The children in Sri Lanka are continuously caught up in poverty cycles: in this society, if you are born poor - you will die poor. The only way to break out from this cycle is through getting higher education to improve their lives. “While we were in Sri Lanka in 2005, we saw many children in rural areas, walking to school on the hot tar roads in 100F/40C degree weather without a pair of shoes. We realized these children and their parents could not afford to buy them,” – said the founders. – “In Sri Lanka, the average price of a pair of school shoes are about 14 USD a pair, which many poor families can’t afford. Most children wear rubber flip flops to school, which wear out quickly, while others cannot even afford a pair [of flip flops]. When one adds shoes, books, and school essentials, one would think it’s better to stay at home and look after the younger siblings or work in the farm. As the result, 25% of the children drop out of school after grade 5 to help their parents with work instead of completing their studies.”
This immediate call for action gave roots to Kalmat Foundation, a non-profit organization created in 2011 and based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA. It also has an active branch in St. Gallen, Switzerland. Kalmat has succeeded in engaging individuals and organizations to contribute to the foundation in Switzerland through cash donations and sale of handmade scarfs and jewellery. However, it has been struggling with attracting and retaining donors in the US due to intense competition with other organizations.
Kalmat employs a wide network of volunteers in the US, Europe, and Sri Lanka and is currently supporting around 500 Sri Lankan children. To ensure that every child has a pair of shoes and enough school supplies for a year, Kalmat needs to raise at least 20,000 USD annually.
Learn more about Kalmat Foundation here: http://www.kalmatfoundation.org/
NGC has already delivered a strong project to Kalmat in 2017 by providing best practices in fundraising management and communications strategy. This semester, John would like NGC to delve deeper into the marketing area, building on the previous team’s findings and suggestions.
Specific recommendations to be developed by the Consulting team are:
1. Develop a comprehensive Social Media strategy for Kalmat to attract followers and raise awareness about the foundation
a. Provide a Social Media plan for Kalmat to implement on a weekly and monthly basis
b. Define criteria for selecting Kalmat Social Media Ambassadors and come up with specific ways to get them involved in the foundation’s activities
c. Recommend potential candidates for the Ambassadors, including their contact information
2. Develop a program to engage College and University students in Kalmat fundraising and/or marketing activities
a. Suggest ideas for on-campus fundraising events, which the Kalmat team could physically co-host
b. Suggest ideas for remote collaboration between Kalmat and student organizations
c. Recommend several students organizations within the US (San Francisco, Boston, Dallas, Tulsa) for on-campus collaboration and several outside of the US for remote collaboration
The managing team of Kalmat Foundation will incorporate your recommendations when operational, tactical and strategic decisions are to be made in the near future.