Salvation Army Final Report


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This report was presented to the San Antonio Salvation Army Chapter in December 2013.

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Salvation Army Final Report

  1. 1. Website Development and Increased Community Awareness and Involvement Report Prepared for The Salvation Army of San Antonio The Cardinal Consultants: Lauren De Leon, Marisol Martinez, Montoya Rover, Andre Turner, and Sophie Yanez University of the Incarnate Word San Antonio, TX.
  2. 2. Community Awareness and Involvement Report 2 Executive Summary The Salvation Army’s mission and objectives are to meet human needs in Jesus’ name without discrimination. The tools needed to accomplish these immense obligations are extensive and vital to the organization’s sustainability. The Salvation Army of San Antonio was in need of an internal evaluation, a website assessment, and an environmental scan to determine how they will improve upon their main objectives. The Cardinal Consultants were appointed to assess The Salvation Army of San Antonio’s website in order to localize it, to increase overall visibility and traffic, to increase stakeholder engagement, and to increase younger generation involvement. This report provides an in depth evaluation of our research, findings, and finally our recommendations. Assessing the internal and external factors of the organization was imperative to our study and was conducted through a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis and a comparative analysis. Our findings led us to recommend creating more access for their website users, increasing social media development, and strengthening stakeholder engagement including the Millennial generation through social media channels, specifically Facebook and Twitter.Through research and analysis of relevant data, The Cardinal Consulting Group formulated these recommendations: In order to increase website traffic: redesign the website to serve as a resource; as opposed to a reference as it is in its current state. In order to increase awareness of programs and services: improve partnerships (local and national) with schools, church organizations, and government bodies.
  3. 3. Community Awareness and Involvement Report 3 In order to increase millennial awareness and involvement: utilize social media outlets as a tool to reach the Millennial demographic. The Salvation Army of San Antonio needs to utilize available tools at this time so they can continue to thrive and serve the people who look to them for answers. Various nonprofit organizations have begun employing these strategies that have proven success. An executive meeting should be conducted to discuss the implementation of our recommendations and to ensure key management staff of the San Antonio chapter are on board with these strategies.
  4. 4. Community Awareness and Involvement Report 4 Table of Contents Executive Summary……………………………………………………………………………….2 Table of Contents………………………………………………………………………………… 4 Website Development and Increased Community Awareness and Involvement Report ............... 6 Research and Data Compilation .................................................................................................. 6 Stakeholders .................................................................................................................................. 7 Best Practices and Website Measures ......................................................................................... 7 The Environmental Scan .............................................................................................................. 8 Awareness of Programs and Services ....................................................................................... 11 Millennial Awareness and Involvement .................................................................................... 14 Millennial Scan............................................................................................................................ 14 Millennials and Social Media ..................................................................................................... 16 Recommendation ........................................................................................................................ 20 Website Traffic ............................................................................................................................ 21 Website Metrics........................................................................................................................... 22 Comparative Analysis................................................................................................................. 24 Recommendation ........................................................................................................................ 29 Conclusion………………………………………………………………………………………30
  5. 5. Community Awareness and Involvement Report 5 References………………………………………………………………………………………..32 Appendix A……………………………………………………………………………………....37 Appendix B……………………………………………………………………………………....38 Appendix C……………………………………………………………………………………....39 Appendix D………………………………………………………………………………………40
  6. 6. Community Awareness and Involvement Report 6 Website Development and Increased Community Awareness and Involvement Report The Cardinal Consulting Group comprised of five graduate students from The University of the Incarnate Word, interviewed four San Antonio Salvation Army (SASA) employees for the Website Development and Increased Community Awareness and Involvement Report for the San Antonio Salvation Army. Among these employees were Dr. Robert Garcia, Development Director and Juan R. Reyes, Business Administrator. The consulting group conducted research pertaining to non-profit success measures; local and national non-profit website design; social media best practices; and engagement data regarding Millennials. The consulting group also performed an environmental scan of the city of San Antonio, prepared a SWOT analysis forSASA, and prepared a website comparative profile measured againsttwo local non-profits: Haven for Hope and SAMM Ministries.The analysis was conducted for the purpose of discovering means of increasing website traffic, programs and services awareness, and millennial involvement and awareness. Research and Data Compilation The research that was compiled for this report was gathered from October 1, 2013 to November 27, 2013. The data used in this analysis is compiled from a variety of sources. Information from a guided tour of the facility, given by the client, was incorporated into the study. Client responses from several open-ended questionnaires were used to supply internal data about the local organization, its stakeholders, and the surrounding community. Additional external resources utilized for the scan included:2010 U.S. census data, the 2012 U.S. Mayor’s
  7. 7. Community Awareness and Involvement Report conference data on homelessness and poverty, philanthropic journals, scholastic journals, and material pulled from the Internet. Stakeholders In addition to general demographics collected, much of the research focuses on information pertaining to the primary SASA stakeholders identified within the scope of this project; these stakeholders include: participants, volunteers, donors, and partners. Specific statistics and data regarding stakeholders can be found in the Stakeholder’s Manual included with this report. BestPractices and Website Measures In order to gather information for increasing Millennial awareness, participation, and volunteer and donation opportunities for the San Antonio Salvation Army, common trends and best practices were researched at a national level. The majority of the millennial information came from Achieve Guidance’s 2013 Millennial Impact Report; in which an online survey was distributed through 14 research partners. Findings from the report included a usability test that was conducted for nine non-profits’ online presences.This report coveredwebsite, social media page, email, and mobile app data. The research included in this report spans from 2010-2013, and includes responses from 11,675 Millennials. Millennials are defined as individuals born between the years of 1979-1994 (Achieve Guidance, 2013). While researching website success measures, there were some data limitations for the consulting group regarding access to the current success measures SASA uses; due to this limitation, the most common measurement practices utilized by non-profit organizations were researched. Many different research assessments specific to non-profits existed in this area;the 7
  8. 8. Community Awareness and Involvement Report 8 2013 eNonprofit Benchmarks Study was selected because of its relevant nature and large sample size. The 2013 eNonprofit Benchmarks Study was compiledby M+R Strategic Services and N Ten (Nonprofit Technology Network). In the study, the results of 1.6 billion email messages sent over 45 million subscribers, 6.5 million online gifts totaling $438 million raised, and 7.3 million advocacy actions were analyzed (M+R Strategic Services, 2013) . The Environmental Scan An environmental scan of San Antonio and parts of the nation was performed to discover important demographics about the surrounding community, valuable stakeholders, and the nonprofit organization SASA. Utilizing a collection of data from a variety of sources and a SWOT matrix analysis tool, SASA’s significant internal strengths, weaknesses, external opportunities, and threats were identified and used to develop possible strategies for implementation. The analysis of the data is represented in the attached SWOT matrix (Appendix A).Effectively utilizing the SWOT matrix requires creating a list of factors in each of four categories: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.The factors are then numbered. At least one numbered factor from each intersecting row and column of the matrix are then analyzed in combination to determine strategies to combat possible weaknesses and threats, or to capitalize on strengths and opportunities. This results in a number of strategies that can be identified as strength-opportunity strategies, strength-threat strategies, weakness-opportunity strategies, or weakness-threat strategies. The coded numbers listed next to the strategy reference the factors considered when creating the strategy. Utilization of the SWOT resulted in a list of possible strategies in the formulation of therecommendations found in this report. Among these strategies, these five were found to be
  9. 9. Community Awareness and Involvement Report mostviable: create a bilingual website, increase public awareness and access through SASA’s social media outlets, integrate Google Analytics to improve metrics and set benchmarks, market to younger generations through partnerships with church youth groups and school districts, and simplify the website to promote ease of access for volunteers and potential donors. With the assistance of employee interviews, an internal scan of the organization revealedstrengths such as a strong support system from national headquarters,a dedicated staff, and a local marketing company that assists with video imagery. SASA recognized that there were areas needing improvement (R. Garcia and J. Reyes, personal communication October 17, 2013). A weakness found was that a small number of staff members, relevant to the number of duties, proved insufficient to maintainseveral programs efficiently.Furthermore,new volunteers were needed; with only 40 of every 250 being new each quarter (J. Lowe, personal communication November 7, 2013).Most of SASA’s volunteerswere repeat volunteers, and the organization relied on their assistance throughout the year to help staff accomplish tasks. Also lacking was youth participation,especially from the largest cohort: Millennials. While many organizations possess a web department dedicated to maintaining the website and social media outlets, not one SASA staff member was completely dedicated to the task;making it difficult to update and maintaininformation for stakeholders. The materials offered from headquarters lacked a local orientation that the community could relate to when viewing. Although the national headquarters offered a large amount of resources and support, the San Antonio chapter lacked visibility; creating issues for the local awareness of services SASA provides the community (see Appendix A for complete data set). Results from the environmental scan provided relevant information about the San Antonio (SA) community. Approximately 20% of the 1 million people that reside in SAwere 9
  10. 10. Community Awareness and Involvement Report 10 found to be below poverty level, and could utilize SASA’s services (U.S. Conference of Mayors, 2012). With a median household income less than the national average, an unemployment rate of 6% (U.S. Conference of Mayors, 2012),and 1 in 879 housing units falling under foreclosure (U.S. Department of Commerce, 2010), the community was found to be in need of housing assistance and lacking disposable income. In San Antonio, 63% of the population was reported as Hispanic/Latino and 46% of the languages spoken in homeswere foreign (U.S. Department of Commerce, 2010) A majority of the downtown San Antonio homeless community was found to be severely mentally ill, physically disabled,or unemployed (U.S. Conference of Mayors, 2012). The major causes for homelessness reported were loss of income and the lack of needed services (Ryan, 2012). Homeless deriving from Texas accounted for 5.2% of the 2012 Census homeless and transitional shelter population. Increasing partnerships among city agencies, private agencies, religious organizations, and other groups working to end homelessness can assist in achieving awareness, involvement, and assistance with the societal issue of homelessness(U.S. Conference of Mayors, 2012). Statistics of San Antonio revealed volunteers gave a total of 49.1 million hours equaling $1 billion of service contribution to the community in 2011. Most volunteerism was categorized into two groups: religion and education services. In addition, the research indicated people preferred volunteering their services to help neighbors (The Federal Agency for Service and Volunteering, 2011)). According to Charity Navigator (2012) most donations came from individuals, approximately 72%, in 2012. Arts, environmental, and animal organizations saw the largest
  11. 11. Community Awareness and Involvement Report 11 increase in donations; indicating donors were returning to personal giving priorities that were strayed from during the height of the recession in favor of supporting food banks and other human service charities. Historically, religious groups received the largest share of charitable donations. The next largest sector was education,comprising 13% of all donations. Focusing on religious and education areas for building new donor relationships, and marketing in specific forums such as arts, environmental, and animal organizations, may increase personal giving (Charity Navigator, 2012). Online spikes in giving occurred primarily within specific times, days, and situations. Most giving occurred during the weekday working hours of 9 a.m.to5 p.m., significantly dropping in the noon hour. One-third of donations were evident in the month of December. Annual increases of 10% were evident in the last 3 days of the year.Donors were more likely to consider new giving options when large disasters occurred. Contributing to charities through a tool, such as Network for Good showed a 13% increase in donations (Charity navigator, 2012). The highest rated charity sites built strong connections with their donors. Charity sites with branded website pages achievedseven times more donations on average than organizations using generic pages. New non-profits are popping up faster than the rate of funding, and more non-profits focusing on social service in the coming years is the likely projection (Charity navigator, 2013). Awareness of Programs and Services SASA would like to see the community become more aware of the wide array of services and programs that are available to it through the organization. Currently, SASA is most closely associated with thrift stores and the annual Red Kettle campaign. Increasing program and service
  12. 12. Community Awareness and Involvement Report 12 awareness has the potential to increase community participation and engagement.Partnering with corporations, schools, and churches is an effective means to increase awareness. Industry Standards Both for-profit and non-profit organizations benefit from the existence of corporate partnerships. Partnerships can provide an organization with increased program relevance, increased political relevance, increased visibility, and expanded reputation and revenue streams (HitachiFoundation, 2009). Partnering with businesses that have a strong following in the community increases visibility within that community. Involving some form of partnership among city agencies, private agencies, religious organizations, and other groups working to end homelessness assists in achieving program success (U.S. Conference of Mayors, 2012). In San Antonio there are a total of 109,195 surrounding firms to consider for partnership (U.S. Department of Commerce, 2010). This includes a large number of faith-based highschools, universities, and colleges; most of which have a community service requirement. Having partnerships is more effective in creating awareness if those partnerships are made visible. Most non-profits provide a list of the organizations with which partnerships exist. Some of these lists are very extensive. No such list for SASA was able to be found; although data shows that partnerships do exist with organizations such as Haven for Hope, OLLU, and UIW (J. Lowe, personal communication November 7, 2013). More information on stakeholder awareness can be found in The Stakeholders Manualincluded with this report. Recommendation After analyzing the data, we recommend SASA improvespartnerships (local and national) with schools,church organizations, and government bodies; partnering with others, specifically
  13. 13. Community Awareness and Involvement Report 13 neighboring churches and schools, can aid in increasing involvement, awareness, and retention of volunteers. This would also allow SASA more flexibility in redirecting valuable resources to neglected areas of the organization and strengthening relationships and awareness within the community. Strategies that can be implemented in pursuit of this goal include: Make currentpartnerships visible to the public. This includes all current and future partnerships. Partnerships cannot increase awareness if potential stakeholders are not aware that they exist.This can be achieved by providing a list of partners the community can access, and ensuring SASA is included on partner's lists. Partner with local faith-based high schools. These institutions are typically private institutions, and can require up to 100 hours of community service over a 4-year period for graduation. This will also enable SASA to build relationships with stakeholders at a young age that can carry on through adulthood. Partner with local colleges and universities. These institutions are typically well established within the communities in which they exist. Also, many of these organizations are committed to serving those communities. Colleges and universities offer the unique advantage of providing non-profits with highly educated, yet inexperienced, individuals poised to enter the workforce. Partner with local and state government bodies. Most municipalities within the San Antonio greater area boast a police department, fire department, and a number of committees. These organizations are highly visible in the communities they serve. More importantly, these organizations are highly trusted and relied upon by those communities. Use the well-known Red Kettle campaign to increase awareness of programs and services. The addition of a programs and service list to Red Kettle displays can be
  14. 14. Community Awareness and Involvement Report 14 beneficial in two ways. The abundance and visibility of these displays will expose this program list to a large number of individuals. Also, the list itself will inform Red Kettle donors of the programs that their donations support. Millennial Awareness and Involvement Increasing millennial awarenessof the programs and activities that SASA offers to the community was mentioned as a priority during initial interviews (R. Garcia and J. Reyes, personal communication October 17, 2013). It was hoped that by increasing awareness of these programs, San Antonio’s younger generation would be more apt to becoming involved through volunteer or donor opportunities. Social media presents an opportunity for Millennials to witness SASA at work with the people it serves. All generations have been adopting new social behaviors by taking advantage of social technologies online to interact in unprecedented ways.However, the Millennials show the highest percentage of usage habits for Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube (Convio, 2012). Millennial Scan There are a few things SASA should be aware of when working to attract this generation of young people. According to a report released from Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce;Millennialsare taking longer to launch careers, but it's not entirely their fault. Young job seekers are having trouble finding work and making money because of structural changes in the economy that have been taking place for some time (Berman, 2013). Millennials prefer working for organizations that provide meaning and flexibility more so than money and are more likely to quit a job that does not work to meet their needs. Growing up with a support system engineered to assist and acknowledge their every success puts them at a
  15. 15. Community Awareness and Involvement Report 15 disadvantage in a workforce built by older generations; one which reserves success acknowledgement for the organization, not the individual.However, challenging economic times do not change their values.Millennials themselves were found to be the most optimistic generation despite these economic challenges; 88% believed they either have, or will have, enough money in the future to achieve their long-term financial goals (Bell, 2012). Millennials were also found to be the most educated generation the United States has seen yet, especially the female population. Of this generation, 60% of women have attained at least some college credit; compared to 52% of women from Generation X, and 34% of Baby Boomers at the same ages. They are more competitive and skilled, technically advanced, highly educated and adaptive thinkers (Delaney-Busch, 2013).Carnavale, Hansen, and Gulish (2013) found thatdespite troubling trends in the labor market and changing sociocultural norms, Millennials’ median household income remains the highest of any generation at similar ages. Research indicates marketing should focus on this broader growing donor base. In the next 10 years, 900 baby boomers will leave the workforce leaving Generation X to fill the gap. An abundance of job vacancies means more Millennials entering the workforce in higher income leadership positions; this may increase automatic monthly contributions, especially if marketed materials target what Millennials value (Bell, 2012). Although volunteer rates show volunteerism by Millennials rising, nationwide it is still not as high as previous generations. Millennials possess a do-it-now enthusiasm, energy, and passion to do what they love. Volunteerism is increasing; possibly due to a lagging job market and a desire to be creative in exploring their skill sets or creating their own opportunities (Stewart, 2013). Millennial volunteers are eager to begin utilizing their skills in the labor force.This young generation seeks marketable job experiences, such as internships or skill-based
  16. 16. Community Awareness and Involvement Report 16 volunteerism, to add to their resumes and increase their competitive advantage and likelihood of being hired (Delaney-Busch, 2013).Data suggests that skill-based volunteering with a non-profit organization serves as a bridge to employment for both college students and recent veterans. About 81% of human resource representatives take skilled volunteerism into consideration during hiring and agree that volunteering creates more desirable college graduates (DelaneyBusch, 2013).Increasing Millennials’ involvement, as volunteers or interns, capitalizes on their advanced skills, positive attitudes,and builds a relationship with possible future donors. Millennials and Social Media SASA currently evaluates website traffic through donations received and number of users who access the site. This analysis was heavily based on industry standards due to the limitations on current data regarding SASA’s website traffic. As the search began for ways to increase stakeholder engagement and develop the website for SASA, it became evident that social media is one of the prime channels SASA should focus on. Social media is one of the fastest growing, and most effective means of increasing business in for-profit or non-profit organizations. Social media refers to online communication channels that facilitate interaction and media distribution between people. Social media outlets are websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or participate in social networking (Oxford, 2013). It allows for participation, engagement, and real-time feedback on the part of supporters and constituents (Convio, 2012). In 2012, 47% of Americans learned about causes through social media or online channels (The Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy, 2012).
  17. 17. Community Awareness and Involvement Report 17 As SASA looks to increase its overall visibilityand stakeholder engagement; further emphasis on social media channels, such as Facebook and Twitter,needs to be implemented. Social media continues to evolve in this highly technological world; quickly becoming a tool for organizations in meeting specific objectives. Social media will allow SASA to integrate many functions at once such as: increasing their visibility through picture and story sharing; increasing volunteer, donor, partner, and participant involvement; and utilizing it as a fundraising tool. A recent study shows that 54% of stakeholders are more likely to support a cause through social media rather than offline. Of individuals who support non-profits on the social web, 56% confirmed that compelling storytelling is what motivates them to take action on behalf of those non-profits (Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, 2013). Many organizations continue to have questions as they add social media elements to their marketing plans. Some questions include information on resourcing, understanding best practices, learning specific tools, and measuring return on investment. As with any new process, it takes time to learn and implement social media into marketing efforts.In time, this can become a seamless task once an organization knows what works best for their audience. It is important to fully understand one’s audience in order to successfully evaluate how the development of social media will impact an organization. Facebook is one the largest and most successful social media channels; with over 1 billion users accessing and using the site each month (Zuckerberg, 2013). At the beginning of the year, 98% of non-profit organizations in the United States were using Facebook (Laird, 2012). The average Facebook user has 130 friends; therefore an organization’s message can be shared exponentially through a friend or referral. SASA currently has approximately 450 likes on Facebook. Considering there are over 1.3 million people in San Antonio, this shows Facebook is
  18. 18. Community Awareness and Involvement Report 18 not being utilized as well as it could be. Additionally, the average non-profit Facebook fan page has 31,473 users, defined as people who “Like” a fan page (eNonprofit survey, 2013). Twitter is an online social media channel that allows individuals to keep in touch instantly. Twitter was built with the main purpose to accommodate users by updatingthrough their mobile phones. Twitter allows businesses to send updates to their customers, and allows for intra-communication with employees. It can be used as an effective tool to communicate immediate information or concerns that are relevant to stakeholders. By the end 2012, 74% of non-profit organizations in the United States were using Twitter (Laird, 2012). The hash tag symbol (#) is used to display trending information. This is another tool that SASA can begin taking advantage of to increase its visibility. Using the hash tag for various marketing campaigns, such as the Red Kettle Parade, will trend the information on Twitter; allowing more individuals to re-tweet and have access toit. The term “tweeting” refers to the action of using Twitter to post content. It is important to find out what techniques work for other organizations that utilize Twitter in order to be successful with these channels of marketing. Best practicesfor Twitter include tweeting about things that people care about. Abrahams and Lasica (2011) found that linking newsworthy events that people are already interested in and relating them to an organization’s cause is important to stakeholders. It’s also suggested to follow the 60-30-10 rule;implement 60% re-tweets and pointers to promote items from other users or sites, 30% to conversation and responses, and 10% to announcements and events (Abrahams & Lasica, 2011). Constructing a planned routine for tweeting will help your Twitter page increase visibility, and allow your organization to measure the impact Twitter has relating to your marketing plan.
  19. 19. Community Awareness and Involvement Report 19 The synergistic potential of all these capabilities combined makes social media a superb marketing tool. Social media encompasses a wide spectrum of forms; all of which offer marketers direct, or indirect, ways to reach customers and monetize their marketing efforts. Giving more time to Facebook and Twitter will increase SASA stakeholder engagement and increase the organization’s overall visibility. In addition, it will attract younger generation involvement; as the Millennial’s are the key social media generation. Millennials are highly selective about which organizations they engage within a crowded and noisy market place. They value authenticity, variety, and actionable information regarding non-profits (Achieve Guidance, 2013). True community management for SASA will need to go beyond scheduling updates and monitoring tweets. In order to engage this generation, there is a need to create an honest, friendly environment where followers are treated as collaborators. The 2013 Millennial Impact Report found that 79% of Millennials’ chief motivation for getting involved with a non-profit was because they were working for a cause they were passionate about. Achieve Guidance and Johnsons Grossnickle Associates (2010) found when a Millennial donor uses technology to find out about a non-profit organization, Google is usually the donor’s first stop; with 86.4% of respondents citing the search engine. Another 71.5% rely on email, and 51.2% use Facebook to find information on organizations. This generation uses websites as default locations to find basic information about organizations. If they like the information they find about an organization’s mission and programs, use of donor funds, and volunteering opportunities, they will most likely use social media as a tool for staying connected(Achieve Guidance, 2013).
  20. 20. Community Awareness and Involvement Report 20 Sharing is embedded in Millennials’ DNA, and it is often the first action that is taken that demonstrates their interest for a cause. Data shows that 75% of Millennials are likely to share content on social media if they believe in the cause. They are also more likely to share a nonprofit’s information if the messaging has images and videos incorporated into it. (Achieve Guidance, 2013). Social media creates an instant feedback loop that tells organizations what this audience finds interesting and worth disseminating to their friends and family. Furthermore, Facebook can also be a tool for SASA’s fundraising efforts. Facebook added the charitable donation option to its website; making it easier and more accessible for users to give donations. The average annual donation through social media grew from $38 in 2010 to $59 in 2012 (Laird, 2012). Recommendation Based on an analysis of the data collected, we recommend SASA utilize social media as a tool to reach the Millennial demographic. In order to achieve the best possible results, SASA should incorporate the following social media practices: Build a content schedule that includes what topics will be covered in the social media post. The schedule should include outlines for the message and specific details for when and where the message will be deployed. The content schedule should also identify ways program staff can contribute materials such as videos or pictures. An example template for a social media content calendar can be found attached to this document (Appendix B). Collect personal stories and photos of people SASA has helped in order to inspire Millennials to be passionate about SASA’s cause. SASA hopes to localize the website to represent the San Antonio community; having a dedicated volunteer at each event around
  21. 21. Community Awareness and Involvement Report 21 the city in charge of documenting photos and video can accomplish both of these tasks. These photos and videos can be used for social media, press coverage, and the website blog. Millennials prefer action-oriented content (donate, sign, volunteer, etc.) in their email posts and social media; realign the current email campaigns to focus on these areas. Make sure the volunteer and donate pages are easy to use and direct. Delegate administrative duties to a few people within the organization in order to maintain and manage social media outlets. The more frequently pictures and status updates are posted, the more information will appear in friend’s newsfeeds. This will aid in increasing visibility. Research indicates the focus on marketing should emphasize the broader growing donor base. In the next 10 years, 900 baby boomers will leave the workforce, leaving generation X to fill the gap. An abundance of job vacancies means more Millennials entering the workforce in higher income leadership positions, which may increase automatic monthly contributions, especially if marketed materials target what Millennials value (Bell, 2012). Increase marketing to online social networks during the highest traffic times and days, specifically the last 2 days of the year. Statistics show that the last 2 days of the yearcan account for 22% of an organization’s annual dollars; with a concentration of donations on December 31 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. in each time zone (Charity navigator, 2012). Website Traffic SASA would like to see an immediate increase in website traffic and an increase in awareness and support from the local community. SASA would also like to see the website become a valuable platform for donors and volunteers. The current website does not make
  22. 22. Community Awareness and Involvement Report 22 volunteering or donating, easily accessible for potential stakeholders. By not providing ease of access and serving as a direct access point to the organization, the website creates a break in the engagement process with SASA. This can decrease volunteerism and donations by making the visiting of the website an end-process function, as opposed to a start-process function. Website Metrics Research suggests that the best measures for determining whether or not a non-profit’s website is successful in helping the organization to achieve their goals and objectives is not based solely on website visits. Data is a crucial component of measuring website success, but with the growth in accessibility to data, there comes the need to sort through increasingly complex quantities of it. However, just because something can be measured does not mean it needs to be considered a success metric (Harstein, 2013). Based on the information gathered from interviews with the SASA employees, we are using volunteer signup conversions, donor conversions and website entry points as the success metrics to measure whether or not the website is serving as a successful channel for the organization. According to David Harstein (2013), the following three metrics were found to be the most applicable for most non-profit organizations: landing pages that lead to the most conversions, traffic sources that lead to the most conversions and pages with the highest exit rate. To clarify, a landing page is the first page a website visitor is directed to when visiting a website; a conversion is the successful completion of a website goal such as a visitor making a donation or signing up to volunteer(Harstein, 2013) For most non-profit organizations, the purpose of having a website is to help the organization increase stakeholder awareness and enable participation from its visitors.
  23. 23. Community Awareness and Involvement Report 23 Examining which landing pages are ultimately leading to the most conversions will show an organization the most effective pages on their website. Knowing this information will allow SASA to focus on driving more traffic to pages that generate the most donations in an effort to boost online fundraising efforts(Harstein, 2013). In order to measure these types of conversions, organizations use tools such as Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a service offered by Google that generates detailed statistics about a website's traffic, traffic sources, conversions, and sales. When looking at conversions for non-profits, it is helpful to look at which traffic sources are directing the most visitors (that ultimately convert into donors or volunteers) to the website. With the use of Google Analytics, non-profits are able to track traffic sources to the site. The most commonly tracked sources are: Search Traffic – Visitors that arrive to a website by typing a phrase into a search engine and clicking a link in the search results. Referral Traffic – Visitors that arrive to a website by clicking a link on another website. Examples of referral traffic would be visitors from articles written about an organization or links to a website from a social media outlet. Direct Traffic – Visitors that arrive to a website by typing a URL directly into their browser. Direct traffic also includes visitors who bookmark a page on a website in their browser, and later use that bookmark to revisit the site. Campaign Traffic – Visitors that arrive to a website by clicking a link that has been tagged as part of a campaign. Such links are commonly found in email newsletters.
  24. 24. Community Awareness and Involvement Report 24 Knowing which traffic sources are leading to the most conversions will provide SASA with the necessary context to rethink where and how online resources are focused (Harstein, 2013). Comparative Analysis MSDSis a New York-based design firm that specializes in nonprofit website design & branding for financial services & technology companies. In 2013 a comparative website analysis was performed by MSDS for 10 global non-profit organizations. This framework was used to build a comparative profile matrix for SASA. The score card utilized by MSDS measured the following: Design -Design sets the tone for the brand, establishing credibility and reinforcing trust in an eye's glance. The best non-profit websites are clear, easy to use, and encourage users to explore. Messaging -Effective content strategy delivers the message from the audience’s point-ofview clearly and concisely; bringing key messages to the forefront. Engagement -Propelling audiences to action is essential. The best non-profit websites offer users clear ways to get involved and persuasive reasons to do so. Imagery- Photography is essential to emotionally connecting audiences to non-profit causes and putting people in the middle of the action; information, graphics, and data visualization help make complex concepts simple. Storytelling- Sites that leverage storytelling communicate the human narrative of a nonprofit’s cause. Sociability-Social tools create deeper engagement; giving a non-profit's community good reasons to share content.
  25. 25. Community Awareness and Involvement Report 25 The website comparison conducted for the Salvation Army, Haven for Hope, and SAMM Ministries websites reviewed the following categories derived from MSDS’s measures: Enabling volunteers- This measure was based on the level of accessibility to the volunteer page for a visitor and ease-of-access to volunteer registration. This section corresponds to MSDS’s scorecard components of design and engagement. Enabling donors- This measure was based on the level of accessibility to the donor page for a visitor, as well as user friendly capability for the visitor to donate funds to the organization. This section corresponds to MSDS’s scorecard components of design and engagement. Social media integration- This measure was based on the level accessibility to the organizations’ Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages. Also considered was whether or not the blog page had information that was recently updated and relevant. This section corresponds to MSDS’s scorecard components of messaging, storytelling, and sociability. Informative component- This measure was based on the visibility of a current time frame for events taking place andtransparency for the allocation of donations;contact information accessibility and visibility for what volunteers would be doing when they sign up were also taken into consideration. This section corresponds to MSDS’s scorecard component of messaging and engagement. Localized component- This measure was based on whether or not the website represented the San Antonio community in pictures, blog post entries, partnerships, and bi-lingual capability. This section corresponds with MSDS’s scorecard components of imagery and messaging components. Enabling volunteers and enabling donors were selected as comparative components based on
  26. 26. Community Awareness and Involvement Report 26 the impact they have on non-profit organizations. SASA expressed the website’s ability to reach out to potential volunteers and donors as a long-term goal. In 2010, Wicks and Lundahl conducted over-the-phone surveys with 78 homeless shelter administrators on assessing volunteer activities and the needs of homeless shelters. It was concluded that shelters value, and rely, on volunteers to meet a wide array of residents’ needs and shelter operations. However, volunteers often failed to meet the needs of shelters; a problem that could likely be resolved through improved communication (Wicks, Lundahl 2010 source 1). The website is a tool to successfully communicate with current and potential volunteers and donors. Similar to volunteering, donations contribute a great deal for non-profit organizations; in 2012, 72% of donations came from individuals (Charity Navigator, 2012). The ability to access information is critical. Social media integration was chosen as a comparative component; there was an expressed interest in reaching a younger crowd and increasing program awareness in the initial interview(R. Garcia and J. Reyes, personal communication October 17, 2013). Data suggests that 15-18% of donations are referred directly from Facebook (Zuckerberg, 2013), and 41% of nonprofits attribute their success to a detailed social media strategy (Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, 2012). SASA is also celebrating its 125th anniversary. Combined with a stated informal threeyear plan to further develop the organization, this was perceived as an opportunity to utilize social media and let a diverse group of individuals know how long SASA has been serving San Antonio. . The first year of this plan will be dedicated to increasing awareness. The second year will be focused on exemplifying SASA’s commitment to the community. The third year SASA would like the community to commit to the organization(R. Garcia and J. Reyes, personal communication October 17, 2013). Social media integration can increase this occurrence.
  27. 27. Community Awareness and Involvement Report 27 The ability for the website to be informative was also chosen as a comparative component. SASA expressed a desire to have a highly intuitive site that enhances the experience of the user in initial interview questions (R. Garcia and J. Reyes, personal communication October 17, 2013). The structure of information classification has an important role in the usability of websites. Information needs to be in the optimum location in order for visitors to navigate easily around the website. Information organized in the correct location speeds up the information retrieval for users and provides a good user experience of the website (Nawaz, 2011). The localized component was chosen as a comparative component because of SASA’s belief that this was critical to the success of the website in the initial meeting (R. Garcia and J. Reyes, personal communication October 17, 2013). In order to localize the website, SASA has to exhibit extensively what the organization is doing for the local community. SASA is a charter of a national organization. This was identified as an obstacle when being compared to the top two local competitors (see Appendix A). Both of these organizations are local organizations that are native to San Antonio. The three non-profit organizations were then scored from one to three in each component; one being the best and three the worst. A mean score was then calculated for each of the organizations. This process is represented in the attached comparative analysis matrix (See Appendix C). Haven for Hope scored the highest in enabling volunteers. The website provided potential volunteers with specific instructions and contact information. There was also an individual and group application available for download. SASA’s website directed potential volunteers to contact the local Salvation Army or utilize Volunteer Match; Volunteer
  28. 28. Community Awareness and Involvement Report 28 Matchrequires volunteers to undergo a registration process. Haven for Hope and SAMMinistries were scored equally in enabling donors. Both websites had a donate button, or link, that took the visitor directly to a page where the visitor was able to enter their payment information. SASA’s donate button redirected the visitor to another page; the links on that page redirected the visitor to yet another page before a donation could actually be made. Haven for Hope scored the highest when it came to social media integration. Haven for Hope had the highest number of followers on Facebook and Twitter. The homepage was embedded with a Facebook newsfeed. Every time Haven for Hope updated the organizations’ Facebook page, the visitor was made aware. SASA’s website did have links to social media outlets, but no feed. SAMMinistries scored the highest when it came to the informative component. The organization’s website was very easy to navigate. The organization also included an accountability page. This accountability page included links to SAMMinistries most recent financial reports. To further the organization’s transparency, a link to Charity Navigator was also provided. Charity Navigator is a third party service that rates charitable organizations, and publishes those organizations’ IRS tax information for public viewing. SAMMinistries did an excellent job of exhibiting the organization’s ability to provide these figures, and answer visitor questions. SASA did not provide visitors with local statistics, nor a means by which to obtain local statistics. Haven for Hope ranked the highest in the localized component. The organization was very adamant about what the organization does for San Antonio in its mission statement and in the video included on the homepage entitled, 1000 Faces of Hope. The video was very powerful,
  29. 29. Community Awareness and Involvement Report 29 and exhibited the diverse group of locals that Haven for Hope services. Haven for Hope also included a very extensive list of local partners, and the services that these partners provided. SASA’s website did not provide any information regarding local partnerships. Also, much of the information on the site was oriented towards the national organization as opposed to the local charter. After calculating the mean score, Haven for Hope ranked the highest on our website comparison with a score of 1.4; SAMMinistries second with a score of 2; and SASA third with a score of 2.8 as can be seen in the Comparative Profile Matrix (Appendix C). Recommendation Based on an analysis of the data collected, we recommend that SASA redesign their website to serve as a resource for their stakeholders as opposed to a reference as it is in its current state. There are a number of changes that can be implemented to achieve this goal: With San Antonio having a 63.2% Hispanic population, the addition of bi-lingual accessibility to the website is a necessity. Bilingual materials are crucial for outreach. A bilingual website would be beneficial for mass communication in increasing awareness of services that SASA provides to the local community. Implementation of bilingual accessibility could increase program awareness, community involvement, volunteering, and donating among Spanish-speaking households. Create a volunteer page that enables volunteerism. Downloadable materials and standard information on qualifications (if any) should be available to begin the volunteering process. Contact information for Volunteer Services should be included on the page; along with instructions on how to complete the volunteer process. An email link should
  30. 30. Community Awareness and Involvement Report 30 also be included for visitors to allow greater access to information and Volunteer Services. The "donate now" button should link the potential donor directly to a page where payment information can be input and donations made. The addition of a dropdown menu on the payment screen can allow visitors to select where donated funds go. This will bypass the need to visit an options page, and increase ease-of-access for stakeholders. Links and information on other ways to donate can be included at the bottom of this page. To further localize the site, SASA should reevaluate the orientation of information on its website. Currently, the majority of information available for visitors is oriented towards the national organization. This orientation should be shifted towards local events, stories, and SASA’s history. Alter the color scheme of the website to include lighter colors. Lighter colors such as blue, yellow, and green have been found to illicit positive emotional responses; dark colors, such as gray, were found to elicit negative emotional responses (Hemphill, 1996). Negative emotions can lead to avoidance behaviors, which can negatively impact online interactions with potential stakeholders. These implementations can be seen in the website mock-up contained in Appendix D. An online, limited-function version of the mock-up can be found at Conclusion The Cardinal Consulting Group, comprised of five graduate students from The University of the Incarnate Word, were tasked with identifying means by which website traffic, programs
  31. 31. Community Awareness and Involvement Report 31 and services awareness and Millennialawareness and involvement can be increased. Through research and analysis of relevant data, The Cardinal Consulting Group formulated these recommendations: In order to increase website traffic: redesign the website to serve as a resource; as opposed to a reference as it is in its current state. In order to increase awareness of programs and services: improve partnerships (local and national) with schools, church organizations, and government bodies. In order to increase millennial awareness and involvement: utilize social media outlets as a tool to reach the Millennial demographic. A number of pursuable strategies have been identified and documented within this report for each recommendation. These strategies can be utilized as stand-alone implementations, or in combination, to achieve the desired results within the scope of this project. A stakeholder’s manual and website mock-up have been developed based on the findings found within this report to aid in implementation. This report and all deliverables are to be presented to the client December 2, 2013.
  32. 32. Community Awareness and Involvement Report 32 References Abrahams, K. & Lasica, J. (2011). 24 Best practices for non-profits using Twitter. Retrieved from Achieve Guidance. (2013). The 2013 Millennial impact report. Retrieved October 25, 2013 from Achieve Guidance & Johnsons Grossnickle Associates. (2010). Millennial donors: A study of Millennial giving and engagement habits. Retrieved October 31, 2013 from t.pdf Bell, T. (Executive Producer). (2012, July 10). CNN newsroom with Suzanne Malveaux.[Television broadcast]. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System. Retrieved October 29, 2013, from Berman, J. (2013, September 30). 7 charts that show just how bad things are for young people. Huffington Post. Retrieved October 25, 2013 from /30/millennials-freak-out_n_4017584.html Carnavale, A.P, Hansen, A. & Gulish, A. (2013, September). Failure to launch:Structural shift and the lost generation. Georgetown University. Retrieved October 25, 2013 from The Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the Urban Institute and the Association of Fundraising Professionals. (2012). Fundraising effectiveness survey report. Retrieved October 23, 2013 from
  33. 33. Community Awareness and Involvement Report 33 Charity navigator: Giving statistics and online giving statistics. (2012). Retrieved October 24, 2013, from 1360#.umipbxbrj6s Convio. (2012). Going social:Tapping into social media for non-profit success. Retrieved October 24, 2013 from Delaney-Busch, Sarah. (2013). Millennials gain a competitive edge in the job market through volunteering. Retrieved October 28, 2013, from millenials-gain-a-competitive-edge-in-the-job-market-through-volunteering/ The Federal Agency for Service and Volunteering. (2011). Volunteering and civic life in America: Volunteering and civic engagement in San Antonio, TX: Trends and highlights overview.Retrieved October 23, 2013, from san-antonio Hartstein, D. (2013, February 27.) Website data non-profits should track. Wired Impact. Retrieved October 15, 2013 from Hartstein, D. (2013, April 10.) Nonprofit website analytics: Measuring what matters. Wired Impact. Retrieved October 15, 2013 from Hemphill, M. (1996). A note on adults’ color-emotion associations. The Journal of Genetic Psychology, 157(3), 275-280. Hitachi Foundation. (2009). A pocket guide for nonprofit leaders. Retrieved October 13, 2013, from
  34. 34. Community Awareness and Involvement Report 34 Laird, S. (2012). How non-profits relied on social media in 2012. Retrieved October 25, 2013 from M+R Strategic Services. (2013). 2013 eNonprofit benchmarks study. Retrieved October 15, 2013 from MSDS (2012). Effective nonprofit website design: 10 case studies. Retrieved October 15, 2013 from Nawaz, A.(2011). Evaluation of information classification on websites and impact of culture: A cross country comparison of information classification, Human-Computer InteractionInteract 2011 Lecture Notes in Computer Science (6949), pp. 390-393. Oxford. (2013). Definition of social media. Retrieved from us/definition/american_english/social-media?q=social+media Ryan, L. (2012). Overcoming homelessness in 2012: The San Antonio homeless population. Retrieved October 23, 2013, from Stewart, A. (2013). Volunteer rates are rising for the youngergeneration. Retrieved October 28, 2013, from U.S. Conference of Mayors. (2012). Hunger and homelessness survey: A status report on hunger and homelessness in America’s cities. Washington, DC: City Policy Associates.
  35. 35. Community Awareness and Involvement Report 35 Waggener Edstrom Worldwide. (2013). Digital persuasion: How social media motivates action and drives support for causes. Georgetown University’s Center for Social Impact Communication. Retrieved October 14, 2013 from Zuckerberg, M. (2013). Facebook for non-profit organizations. Interview. Retrieved October 22, 2013 from
  36. 36. Community Awareness and Involvement Report 36 Appendix A SWOT Matrix SWOT Matrix for San Antonio Salvation Army Opportunities: 1. prevalence of social media use 2. faith based universities and high schools have community service requirement 3. many high schools and universities have list of suggested organizations 4. monthly giving 5. millennials 6. google analytics 7. holiday season 8. branding campaign 9. San Antonio population is large and growing 10. Storytelling Threats: 1. Other local charity organizations (Haven for Hope) 2. Other organizations offer full transparency (Samministries) 3. The economy 4. Their largest donor demographic is aging and dying 5. High poverty levels in SA equal lack of disposable income 6. Not an actual local charity 7. Millennial attention span (ADHD) Strengths: 1. Charter of international charity 2. Local marketing company providing campaign imagery and video 3. Email marketing campaign 4. Receive bag of groceries campaign 5. well-known Red Kettle campaign SO strategies: -Social media integration into email fundraising campaign (S3,O1) -Build a local testimonial campaign using marketing company (S2,O1,O10) -Use holidays and Red Kettle to increase visibility on social media (S1,S5, O1,O7) Weaknesses: 1. Small group of repeat volunteers 2. Relatively low visibility 3. Limited autonomy within local chapter 4. lack of resources 5. lack of staff 6. lack of access for the public 7. no bilingual website 8. lack of visible partnerships 9. new leadership 10. lack of metrics WO strategies: -Create a bilingual website (W7, O5, O9, O10) WT strategies: -Increase public awareness of and access to SASA’s -Market to them while they’re young; partner with social media outlets (W2, W6, O1, O3) schools and church youth groups (W1, T4) -Integrate Google Analytics to improve their metrics -Simplify website to promote ease of access for and set benchmarks (W10, O6) volunteers and potential donors (W6, O4, O7) -Increase visibility through marketing using holidays as -build database of verifiable local statistics touch points (W2,O7) (W10, T2) -partner with local faith based universities and high schools (W8,O2,O3) ST strategies: -“no questions asked” grocery campaign (S4,T5) -use international body to form more visible partnerships with local charities (S1, T1) -Use marketing company to create series of short you tube videos (S2, T7)
  37. 37. Community Awareness and Involvement Report Appendix B Social Media Calendar Month Social Media Calendar Sunday Day # Monday Day # Tuesday Day # Wednesday Thursday Friday Day # Day # Day # Blog: Blog: Blog: Blog: Blog: Week Theme: Facebook: Twitter: Facebook: Twitter: Facebook: Twitter: Facebook: Twitter: Facebook: Twitter: Day # Day # Day # Day # Day # Day # Blog: Blog: Blog: Blog: Blog: Facebook: Facebook: Facebook: Facebook: Facebook: Twitter: Twitter: Twitter: Twitter: Twitter: Day # Day # Day # Day # Day # Blog: Blog: Blog: Blog: Blog: Facebook: Facebook: Facebook: Facebook: Facebook: Twitter: Twitter: Twitter: Twitter: Twitter: Day # Day # Day # Day # Day # Blog: Blog: Blog: Blog: Blog: Facebook: Facebook: Facebook: Facebook: Facebook: Twitter: Twitter: Twitter: Twitter: Twitter: Day # Day # Day # Day # Day # Blog: Blog: Blog: Blog: Blog: Facebook: Facebook: Facebook: Facebook: Facebook: Twitter: Twitter: Twitter: Twitter: Twitter: Week Theme: Day # Week Theme: Day # Week Theme: Day # Week Theme: Important Reminders Saturday Day # Day # Day # Day # Day # 37
  38. 38. Community Awareness and Involvement Report Appendix C Comparative Profile Matrix Comparative Profile Matrix Enabling volunteers • Accessibility • Ease of access Enabling donors • Accessibility • Ease of access Social media integration • Facebook • Twitter • Youtube • Blogs localized and updated Informative • Where is the money going? • Mission focused? Localized • Bilingual • Upcoming events • Partners list Mean Score San Antonio Salvation Army Haven for Hope Samministries 3 1 2 3 2 2 3 1 2 3 2 1 2 1 3 2.8 1.4 2 38
  39. 39. Community Awareness and Involvement Report Appendix D Website Mock-up Homepage 39
  40. 40. Community Awareness and Involvement Report Appendix D Website Mock-up Volunteer Page 40