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Case Study: Turn challenges into opportunities with a marketing plan

Third Sector Magazine is a quarterly publication designed for not-for-profit organisations. The February edition featured content relevant to marketing and communications and we included our recent case study on the rebranding of Wimmera Volunteers into Volunteering Western Victoria.

Syneka Marketing explains how it helped Wimmera Volunteers to identify new opportunities by developing a marketing plan that better positioned the organisation as a regional peak body.

Successful marketing begins with finding the right strategy. A marketing plan sets your organisation up for ongoing success by considering the context of the organisation, identifying goals and suggesting actions to achieve these outcomes.

The former logo of Wimmera Volunteers

The former logo and identity of Wimmera Volunteers

Case Study: Wimmera Volunteers

Wimmera Volunteers is a volunteer resource centre that works with other organisations to promote and recruit volunteers, creating opportunities and social inclusion. Wimmera Volunteers also offers transport services, including programs for learner drivers and mobility for older residents, promoting social inclusion across a diverse region.

The problem

The organisation was at the crossroads. The Federal Government was proposing significant funding changes, which was making the future of volunteer resource centres uncertain.

The organisation aimed to service the entire Wimmera region but its services were heavily concentrated within the town of Horsham and its slogan of ‘helping communities help themselves’ was seen as patronising despite its good intent.

The opportunity

Wimmera Volunteers was rebranded into Volunteering Western Victoria, supported by the tagline Empowering Communities, Supporting Volunteers

Wimmera Volunteers was rebranded into Volunteering Western Victoria, supported by the tagline Empowering Communities, Supporting Volunteers

Rather than cave to challenges, Wimmera Volunteers commissioned Syneka Marketing to work with board members, staff, volunteers and other stakeholders to develop a marketing plan that reflected the needs of the organisation.

One new opportunity related to the region’s distance from Melbourne. Many of the organisations serviced by Wimmera Volunteers indicated that they wanted professional development but were unable to devote the time required for travelling or lacked the resources to deliver their own internal training.

It was important to align the marketing plan with the Government’s national volunteering strategy and ensure that Wimmera Volunteers could demonstrate the ability to implement the priorities outlined by the Federal Government.

There was also the need to better connect across the Wimmera and Mallee regions and to foster relationships with the business community.

The marketing plan identified the need to rebrand Wimmera Volunteers to better position the organisation as a regional peak body and to reflect its commitment across a diverse region. Rebranding workshops identified that Wimmera Volunteers wanted a new name that was functional and retained its commitment to volunteering.

Outcomes

Syneka Marketing successfully rebranded Wimmera Volunteers in just six weeks, coordinating new style guides, logos, design templates, websites and social media. The new brand was successfully unveiled at the organisation’s annual general meeting, resulting in strong attendance from stakeholders and the wider community.

The new name, Volunteering Western Victoria, enabled the organisation to develop comprehensive membership packages, including training and mentoring to other organisations. In addition, the organisation is no longer bound by geography and is able to work with a number of councils and organisations within the Wimmera and Mallee regions.

The new tagline ‘Empowering Communities, Supporting Volunteers’ identifies the purpose of Volunteering Western Victoria through a positive and forward-looking statement, reinforcing its role within communities and encouraging volunteering.

The organisation is now positioned to become a regional peak body, complementing its traditional services with new offerings. In addition, the new name enables Volunteering Western Victoria to implement further actions from the marketing plan, including regional offices, workplace volunteering and the development of comprehensive community advocacy and training services.

Many sectors are experiencing uncertainty over government funding and a marketing plan can provide the vision and actions required to turn these challenges into opportunities.

Third Sector Magazine is released on a quarterly basis. Our article can be seen at www.thirdsectormagazine.com.au.

Alex Makin

Author Alex Makin

In a career spanning over fifteen years, Alex has been instrumental in transforming, reinvigorating and growing the capacity of businesses and not-for-profit organisations. He is a visionary who understands the big picture. Alex's expertise is a Certified Practising Marketer and as Chair of the Victorian State Council of the Australian Marketing Institute. Alex is also an accomplished speaker, author and mentor and former Mayor and Councillor for the City of Maroondah.

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