Family Hui Hawaii (FHH) is a nonprofit organization located in Oahu that aims to prevent child abuse and neglect by engaging parents and caregivers of young children in parenting support groups. The vision of the organization is that “every family is equipped with the knowledge and support systems needed to ensure that all children are thriving, healthy, and safe” (Family Hui Hawaii, 2018, para. 1). Its mission is “to support, encourage, and empower families to meet the challenges of raising children by providing a safe and nurturing environment for them to grow, thrive, and learn from each other” (Family Hui Hawaii, 2018, para. 2). In order to achieve these goals, the organization needs an effective marketing strategy that would attract more donors and raise awareness of its services in the target communities.
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The services provided by the organization are essential to the community due to the high incidence of child abuse and neglect in Hawaii. According to the Hawaii Department of Human Services (Hawaii DHS, 2017), the total number of reported cases of child abuse and neglect was 1,897 in 2017, with 605 of these cases confirmed. The most prominent factors associated with such a high incidence of neglect and abuse cases in Hawaii were the inability to cope with the responsibilities of parenting, unacceptable child-rearing methods, and drug abuse (Hawaii, DHS 2017). Family Hui Hawaii’s efforts have a significant beneficial effect on child welfare, as they address these risk factors by providing support, teaching positive parenting practices, and referring parents to other specialists.
Need for Marketing
In today’s world, non-profit organizations depend heavily on donors for fundraising, which means that soliciting funds is an essential aspect of almost all non-profit organizations. Though marketing and publicity for fundraising purposes are vital to all non-profit organizations, a vast number of non-profits leaders have no idea about the necessary means to find funds for their organization. The majority of non-profits rely on just one or two ways of getting money, and Family HUI Hawaii is no exception. Currently, Family Hui Hawaii’s primary funding sources are the Hawaii Children’s Trust Fund, Women’s Fund of Hawaii, City and County of Honolulu Grant in Aid, and donations from private foundations.
Family Hui Hawaii promotes its programs, activities, and event through social media, official websites, and occasionally in magazines, but its outreach for prospective donors is still limited. In an interview with the communications/peer group coordinator, it was found that Family Hui Hawaii does not have a marketing plan (J. McOuat, personal communication, January 25, 2019). According to Worth (2017), non-profit organizations that adopt a market orientation or societal orientation do achieve more significant financial support and client satisfaction. Therefore, the primary objective of our research is to create marketing and publicity strategies that will improve the fundraising efforts of Family HUI Hawaii.
Our capstone project will investigate some of the methods other non-profit organizations are using in their marketing and publicity efforts to attract more funding. In fulfilling our research task, our team will survey donors and prospective donors to find out about what motivates them to be willing to support certain non-profit organizations. Participants of Family Hui Hawaii will be interviewed to find out how the HUI program is helping them. Both qualitative and quantitative analyses will be conducted as part of the project. In addition, our team plans to update the social media and flyers of the organization, as well as offer some effective publicity strategies and ideas.
Despite the prominence of non-profit organizations in the contemporary world, few of them realize the importance of marketing to success. Many people believe that nonprofit organizations do not need to engage in marketing activities because their work itself will attract people, and they will get the required support (Williamson, 2009). Unfortunately, this is not the case, and marketing plays an essential role in an organization. For instance, Grau (2014) notes that nonprofit marketing aims to build a lasting relationship between organizations, volunteers, donors, and clients. As a result, marketing can help nonprofit organizations attract funding and human resources needed to achieve their goals. It is critical to consider that nonprofit marketing is different from traditional marketing in terms of its aims, scope, and methods used. According to Grau (2014), “nonprofits marketing is about creating and delivering value to stakeholders (various target audience – volunteers, donors, and the community” (p. 8). Therefore, there are three key areas in nonprofit marketing that are worth examining: communication with donors, social media marketing, and content marketing.
Communication with Donors
Establishing effective communication with donors is critical to attracting funding for non-profit organizations. Pagnoni and Solomon (2014) suggest that nonprofits should purchase a mailing list of prospective donors whose values align with the organization’s vision and mission at a direct marketing house or online. For example, it would be helpful to approach list brokers and buy information about prospective donors from them. This information can include the names of people who give to charities, their zip code, and income (Pagnoni & Solomon, 2014). In addition to listing brokers, Pagnoni and Solomon (2014) mention donor search – a useful tool that provides information on donors, such as their giving history and assets. To ensure that donors are interested in contributing to the organization, the management should prepare a clear plan for communicating with prospective donors. The plan should include initiating contact by phone or e-mail, offering a tour of the organization, and connecting with donors on social media, such as Facebook (Pagnoni & Solomon, 2014).
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Once donors make their first contribution to a non-profit organization, it is essential to form long-lasting relationships with them. Based on the principles of nonprofit marketing, the organization should focus on creating value for its stakeholders, as this would help to maintain donors. Marketing can assist in this process by raising awareness of the organization’s impact and value to the community, as well as by providing updates on its goals and operations (McLeish, 2011). In the contemporary environment, both social media marketing and content marketing can be used for these purposes.
Social Media Marketing
In recent years, social media has become a popular platform for nonprofit organizations to communicate, raise funds, and advertising. According to Ewing (2017), nonprofits should use social media not only for spreading the organization’s information but also for marketing purposes since it allows connecting with all major stakeholder groups. Pagnoni and Solomon (2014) confirm that social media enables nonprofits to maintain close and lasting relationships with stakeholders for a relatively small price. It also allows nonprofit organizations to promote their vision and mission successfully, thus attracting the attention of prospective volunteers, donors, and clients. A research study by Williams (2015) provides a useful summary of benefits that can be received from social media marketing, including decreased costs, increased funding, higher awareness, and improved trust. Nevertheless, there are some considerations that need to be addressed by companies considering implementing this marketing method.
The effectiveness of social media marketing depends on various factors, including the choice of platform and the activities included in a social media marketing plan. There is a great variety of popular platforms that organizations can choose from, such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and others. Ewing (2017) explains that different social media platforms have different types of audiences, and the organization needs to take this into account. For nonprofits, the goal is to reach as many people as possible, and thus these organizations would benefit from using several social media platforms to reach a broader audience.
Additionally, nonprofit organizations need to understand that just adding new posts to their social media accounts is not always enough. As mentioned by Clese (2015), firms should also measure and analyze data from their social media accounts to ensure a stable level of engagement. For example, Instagram enables business profile owners to determine the scope of influence and awareness to see what types of posts are the most popular. It is also recommended that nonprofits monitor the rate of return on investment (ROI) for each platform to determine whether their posting strategy for each platform is efficient.
According to the review of the literature, marketing through social media would be one of the perfect means for Family Hui Hawaii, a small organization with limited resources, to attract donors and volunteers. Using social media effectively would help to generate awareness among the stakeholders, thus yielding the benefits identified in various research studies. Implementing a social media marketing strategy would be manageable for Family Hui Hawaii because the organization already has a person responsible for its social media accounts.
Another method that nonprofit organizations could include in their marketing strategies is content marketing, which can be very effective if used wisely and appropriately. Content marketing is often used by for-profit businesses looking to create a positive image and improve brand awareness. Unlike regular advertising, content marketing tells stories of the achievement of the organization, such as the life-changing testimony of the clients and useful, educational, and motivational information related to an organization’s work. According to Pulizzi (2012), non-media companies like nonprofit organizations would not receive profit from content marketing directly; however, this tool could help them to attract and retain clients, donors, and volunteers. Another significant advantage of content marketing is that it can be weaved into a company’s social media strategy since technology advancements allow organizations to publish any content on their social media accounts or official websites without significant monetary investments.
In a traditional marketing strategy, an organization produces lots of information and hopes that that information reaches the target audience through newsletters and reports. In contrast, with content marketing, an organization creates specific content relating to an issue that concerns both the organization and its target audience. This encourages the target audience to reach out to the organization (Miller 2013). Content marketing works particularly well in the contemporary context, where a recent media shift caused users to become more proactive. Therefore, posts about interesting issues motivate prospective donors or volunteers to take the initiative and research the organization before contributing. Official websites, publications, newsletters, and social media are some of the most popular sources for users to find out more about a particular nonprofit. Therefore, content marketing should be aligned with the organization’s communications and public relations strategies in order to yield great results.
As an organization that has a positive impact on participants’ lives, Family Hui Hawaii can benefit from using content marketing. As part of its content marketing strategy, the organization could share the results of its work in local communities and generate engagement by providing information about relevant issues. This would enable Family Hui Hawaii to demonstrate the value it provides to stakeholders, thus attracting new donors and volunteers and maintaining great relationships with existing contributors.
Capacity building is an essential concept for nonprofit organizations as it enables companies to develop new knowledge and functionality with minimal resources (Chandler & Kennedy, 2015). Family Hui Hawaii is a low-resource organization, meaning that it does not have sufficient funds to outsource some essential business functions, including marketing. While the present project will provide some recommendations with regards to marketing to the management, the company will need to implement the marketing plan and adjust it over time. Building capacity in this area would enable the organization to perform market research, create content for advertisements, and engage with potential donors and clients without the help of a third party, thus allowing Family Hui Hawaii to grow and develop.
Gaps in Research on the Topic
Although the literature review provided a lot of meaningful information for the project, there are still some gaps that exist in current research on the topic of marketing in nonprofit organizations. First of all, there is an apparent shortage of high-quality research studies in the area. Most of the resources found as part of our search were books or articles where authors focused on the theoretical underpinnings of nonprofit marketing. While this does not mean that the quality of the information provided in these sources is low, it shows that more research is needed to relate the theoretical knowledge to practice.
Secondly, the vast majority of sources consider nonprofit marketing from the viewpoint of managers. With only a few texts focused on how specific messages or marketing strategies are perceived by their intended audience, this creates another gap in the current understanding of nonprofit marketing. Thirdly, there is little information in academic resources on particular tools that can be used by nonprofits to create an effective marketing campaign. Instead, most authors concentrated on the exploration of marketing methods, such as content and social media marketing. To enhance the application of knowledge to practice, it would be useful to determine how nonprofit organizations can make the most of specific tools, such as Instagram posts, flyers, and newsletters.
The Capstone Project will seek to address these gaps by providing more specific information that can be easily translated into practice. For example, it will consider the perspectives of donors and program participants on the services offered by Family Hui Hawaii. Using the chosen organization as a case study, the research will also consider how specific marketing tools can be used to improve the effectiveness of nonprofit marketing. Therefore, the project will complement the information provided in the literature review, which would allow managers of nonprofit organizations to use it to inform their marketing efforts.
Statement of Topic and Approach
Research Questions and Concerns
As identified in the previous section, the present research is concerned with obtaining practical knowledge of nonprofit marketing that would assist Family Hui Hawaii in developing and implementing an efficient marketing strategy. It is also crucial to research the target audience, including potential donors and participants, in order to better understand their opinions about the organization and determine ways of influencing them. Therefore, two key research questions were identified for the study: “What are the gaps in the current marketing strategy of Family Hui Hawaii?” and “How can Family Hui Hawaii improve its marketing to attract more donors and clients?”. Both of these questions are of critical importance to the organization because they determine its success in fulfilling its mission and affect the course of future development. Assessing the current status of marketing in Family Hui Hawaii will help to point out crucial mistakes, whereas identifying possible solutions will assist the organization in creating and implementing a new marketing plan.
The approach to this research project is deeply rooted in evidence-based management, which involves collecting and applying current evidence, experiential and contextual knowledge, and stakeholders’ preferences to the process of decision-making. Given the shortage of high-quality research studies on the topic, theoretical knowledge of nonprofit marketing was used to inform the project and provide foundational knowledge of the subject. A synthesis of the evidence collected from preliminary research was included in the literature review, and evidence on each concept was applied to the chosen organization.
The experiential and contextual knowledge included the input of all team members, as well as the analysis of Family Hui Hawaii’s. Relevant information about the organization, including its vision, mission, and goals, was used to identify the most appropriate marketing strategies and tactics to be used. Different members of the team also had prior knowledge in specific areas of marketing, such as social media marketing, and thus their opinions were also considered when planning a marketing strategy. Therefore, contextual and experiential knowledge complemented the data gathered as part of the literature review and helped to inform various project activities.
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Lastly, evidence-based management involves focusing on the views and preferences of the stakeholders. In order to include various stakeholders in the project, the team maintained regular communication with the organization’s management and coordinators. Additionally, the team is to conduct market research by surveying potential donors and participants of Family Hui Hawaii programs. This will allow applying the information on the topic to the case and will ensure that the marketing strategy satisfies the needs of all stakeholders.
Due to the complexity of the project, three separate data collection methods were used. Firstly, a literature search using the Internet and the University Library was conducted to identify relevant sources of theoretical information on the subject. The search used a range of keywords, such as “fundraising,” “nonprofit marketing,” and “social media + nonprofits.” The results of the search were filtered based on the date of publication, quality, and relevance to the project topic. The organization’s website was also among the resources chosen for the project since it provided background information about Family Hui Hawaii and its work.
Secondly, interviews with the organization’s management and coordinators were carried out to identify their concerns and preferences related to nonprofit marketing. The information gathered as part of the interviews was also used to assess the current marketing strategy of Family Hui Hawaii and identify gaps to be addressed. Interviews are a potent method of data collection in business research because they allow gaining insight into a particular topic (Bell, Bryman, & Harley, 2018). For this project, semi-structured interviews are to be used to obtain the required data while also allowing the participants to expand on their responses and offer other relevant information.
Thirdly, surveys and testimonials are to be used to conduct market research and obtain information about external stakeholders’ views and opinions. The primary goal behind the use of surveys is to assess the factors influencing potential donors’ and participants’ perceptions of Family Hui Hawaii and its work. Surveys are often used in market research for this purpose since they enable researchers to obtain specific data from a large number of respondents (Bell et al., 2018). In the present case, data collected from surveys were used to assess the current situation and devise a viable marketing strategy for Family Hui Hawaii.
Because the data collected as part of the project will be both qualitative and quantitative, two methods of data analysis are to be used. For qualitative information obtained from literature and interviews, the team will apply coding to identify similar concepts and separate them into groups (Bell et al., 2018). This will allow to structure and analyze qualitative data, thus producing meaningful results. For data collected from surveys, simple statistical analysis is to be used to identify the most common responses and percentage share of each answer. The data will then be translated into visual forms, including tables and charts, to allow for the comparison of responses.
Lastly, market research will be developed with Family Hui Hawaii organization in mind. Its content will help in the development and analysis of future decisions the organization will take.
Client survey construction
The primary goal of this survey was to assess the participants’ perceptions about the Hui program. The survey consisted of 27 multiple choice questions, which meant that the participants only needed about five to ten minutes of their time to complete it. Items used in this survey can be classified into five separate groups. The first group of questions sought to identify the participant’s status within the program. These questions involved “Have you ever participated in, or are you currently participating in, a Hui?”, “Have you participated in more than one Hui?”, and other similar questions. The responses gathered from this part of the survey were helpful for mapping the participants’ attitudes to their status in the program and level of involvement.
The second group of questions aimed to assess the participants’ interest in future programs. It involved questions such as “Are you interested in joining a Hui?” for those who have not been in the program before and “Would you consider participating in another Hui?” for existing or past members. With the latter question, responders also had an opportunity to add information to a text box to justify their answer and share their experience. Evaluating the participants’ interest in future Hui programs was important for identifying gaps in the organization’s marketing strategy.
The third group of questions graded the participants’ level of awareness about the Hui program. For instance, the survey asked if participants were aware that for a Hui to run in their neighborhood, there must be a Group leader. Identifying the general level of awareness could also help to point out gaps in marketing, particularly if poor awareness discourages people from joining the program. The survey also contained questions designed to explore the participants’ attitudes towards the program and the organization. In these questions, the responders were asked to rank their satisfaction with the program and list its strength and areas which need improvement in a text box. This part of the survey was of crucial importance to the project because it collected data essential for marketing. Based on the existing attitudes, it was possible to assess if the current marketing strategy was effective and if the program itself had to be improved for marketing to be successful.
The final set of questions collected demographic data on the participants, including their age, the number of children, education level, ethnicity, and other characteristics that could have impacted their interest in and attitudes to the program. This information was used to identify correlations between various sociodemographic factors and attitudes to Family Hui Hawaii, thus assisting the charity in the creation of a new marketing strategy targeting specific populations.
Donor survey construction
The second survey involved a similar set of questions for existing and prospective donors. Since financing is of crucial importance to the organization, the data collected as part of this survey could assist in creating a marketing strategy to attract more donations. This survey was more detailed than the one for program participants and included 34 questions, a significant share of which were open-ended rather than multiple choice. A decision to add more items of this type was made because open questions can be more useful for understanding the participants’ perceptions and attitudes to a certain topic (Harrison, Cupman, Hague, & Truman, 2016). As a result, the information obtained from open-ended questions could thus be used to analyze decisions regarding donating to Family Hui Hawaii in greater depth and create a plan for attracting more donors.
There were three separate groups of questions involved in this survey. First of all, the survey evaluated the participants’ attitudes to the organization as a way of understanding whether or not it influences their decision to donate. For instance, one of the first questions asked the participants if they had heard about the organization before. If not, participants were redirected to a page with basic information about the charity and then asked if they would consider donating. These questions were instrumental for the study because they tested the relationship between individual attitudes and intentions of becoming a donor.
Secondly, the survey also included questions about the participants’ demographic characteristics, including age and household income. This information was addressed because it has a significant influence on a person’s decision to donate. For example, a person who has a very low household income is less likely to give than a person whose income is medium to high. Lastly, the survey also enabled participants to share their thoughts on various organizational characteristics of Family Hui Hawaii, such as their communication strategy and impact on the community. Questions in this section were mostly open-ended, thus enabling responders to share their thoughts without restrictions. The items included in this section were crucial to the study for two different reasons. On the one hand, they provided some insight into the perspective of potential donors within the organization. On the other hand, they assessed the effectiveness of specific communication and marketing practices used by Family Hui Hawaii, thus complementing the research findings.
Due to differences in questions and the target audience, the two surveys generated varied responses. The client survey was completed by 36 individual participants, whereas the donor survey only received 11 responses. Although some answers were incomplete, the study allowed us to gather valuable information about attitudes to the organization, awareness level, demographics, and marketing needs. Testimonials gathered from existing participants were also analyzed to produce results.
Client Survey Results
The client survey was sent to 100 participants and received 37 responses, making the response rate 37%. On the whole, the vast majority of responders were Asian, female, single, under 24, and with one child under five years of age (Table 1). Among the under 24 age group, 80% of the respondents were under 18. As a result, the mode education and income levels were low, showing an apparent lack of financial resources and social security required to raise a child (Table 2). This means that women who participate or are interested in joining a Hui are usually from a low socioeconomic background, and it is crucial to address this fact as part of the organization’s marketing strategy.
|Demographics||Category||% of Respondents|
|Married/Civil union/ Domestic Partnership||15.80%|
|Separated or Divorced||15.80%|
|65 and above||6.30%|
|Children Under 5||0-2||56.25%|
|6 or more||6.25%|
|Children older than 5||6.25%|
Table 1. Demographic characteristics.
|Item||Category||% of Respondents|
|Education||Less than high school||29.40%|
|High school diploma/GED||5.90%|
|Household Income||Less than $20,000||47.10%|
|$20,000 – $39,999||11.80%|
|$40,000 – $59,999||17.70%|
|$60,000 – $99,999||23.60%|
|Native American/Alaska Native||16.70%|
|Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander||5.60%|
Table 2. Socioeconomic characteristics.
With regards to interest and participation, the survey showed that most of the respondents participated in either one or three Hui programs (Table 3). The vast majority of survey participants were also interested in joining another Hui, which allows suggesting that the program was helpful for them (Table 4).
|# of Huis Respondent Participated in||% of Respondents|
Table 3. Participation in Hui programs.
|Interest in Participating in Another Hui||% of Respondents|
Table 4. Intention to participate.
Assessing the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of the participants who provided certain responses could also assist in improving the current marketing strategy. According to survey results, people who participated in three or four Hui programs were mostly single, aged under 19, with low household income and low educational attainment (Table 5). As can be seen in Tables 6 and 7, most people who showed interest in participating in another Hui shared these demographic characteristics. This means that Hui programs are particularly popular among parents who lack the knowledge and resources to raise a child on their own, which should be taken into account in the future.
|Group||Characteristic||Percentage of respondents|
|Participated in 3 Hui programs||Single||50%|
|Age under 18||60%|
|Income less than $20,000||50%|
|Education less than high school||50%|
|Participated in 4 Hui programs||Single||100%|
|Age under 18||–|
|Income less than $20,000||–|
|Education less than high school||100%|
Table 5. Demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of respondents who participated in 3 or 4 Hui programs.
|Item||Answer||Interest to Participate in another Hui|
|Marital Status||Single||50 %||16.67%|
|Married or in a civil union/ domestic partnership||16.67%||–|
|Separated or divorced||16.67%||–|
|Age||Under 24||80 %||–|
|65 and above||–||–|
|Number of Children Under 5||0-2||80 %||–|
|6 or more||–||–|
|Children older than 5||–||–|
Table 6. Demographic characteristics of people who were interested in participating in another Hui
|Item||Answer||Interest to Participate in another Hui|
|Education||Less than high school||50%||16.67%|
|High school diploma/GED||–||–|
|Household Income||Less than $20,000||50%||–|
|$20,000 – $39,999||–||–|
|$40,000 – $59,999||16.67%||–|
|$60,000 – $909999||16.67%||16.67%|
|Native American/ Alaska Native||20%||–|
|Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander||–||–|
Table 7. Socioeconomic characteristics of people who were interested in participating in another Hui.
Additionally, the survey suggests that people’s interest in the program could be linked to people’s awareness about its requirements. The survey indicated that people generally have poor knowledge of the program’s requirements. Even out of those interested in future participation, 57.14% were not aware that a Hui program required a trained group leader in the neighborhood. Only half of the respondents were aware that the training was brief and only included one two-hour casual training session. Interest in future participation was clearly linked to the participant’s satisfaction with the program. The highest percentage of interested respondents indicated that they were satisfied with their previous Hui program. As can be seen in Table 8, more than half of respondents who were interested in future participation were either satisfied or extremely satisfied with the program, and almost 15% of respondents who were interested in participating in another Hui are dissatisfied with the program.
|Item||Answer||Interest to Participate in another Hui|
|People who know that the Hui program required a trained Group leader||Yes||28.57%||–|
|People who know that group leader training is two-hour causal session||Yes||50%||–|
Table 8. Interest and satisfaction of people who were interested in participating in another Hui
However, the overall satisfaction rates identified by the survey were mediocre. Only 38% of respondents stated that they were either satisfied or extremely satisfied with the program and its outcomes (Figure 1). Most participants remained neutral, with 44% of answers in this category. With the average satisfaction level at 3.2, this shows that Hui programs are not equally helpful to all persons. For the organization, this means that more attention should be given to each family to enable them to benefit from the program. From the marketing viewpoint, this also means that the overall satisfaction is high enough to capitalize on it as part of marketing efforts. For instance, sharing success stories on social media should be considered as a possible marketing strategy.
Based on survey results, it is also possible to evaluate whether or not demographic characteristics had some influence on satisfaction levels. When considering marital status, three out of nine single parents were satisfied with the program, one was extremely dissatisfied, and five stayed neutral. Married parents were either satisfied or neutral, and separated parents were either extremely satisfied or extremely dissatisfied (Table 9). Age also seemed to contribute to satisfaction rates, with people aged 25-44 being either satisfied with or neutral to their experience. Table 10 also explores the link between satisfaction and socioeconomic characteristics. The analysis shows that the highest satisfaction rates were evident in Black populations with low educational attainment levels and income. The results suggest that these groups of people benefit the most from Hui programs. While this might help to attract future participants, it would be beneficial for Family Hui Hawaii to improve its programs so that they would be useful for all participants.
|Extremely satisfied||Satisfied||Neutral||Dissatisfied||Extremely dissatisfied|
|Married/Civil union/ Domestic Partnership||–||7.69%||7.69%||–||–|
|Separated or Divorced||7.69%||–||–||–||7.69%|
|65 and above||–||–||–||–||–|
|Children Under 5||0-2||–||–||–||–||8.33%|
|6 or more||–||8.33%||16.67%||–||–|
|Children older than 5||–||8.33%||–||–||–|
Table 9. Demographic characteristics and satisfaction.
|Extremely satisfied||Satisfied||Neutral||Dissatisfied||Extremely dissatisfied|
|Education||Less than high school||–||18.18%||18.18%||–||–|
|High school diploma/GED||–||–||9.09%||–||–|
|Household Income||Less than $20,000||–||23.08%||23.08%||–||7.69%|
|$20,000 – $39,999||–||–||15.38%||–||–|
|$40,000 – $59,999||7.69%||–||–||–||7.69%|
|$60,000 – $909999||–||7.69%||7.69%||–||–|
|Native American/Alaska Native||–||–||–||–||–|
|Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander||–||–||8.33%||–||8.33%|
Table 10. Socioeconomic characteristics and satisfaction.
Open questions about the strengths and areas which need improvement of Hui programs also provided some valuable insights into the case. Among the key strengths, the participants listed the opportunity to make friends, good intentions behind the program, increased social support, and approachable staff. However, the respondents also complained about understaffing, inadequate publicity, and a confusing registration process. Out of 7 participants who expressed interest in joining another Hui, 2 respondents, or 28.6%, provided feedback on the programs’ strengths and areas for improvement. One respondent stated that the key strength of the program is the staff and suggested that more staff were needed. The other respondent stated that friendships formed during the program were the primary area of strength, whereas the registration process could be improved.
Lastly, the factors influencing client participation in the program were also noted in the results. As can be seen in Figure 2, most respondents were encouraged to join by their friends and family members. While word-of-mouth advertising can be beneficial in this case, the fact that only one respondent joined the program after seeing an ad suggests that the current marketing strategy used by Family Hui Hawaii is mostly ineffective. Another critical point found as part of the survey was that participants had poor awareness of the program and its requirements. Only 48% of respondents were aware that a Hui program required a trained Group leader, and even less (30%) knew that the training was a two-hour casual session. Given that the primary client population is single, low-income mothers, perceptions about the difficulty of starting a Hui program could be a significant factor impacting decisions about participation.
Donor Survey Results
The donor survey was also sent to 100 potential participants and returned 11 answers, which means that the response rate was 11%. Additionally, most of the participants’ answers were incomplete, which impacted the reliability of this data. However, there were still some essential findings collected from the survey. First of all, it was found that over half of respondents donated to Family Hui Hawaii in the past, and the vast majority of them would consider donating in the future (Table 11). This shows that there is a generally positive outlook for the organization with regard to donations.
|Item||Answer||% of respondents|
|Have you ever donated to Family Hui Hawaii?||Yes||55.6%|
|Would you consider donating to Family Hui Hawaii in the future, whether through financial contributions, in-kind services, or volunteering your time?||Yes, I definitely would consider||42.9%|
|Might or might not||42.9%|
|No, I definitely would not consider||14.3%|
Table 11. Past and prospective contributions.
Secondly, the survey helped to evaluate potential donors’ perceptions of the organization’s impact. As seen in Table 12, the model answer was that the organization has some impact on the community and that only a few people think that Family Hui Hawaii is a significant project. This is a critical factor that could affect people’s determination to contribute to the charity because a person willing to donate would most likely choose an organization that they consider influential. The results of the survey mean that the marketing strategy for attracting donors needs to highlight the positive effect of Family Hui Hawaii on the community. Additionally, only one of the participants stated that they received communication from Family Hui Hawaii with information about its services and ways to donate. This suggests that the communication strategy used by the organization is insufficient to raise awareness in the local community.
|Answer||% of Respondents|
|No impact at all||–|
|Not much of an impact||–|
Table 12. Participants’ perception of the impact of Family Hui Hawaii on the community.
Thirdly, the thoughts shared by participants regarding increasing people’s motivation to donate to Family Hui Hawaii were also important. There were three separate responses in this category, which identified that guilt, increased awareness, and social media coverage could help Family Hui Hawaii to attract more donations. These findings need to be considered when planning a new marketing strategy.
In order to give more meaningful details on survey responses, it is essential to compare people’s answers across different questions in both surveys. For example, 20% of past program members who were also interested in participating in another Hui confirmed that they would like to donate in the future. However, there were no participants who did not show any interest in participating in the future but still wanted to donate. This is probably because only a small number of Hui participants also took the donor survey. The survey did not include a question clarifying the participants’ reasons for donating or refusing to donate, and thus it is not possible to understand the critical factors influencing donation decisions.
As part of the project, testimonials from existing members of Hui programs were collected to explore the participants’ thoughts and experiences in greater depth. Coding was applied to the participants’ responses to uncover some common themes and issues shared. The first critical theme that was highlighted in most testimonials is that Hui programs provided parents with increased social support. Most participants noted that they were able to bond with other parents in the group and develop friendships over time, thus receiving more support overall. They also found the meetings enjoyable and child-friendly, which means that they contributed to the socialization of both parents and children.
Another common theme that arose in the testimonials was the information resources provided by group leaders and other parents. Some of the comments were “I have gained so many great parenting ideas and resources from my Hui,” “Family Hui has provided an outlet for me to […] get great guidance from other moms and from the curriculum provided in the notebooks,” and “[The Hui program] has helped me to learn more about motherhood through the sharing of experiences and opinions.” Many participants believed that the Hui program is particularly great for new parents due to the information and resources that it provides. This is important because it allows narrowing down the target market for Family Hui Hawaii’s services and develops a more focused marketing strategy.
The participants’ testimonies were from diverse counties in Hawaii. The table below shows the locations of participants who gave testimonies about how Family HUI has impacted their lives. The participants’ testimonies were also from people of different backgrounds who faced parenting challenges. Interestingly, the participants were all female. A total of 86 individual testimonies from family HUI participants were analyzed.
The two most common themes in the testimonials were education and peer support. Firstly, 44 participants stated that they have gained more knowledge and developed their parenting skills as a result of the program. Given that over half of the testimonies included this theme, it is evident that the program has a positive impact on people who struggle with parenting or lack experience in this area. Secondly, a total of 63 participants expressed getting support, whether from peers or group leaders, and explained that this support was useful in overcoming the challenges of parenting. These results are also positive because they mean that Family Hui Hawaii’s services are particularly relevant for parents with low levels of social support because the programs help to meet other parents, socialize, and receive advice when needed.
|Location||% of the participants|
Table 13. The geographic location of participants who provided testimonials.
Lastly, some respondents also shared the program’s areas that need improvement, thus contributing to the discussion. For example, one mother stated, “I don’t feel like the group bonded deeply from the beginning, and our leader felt more like a teacher than a peer, which seemed to bring a weird dynamic to the group.” While this opinion was not reflected in other testimonials, it shows that the participants’ satisfaction with the Hui program and its outcomes depend a lot on the Group leader. Thus, the organization should enhance its training for new leaders to ensure that every parent can benefit from the program.
Based on the results of surveys and the testimonials collected from the participants, there are several important recommendations for Family Hui Hawaii with regards to marketing and future growth. The most pressing concern at the moment is the low awareness about the organization, its services, and programs in the local community. The communication strategy that is currently used by Family Hui Hawaii is ineffective in improving people’s knowledge of Hui programs and thus creates barriers for donor attraction. To enhance communication with prospective donors, the organization needs to create a communication plan that would involve donor search strategies, a list of existing or potential donors, and mailing content and frequency (Pagnoni & Solomon, 2014). For example, since a significant share of potential donors highlighted in the survey have high education and income, it would be useful to focus on this segment of the population as part of the donor communication plan. This would help to establish lasting relationships with donors and attract more funding, thus solving issues related to understaffing and the lack of resources.
Another solution to the low awareness about Family Hui Hawaii is social media marketing. This would be a particularly useful strategy to target potential participants aged 18 and under because online marketing is more effective for this group than traditional marketing. As indicated in the literature review, social media marketing is a cost-effective method that could attract more clients and donors (Williams, 2015). To implement social media marketing successfully, the organization should choose two or three platforms (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) and use them to share information about programs, services, and benefits provided to the community. One key consideration here is creating value for stakeholders, which means that most posts should show the real impact that Family Hui Hawaii has on the community (Pagnoni & Solomon, 2014). For example, posting testimonials obtained from program participants or sharing information about the issues related to child welfare in the community could draw people’s attention to the organization, encouraging them to participate or contribute.
Capacity building is also an essential solution for Family Hui Hawaii, as the organization will be required to perform market research and communication planning independently in the future. According to Chandler and Kennedy (2015), nonprofit organizations can build their capacity in most business areas through networking and technology use. Therefore, the organization should be encouraged to communicate with similar programs in other regions of countries to share knowledge and experience while also performing research on new developments in nonprofit marketing and related topics. Implementing these strategies would allow Family Hui Hawaii to expand its capacity in marketing, thus attracting more clients and donors.
All in all, the issues experienced by Family Hui Hawaii are mainly due to the organization’s approach to marketing. The research shows that the awareness about Family Hui Hawaii and its services is rather low, and thus the organization is in dire need of a strong marketing strategy, which this year we were able to see getting better. In particular, marketing efforts should be focused on creating value for stakeholders by showing the need for Family Hui Hawaii’s services and the benefits provided by Hui programs. Social media marketing and content marketing can help the organization to create value, thus attracting more participants and resources. However, the organization would also need to build capacity in the field of marketing in order to be able to make changes to the plan over time. Networking with other nonprofit organizations working in the area of child welfare and performing research on nonprofit marketing and communications would assist Family Hui Hawaii in capacity building, thus providing a foundation for long-term success.
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