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Austin Kids Can! Founder, Donna Raskin: Trusty Oak Client Case Study

February 14, 2018

Donna Raskin is the founder of Austin Kids Can!, a non-profit who's mission is to close the achievement gap for economically disadvantaged children in Austin, Texas. Two years ago, Austin Kids Can! was born from Donna's desire to provide a safe environment for underprivileged kids in Austin to learn, grow and dream. In Fall 2017, they began offering Computer Science & coding programs to students in need living in Austin.

In March 2017, Donna came to Trusty Oak for help with online marketing for Austin Kids Can! as they prepared to launch their after-school programs.

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Learn more about Austin Kids Can! programs, volunteer and donate!

Challenges

Social Media Strategy

When it comes to using social media for business or digital marketing for non-profits, most people understand that it's important to have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, but a large percentage of those same people feel overwhelmed and lost when it comes to knowing where to get started doing that effectively.

  • How often should we post on Facebook?
  • Should we run ads?
  • What kind of content should we be sharing?
  • What kind of visuals get the most attention?

These are all questions common to both businesses and non-profit organizations looking to increase visibility online.

Social Media Management

Even with a well-crafted plan, the work required to write content, create branded images, and actually publish the content on various platforms can be overwhelming for people who aren't familiar with the ever-changing technology they depend on to get their message in front of their audience. Plus, it can require a good bit of time–a rare commodity for many founders.

Email Marketing

Everyone knows that non-profit organizations are dependent upon the generosity of inspired donors to volunteer, give money, and share the mission with others. Creating and sending an email newsletter can be a great way to keep those donors informed on immediate needs and to help them understand how their contributions have already impacted others. Like managing social media, managing an email campaign takes time and expertise that may not come naturally.

Solutions and Impact

Social Media Strategy

Austin Kids Can! has such an incredible mission, and with Donna as their passionate leader at the helm, they are quickly making progress to positively affect as many lives as possible. A key element of their success is brand and purpose awareness, and that's where Trusty Oak comes in. Marketing Strategist and Virtual Assistant, Hannah Lacy, has given several years of service to local non-profit organizations and when presented with the opportunity to help grow the Austin Kids Can! brand, she was both willing and excited to get started.

Hannah first conducted an audit of the Austin Kids Can! online brand to identify strengths and deficiencies. She looked at competitors, the Austin Kids Can! website, and the overall "digital footprint" AKC had already begun to make online and used this information to develop a strategy for future activity of the brand.

It's important to remember that the world of social media will always change, so staying abreast of the latest trends and changes is not just about keeping up with what's "cool." It is oftentimes directly related to the success of a company or non-profit organization.

This is why our marketing virtual assistants are constantly reading, listening, and learning something new – to make sure our clients are not the ones getting left in the dust wondering what just flew past them.

Social Media Management

With goals in mind and a plan in hand, Hannah went to work on content creation. As the founder of Austin Kids Can!, Donna wants to be involved with the message going out to various social media audiencesand this is the very best-case scenario for a successful marketing strategy. No one will say it better than the person who had the vision and ambition to begin in the first place, so working collaboratively to create social media content is extremely important. Hannah continues to support AKC by posting content, creating branded visuals, and sharing other information relevant to the AKC donors, volunteers, parents, and advocates.

Email Marketing

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Don't think for a minute that email marketing is just another necessary evil to add to the list of things "they" say you should be doing online. Email can be incredibly beneficial to businesses and non-profits who make an effort to actually ask for what they need or want. Your email list is worth more than the number of likes you have on Instagram or even the number of times your last blog post was shared. Your email list is a direct line to the people who already have raised their hand and said "I'm interested in what you are doing and saying." (That is assuming you followed the indispensable rule of asking people to opt in to your list!)

Another way we support Austin Kids Can! is by preparing and sending a regular email newsletter to their email list. Not only is letting donors know what is needed to achieve milestones for each semester the best way to see those needs met, it also provides those donors with the satisfaction and joy of knowing how their previous contributions have truly changed a child's life for the better.

Above and Beyond

One of the benefits of working with a Trusty Oak virtual assistant is that the to-do list doesn't have to cap out at whatever you had in mind when you first began. If one of our assistants can do it, we will do it! And if we can't do it ourselves, we can be very resourceful and find a solution. In addition to online marketing, we've also helped AKC by:

  • creating fliers, sign-up and waiver forms, and job descriptions
  • providing administrative support
  • connecting Donna to a talented, easy to communicate with, and affordable web designer and developer
  • connecting Donna to other amazing and caring individuals who have helped advance the mission of Austin Kids Can! in one way or another

Post a question below or schedule your free consultation to see how a Trusty Oak virtual assistant can help you grow your organization.  

About the Author

Amber Gray

Amber Gray is the founder & CEO of Trusty Oak, US-Based Virtual Assistant Services based in Austin, TX.
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