued, we started working on our second video post. This one was of two girls who had to stop school as their parents could not afford to pay their fees. Their parents had reached out to Saath for help and through their contacts, they found people who sponsored their education. We ran a campaign on their story and a need for more such people to sponsor a child’s education.

 

The very next day we had our first individual donor, who after seeing the video wanted to contribute a fixed amount every month for the next two years. We used the photographs from the field visit to create their first brochure, to revamp their corporate decks, their cover photos on Facebook and LinkedIn. Global Giving was the next platform which we decided to work on. From rewriting the story to sending Global Giving new content and pictures, we were involved in the entire rework.

 

MailChimp is an email marketing platform that we worked on. We started with Database creation,  followed by campaign designing. In the two weeks that we worked with the NGO, we improved their presence on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Global Giving and MailChimp. Recently the NGO won the “City Ka Sitara” award from Radio City.

 

VALUE ADDITION

  • Increased online presence on social media:
    • 275% increase in followers on Instagram
    • Audience Reach of over 3,400 per post organically over a period of 10 days from an average of 43
    • Increased organic audience engagement from 1% to 6% per post engagement over a period of 2 weeks
  • Consolidated the list of targeted corporates and key philanthropists on MailChimp
    • Created customised campaigns to reach a diversified audience – increased open rate by 50%
  • Captured visual content via photographs and videos
    • Shot & edited over 500 photographs to be used by SAATH for campaigns
    • Created & launched their very first video campaign: following day got a donation for 2 years of INR 3000 per month
  • Revamped their Crowd Funding Platform
    • Created impactful/aesthetically appealing presentations to appeal to philanthropists on crowdfunding platforms such as Global Giving & Give India
  • Designed and created their first brochure – A visually appealing document capturing all the programs offered by SAATH
  • Friends of SAATH: a new initiative devised to reach a wider audience of donors

Some of Our Work:

 

Video Links:-

Visit Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/saathahmedabad/videos/10154720046506794/

Visit Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/saathahmedabad/videos/10154714503026794/

To look at pictures please visit: https://www.instagram.com/saathcharitabletrust/

Final Phase: Handover

It was our last day and we had to handover all our implementation to the core team at SAATH, they were eager to take over as we had laid the foundation for them. They have taken to social media and have since improved their content and reach.

Solution & Recommendations

  • Online Visibility
  • Create more content online for purpose of audience reach and engagement
  • Build a story that talks about Saath as a brand, and its ground reality
  • Improve the brand image by creating a uniform and visually engaging presentations on crowdfunding platforms
  • Offline Engagement
  • Get testimonials from existing corporate donors for brochure and presentation
  • Create funding strategies for each of the programs offered by SAATH
  • Improve the brand image by creating a uniform and visually engaging presentations on crowdfunding platforms
  • Recommendations
  • Hire/Train employees on Social Media strategies
  • Follow a uniform tone for communication across all channels to capture and retain audience
  • Use visual content for the purpose of audience outreach
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91 thoughts on “Case Study: Social Media Marketing for non-profit

  1. Very interesting read! It give An insight how communication can help to take an idea across, be it a social cause.

  2. Social media marketing is quintessential for NGO’s these days and the points you have highlighted are very insightful and nicely thought off. I am able to relate it to the work I did. Great read and a great job.

  3. Through your work you people are definitely going to bring positive change in their life . Commendable work.

  4. This is a very interesting and thought provoking article on how creating awareness and marketing is important for almost everything to be successful. Ideas have to be sold to collaborate and bring people together to contribute. How social media plays an important role in our lives is apparent and can be made use to our advantage. Well done guys! May you continue to give something of yourself to the society!

  5. It is amazing to see how few days of work on social media can create so much impact. Good work! Keep it up!

  6. Excellent case, social media and digital is a great way to create the required sensitisation and reach for social issues in India. The rising young population seems to be more at leverage to indulge in passion causes.

    As for the funding environment, compared to the international counterparts, locally we are still behind in participation, Legacy giving for instance is a concept unheard of by many.

    Involvement and interest of young thinkers in the social domain is a great way to bring the correct tone and voice to the matter .

  7. This is great work, Tushar! It must have been a humbling experience. I can relate to my own tenure working with Jatan Sansthan to improve Anganwadi proceedings and elevate quality of life for women and children in Rajsamand district of Rajasthan. In my opinion, such experiences are a mandate for anyone who things that one’s problems are bigger than others. I was thankful for everything I had and determine to better things for the society.

    Great efforts!

  8. NGO’s in our country have been doing commendable job, but social media presence has been a challenge for them. This initiative to strengthen NGO in social media space for betterment of society is appreciable. Great effort

  9. Liked and after read this article it creates positive energy and good example of positive mindset.

  10. Very heart warming write up, keep it up! Gives an insight into things that rarely mean substance to the privileged. I’m proud that people are using this medium in a constructive and engaging way. Once again, keep it up!

  11. Well done! Your article has highlighted the importance of social media interface to bolster any kind of activity, especially those related to the social sector. This has facilitated their work’s visibility from a quiet zone to a more matured and engaged space, giving them therefore the necessary fillip. I commend the idea and the way the work has been brought forth in such a short time unlike yesteryears when Non-profits needed newsletters and volunteers to use the verbal and the written space! Kudos

  12. It is great how marginalised groups at grassroot level have been trained to use social media for greater employability and income generation.

  13. Great way Tushar to align your many talents to give back in such a meaningful way! Thanks for sharing this article as it will be a great inspiration for others as well to do their bit. Well done!

  14. You have highlighted some very interesting points. Social media reach can be very beneficial for non-profits. Your photography has captured the true essence of the situation on the ground and the videos are heart breaking. Great work Tushar !

  15. Extremely well written article. It’s good to see people giving back to the society. The pictures speak for themselves. Great work Tushar!

  16. Social media marketing is here to stay, when done right, can lead to more customers and more conversions. Well formulated article.

  17. The growing need for and importance of social media interface, made great reading. Well written and fantastic visuals. Well done!

  18. So proud of you. The article is very nicely written. I am glad
    That people care. Social media surely helps in involving the right kind of people for a cause. Wish you all the best and never forget your responsibility towards the society however little it is.

  19. Great project . Social media is often seen as a powerful tool but the essence of strategy for implementation is crucial especially in the social sector . Helping funds reach where is matters !!

  20. Excellent article, social media plays an important part in today’s life. Great work…….

  21. Manu great work I only wish a few more people do the same for other needy so that funds reach to right people or NGO ,whenever I recieve a call first thing is chor hai saaloy good job of educating people

  22. Great work Tushar, extremely well written and reinforces the importance of social media for a noble cause. Congratulations and thank you for sharing.

  23. This is great work. The immediate impact and in such a short time is commendable. Also, thank SPJIMR for this wonderful opportunity it has given you. The MBA world can benefit greatly from interventions like this. Well done, do more.

  24. Tushar. To be frank the read gave me personally a great insight into the working and functiong of an NGO. Making the impact that you and team made with the NGO is really thought provokong. Using social media to raise awareness within the Saath team and the impact it made on public at large will go a long way in becoming the cornerstone for use of social media by NGO’s to mobilise support and sustained one for that for this noble social cause. Great work.

  25. Great work Tushar – both in terms of how you used your management insights to help SAATH get higher visibility but also good to see you connect with groups helping social challenged people stand up on their own. Wish you and SAATH all the best.

  26. one of the strongest elements is using imagery with which the message would be very clear beyond the confines of words. Very well presented.

  27. Commendable work done… This proves that social media has democratised communications pattern, that allow organisations even NGOs to reach people on a broad scale and in various creative ways, cost effectively. Keep up the good work.

  28. Well done Tushar. Quiet a lot of tangible benefits achieved within 2 weeks. Only goes on to say the world is digitally connected. Some great videos to support your case. All in all a great piece of work. While I do understand the focus was around social media marketing % its importance/ needs, at the same time one must not forget the reach and impact of traditional media.

  29. You have made the most of the opportunity and your hard work on field and your ideas have resulted in a great article. Your pics and videos are of very high calibre and I believe these are the prime reason behind the results you managed to achieve in a short while. All the very best and look forward to more such work.

  30. While reading this article I could feel the kind of hard work this young man has put in.
    He definetely has a very bright future.best of luck to him for all his endeavours.

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