• Guni Bal

Impact Story: The Fight for Literacy & Adapting to Change!

54% of U.S. adults 16-74 years old - about 130 million people – lack proficiency in literacy - Forbes

Everyone is worthy of getting an education! We think so! Here is how a detailed Integrated Business Plan helped a top literacy agency to revamp their marketing programs to solidify donor base, enhance thought-leadership communications, and entrust them to keep fighting for literacy.

We should talk about universal education, shall we? - the right and access for every human on earth to have access to education. It seems like the only way to end literacy. Also, the hard cost and stress that comes with student loans. Meanwhile, the fight for literacy in America has been around since the Morrill Act of 1862. This act helped develop programs that gave accessibility to STEM. A big challenge for the literacy agencies is getting such programs and funds to those in need. This process can be apprehensive, especially during a pandemic or crisis.

Such is a story of a nonprofit based out of the Bay Area in California that has allocated 15.8M in funds in community-related projects that include education scholarships for students in high schools and adults in the salvation army to improve literacy. Their mission is to establish a legacy of giving by linking charitable gifts from donors to the vital needs of the community. The agency continues to value the need to find new mythologies to connect all its resources to community needs. As time evolves, they have had to juggle many hats to fight the fight, and the two main challenges they faced were unaligned business and marketing infrastructures and growth in leadership.

At CLASS, we resonate with such values of prosperity for the well-being of our communities, and with further insight, we realized that the agency did not have an updated business plan and marketing strategy to reach new target audiences. The demographics in the area had increased due to growth in the technology sector in Silicon Valley, and families moved to neighbor towns. Hence the urgency to promote to this new group of millennials rouse for donorship. The current donor base consisting of older families required maintenance. Also, leadership felt the need to make some changes internally as well.

To combat these changes, our team felt the agency would benefit from a plan, rather an Integrated Business Plan - this plan would require in-depth marketing research and tactics on how to reach the new target audiences to fit into their long-term operational goal. This framework would set a foundation for the agency in the future.

We continued our conversation with the agency leaders to further discuss any pain points they were facing in executing any of the programs or strategies in place? Board members felt the need to re-commit to some of their duties and increase communication with the program managers. Having such clarity would improve processes for succession planning for the agency.



An integrated approach & solution for long-term success.

To help the agency evolve through the changes, our team developed a new Integrated Business Plan that would combine both marketing and operational strategy for the long term. The plan would assist in defining new goals; first, to reach new young, technology-savvy members in town via digital and social media tactics, second to increase engagement with existing donors by promoting community outreach events for fund development, and third to redefine internal communications processes for board members and managers (re-commitments).

CLASS consultants identified that implementing new strategies and goals will help leaders embrace changes and expand their recognition amongst community members. As Class consultants, we take a holistic approach in meeting an organization’s changing needs and recommend well-defined and tested processes that can benefit them in the long run.



A testimony from leadership.

Here is what leaders of the agency had to say on how CLASS has impacted their business flow;

“Class has developed an excellent Integrated Business Plan that provided a framework … that will continue to help our board members to execute our outreach programs, fund development, donor engagement efforts, and leadership succession efforts. We have reached out to community stakeholders in finance, real estate, and more for outreach and fund development!” Also, CLASS recommendations will positively impact our organization in the long run!

– Board Member

Class thrives for such impact and helps nonprofit agencies achieve their visions with ease and effortless executions. We send our best wishes to the agency! Amid this pandemic, we look forward to listening and recommending new changes in your organizational journey. Our consultants are waiting, contact us!

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About CLASS Consulting Group

The CLASS Consulting Group is a trusted advisor to the board of directors and senior leadership of the bay area nonprofit organizations. A boutique management consulting firm headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area that provides consulting services to members of nonprofit organizations and offers community leadership opportunities to professionals.   

Since 2002 CLASS’ volunteers have been assisting, and supporting the communities in which we all live and work.  Learn more about us - mission and story

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