Case Study National Nonprofit

Pivoting in the Pandemic to Meet the Needs of a Community


raised for the Covid-19 Community Fund Campaign

>1 Yr.

fortified branded SERP to elevate trust

12 mo.

improved media sentiment to positive

Public Relations

The Situation

Due to the changing landscape faced by nonprofits, at the end of 2019 the leadership team of United Way of Central Ohio (UWCO) had to make organizational changes that required identifying an agency partner to support marketing and PR efforts with the goal of reducing costs of operations and bringing expertise to the brand. The UWCO team had been charged with marketing, public relations, donor engagement, and local fundraising success. In order to drive new donors and sponsors, UWCO needed to better understand its local landscape and build a comprehensive strategy that would differentiate it from other organizations, and communicate the value it brings to the community in order to flourish.

The Transformation

A few months into our partnership, the global pandemic required a shift in marketing and communications’ strategy which would focus on building trust in the community, engaging donors to support efforts tied to recovery efforts led by the organization, and clearly communicating the impact United Way of Central Ohio has in the community.

The Work

United Way of Central Ohio is a lifeline for many nonprofits, and the organization was committed to providing support for basic needs and student success as it had in previous years, despite the pandemic. To help generate funds quickly and efficiently, the brand turned to Adept to promote its Covid-19 Community Response Fund and a campaign called Rally for Recovery, designed to ignite all levels of charitable giving among many key initiatives. The strategy would only be successful if we could also help elevate the brand’s purpose and fortify the consumer journey with trust which required thought leadership, on-going positive media coverage, and social media content in a way that didn’t silo the work. The campaigns and ongoing messaging worked in sync to elevate trust of the brand locally, and motivated donors and volunteers to give.

The Issues We Solved

The organization had clear goals, but the marketing strategy was not yet aligned with the new vision.

While data was being collected across marketing channels and PR efforts, the data and insights remained siloed and not actionable.

The organization had a defined value proposition yet its messaging lacked clarity to activate both donors and volunteers.

The nonprofit landscape was changing, the brand needed to adapt its fundraising capabilities in order to continue to raise the funds needed to support the community.

Real Results