For those providing immediate relief and long term transformative changes by defending the collective interests of some of the most vulnerable communities, the challenges for civil society organisations (CSOs) are many. Their needs are unique and hence must be addressed differently. How do we, as Sattva, reach the most underserved populations, and then enable them in their development journeys?
Recently, we (Meenakshi Sircar and Chatura Padaki from the marketing team at Sattva) had a fabulous opportunity to engage with CSOs as a part of a capacity building programme. Our session was meant to cover key concepts, workflows and templates in branding and marketing.
When we received the brief a few weeks ago we spent several hours brainstorming on how best to approach this. The profiles of the organisations were mixed, not just in terms of their line of business but also where they stood in their marketing journeys respectively. Each organisation was at a different stage of their evolution. The challenge for us as marketing and communications professionals was clearly on keeping it simple, yet relevant.
Taking the simplicity bull by its horns, we organised our session into two parts. The first part was meant to introduce the group to some basic concepts of branding and marketing, including some commonly used terms (such as ‘reach’ and ‘engagement’ in social media) and some nifty tools. The second part was focused on marketing, looking at how to build a marketing strategy, a budget to support their marketing plan and how to think about developing an e-commerce pipeline. Both parts were peppered with examples, case studies and some interesting activities.
As professionals with several years of working in different kinds of organisations, we had a great in-person view of actual challenges on the ground in implementing some well-known, and well-accepted marketing ‘gyan’. Understanding these on-ground nuances helped us formulate approaches and action plans that addressed the pain points differently. The inputs we received helped us look at the challenges of ‘communicating communications’ differently.
We ended the session with a member from each CSO sharing how they could capitalise on video marketing on social media as a key promotional tool. This led to many of them sharing their stories of hardships and hurdles with us and how they overcame them to reach where they have today. The experience was a fascinating one for us.
As part of Sattva, an organisation committed to social impact, this workshop was an eye-opener for us. It gave us a first-hand experience of what impact looks like and how it is created. No amount of theory, and LinkedIn credibility in working years can match what in-person interactions give you. So while we, as part of the marketing team, are not actively involved in Sattva’s work on the ground, this workshop was a great way for us to experience impact. Because, as we at Sattva like to say — impact is everybody’s business.
About the programme:
Co-creating collective impact to spearhead societal change is a core organisational goal for Sattva. With this vision Sattva supported EpiC, a USAID-funded project, led by FHI-360, a non-profit organisation, to conduct an intensive three-day bootcamp for seven civil society organisations (CSOs).
The workshop included sessions on key aspects of Enterprise Development such as business strategy and organisational development, financial planning, as well as core concepts on sales, marketing and branding.
The objective of the ‘Enterprise Development Sessions’ was to enable capability building through structured learnings for the NGOs and drive them towards adopting market based or social enterprise (SE) models to derive value through their incubation journey.
Meenakshi Sircar leads Content Marketing, and Chatura Padaki leads Content Strategy at Sattva.
Sattva has been working with various non-profits and social organisations as well as corporate clients to help them define their social impact goals. Our focus is to solve critical problems and find scalable solutions. We assist organisations in formulating their long-term social impact strategy by strategically aligning with business to provide meaningful solutions to social issues.
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