Social media & Digital marketing
Social media is a necessary and powerful tool for the social sector, an engine of awareness, engagement, and fundraising that allows nonprofits to share their message on a local and global level. More than 50% of nonprofits have indicated that they will increase their social media budget this year—the most of any digital channel—while Giving Tuesday continues to experience steady social-fueled growth, by some projections due to eclipse $600M in 2021.
But anyone who uses social media for nonprofits knows there are unique challenges, too. Organizations are often run by small teams and volunteers, with resources and budgets stretched thin. In many cases, the biggest challenge to managing social media in-house is finding someone who has the time to do it.
This was true for CASIOPE (the acronym for the Centre d’Aide et de Soutien aux Intervenants et Organismes en Petite Enfance), a nonprofit organization that offers professional support to early childhood educators. “Being an NPO, we don’t have someone who just does the comms or marketing,” says Administrative Director Manon Chamand about their decision to outsource their social media management and web marketing strategy.
Simplifying the search for an external partner with helloDarwin
Making the decision to hire an external agency, however, is only the beginning. The same constraints that lead nonprofit organizations to come to this conclusion—limited resources, overextended staff—make the task of selecting a service provider difficult, and leave many unsure of where to begin. “I didn’t understand anything,” says Chamand. “I was doing a thousand things at once. I asked for 1000 different quotes on all sorts of things.”
She turned to helloDarwin because she thought it would help them have a larger sample of service providers to choose from. But when one of helloDarwin’s expert advisors reached out to Chamand to clarify CASIOPE’s needs and scope of project, “the more it went, the more I saw that the person I had on the phone understood the need. And the more precise we got, the more I understood the role of the platform.”
During that initial call, the advisor worked with Chamand to create, and activate, a custom project brief on the helloDarwin platform. With the help of helloDarwin’s proven matching algorithm and process, CASIOPE received quotes from 3 potential service providers in 48 hours. “When I received the proposals, I went to the website to see what they had to offer. I said ‘OK, they understood everything and they really understood our needs.’”
Chamand received many different quotes and talked to multiple service providers. But the only service providers she had a second conversation with were those referred to her by helloDarwin. In the end, CASIOPE decided to move forward with Hamak, a Montreal-based digital marketing agency.
"When I received the proposals, I went to the website to see what they had to offer. I said 'OK, [helloDarwin] understood everything and they really understood our needs.'"
- Manon Chamand, Administrative Director, CASIOPE
“It was the feeling with the service provider that was very important to us,” says Chamand. “The presentation that Hamak made to us was also important. They came with a concrete proposal, a complete approach. The presentation document, the complete approach, and the good feeling are the reasons why we decided to go ahead with Hamak.”
Working with Hamak to scale their social media strategy
Since the start of their partnership, Hamak has helped craft a unique visual identity for CASIOPE, something they never had before, and has been taking care of the nonprofit’s social media channels. Chamand says Hamak’s work has enabled them to better prepare for upcoming events and all of the communications that surround them.
Not only that, but CASIOPE has seen their social media channels flourish during that time. Every month, Hamak sends over a report detailing which posts are doing well and showing an overall snapshot of the nonprofit’s social performance. “There’s a lot more engagement. We have a lot of ‘likes’, and our posts have a lot more reach since they’ve taken over.”
Recently, Hamak launched a social media contest—something the in-house team at CASIOPE wouldn’t have had the time or know-to to do themselves. “We got over 400 comments and 50 shares,” says Chamand. “It’s been a really big hit. We’re a small NPO, so for us, it’s a lot.”
For Chamand, requesting and assessing thousands of quotes all on her own is a thing of the past. The next time around, Chamand says, she’ll go to helloDarwin directly instead of looking for someone herself. “I’d prefer to go to helloDarwin to get a precise idea of what we need. The proposals [they] sent us were really good, with good references. And I wouldn’t necessarily have found them myself.”