Community Social Planning Council
Problem: One of the programs offered by the Community Social Planning Council of Victoria, BC, is the Youth Program Quality Initiative (YPQI) — a quantitative scorecard that not-for-profit youth programs can use to evaluate and monitor the quality of their program. As a not-for-profit itself, the YPQI program of the CSPC often found itself competing for the same funding as the programs it worked with.
In a tightening funding landscape, the CSPC needed a narrative that would clearly express the value of the YPQI, in order to win grants and continue to offer its programming.
Approach: Over a series of sessions with the core YPQI team, we dug deep into the story of the offering, searching for compelling storytelling material. As we conducted research and analysis, we realized that even YPQI’s clients were struggling to articulate what, exactly, the program offered, even though they were steadfast believers in its value.
Once we gained this insight, we began examining the way that the leadership told its story. We honed in on jargon-heavy buzzwords, replacing them instead with clear case studies, and reinforced this insight with targeted storytelling training that would improve how the leadership themselves communicated the value of the program.
Finally, we shifted the positioning of the organization to become more of a “youth program consultancy”, heightening the focus on the benefits brought to the client programs themselves — and not to the youth that they were serving. In this way, we attempted to invent a new category for the YPQI programming, taking them out of competition for the same funding, and improving the opportunity for cohesion between the program and its clients.
Outcome: YPQI was successful in winning an important grant, and has recast its programming and marketing language to match the newly developed narrative.