Following up from our last update in November, we shared our aim to be changemakers locally and globally. This means ensuring we are demonstrating empathy in action, understanding the specific and shared needs of our local communities, and partnering with some impactful local organizations.
This past semester, our teams in Pittsburgh and Washington DC have had the honor of partnering with the National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector to advance the vision of realizing a child’s full potential by strategically pricing an education application for students, PlanJunto to create a sustainable community enterprise in globally important ecosystems like the Amazon region by strengthening their business and funding model, and ScholarshipPlus to support the college careers of outstanding economically deprived New York City high school graduates by better reaching a youth demographic and improve their overall marketing.
We also launched DSO Labs, our first cross-hub product development team currently incubating three ideas related to building a virtual store, aggregated fundraising platform, and a map that highlights impact in international development with the aim of piloting and user testing one of these ideas in the next few months.
“…they do give you a lot of help [ScholarshipPlus] in terms of navigating your way through college, not just the academic aspects of it, but everything else.” - ScholarshipPlus Recipient
Higher education is about the academics, but it’s also about growing your whole self through the experience – pursuing opportunities and overcoming challenges, thriving interpersonally, incubating ideas, growing individually and as a supportive community, and more. But many youth still do not have equal access to this fundamental experience. ScholarshipPlus is on a mission to find, encourage and support the college careers of outstanding economically deprived New York City high school graduates, entering their lives before they begin college and staying with them until they graduate and beyond.
Kelly, Maria, Nina, Sheetal, Sophia, and Weikun with our Pittsburgh hub teamed up with ScholarshipPlus to understand some of the current pain points: an aging donor base, not enough donations to support additional scholars, and an outdated website and then worked to develop an engagement strategy for Generation X (40-60 years old), Millennials (20-40 years old), corporate groups, and do an overall website re-design. The website re-design is intended to share why the work of ScholarshipPlus is essential through the powerful and relatable stories of students who have achieved remarkable success through the program - from being the first in their families to pursue a college degree to majoring in a STEM field.
A Testimonial from ScholarshipPlus
“Scholarship Plus worked with DSO over a 5 month period. They designed a new website, created a marketing plan and fundraising strategy. I was very impressed by their professionalism, research ability and productivity. At the end of the process we were given an extensive plan on how to raise “brand awareness” and how to best target potential donors. We also now have a beautiful and contemporary website that DSO thoughtfully designed. We are beyond excited to put their plans into action. Working with DSO has been such a gift to [our] small nonprofit, we are incredibly grateful.” - Kate Stokes, Program Manager at ScholarshipPlus