Helping Older San Franciscans Age in Place
Challenge: In early 2013, San Francisco Village (SFV) – a citywide nonprofit that empowers older San Franciscans to “age in place” – hired KRC after the Board decided to prioritize public relations and community outreach. In only their fifth year of operation, SFV was experiencing the typical roadblocks that many young nonprofits face, including low public awareness and stagnating membership and volunteer numbers. SFV engaged the KRC team to develop and implement a yearlong strategic outreach and communications plan that would raise awareness about the organization and grow their membership and volunteer base.
Approach: KRC developed a strategic communications and outreach plan for SFV that detailed specific strategies to help them achieve their member and volunteer recruitment goals while also creating broader awareness about the organization in San Francisco. The plan included strategies for streamlining their messaging, pumping up their media relations and developing a social media presence while also providing a blueprint for an aggressive community outreach and organizing campaign. The plan combined traditional community organizing strategies with more contemporary earned media, social media and marketing approaches, and it redirected the organization’s broad, citywide outreach efforts into a more neighborhood-oriented approach. During the course of the year, KRC worked with the staff, board and Village members to implement the plan and train member and volunteer leaders as outreach ambassadors in the hopes of achieving SFV’s 2013 organizational goals.
Results: By the end of the year, San Francisco Village’s yearly membership recruitment numbers hit a record high for the organization. No longer stagnant, the successful implementation of the strategic communications and outreach plan created a solid pipeline of new members and volunteers to the organization. In addition to its record-setting membership numbers, SFV also exceeded its volunteer recruitment goals for the year, and the nonprofit experienced media success like never before, with feature articles in numerous print and online media publications, as well as regional radio interviews on KPFA and KNEW. KRC is excited to be working with San Francisco Village again in 2014 as we continue to help the team there implement the strategic plan and reach into new neighborhoods in the city.
Photograph by SFV volunteer, Susanne Baum.