Organizations from a wide range of nonprofit sectors turn to CBWhite to gather and analyze information that will help them achieve their missions.
Whether they’re developing a strategic plan, deciding what services to offer or hoping to boost brand awareness, clients trust us to deliver constituent input that helps shape their decision-making.

 

Market-Driven Strategic Planning

Situation

A large library system wanted to include community input in its planning process. The strategic planning team had a variety of views on what the community needed and was eager to gain objective information.

Work Performed

CBWhite worked with the strategic planning team to bring community views, needs, and perceptions into the planning process by conducting market research with both library patrons and non-patrons of all ages and backgrounds, as well as employees, public officials, and organizational partners (e.g., museums and schools). The process allowed the various constituents to share their views about current stereotypes and images that create barriers to visiting the library and to envision the library in the future.

Outcomes

The market input stimulated the minds of those involved in the strategic planning process and helped the team define short-term actions to reduce barriers (e.g., better signage) and long-term strategies to build a more successful library system.

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Program Branding and Outreach

Situation

A teen-focused organization faced questions about the effectiveness of its branding and marketing efforts and hoped to reach more teens in need of its services.

Work Performed

CBWhite conducted focus groups with teens, staff, volunteers and community organizations to inform the development of branding and outreach strategies. Topics included teens’ motivations, barriers, and benefits of participation, as well as brainstorming creative methods to reach this group.

Outcomes

CBWhite’s research results shed light on vital organizational issues and opportunities, and a board retreat led by CBWhite energized the leadership team. The organization is creating new branding strategies and implementing new outreach efforts.

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Brand Assessment and Implementation

Situation

A national nonprofit with a mission of increasing economic opportunities for low-income individuals and families faced market confusion because the name/brand seemed to describe a different type of service. The organization enlisted CBWhite to evaluate its current branding, including the name and logo, service line names, and general image. CBWhite offered services in partnership with another firm that provided marketing implementation services.

Work Performed

After conducting surveys, focus groups and interviews with a wide variety of constituents, CBWhite presented recommendations for a revised brand strategy, which was approved by the board. CBWhite’s partner firm moved forward with implementation.

Outcomes

A new name and logo were incorporated into the organization’s Web site, printed communications and promotional items to create a family of collateral materials that is visually consistent. In addition, key messages were identified to support the organization’s positioning and strengthen its brand. Staff and volunteer leaders were trained to integrate these messages in verbal and other informal communications with constituents, media and the general public.

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Marketing Strategy

Situation

An environmental coalition was struggling to set priorities and determine how best to meet the needs of its diverse members, who ranged from individuals to large nonprofits. The coalition also wanted to establish its brand in the marketplace. The organization knew that external input would be critical to the successful development and implementation of a marketing plan.

Work Performed

CBWhite conducted personal interviews and an online survey to uncover members’ perspectives on the organization’s essential qualities and strengths. Respondents also had the opportunity to rate the importance of issues, the need for various services, and the benefits of membership. In addition, opportunities to deepen volunteer relationships were identified.

Outcomes

Market research was used in joint meetings between CBWhite and the implementation team as the foundation for creating a communication plan. Armed with a clearer understanding of members’ underlying motivations, writers created compelling marketing materials. CBWhite served as a bridge from marketing strategy to implementation by reviewing communication drafts. Market needs were reviewed by board and committees and used in developing plans for future services.

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Service Refinement and Marketing

Situation

An organization providing micro-loans and business planning advice to low- and moderate-income women felt it could increase usage of its services through better marketing and product/service refinement.

Work Performed

CBWhite managed a research project that included focus groups with women from a wide variety of backgrounds regarding their needs and outlooks when starting businesses. Focus group results were used to develop a survey instrument that explored awareness and perceptions of various organizations offering related services; the importance of various characteristics of such a nonprofit; and the need for different types of products.

Outcomes

Results were used to develop a marketing roadmap that capitalized on organizational strengths and revised the service line to match market needs.

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Organization Name and Identity

Situation

A national breast cancer organization faced constant discussions about its name. Board members, who heard anecdotes about reactions to the name, often disagreed about its positive and negative aspects.

Work Performed

CBWhite oversaw quantitative research into awareness of the organization and its competitors; how women learned about cancer groups; differences by age group; and feelings about the name.

Outcomes

The research proved that the name had high levels of recognition and generated positive images for the vast majority of the target audience, putting to rest a long-standing debate about the name change. The engagement simultaneously identified positive aspects of the organization that influenced the development of a new logo, educational and marketing materials, and a highly successful public service announcement.

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Marketing Plan Development

Situation

A childcare resource and referral agency needed to develop a plan for diversifying revenue/funding sources.

Work Performed

CBWhite led a marketing planning effort that began with an examination of the agency’s four main offerings -- services that were marketed separately. CBWhite’s work with staff identified: how the services were linked; opportunities to refer constituents to other departments for services; and the product that most needed a new sales strategy.

Outcomes

CBWhite provided recommendations regarding new products and services, pricing, positioning, and promotion. An opportunity to increase sales to corporations was identified, along with a sales plan and manager training. In addition, CBWhite trained the agency’s staff to help market the organization using an “elevator speech” that described the agency in a meaningful, concise and consistent manner.

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Demand Assessment

Situation

A major university was considering building a residential facility for its business school students and needed information about how many students might choose to live there before undertaking such a large project.

Work Performed

Students and University leaders had strong and diverse opinions about the location and amenities of the facility. After the focus group phase, CBWhite conducted an online survey so that students and alumni could provide input regarding the facility, amenities, location and rent. CBWhite then helped develop recommendations on how to communicate the final results to the student and alumni populations.

Outcomes

Demand forecasts provided to University leaders were used to create financial models. Ultimately, the committee voted not to move ahead with the facility.

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Multi-Agency Community Research

Situation

Three community foundations in central Illinois needed to increase awareness of their organizations to cultivate new donors. Each organization wanted market input to understand how to differentiate themselves from alternatives, but the cost of three separate research projects was prohibitive. To stretch their research dollars, they collectively retained CBWhite to assess opportunities that would improve their marketing effectiveness.

Work Performed

CBWhite conducted and analyzed a series of focus groups with residents in each community regarding awareness and perceptions of its local foundation. The focus group design included testing a variety of messages that could convey the benefits of supporting the foundation.

Outcomes

CBWhite provided recommendations regarding awareness-building methods, high impact messages and points of differentiation.

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Clinical Trial Recruitment Strategy

Situation

Cancer clinical trials require enormous upfront investments but are often unsuccessful at recruiting enough participants. CBWhite worked in partnership with a research advocacy group in a variety of settings to bring patient input into the clinical trial design process.

Work Performed

CBWhite collaborated with scientific researchers regarding the design of and patient recruitment strategy for a major clinical trial that included 11,000 participants. After conducting focus groups with patients and advocates from around the country, CBWhite identified the pros and cons of the trial from the consumer’s perspective.

Outcomes

CBWhite’s findings led to refinements in the trial design. They also provided a rationale for developing educational programs and services that would inform potential participants of key benefits and address critical concerns. 

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