Strategy & Brand Development for Nature Non-Profit
- Digital Strategy
- $10,000 to $49,999
- Dec. 2016 - Ongoing
- Willing to Refer
"They have really made it a purpose of their organization to show that they care about the cause that we represent."
- Environmental Services
- Austin, Texas
- 11-50 Employees
- Phone Interview
Springbox worked with a parks and recreation non-profit organization to strategize their branding and marketing. They helped them identify their audience in order to create initiatives to increase awareness and engagement.
Springbox helped the non-profit discover their audience and create ways to engage them and new people through various marketing efforts. The non-profit now has a stronger brand and can increase awareness of their organization. They are also in the process of creating a digital marketing strategy together.
A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.
Introduce your business and what you do there.
I'm the Chief Strategy Officer at the Austin Parks Foundation. We are a nonprofit organization located in Austin, Texas. Our mission is to improve the lives of the people in our community by making our parks, trails, and green spaces better. So, we
assist with and advocate for funding and volunteerism that the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department doesn't have in order to maintain our parks and trails. I oversee both our development and marketing teams and I help our CEO with long-term strategic planning for the organization.
OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE
What challenge were you trying to address with Springbox?
It was a twofold project, but mainly, it was an awareness issue of what we were. Our organization is 25 years old this year and we wanted to use that to bring greater awareness to our organization. Because of where we sit within the city and being a nonprofit, we often are confused with the city entity for parks and recreation. So, we wanted to do something that helped get people's attention that then could be parlayed into ultimately raising more funds for our 25th anniversary.
What was the scope of their involvement?
We sat down over the course of a few days in January and strategized in our SpringSolve Workshop. This design thinking workshop was centered on prioritizing specific challenges that face us, and then Springbox dug in to solve them through various exercises and research. It’s an inside process where we had an all-day retreat at their offices with our core leadership and marketing team to dig into our concerns, goals, and challenges. We also looked at what our competitors were doing and how we could implement some of that.
So far, our focus has been around discovering our audience – who they are and what resonates with them in terms of taking action. The output was a recommended strategy from them on how to move forward, which we are currently implementing.
Our hope is that in the future, we can build a new website, but being a non-profit and very cost-conscious, that takes us some time. We are completing processes in little pieces. As of right now, we are looking at our audience database and trying to find ways to mobilize them. Our next phase is to build a messaging strategy. We hope to then use that with our marketing materials to turn over some of the website content and implement some technological assets on our website.
We also would potentially be interested in some digital marketing in the future in terms of optimization. As of right now, our website is more informational and passive, so we want to work with them to make it more action-oriented. We want visitors to be able to more easily sign up for volunteer opportunities, donate, find out about programming, and so on as we grow and become more sophisticated with our marketing efforts.
How did you come to work with Springbox?
I actually worked with them at my previous job with the Livestrong Foundation. We had worked with Springbox to do quite a few total website revamps. I had also worked with a few people within Springbox on various strategic projects. At my current job, we looked at some other groups and decided to work with them for our holistic approach because we weren’t initially sure exactly what we wanted to do and how we wanted to do it. It made sense to work with them because of their thoughtful approach to projects and because they offer opportunities for clients to think critically and strategize about business problems before launching into them.
How much have you invested with them?
We have spent $20,000 so far for the initial strategic insight for the project. Now, we have a proposal of about $35,000 for the messaging project.
What is the status of this engagement?
We began talking with them in December 2016 and it is still an ongoing engagement as we wait to start the messaging project.
RESULTS & FEEDBACK
What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
We don’t have much numerical evidence yet as we have been mainly strategizing, but so far, we have all really enjoyed our relationship with them. Internally, across many departments, everyone has really enjoyed their energy and enthusiasm, as well as their way of engaging multiple team members here to get full insight into the problems we are trying to solve. As one can imagine, our biggest struggle is figuring out funding in order to grow. However, this is challenging and a slow process from a non-profit perspective. They’re great at working around our budgets and being conscientious of our thresholds.
How did Springbox perform from a project management standpoint?
They were really great. We utilized Basecamp with them and that's been tremendous. We use that internally as our team, but they set up a separate Basecamp for our specific projects, and they are very thorough. Our account manager does a great job of checking in basically on a weekly basis. If anything, I feel like he wishes I had more updates for him, but he does an amazing job of keeping constant communication, always asking how they can help and be useful. There’s never a lack of communication. When people go on vacation or have other priorities, they are always designating somebody else to run on first for our project and what we're trying to do. It’s been excellent – they are definitely well-oiled in terms of an accounts perspective.
What did you find most impressive about them?
I really appreciate their holistic approach to a project. They strike me as people who are interested in long-term investments and partnering with clients for years. A lot of this work takes a long time and you have to constantly be updating and making things better. Not only do they offer a wide breadth of services, but they want to stick around for the long term and see clients grow, which is important to us as a non-profit that has been around for a long time.
Everyone always is about clients and accounts, but it seems like they really care. They have really made it a purpose of their organization to show that they care about the cause that we represent. They're very passionate about the work that we do and they have made that very clear to us. They want to put in the effort and figure out ways to work with us because they believe in our mission.
Are there any areas they could improve?
Not so much on their end, but as a marketer myself, I often find myself being the gatekeeper between them and the rest of my organization. This indirect communication can make it difficult to justify the costs of other marketing initiatives to members of my organization. As we move forward, I want to be more forceful and figure out new initiatives together. I don’t think they are opposed to that in any way – it is more due to internal forces. They can give a better explanation some of these initiatives and their importance to people in my organization than I can.
Service & Deliverables
"They have been stellar. On our end, we may have rushed into it a little bit and felt pushed, but the outcomes of the work have been great so far."
On time / deadlines
"Every deadline that they've set, they have met, if not exceeded. The communication has also been excellent."
Value / within estimates
"The value for the money is definitely there, but as a non-profit, some services can be slightly expensive. Overall, the service they provide definitely justifies the cost."
Willing to Refer5.0
"For anyone that would be able to meet those budgetary costs, I would definitely recommend them above and beyond because they do such great work.