Over the last few years, Seer celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day by providing pro bono consultations to non profit organizations.
2022's event provided us with some insights:
- Despite our best efforts, in 2022, we only had 8 non profits express interest in the event.
- Non profits expressed the need for support in areas we aren’t experts in.
This year, we made some changes to help boost non profit attendance and to increase the effectiveness of the sessions our team hosted.
Step 1 - Identifying Our Goals
I’ve been at Seer for 10 months; this was my first MLK Day Digital Marketing Open House.
Deemed the “Volunteer Squad,” they’d been instrumental in organizing past MLK Day events and shared institutional memory with me as we planned this event.
Without them and their feedback loop, we would haven’t been able to adjust and exceed our goals for 2023.
Goals based on feedback:
Goal 1: Increase the number of non profits who attend
In 2022 only 8 non profits expressed interest; less attended the actual event.
In 2023, 40 non profits signed up and 11 attended.
This gives us two great goals for 2024:
- Attendance rate of 28%+ (11 attended / 40 signed up)
- 12+ non profits attended
Goal 2 Increase the number of Seer team members who mentor
As a general goal for our community impact program, we want to make it as easy as possible for team members to give back.
In 2023, 19 Seer Team members signed up to participate!
Goal 3: Provide consultations that are as targeted as possible to individual non profit needs
In 2022, 25% of interested non profits identified an area they needed support in that was not our area of expertise.
In 2023, ZERO percent of interested non profits identified a need that we don't do.
Step 2 - Develop an Action Plan to Hit Goals
Where can changes be made in the process?
It was time to think about how each step of planning could impact our goals. First we made changes to the overall event structure.
In the past, we've run these workshops on MLK Day.
Hypothesis: Many people are not working on MLK Day or have other activities planned through their non profit. This may result in them not signing up.
To Test: We expanded the event to run over 3-days post MLK day (January 17th to 20th)
Result: True40 non-profits signed up (+32 YoY vs. 8)
1:1s vs Group Settings
In the past, we used breakout rooms for our non profit consultations, meaning there were multiple non profits with one team member.
Hypothesis: It’s hard to give attention to an organization’s individualized needs in a group setting.
To Test: Each non profit got 30 minutes of 1:1 time with a team member with digital marketing expertise that the non profit got to choose when signing up.
Bonus Hypothesis: If we make matching to a digital marketer who better meets your specific needs scalable, we can better serve our non profit partners and see an increase in attendance.
To Test: We created a shared Google Calendar that team members added appointment slots to that were convenient to their schedules.
Non profits who had expressed interest in the open house then received a welcome video from me with a deck that outlined what digital marketing offerings we had.
Then, they could book an appointment with a team member whose expertise matched their needs. This model can accommodate growth without relying on a single person for scheduling.
0% of non profits gave feedback that we did not have a skill to match their need
Step 3 - What We Learned
Feedback on the day was mostly positive! One team member shared, “This went really smoothly and was well organized this year! Also seemed really impactful for the orgs I talked to!” One non profit shared, “We are adapting a new web strategy based on your suggestions.”
But there’s always room for improvement.
What we'll work on for 2024:
Put it in Layman’s Terms
Most non profits do not have a digital marketing expert on staff, which is why the open house is appealing.
So this year, we made an effort to define different digital marketing strategies as clearly as possible.
However, we still had some folks sign up for the wrong topic area (9% of folks to be exact).
For example, we had someone book a timeslot for Paid Social that was really looking for Paid Search help. Fortunately, this topic was still in our team member’s area of expertise.
We also saw that general digital marketing strategy sessions were the most popular. In the future, we need to keep our technical language as clear as possible and offer more general sessions which can serve as an introduction to digital marketing.
Get the non profits areas of struggle up front
Team members who participated wished they knew what problem organizations were trying to solve before the meeting began.
Additionally, some non profits signed up for appointments with email addresses not associated with their organization, making it difficult to know which organization had booked.
Adding in a few questions with the appointment booking process is an easy way to obtain this information.
As soon as signups went live, I realized that I had inadvertently excluded non digital marketers at Seer from participating.
Moving forward, we’ll include appointments with consultations from members of our operations teams, to help answer non profit questions around hiring, recruiting, and project management.
“The Time is Always Right To Do Right”
Our team members loved the opportunity to learn about new non profits. Participating organizations shared a deep appreciation for the ability to consult with an expert in the field.
We had so much fun that we’re not waiting until January 2024 to do it again.
We also plan to host another Digital Marketing Open House sometime this summer.
Want to host your own open house?
Here are the steps we took to make it happen:
- Advertise to your non profit partners. Posts went on our social media and a link to register was shared to non profits in our database.
- Recruit your team. Team members used this form to indicate how many sessions they could host.
- Set up a scheduling system. We created a google calendar for the event and asked team members to book appointment slots
- Release appointments slots to non profits! We shared a welcome video and a deck outlining what services we could offer
- Hold the open house! Enjoy sharing your expertise!
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