Spreading The Word For Good…

Kids at UbuntuHello readers!

Yep, we know. Savvy has been dark for the past few weeks now. We definitely violated the rules of the social media world by not publishing, but well, we have a good reason.

Savvy’s Founder and President, Sheryl Victor Levy, has just returned from a 2 week trip to South Africa…for a combination of both business and pleasure.

Part of Savvy’s business is focused on servicing the non-profit world with Licensing and Social Media consulting. Some of our clients include the Skin Cancer Foundation, the Ubuntu Education Fund and CTAM (Cable Television Advertising & Marketing Association). As a part of our work for the Ubuntu Education Fund, Sheryl had the pleasure and honor of visiting Ubuntu at their main headquarters in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

Celebrating its 10 year anniversary, the Ubuntu Education Fund is a non-profit organization serving the township communities of Port Elizabeth, South Africa. They provide over 40,000 vulnerable children and families with vital resources needed to live healthy, prosperous lives. Supported by President Clinton’s Global Initiative Fund, Ubuntu does amazing work which we experienced first hand during a full-day tour of Ubuntu’s current office, their soon to open Wellness Center and various schools and hospitals that they support. Social Media couldn’t be more appropriate for spreading the word to educate and attract potential donors and partners for Ubuntu.

As a part of their social media strategy, Ubuntu faces several challenges in raising awareness and fund-raising. Here are a few:

  • Location: Ubuntu is a South African based organization, with offices in London and New York. With a majority of the funds raised globally, how does Ubuntu solicit interest from other geographic regions?
  • Recession: Yep, unfortunately, it has severely impacted their fundraising efforts. But they continue to get out there to educate potential donors, so, when the purse strings open up, hopefully, Ubuntu will be top-of-mind.
  • Stigma: Because part of Ubuntu’s mission is to focus on providing AIDS education, prevention and treatment, the disease still very much has a stigma attached to it– especially given that they are located in South Africa.
  • General understanding: Ubuntu has a simple yet complicated mission — they started out with supporting education, and now have created a community sustainability and clinical health model. Their brand continues to evolve based on the needs of the community.

But here’s how they use social media to overcome those obstacles:

  • Having a plan – defining the audience, the challenges, the opportunities, special promotions and events, fundraising opportunities, timing, bandwidth and schedule.
  • Education – Educating the outside world about Ubuntu and its clients, Port Elizabeth, South Africa, healthcare, cultural and educational issues. Really inviting someone in to experience the world of Ubuntu.
  • POV – Having an opinion on how to care for those affected by lack of education and AIDS. Bringing awareness to the public by promoting successful social programming developed by Ubuntu and other organizations.
  • Linking their social networks seamlessly – YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. They integrate all 3 for their outreach.
  • Attaching themselves to bigger brands – Whether it’s Archbishop Desmond Tutu, President Clinton, Donna Karan or Kevin Bacon — working with these “brands” helps to raise voice and awareness through PR and social media.
  • Staying vocal – staying out there, talking, keeping it consistent and constant. That’s how their audience keeps in touch, learns, and passes the word on. After all, it is Word Of Mouth Marketing.

We are really excited to be aligned with such an incredible organization, and will continue to Pass It On! Will you help us? Go to: Ubuntu’s site, follow them on Twitter, and Friend them on Facebook.

Know of a small non-profit organization looking for social media expertise? Please direct them to Sheryl at Sheryl@SavvyStrategyOnline.com.

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