Marketing class projects benefit children in Abilene and abroad

by   |  12.01.11  |  City of Abilene, College Decisions, Current Students, Faith Infusion

Students in Dr. Wright’s Creativity in the Marketplace (Marketing 440) class have been given a unique opportunity: to select a non-profit and use their marketing skills to solve a specific problem facing that non-profit. We had an opportunity to chat with the group leaders from two different groups to find out more about their non-profit and what they are doing to help.

Meet Corbin. He’s a senior marketing major from Coppell.

Corbin (he's the one jumping). This is in Europe when he went with ACU's Study Abroad for the semester.

His group is partnering with World’s Backyard, a non-profit started and based in Abilene. We asked him to share about their work. He’s what he told us:

1) Tell us a little about the details of the project:
The project was based on creatively helping a certain non profit overcome an obstacle they were facing. This involved figuring out the need these guys needed met most and doing whatever we thought would help the most. For my group it was helping the World’s Backyard (started by Brayden and Jason Boone), which is a simple organization that ministers to refugee children throughout Abilene.
2) How’d your group select your particular non-profit group?
Our group chose this non-profit because Brayden is one of my best friends and we had the opportunity to see tangible results from our help. (I’m also in involved with it so it made client contact easy.)
3) Tell us a little about your non-profit (what they do, how the help others) and how is your group helping them?
Essentially TWB links college students with various apartment complexes around Abilene that house foreign refugee children. Once a week they go and pick up these kids to take them to play soccer and other sports and games at Madison Middle School. The need they had was simply a matter of getting the name of their organization out there and telling people what they were about. We were able to do a small marketing campaign around campus and the apartment complexes for an event they hosted the weekend before Thanksgiving (it was actually a pushcart derby!)

Corbin and a new friend

 

4) What are you learning about business through this project? How are your business skills being sharpened and refined?
I’m learning that marketing is something that must be tailored to each individual demographic (i.e.: we had to make advertisements in 4 different languages to reach all the families!) and also it is alot more motivating and rewarding to partner with people you care about on a deep personal level – I’m learning how to take that motivation into situations where I might not know the client as well and still be excited about the project and think creatively. This class has prepared me for that by discussing the necessity of creativity in a sometimes boring and straight laced professional world.
***
Next, meet Ashley. She’s a senior finance major from Hallsville.

Ashley (far right). Pictured with COBA's SIFE team.

 

Ashley’s team is working with Operation Christmas Child, a seasonal project of Samaritan’s Purse. Here’s what she said about their non-profit and their project: 
1) Tell us a little about the details of the project:
The assignment was to find a non profit and see if they needed help in any aspects of their business that we could solve using marketing. We then had to put that task in motion, or at least get the ball rolling. Ideally, we’d be able to come up with a solution to their marketing related problem, take the steps needed to accomplish it, and see results… All before the semester ended (which was about 5 weeks time).
2) How’d your group select your particular non-profit group?
We brainstormed numerous local nonprofits that we could easily get in touch with; then we focused on the actuality of us being able to do a real and effective job for them. We tried reaching out to one organization we thought might fit those criteria, but there was conflict in scheduling an initial meeting with them. This is when GW Shaw mentioned a project his church does every year and we decided to turn it into a marketing venture.

Operation Christmas Child table. The group set up in the Campus Center to promote this non-proft and to ask students to get involve and help out.

 

3) Tell us a little about your non-profit (what they do, how the help others) and how is your group helping them?
Operation Christmas Child is a national project hosted by Samaritan’s Purse. Their objective is to provide a box of small presents and necessities for underprivileged children in the Philippines. They are able to do this through a mass amount of volunteers (primarily churches) who fill up shoe boxes and drop them off at Samaritan Purse locations. GW was the only one in our group who had even heard about this project, so it was clear that we should bring awareness about it on campus through advertising and allowing students to get involved.
What we did: bought 100 foldable boxes from the website at a small cost. We set up an appropriately decorated table in the campus center with the boxes on them, in hopes that people would take them, fill them, and drop them back off at the table. We also put a big sign in the campus center, hung flyers in the dorms, made a my.acu login advertisement, made a slide for the chapel slideshow, and showed a one minute video during chapel on the day we set the table up.
We had a time span of two weeks for people to pick up, fill, and drop off the boxes. We had hoped for a return of 10 boxes, but we were pleasantly surprised when after exactly 7 days all of the boxes were gone. When it came time to pick up the boxes, there were a little over 20 full boxes which was double what we were expecting. So this project turned out to be a great success for the short amount of time we had.

Chapel slide promoting table that was set up in the Campus Center

 

4) What are you learning about business through this project? How are your business skills being sharpened and refined?
I used to dread doing group projects; but in most of my upper level classes, group work has been enjoyable. I’ve learned to trust and lean on everyone by delegating the right tasks to the right people. It’s amazing to see how much more you can accomplish through correctly allocating tasks. Surpassing our project goal wasn’t a bad feeling either.
We are proud of these student groups who are learning how to use business to serve and grateful for the good work they are doing to help others. We are blessed with a faculty who excel at teaching business skills and who are even more committed to helping our students understand how they can use their knowledge and skills to make a difference in someone’s life.