Why this paper is being presented: To gain approval for an increment in social media marketing to attract new financiers and make the business known to other people. The proposal suggests that Starlight Children’s Foundation uses its social media pages, such as Facebook and Twitter accounts, to market its activities to millennials who increased their activities on these platforms during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Background to this paper: This paper is based on research about the effects of COVID-19 on Starlight Children’s Foundation, which reduced the amount of spending and the number of children the organization visited due to financial and government rules constraints.
Discussion: The initiative is meant to bring light to the organization about new social marketing strategies that it may employ in its operations to promote the number of donors available and to uplift the relationship between it and other stakeholders like the government, the hospitals, and children through well-articulated visits. The case reviews the importance of embracing the social media marketing structure for Starlight Children’s Foundation. The research and findings show that the organization would attract millennials and increase their capital. This review is critical for the organization’s recuperation from the side effects of COVID-19 once embraced by the organization.
Appendix A: Business Case for a new social marketing program: [Social Media Marketing Strategy for Starlight Children’s Foundation]
Prepared by: [Author, Marketing Strategist, 10.04.2022]
Starlight Children’s Foundation is an organization whose main goal is to maintain happiness in the lives of children undergoing traumatizing health conditions in hospitals. The organization focuses on making children enjoy their stay in the hospital and helps them forget the array of traumatizing effects. The organization requests financial support from the public and ensures that it achieves its objectives. Starlight Children’s Foundation provides gaming, hospital gowns, and virtual realities for the organization. The organization should also employ strategic planning to ensure that it manages its duties appropriately. The report below analyses all the plans that the organization may employ in its operations to minimize costs since it is a not-for-profit organization.
Helping needy children at hospitals creates good memories for them. Starlight Children’s Foundation is an organization that keeps smiles on children’s faces by providing them with hospital wear, video games, and deliveries to help them shift focus and aid them in going through the pain and stress. Starlight Children’s Foundation’s mission is to deliver happiness to seriously ill children, while its vision is to ensure that everyone experiences joy in their childhood since happiness matters. The main stakeholders are the donors, the hospitals, financial partners, and sick children. The donors provide funds, whereas the hospital treats the children. This case helps identify the most suitable social marketing program that the organization may use to make a social impact in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The theory of change explains why and how changes in an organization will occur by providing a plan on how the management should conduct the activities to hasten the changes effectively. The case proposes the social marketing program that Starlight Children’s Foundation may employ to make a social impact in light of the COVID-19 pandemic (Ashford, 2019). The COVID-19 pandemic significantly contributed to many organizations’ failures due to the many changes that have taken place to restrict movement within specific geographics. Starlight Children’s Foundation has not been an exception since its scheduling of frequent hospital visits has altered due to the policies to contain the spread of the virus. The main social issue that needs to be addressed is the government’s restriction of movement interaction among crowds, thus demanding better strategies to ensure the organization’s continuity. Since its initiation into law, the organization has faced challenges in delivering these gaming equipment and hospital wear.
Easy access to the internet and having most of the targeted donors proactively on the social media platforms are some of the assumptions made in this report. The proposal assumes that in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people under lockdown were forced to rely on social media platforms for entertainment and information access (Fairlie and Frank, 2021). The organizational management may initiate the proposed social marketing programs by recruiting new online advertisement experts that will help the organization run robust online campaigns to seek donors. The online team must be skilled in promoting the business and carrying out most transactions virtually.
The social marketing plan comprises nine significant stages, from creation to implementation and evaluation. The initial step is identifying the goals of the organization. The objectives of Starlight Children’s Foundation are improving the happiness of critically ill children and helping them to go through hard times without becoming stressed. The organization then evaluates its previous marketing plans by conducting audits. The third step is analyzing the research and identifying the target audience, the children in this case. It then determines the budget after studying the target audience and its size. The budget planned determines the amount of spending that the organization applies and helps eliminate some of the activities that are not necessary. It enables the business to restructure and redirect funds from actions that the COVID-19 pandemic terminated, such as regular hospital visits (Han, Yao, Jun, Canging, Mingze, and Liming, 2020). Developing a marketing strategy comes after budgeting since there is a clear direction of the activities that need to happen. The marketing strategies help the organization attract financiers through donations and effectively plan how they may attain the targeted amount in the budget.
After identifying the appropriate strategies for collecting the funds and conducting the organization’s schedule, the organization implements its plans by purchasing and creating the products and sending them to the children’s hospitals. The implementation should be in the period the management had proposed before. Perfect timing builds trust between the administration and its financiers since donors expect the group to be accurate in every aspect. The implementation process involves reaching out to the children and gifting them with the materials provided. The final stage is evaluating the entire process from the initiation to the implementation. The evaluation identifies the business’s areas effectively and those that the organization does not achieve fully. It lays the foundation for the next period’s planning since it provides options for the business.
The organization’s strategy to propagate its agendas is the social media marketing strategy. Many people began focusing on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, among others, to gain information about the COVID-19 pandemic and for entertainment since there was a restriction on movements and social gatherings for recreation and tourism. Other companies that are potential sponsors also opted for social media to perform their duties (de la Hera and Camila, 2021). Social media is the most promising avenue to relay information concerning the organization, its motives, and the attraction of willing financiers to channel their support into the organization. According to the Starlight Children’s Foundation’s website, a single dollar may provide one hour of virtual reality. Similarly, one dollar may also offer an hour of gaming for a seriously ill child, while $35 may purchase a comfy and colorful gown for a child. The best tactic the business may use is regular postings on social media platforms of their images supporting the children and writing messages on their walls to request financial support through donations from the general public.
The 4 Ps of marketing are pricing, positioning, place, and promotion. Starlight Children’s Foundation has positioned itself as a reliable organization to deliver items that change the seriously ill children’s hospital experiences, thus creating a solid social, and ethical image (Kareh, 2018). Proper market positioning attracts and influences many financiers to join the foundation and sponsor its budgeting. The pricing for their products is free since it is a charity organization that seeks to make children happy when sick. The foundation does not intend to profit from its participation in providing entertainment and clothing for the children. The Starlight Children’s Foundation offers its services across the United Kingdom (Gulyurtlun Naomi and Imogen, 2020). Geographical positioning is the place factor and helps the business access the hospitals effectively without excessive formalities since it is registered in the same geographical area. The organization observes the 4 Ps and should focus on improving its concentration on promotion by employing strategies that reach many millennials interested in doing charity work. The organization will achieve its goals and objectives of making seriously ill children smile.
Strategic and competitive benefits
The business faces much competition from similarly oriented firms that help children under circumstances of critical illnesses. Make A Wish is a competing firm that fulfills the wishes of children between the ages of 2⅟2 years 18 years. Make A Wish follows a specific guideline in proposing a new target audience. Though its main target is sick children that can effectively communicate their wishes, there are particular protocols that they have to follow when reaching out to these children. Most of the wishes granted are always based on what the children wish to do and what they want. The foundation liaises with the parents, the doctors, and other parties like celebrities to grant the children’s wishes. Another competitor is the Sunshine Foundation, which focuses on fulfilling the dreams of three to eighteen-year-old children whose parents cannot help them achieve due to financial or knowledge constraints. If the parents can provide for these dreams, their children do not qualify to fit for help from Sunshine Foundation. These competitors are found globally hence competing with Starlight Children’s Foundation.
The competition between these organizations is intense since the target audience and the financial sponsors requested are similar. However, the new targeting of public sponsorship through social media platforms creates opportunities for Starlight Children’s Foundation to gain support from unique financiers from the public (White, 2020). Associating with the public is one form of the competitive advantage that the business accumulates. Raising money from independent donors gives the organization a different outlook since most donors offer their help at their capabilities. It also gathers many donations since it does not have minimum or maximum contributions. Approaching the public attracts more finances in the form of grants. The organization gains many finances that fund its projects fully. Financiers can select the amount they wish to offer to the companies. The business thus has a large capital base for its operations.
Additionally, the business gains a higher financial power since it gathers its funds from many people. Starlight Children’s Foundation borrows donations from the general public through media platforms such as its websites. The extension of the borrowing to other social media platforms as their strategy attracts more donors. It creates an excellent opportunity for many people to give back to society by helping the not-for-profit organization make more children suffering from illnesses happy. Participation and interaction with the public create a strong relationship between the partners and create responsibility. The organization becomes more organized and responsible in its spending since they are liable to the public. The association also promotes the organizations positioning in society (Gostin and Lindsay, 2020). Product positioning has a long-term effect on the business since it becomes influential depending on how well its image is to the public. The better the brand image, the more the funding; hence the more the business attains its objectives and goals. The product image thus gives the company a more competitive advantage since it attracts more investors to join the foundation.
Managing the finances available also promotes the business and gives it a competitive advantage over rivals. Proper management involves insourcing the products that the company finds easier to produce internally. It reduces the cost that the business may use in outsourcing since it eliminates the extra prices the outsourcer adds to make profits. The competitive advantage comes when the industry produces more products than purchased with the money saved. Competitive advantage is essential for the business since it builds the product image and positions it as a better brand that meets its objectives by managing resources to reach out to more children (Pratt and Joan, 2019). The firm identifies its strongholds and acknowledges the areas it needs to put more effort into to increase its donations. Starlight Children’s Foundation also expects an expansion in its management skills since it is responsible to the public in case of any misappropriation.
Finance management is critical for all businesses since it determines the appropriation of funds to different stages of production and other departments. Financial reports indicate the revenue a company makes and how it obtains the funds to run its operations. The financial reporting also shows the money businesses use for various activities (Qi, Emmanuel, Binxig, and Shichang, 2018). The distribution of money among the departments indicates whether there are profits or losses. In general, the accounts suggest whether the industry supersedes the break-even point. The break-even point is when the business makes as much money in revenues as it spends on running its activities.
The financial report for Starlight Children’s Foundation indicates that the business generated a revenue of $8,930,725. The revenue was generated from financing by donors, fundraising, and the previous year’s retention of unused money and program delivery. The program delivery provided $ 6,352445 while fundraising and management general provided $1,294, 725, and 128, 849 respectively. Conversely, the spending were distributed as follows deliveries $3, 128, 404, mission delivery $ 1, 689, 857, Hospital wear $834, 731, virtual reality $538, 322, gaming $143, 397 and spaces $16, 732. These transactions occurred in the financial year 2019 and were reported by the auditor in 2020. The financial report also indicates that the money attained as revenue got used in providing the intended services fully since the organization is not for profit and all of its transactions are meant to consume the money fully (Huang, Angela, Kimin, and Kim-pong, 2022). The company’s main financiers were the management, public sources, and fundraisings from the society. The business used the money to provide gaming, virtual reality, and hospital wear for seriously ill children in hospitals within the United Kingdom.
Financial analysis indicates that the public contributes significantly to promoting the activities by providing financial support to the firm. This financial support by the public is extendable by improving the relationship between the firm and the people. It may enhance the relationship by providing information on social media platforms. The advertisement through social media platforms reaches many millennials attracting them to participate in the donations and commitments to making the children happy. Social media advertising is appropriate in this generation since many people have social media accounts to access such information. The economic growth in 2020 declined due to the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic led to a decline in the number of productions since employees were restrained from workplaces to avoid interacting with other employees and contributing to the virus’ spread. Therefore, the economic activities and production of virtual reality within Starlight Children’s Foundation were reduced by the effects of the pandemic. The donations declined, too, since many prospective donors became unemployed since businesses closed down to control the pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic led to great sabotage of the ordinary business operations of the business. Financial analysis indicates that the organization also reduces the amount of service delivery. The decline in the total number of donators and donations led to a reduced will to continue operations. Additionally, the businesses were prohibited from sending officials to pay courtesy visits to the sick children. The willpower of helping the children gain happiness was reduced since there were fewer revenues as projected. Government constraints affected the relationship between people and the organization leading to reduced interactions among them. The lack of intense connections between donors and the organizations widened the difference in the level of commitment from the previous years. However, despite the influx during the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization identified better strategies to lengthen their contact with their employees, the hospitals, and financiers using the social media marketing strategy. Social media advertisements promote the relationship between all the parties that improve the service delivery to the ill children by creating vital networking and adequate information flow.
Implementation and timelines
Firstly, the impact of the social media marketing strategy is measurable by the use of statistics on the number of donations that people make. The extent to which the information flows from the organization to the donors determines the number of contributions that people make. If the number of donations increases hugely, the advertisement strategy has grown and is influential to many people. The number of people making donations depends on the extent to which the appeal extends. Social media platforms expose the information shared by the organization through its social media pages to a large audience. The advertisements may be in the form of short videos showing the excellent work that the business does to ensure that every child is happy. Social media platforms are thus the best way the company may implement its demand for high support since it is cheap and reaches a broad audience at once. Starlight Children’s Foundation, therefore, should use its social media pages to send its requests for help and measure the extent of its success by analyzing the number of new donations every time they post about its needs.
Secondly, another means for measuring the effectiveness of strategic marketing using social media platforms is by researching the number of requests for visiting sick children. The campaign creates awareness among the population about the organization’s existence in the market, increasing recommendations about suffering children. The inflow for the demand for virtual realities, gaming, and hospital gowns should increase if an organization is more effective in its campaigns. The organization’s efforts toward creating a more understanding environment to generate happiness for the children depend on the number of recommendations that people make for the business. Referrals about which child to visit in the hospital help the organization know its target audience. The number of referrals that the company receives from the public indicates the strategic campaigns that the organization uses. If the process is effective, the public recommends more children for the organization to visit. Therefore, the extent of the organizations’ strategies in running social media advertisements is measurable by determining the number of sick children endorsed by the public after awareness creation about the organization’s existence.
Third, the organization may evaluate its strategy by researching the publicity and positioning in the market. It may conduct surveys to know how well people resonate with it and its objectives. The more familiar people are with the organization, the campaigning strategy is effective. It may use the same information to research how much extra revenue it has gained since embarking the economy on track after the realization of vaccination against the COVID-19 virus. An effective resumption of normal operations shows that the business’s marketing strategy is working and guarantees more success. The rate at which the organization’s revenues and spending after the resumption of the economy in the United Kingdom relays information that it has experienced effective promotion strategies. Organizational success in communication attracts many donors to fund the organization’s plans. By running effective promotional campaigns, the organization gains extra revenue and creates an excellent foundation to run its activities and bring happiness to children.
Every business targets making extra revenue through promotional services such as online marketing. Effective promotions give the organization strong financiers and relay information to all the parties. Social media advertisements help the business reach out to the highest number of financiers and play a critical role in relaying information about children with severe illnesses to the organization’s management. The strategy’s effectiveness relies on its pages number of people it accesses. A business’s design must be sustainable and effective in leading the company in the right direction. Reliable strategic marketing plans should not interfere with the normal development of the organization. They should aim at making the organization meet its objectives and visions within the timelines.
The report studies Starlight Children’s Foundation’s strategy to market its services to the public and the means it may use to promote the number of donors that finance its activities. Starlight Children’s Foundation is an organization whose objective is to provide happiness to children undergoing severe sicknesses. The mission is to ensure that the children enjoy satisfaction since no one is bound to sadness. The organization uses cost control strategies such as insourcing to prevent excessive spending on products they may produce by themselves and promote their competitive advantage against rival organizations such as the Make-A-Wish organization. The organization should embrace social media marketing to promote its operations by attracting more donors and identifying needy children in hospitals. Starlight Children’s Foundation may measure its success in social media marketing by determining the number of new donors after advertising and new referrals within the advertisement period. The organization thus achieves its objectives and goals with the help of competitive advertisements.
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|Organisation name: Starlight Children’s Foundation|
|Program name: Strategic Social Marketing|
|Fiscal year period: 2019/20|
|Proposed program budget|
|Government grants and contracts||0|
|Foundations||$6, 352, 445|
|Corporations||$1, 282, 849|
|Individual contributions/donations||$1, 294, 725|
|Total revenue||$8, 930, 019|
|In-kind revenue – Donations||$1, 294, 725|
|Deliveries||3, 128, 404|
|Mission Deliveries||1, 689, 857|
|Hospital wear||834, 731|
|Virtual Reality||538, 322|
|Total expenses||8, 930, 725|
|In-kind expenses – Donations||$2, 578, 282|
|Revenue over expenses||-706|