How Mindful Earth* partnered with Prosper Strategies to find their Focus, build their Strategy, raise awareness, deepen engagement and reach more donors.
The client featured in this case study is a wildlife sanctuary nestled in the foothills of the Grand Tetons. Since they are still in the quiet phase of their capital campaign, we are redacting their name for confidentiality, and will instead refer to them as Mindful Earth. The organization approached Prosper Strategies with bold ideas and a significant fundraising goal to support them. With more than 20 years of experience learning intensely from their resident animals, Mindful Earth was ready to expand its mission well beyond a place-based approach. Their aim was to spark a movement to bring people, animals and nature together to reawaken our deep connections to all living beings, and move us to save habitats for wildlife.
With anticipated growth on the horizon, Mindful Earth needed to clarify their message, align their team around the same goals, and understand their donor audiences, so they could reach supporters in new and different ways.
Prosper Strategies used elements of the Nonprofit Impact System™ to help Mindful Earth chart their course. We worked with the organization to establish a reason for being, and align their Mission to their ambitious goals. We also developed messaging that would help them not just reach their donors where they were, but also motivate them to take action. And, we developed a strategic plan to bring their vision to reality. Finally, we created marketing and fundraising strategies that were as powerful as their desire to mindfully save habitat for all living beings.
Our work started with research that would inform our approach to helping Mindful Earth build their strategies, effectively communicate their mission and engage their donors and supporters in the movement. We conducted an organization assessment where we reviewed their previous strategic plan, marketing and fundraising materials. We also spent two days on the property, meeting with staff and the resident animals, who are the heartbeat of Mindful Earth’s mission. Then we conducted an ecosystem assessment, where we looked into other organizations in Mindful Earth’s space to determine differences and similarities. Finally, we conducted a stakeholder assessment, which included a series of interviews to identify perceived strengths, weaknesses, challenges and opportunities for the organization.
Our research uncovered that Mindful Earth was the only organization in its space that had both a physical location and a significant digital presence that allowed people to connect with animals and the environment regardless of where they lived. This provided the organization with the unique opportunity to not only serve as a model for how people, nature and animals can live in harmony, but also help others to connect with wild animals to understand their individuality.
Once we had clearly identified Mindful Earth’s reason for being, we worked with their team to rewrite their mission statement to align with their organizational goals. We also developed stakeholder profiles, key messages and key messages by donor audiences for use across all of Mindful Earth’s marketing and fundraising materials.
Following our research phase, we transitioned to strategic planning with Mindful Earth. This required us to solidify the organization’s objectives in three main areas, which included:
- A master plan for the Mindful Earth property, including new infrastructure and expansion, as well as land conservation
- Efforts to ensure long-term organizational sustainability
- The launch of a formal media network to expand awareness of their mission and more deeply engage supporters
In addition to the strategic plan, we developed a yearlong marketing plan, complete with a tactical mix designed to help Mindful Earth meet both their marketing and fundraising goals, along with a marketing budget to support their efforts.
A critical part of The Nonprofit Impact System’s™ success is engaging the right people in the process at the right times. Prosper spent two days at Mindful Earth interviewing various staff members and getting to know the resident animals so we could uncover areas of strength and opportunity. We also worked with the Mindful Earth team to identify others who were critical to the organization’s mission, including board members, funders and partners. These individuals participated in stakeholder interviews and also provided perspective at pivotal points in our process, including mission and messaging development as well as overall organizational direction.
We also took a close look at the organization’s current staff structure. We identified areas where new roles would need to be added and what those roles would need to be in order to fulfill the goals in the strategic plan.
To ensure Mindful Earth’s strategic plan goals would be met, we developed specific objectives and key results on an organization-wide level, as well as for individual staff members. We also developed a marketing key performance indicator dashboard, so they could measure their performance against the benchmarks set when our work began.
When it came to bringing their new messaging to life, we provided Mindful Earth with sample key messaging applications, so they could see exactly how to apply their new messaging to their existing collateral. We also collaborated with the team to provide insights and input on materials needed for major donors, including a Case for Support.
Mindful Earth’s marketing, fundraising and strategic plans were completed in March 2020, so it’s too early to share results, however they have a clear path to their goals and the metrics they need to measure their success.
*Actual name redacted for confidentiality.
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