The broader areas of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) serve as the foundation of client relationship management and analysis (Ravanas, 2007).
There is the second weakness of also concentrating on the corporate donors as a largely homogeneous group. This can be seen in the approaches defined in the Club's annual report. The tailoring of individualized strategies can maximize the experiences of donors so they have a higher level of ownership in the causes they are investing in (Polonsky, Sargeant, 2007). Concentrating more on how to transform the corporate donors' investments into experiences not only for them but the clubs they adopt will further support a more relationship-based series of marketing strategies. The greatest threat to the existing series of donor strategies is that they may eventually become more transactional in scope and donors may decide to either cut back on the level of giving or quit giving altogether due to economic conditions. To overcome this potential risk, the club must concentrate first on client relationship management strategies that are much more finely tuned in the donor community first. Second, the tailoring of specific programs for each of the corporate donors is critical for the growth of donations to occur. At 16% of total revenues contributed, this is by far the most important segment and one that deserves a much more focused strategy overall. The need for creating a Partner Intranet for this segment and making it highly relevant through the continual posting of new content is also critical. The club needs to continually seek new ways to keep this, their most lucrative segment of donors, as actively engaged with the organization as possible, giving them many opportunities to see how their contributions make a difference.
The second major strategy of attracting new members and retaining existing ones is more complex than the organization at times plans for. Given the fact that the majority of the children at the club's locations are from single-parent homes (56%) there is the need for earning the trust of the single parent and giving them the opportunity to see the clubs as a trusted advisor to the raising of their children (Barczak, Kahn, Moss, 2006). For those parents from other nations with cultural and language barriers, this is a significant leap of faith for them. The club to this point does not provide multilingual assistance to the level they need to in order to recruit these children. Second, there is little in the way of multicultural examples in their success stories campaign today. There are few Hispanics shown in the Be Great Campaign today for example. What the club must do in this second area of marketing management is pursue being a trusted resource for parenting insights and cultural assimilation. Many of the families who are reduced to a signal parent are also immigrants and have cultural challenges in adapting to the U.S. The club today does not actively provide a strategy of multilingualism or serve as the sociological "landing zone" for these individuals either. In short, the club could do much more as part of their outreach into ethnically and culturally diverse communities through more effective marketing. Starting with more of an emphasis on Hispanics in the Be Great Program and going further with minorities, the club could be significantly more effective in this area. It is a significant shortcoming of its strategies today and they are leaving many members underserved due to this lack of multiculturalism.
Marketing strategies for members also have been slow to adopt social networking (Bernoff, Li, 2008). Today the club has Facebook, MySpace and Twitter accounts yet is not doing nearly enough to educate its members about how to use the Internet safely (Mayer, 2003). This is a major gap that other nonprofits have made a main part of their crusade, including the Boy Scouts of America and the YMCA. The fact that the club has yet to make technology education a centerpiece of their programs is a shortcoming of their marketing strategies and also a weakness of their new service development process. The new service development process within nonprofits is the catalyst of future loyalty for its members (Barczak, Kahn, Moss, 2006). There are many project-based extensions that the club participates in. Its services and product development strategy is one of services extensions, comparable to companies who extend the life of their products only with slight differentiation. For the club to significantly grow the new service development processes today must be fundamentally re-designed to reflect the rapid changes in its member base. Take for example the complex problems single mothers face with regard to getting their children the right immunizations, check-ups, dental and medical care? The club is missing a major opportunity to concentrate on these unmet needs and build alliances with major medical providers to bring greater health to its members. This also solves the earlier problem of the donors only being involved to a specific point.
Moving towards a partnership-based strategy would also give the club greater potential corporate donors as well. The partnerships and alliances possible to enrich the club experience for members are so significant that it could earn the club the role of trusted advisor in many members' families. The offering of flu shots, H1N1 if necessary, and preventative healthcare through partnerships with healthcare providers would further enhance and strengthen the clubs' brand with families as well. For additional members to loin the club needs to focus on these more complex and challenging areas. Only by going after these areas that require entirely new services will the club be able to continually grow.
One of the most innovative marketing strategies that the club is missing today is the teaching of Internet skills within the centers. Their members are from families who cannot afford Internet access in many cases. There is also the threat of being isolated from learning opportunities due to a lack of understanding how the Internet functions. By partnering with Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, IBM and others, the company could easily gain the sponsorship base to put Internet labs and libraries in each of the centers. The digital divide that exists in the U.S. can be seen drastically across single-parent families and those that are living at or just above the poverty line (Fryer, Granger, 2008). The fact that the club has yet to attack this problem nationwide and use its centers as the basis of teaching is a major marketing opportunity that has yet to be addressed.
In conclusion there are many areas for improvement for the Boys and Girls Club. The base of donors including the highly valuable corporate accounts has been managed to transactions instead of relationships. The use of client relationship-based processes and the accentuation on experiences as part of any marketing strategy will be significantly more effective than merely using standardized processes to attempt to get more money for programs. Second, the use of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems for managing the donor-by-donor personalization of strategies will also be a significant improvement overall. In conjunction with this approach to managing donor strategies the club also needs to use analytics in conjunction with their CRM system to better monitor and manage these relationships as well. Building out dashboards and the use of analytics will be a significant improvement overall. Finally the partnership strategies are not as effective as they potentially could be as well. Instead of just relying on partners for the fundamental resources needed to run centers and the main offices, partnerships need to be reoriented towards the development of medical programs so that immunizations single parents may not be able to afford will be available through the club. In conjunction with this strategy is the need for creating partnerships that will give the club the potential to be catalysts of online and Internet learning as well. As it has been shown that the major9ity of children whose families are at or below the poverty line do not know how to use the Internet and therefore struggle in their educations, creating learning labs would further differentiate the clubs nationally. This would also attract new members and move the club closer towards being trusted advisors to the families whose children need this assistance.
Recommendations for Improvement
Based on an assessment of the marketing strategies the Boys and Girls Clubs are using today, this section presents recommendations for improvement. First and most significantly, the donor strategies are more transaction-based than relationship oriented. The processes for managing donors need to be reoriented to focus on experiences first (Polonsky, Sargeant, 2007). Once these process-based changes occurs, the use of CRM systems to better manage the relationships and the specific needs of donors can be used to more involve them and also better quantify to them their contributions (Ravanas, 2007). At present the club does not use electronic approaches to automating the interactions with corporate donors to the extent they could. Recommendations for making this more of an effective part of the donor…