The Boys and Girls Club in Billerica is more than a place, it’s a movement to enable all young people, especially those who need them most, to reach their full potential as productive caring and responsible citizens. By reaching children at an early age and providing positive activities and encouragement, the club provides a compelling alternative to youth crime, gang membership, drugs, and other negative influences that affect youth today. The club promotes the development of young people by instilling a sense of competence, usefulness, influence, and belonging with a goal towards enhancing self-esteem and helping youth achieve their full potential.
It is a not-for-profit organization that is continuously trying to raise money to fund its many programs. In addition, it is running a capital campaign to raise $3.5 million for a new facility. Included in the project are new locker rooms, learning center, technology center, expanded kindergarten and games room, the centerpiece being a state of the art gymnasium. When completed, the community will have a facility to be proud of for generations to come.
While the organization serves a great purpose and mission, its Internet marketing strategy requires a lot of upgrades. The Boys and Girls club of Billerica should instill a sense of ownership and pride within the community through the new Internet strategy that we are proposing. While the children and youth are the target demographic, the new Marketing strategy will attempt to bring families into the fold.
I. Overall Business Objective
The following are the three overall business objectives for BGCB:
1. Accelerate fund-raising to meet the $3.5 million capital that needs to be raised for the new building. The strategy should be able to increase donations to the capital campaign and general donations by 12 to 15 percent by February 2010.
2. Increase volunteer enrollment across the board. The strategy should be able to increase volunteer enrollments by 17 to 20 percent by October 2009.
3. Inform target audience about the programs and facilities offered by the Boys and Girls club of Billerica, leading to a 20 percent increase in membership enrollment by February 2010.
II. Overall Marketing Objectives
The marketing objectives to achieve the above business objectives include:
1. A comprehensive online and offline strategy to generate awareness about BGCB through a targeted print and email campaign using the existing member database.
2. Using social media and other Web 2.0 features to bring youth and their parents into the BGCB fold and generate a sense of ownership with the club
3. Provide a website that encourages repeat visitations through a local online community and enhancing Acquisitions and reinforcing retention.
4. Target local businesses and corporations and their employees to encourage them to donate and make a difference in the local community
III. Business Situation /SWOT Analysis
III.1. Internal Situation
The performance analysis for the Boys and Girls Club is based on the following factors:
The aspect that we need to focus on is Donation and Volunteering. It is ok to talk about these other things, but since our paper deals with those two topics we should add those as factors.
* The number of members added each year and total numbers of members.
* Participation of the members, including hours each member spends per week/month in the club.
* Access the percentage of kids in the community who are in need of these kinds of clubs.
* Analyze the nature of the programs offered in the club. Try to improve the existing programs or add new ones.
* Concentrate on the traffic in peak hours and implement the “Divide and conquer” strategy by providing more programs during the peak hours.
* How many hours the club is open on weekdays and weekends. Relax the restriction of time constraint by providing extended hours.
* How strong the relationship is between the staff and the parents.
* Provide online survey to the members. This collects feedback from the kids as well as the parents, which can be channelized to improve the club performance. The survey should be a simple Yes/No 10 questions with a comments section. The survey can be distributed to the email list.
The management Strategy will change depending on the activities and workers. The more activities and workers, the more the structure needs to be managed1.
Data on Programs of a Similar Nature
We need to also add some Capital campaign examples. Capital Campaign is what pays for the building
Website Sponsorship Program: This program displays the advertisement for the sponsor website with a membership cost per year. The advertisement also provides direct link to the sponsor website.
Cars for Kids Program: This program accepts donation of the vehicles. The vehicles are transported free of charge. The proceeds are utilized for the youth programs. The club will provide receipt, which can be used for tax deduction.
Resource Availability and Allocation
The club is overseen by a group of concerned community leaders from all walks of life. Lawyers, accountants, architects, insurance agents, bankers, parents of members and other professionals make up this group3. Brainstorm the ideas for fundraising within the volunteers and the staff. This brings out many new ideas that can implement with ease, since the ideas originated from them instead of being forced with an idea. The professional maintenance like website management and money management can be allocated to paid employees. Other tasks related with building design, contractor maintenance, fund raising for the building, material management can be allocated to volunteers who has experience in the related fields.
III.2. External Situation
Demographics – Age group for the programs
Town of Billerica and surrounding areas.
* YMCA in Woburn, Lowell & Reading – YMCA has good reputation and brand name, which attracts members. YMCA has high reliability, which leads to more funding turnovers.
* Other Boys & Girls clubs in nearby towns like Reading, Lowell.
* Private gyms: Gold’s GYM, Bally Total Fitness, Fitcorp – Getronics Fitness Center, Nautilus Plus, Best Fitness, The Club – Fitness Health & Sport Inc.
The private gyms collect expensive fees from the members and hence they have more money to spend for marketing. They also host high standard websites maintained by professional resources.
The Website Grader service provided by HubSpot graded the website for Boy’s and Girls Club of Billerica as 19/1004. The grading depends on various parameters including search engine data, website structure, site performance and traffic.
The Search Engine Optimization for the website presents these potential problems existing in the Club’s website:
* Very few metadata keywords present in the website available for search engines.
* No headings found. This prevents the signal to the search engines, what the website is about.
* Most of the images in the Club’s website do not have the “alt” attribute. The “Alt” attribute provides the alternative content for images, which can be used by the search engine crawlers.
* Interior page analysis provided the same keyword and description for 3 different pages within the main page.
* The readability level is Secondary/High School, which is good in perspective of the members. But the readability level should be in much higher level in order to impress all level of target audience.
* The time of expiration for the domain of the Club’s website is set to expire in 7 months. In general the search engines penalize the website with domains which are set to expire soon.
* Permanent redirect for the website is missing, which reduces the credit from the search engines.
* Google Page rank is 3, Google indexed page is 56, Traffic rank is not rated, Inbound links to the website is very less, and the website is not listed in major online directories.
* RSS feed is not found.
Poor quality website will lead to serious drawbacks to the Club’s growth. The members visiting the website will not take the club’s mission serious if the website doesn’t appeal to them.
The Club’s website is definitely in need of content management system. Redundant use of the logos, images and information across the pages should be reduced. Content Management System also provides a single access point for the standard templates, newsletters etc.
Vinay – do u have any feedback on Content management system for this website?
The Boys and Girls Club is a Non-profit Organization run by few staff and volunteers. This leads to unorganized programs and inconsistent online marketing plans. The club can be focused to function within the value based framework by making it more entrepreneurial in how it manages social programs, recognizing and measuring social value in the delivery of services and products, using logic models for assessment and measurement, and making the connection between emotional intelligence and effective leadership5.
These are the external factors, which affect the value chain for any Non Profit Organization, and they apply to the Boys and Girls Club of Billerica:
The strategic planning for the Internet marketing is portrayed in the following logic model:
The strategic plan for the online marketing should have a well-defined mission, an outline for the goals, objectives and activities, assessment of current resources and a strategic analysis. The club should set its mission of increasing the funds inflow through online marketing, increase number of volunteers to work on the marketing objective.
III.3. SWOT Analysis:
* The club has nationwide network, which proves its brand name popularity.
* The club serves as a secure place for the kids to spend after school hours.
* The club serves as a second home for the kids.
* Inexpensive fee structure provides opportunities to the low to mid income people.
* Community based, which makes kids and their parents more connected to the community.
* The technical infrastructure already exists, which maintains the club’s website.
* The location is accessible by public transportation, and pick up service is available from the Billerica public schools which makes it convenient for kids and low income families.
* Local business support the club to improves the community.
* Good relationship between parents and staff members, which improves the quality of service.
* The club attracts members with special events like Elementary School Dance, Movie Night and Family Swim Night.
* Board members are diverse in age, gender, religion, occupation, skills and background.
* Board members share passion and have strong ties to the community.
* Good relationship with the administration in the target schools.
* Board Members don’t attend the meetings on a regular basis. Some of them don’t contribute either money or time.
* Outdated website design with poor navigation between the pages.
* Fundraising is very critical.
* Fewer programs offered to the kids in peak hours.
* Historically challenged in identifying grants from government organizations and local and corporate businesses
* Deficit of experienced people resource allocated for marketing.
* Inadequate online and offline communication with parents.
* Data captured through online database is not being effectively utilized to improve volunteering and philanthropic performance.
* Availability of long-term grants provided by large corporations and Universities.
* Teenage kids have afterschool hours which need to be utilized in a useful and secured place like the Boys and Girls Club.
* Build a relationship with local school districts to introduce innovative programs to help teenagers in the community.
* Volunteers from the local community who get personal involvement in improving the club.
* A large talent pool of qualified software professionals who can be signed up to volunteer with building a new website and email distribution program.
* Fundraising is becoming increasingly difficult in the current economic climate.
* The private gyms and YMCA in the town offer more activities and choices to the kids and parents combined.
* Bad reputation created by improperly trained staff.
* Higher risk of personal injury claims.
* Resistance from parents and families.
* Competition from other non-profit organizations.
The Boys and Girls club should focus on its weakness and threats to decrease them and concentrate on its opportunities available and utilize them to improve the Marketing Strategy.
IV. Marketing Problems and Opportunities
Problems related with volunteer programs:
* The volunteer program plan for any marketing idea is not consistent.
* The volunteers need to be screened before they are in charge for sensitive data or given any responsibility. A simple background check and reference from others will add to the reliability of the person.
* Volunteers need to be supervised for a particular period, so that
* Training should be provided to the volunteers until they get accustomed to the program. This requires additional resource.
* Search Engine Optimization – The technique used to make the website attractive to the search engines6. This includes: adding keywords in the website’s title or in link, link popularity based on how many sites linked to the Club’s website, developing content that others want to link to which is called “link-baiting”, get listed in the online directories.
* Attract the offline members to club’s website through FAQ section and support questions.
* Banner advertisements are available free of cost which increases click through traffic.
* Simple “bookmark reminder” pop-up window will request visitors to bookmark the website.
* Promote volunteer programs for high school kids. This can be added to their community volunteer hours for their school curriculum. The club provides certificates for their volunteer service.
* Select board members who currently work in media like newspaper, television or radio. This helps to market the new campaign launched in the club.
* Advertise the benefit for the donors when they donate like Tax deduction in bold. This attracts large corporations and wealthy donors.
* Local business which is willing to advertise in the Club’s website.
* Whenever the club related members interact with outside people, they should encourage them to visit the club’s website.
* Offline marketing is to include the website address in all the club related material and communication like brochures, business cards, letterhead, T-Shirts, Coffee cups, press releases, event announcements and invitations.