Transformation of a not-for-profit

Case Study – Transformation of a NFP

By clarifying what the Association stood for and making it more relevant for members Gaynor strengthened the organisation, re-energised the culture and developed a streamlined communication strategy that resulted in improved perception and increased membership.

The Challenge

The Association had been operating for over 100 years and had enjoyed a colourful history. Many of the Executive had been in post for many years and had enjoyed much success.  However they were beginning to tire, and falling membership numbers and poor attendance at events meant it was poorly perceived by some of its stakeholders.  It needed to become more relevant and viable in a changing economy, and to operate in a financially healthy way.

The Solution

Strategic planning sessions were held to identify what had been done well in the past, what members needed today, and how it could remain relevant in the future.  Having identified a number of successes in the past, it was clear that while it had achieved much, it had not been effective in communicating this.  This had to be remedied.

Four key principles were identified that were relevant to members today, and that would help the Association clarify what it stood for.  From this a number of objectives and responsibilities were set that would motivate and focus the Executive.

To improve communications with all stakeholders an integrated communications strategy was developed, which included a new brand, a new website and active social media campaigns using Twitter and Linkedin.

All costs and revenues were reviewed to improve the financial health and it was found that by using online media to communicate with members and for event bookings significant efficiencies and cost savings could be made.

The Result

Despite tough economic times, membership numbers are growing.  Use of online media to promote the Association and events means that communication is easier and a much larger audience can be easily targeted.  The four key principles have focused the Association’s Executive and assisted in identifying interesting and relevant speakers for events, which has resulted in greater attendance and awareness.

Gaynor Gravestock is a business specialist and director of Synergy and Strategy Limited.

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