Habitat for Humanity: Helping a Local Affiliate Make its Mark
Odds are, you know something about Habitat for Humanity. It is one of the most recognized names and most valued brands in the nonprofit world. Founded in 1976, and famously supported by Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, just about everyone is familiar with Habitat’s mission of helping families afford homes by putting in their own “sweat equity” during the building of their home. Hugely successful, Habitat works in 1,400 communities across the country and roughly 70 nations around the world. To date, it has helped provide almost seven million people with safe, affordable homes.
But do you know what Habitat does in our local community? That was the challenge facing the local affiliate, Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley, and that’s why they came to PRxDigital, Inc. for guidance as the organization sought to raise its profile in the Bay Area. While Habitat EBSV had a longstanding Bay Area presence, PRxDigital helped them develop and execute ways to expand that presence, showcase their broad range of programs, and reach out to new volunteers and donors.
Our collaboration began in 2015, when Habitat EBSV asked for PRxDigital’s assistance in unveiling its new ReStore at the recently completed Environmental Innovation Center in San Jose. Working with city staff and elected officials, PRxDigital orchestrated the Grand Opening celebration to feature the ReStore front and center, garnering favorable media coverage about Habitat EBSV’s local mission.
Since then, we’ve helped keep Habitat EBSV in the news, earning media attention for a long list of events, from groundbreaking ceremonies and home dedications to the annual Buildathon. Each event provides opportunities to highlight Habitat EBSV’s expanded emphasis on higher-density housing as well as repair programs that preserve affordable housing.
Such earned media was part of a comprehensive communications strategy that PRxDigital helped create for the Habitat affiliate. Other elements of that strategy included:
Social media -- we helped Habitat EBSV direct and focus their social media skills, including editorial calendars and content development.
Video -- PRxDigital produced a number of engaging videos for Habitat’s website and social media, including the CEO’s year-end message, a time-lapse recap of their annual Buildathon, and a mini-documentary of two board members’ cross-country bike ride to raise funds and awareness for the organization.
Thought leadership -- PRxDigital helped strengthen Habitat EBSV’s standing as an authoritative voice on affordable housing through a series of op-eds, which PRxDigital helped draft and place. In fact, one op-ed was singled-out for praise by a prominent state legislator; the state Habitat government liaison also shared the piece with other affiliates across the state, asking them to write similar op-eds to their local papers.
PRxDigital took special pride this year when Habitat EBSV’s CEO Janice Jensen was selected by the Silicon Valley Business Journal as a Woman of Influence. Even working under a well-known national brand, local affiliates often need help establishing their own unique voice. PRxDigital has been honored to help Habitat EBSV establish theirs.
Home dedication: http://www.mercurynews.com/2016/12/13/habitat-for-humanity-dedicates-willow-glen-home/
Blitz build: http://www.eastbaytimes.com/2015/06/08/barnidge-habitat-for-humanity-makes-dreams-come-true-in-martinez/
Janice most influential: http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2017/05/12/habitat-for-humanity-east-bay-silicon-valley-s.html
Women’s Build, May 2017 http://abc7news.com/society/habitat-for-humanity-volunteers-help-rebuild-south-bay-homes/1958511/