How We Increased Partnerships & Funding for the Peace Corps
Run by the United States government, the Peace Corps is a volunteer organization that is committed to promoting world peace and friendship through the accomplishment of three goals: 1) Help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women, 2) Promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served, and 3) Promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans. The Corps provides service opportunities around the world, where people who are passionate about creating change can immerse themselves in communities in order to work towards tackling this generation’s most pressing challenges, including but not limited to: fighting HIV/AIDS, fighting world hunger, protecting the environment, and improving access to technology.
In 2016, the Peace Corps faced declined funding from the Federal Government and sought a solution that would improve their outreach strategies to Fortune 500 companies – such as Coca Cola, Microsoft, and Mondelez – in the hopes of increasing the number of their partnerships. Concerned with their corporate social responsibility yet challenged to answer the critical branding question, “Why partner with the Peace Corp?,” they reached out to Fifth Tribe because of our unique approach to brand and web/mobile application development. Together, we decided to create an integrative and interactive experience for potential partners that would clearly (and convincingly) convey the Peace Corps’ mission and the global impact made possible by partnerships with private corporations.
The first step of our project with the Peace Corps was to determine the organization’s value proposition. In order for the Peace Corps to establish a unique voice that they could carry forward to future marketing strategies and partnership proposals, it was important to create a strong and reliable identity with a clear “Why” behind their outreach. Fifth Tribe uncovered these values through investigative interviews with past partners and a research-based evaluation of the Peace Corps’ cause-related marketing campaigns. This information formed the basis of the corporate social responsibility audit that we then executed, in which we evaluated the current landscape, trends, and visions of big businesses and their CSR practices. With this data in mind, we would then be able to align and integrate effective CSR policies into the Peace Corps’ business model while simultaneously building and strengthening their brand identity. Ultimately, we strove to not only accomplish these goals, but to also improve the Peace Corps’ outreach strategies in order to pave the way for more partnerships with private companies.
Fifth Tribe’s collaborative work with the Peace Corps resulted in the development of an iPad application that deploys the Peace Corps story, mission, and identity onto an interactive medium. The design strategy was directed towards creating a means for the Peace Corps to prepare for high-level meetings with potential partners with content that clearly outlines their “Why” in a way that conveys how impactful a partnership with the organization could be. The application is arranged into four different chapters, all of which highlight the positive global influence of collaborating with the Peace Corps: for example, the “Partnerships” and “Impact” tabs feature multiple campaigns – such as international female empowerment and leadership initiatives and the fight to end the malaria epidemic in Africa – and how they were made possible by partnerships with other organizations. The way the app frames the answer to “Why Peace Corps?” can conveniently address what a partnership (and its impact) could look like within the non-governmental, academic, governmental, and private sectors. It also promotes quick facts about the organization and other possible ways to get involved with the Peace Corps and its mission. Finally, the application’s visual features, like its issue-specific images and interactive maps, encourage a high level of participation from the user. This encouragement is elevated through the “click to reveal [information]” layout of the app, which Fifth Tribe intentionally designed not only to keep the user engaged, but to also answer time and time again, “Why Peace Corps?”
The Peace Corps “Partnering for Impact” application was launched on the App store for both mobile and web download. For ensured security, it can only be accessed through a password, which the Peace Corps distributes to its potential partners. Fifth Tribe is proud of the product we developed in this project because we were able to address our client’s concerns with decreased funding and their hopes of increasing their partnerships, we successfully executed our research, briefing, and auditing strategies to establish a clear value proposition, and, most importantly, we designed an integrative experience that is rooted in the need to make a positive global impact.