“We wanted to rebrand to increase awareness, but Yvonne’s recommendations went beyond what we expected to include market and business strategies. Her insights were perceptive, on target and well-supported, helping us quickly coalesce and move forward with a clear direction. We’re now in the process of adjusting our strategy and brand to better support our mission and also secure our financial viability into the future.”
- Alisa Jones, President and CEO of La Comunidad Hispana
La Comunidad Hispana (LCH) is a community-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to help low-income residents of Southern Chester County, PA, stay healthy, build strong families and lead productive and fulfilling lives by providing high-quality, culturally welcoming services. Over the past 40 years, LCH has responded to changing demographics and growing needs in the community by offering nurse-managed healthcare services, social services, adult education and legal assistance.
Due to the fertile soil and temperate climate of the region, agriculture is a major part of the economy. Mushroom cultivation, in particular, is a specialty in the southern portion of Chester County; and these farms, together with horse farming, have spurred the steady growth of a low-income, mostly uninsured Hispanic population. This is precisely the population that LCH was formed to serve.
With a complete bilingual approach to service and a strong Hispanic culture, LCH offers a holistic approach to treating the entire person by integrating the social, physical and emotional determinants of health. Currently, 91 percent of its customers are Hispanic, and over 80 percent are uninsured.
In 2012, LCH received a new access point, multiyear grant from the federal government along with the designation as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), a turning point for the organization. The grant strengthened LCH’s financial position but, in order to ensure continued funding, LCH had to meet specific mandates—including doubling the number of clients receiving healthcare services.
Though the organization had experienced consistent growth in both clients served and services offered, the numbers were insufficient to meet funding requirements. It was obvious that LCH’s marketing was not delivering what was required, a problem which could hinder the organization’s ability to meet its mandate for growth.
“We needed clear and compelling messages for clients and donors that would help us increase awareness of our organization and increase donations,” said Alisa Jones, President and CEO. “For this reason we turned to Yvonne Brown at Chief Outsiders to help us establish a brand and messages that would resonate with our target clients, our community and donors.”
To understand the underlying issues, Yvonne conducted in-depth conversations with the senior executive team, board members, marketing committee members, clients, local community organizations, donors and fundraisers. She complemented these interviews with analyses of area demographics, internal documents and existing research. According to Jones, “Yvonne quickly understood our environment, won the respect of everyone here and identified important issues.”
It became clear that increasing awareness of LCH was but one of the key issues the organization needed to address. First of all, though the LCH mission is to serve all low-income residents in the area, few non-Hispanics were clients. There was little doubt that the strong Hispanic culture, brand and outreach were preventing non-Hispanics from turning to LCH for assistance.
In addition, financial sustainability depended heavily on a handful of aging donors whose support could not be counted on very far into the future. To continue to offer services to the uninsured, it would be necessary to decrease the dependency on these donors. The obvious solution was to increase the number of insured users of LCH services to reduce the financial burden—and a high percentage of low-income non-Hispanics do carry insurance.
Given Yvonne’s findings, her main recommendation was to focus on increasing usage of the services by non-Hispanics. This change was imperative not only for LCH to fulfill its mission. From a financial perspective, an increase in insured non-Hispanic users would help subsidize services to the uninsured population and reduce the very high level of reliance on donations.
To attract non-Hispanic clients, Yvonne recommended:
The deliverables for the engagement included: