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Revitalizing a Nonprofit’s Brand: How the Harlem Commonwealth Council Transformed its Marketing

Harlem Commonwealth Council (HCC) Inc. - Advocating for Education and Empowerment in Upper Manhattan and the Bronx for over 55 years

Harlem Commonwealth Council (HCC) Inc. has been empowering residents and businesses in Upper Manhattan and the Bronx for over 55 years. As a nonprofit organization focused on education and economic empowerment, HCC aims to advocate for and uplift the Harlem community.

The Challenge: Introducing Aggressive Marketing Activities to Raise Brand Awareness and Increase Attendance at Programs and Services

Despite its long history of service to the community, HCC struggled with low visibility and brand awareness among residents. The organization’s executive director recognized the need for a comprehensive marketing strategy to raise brand awareness, increase program participation, and meet program quotas.

Developing a Marketing and Communications Plan to Promote HCC’s Mission and Vision

To address these challenges, Vanessa developed a marketing and communications plan for HCC. This plan was based on a 360-degree assessment, audience research, and customer insights, which helped to inform the marketing channels and tactics that would be most effective for reaching the target audience.

Vanessa implemented a variety of marketing initiatives, including social media campaigns, email marketing, event marketing, street team marketing, and paid online and newspaper ads. She also visited local businesses to promote them through HCC and took on the role of the organization’s photographer and live streamer. All of these efforts were aimed at creating a brand experience that would support HCC’s mission and vision.

As part of this strategy, Vanessa also created a new website design with engaging content and a photo library of high-resolution images for future use.

Process Components: Marketing plans and strategies, messaging, photography, content (website, social, and email marketing content), creative (website, flyers, social media posts), event planning and marketing, audience research and insights, and traditional marketing (flyering and newspaper ads).

The Original Website Design
The Updated Website Design
Harlem Commonwealth Council website design images
Successful Marketing Campaigns Drive a 100% Increase in Email Subscriptions and a 40% Boost in Website Traffic for HCC

Thanks to the comprehensive marketing strategy developed by Vanessa, HCC saw a significant increase in audience engagement, with a 500% increase in target audience engagement and a 2500% increase in audience growth. The organization also experienced a 100% increase in email subscriptions, a 62% increase in program participation, and with the new website, a 40% increase in website traffic within the first year.

One particularly successful initiative was the marketing campaign for the GED program, which increased program participation by 150% and enabled the program to be funded by the Department of Youth and Community Development. These efforts also had a positive impact on the community, with increased literacy rates, more youth participating in programs, and more youth on their way to college.

If you’re a nonprofit looking to increase brand awareness and make a positive impact on your community, contact VCM Strategies today to learn how we can help transform your marketing strategy.

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