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Scaling up a Nonprofit's Social

Elaine Leung is the Founder & Executive Director at Sea Smart. Sea Smart is a charity that delivers innovative, engaging education programs based on science and current ocean issues to empower youth to make a positive impact on our oceans.

We discussed how to grow a nonprofit’s audience on social media & how to build a strategy for scaling up corporate partnerships.


The first problem we talked about was how to grow her audience on social & how to improve existing engagement. We brainstormed a few solutions:

  1. The power of iteration: how to test out which types of photos & captions work best with her core audience. How to quickly monitor the responses & engagement on each version to ensure an abundance of learnings, which will also inform the ultimate optimization strategy go forward

  2. How to incentivize micro-influencers to share Sea Smart’s story with their audiences

  3. How to trigger organic growth: I encouraged her to play around with hashtags, private messages, etc. & to leave Paid Ads to those with bigger budgets!

Next, we chatted about corporate partnerships. It’s clear that Sea Smart offers a clear value proposition, which could appeal to a wide variety of corporate partners. We spent some time reviewing her pitch deck, and my advice was simple: to pivot and focus on a small group of organizations, which have incentives to partner with an organization like Sea Smart by messaging on their websites about Corporate Social Responsibility programs. This way, Elaine can prioritize qualified leads and spend less time on outreach. A win-win!

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