The Edward W. Hazen Foundation is at the forefront of a movement centering young people in the fight for justice.
Established in 1925, the Hazen Foundation supports the organizing and leadership of young people and communities of color. They are shifting power to more than 40 grantees advancing school reform, dismantling systemic racism, and nurturing the next generation of leaders. With their resources right now, the Hazen Foundation is building the movement by spending down all its assets for communities creating change by 2024.
Sequence Strategies partnered with Minerva Strategies, a firm creating positive change through smart communications, in strengthening the Hazen Foundation’s efforts. From March – December 2022, Sequence Strategies provided communications planning, message development, content creation and management, and regular strategic counsel to support the foundation and its grantees.
The Hazen Foundation’s innovative work in structural inclusion and self-determination has put their grantees front and center. The Minerva|Sequence team approached planning with this rich history in mind, developing communications strategies that centered grantees and their stories.
Communications Plan: After in-depth interviews with Hazen Foundation staff, board, and grantees, Sequence Strategies leveraged insights to lead development of a comprehensive communications plan for 2022. The Minerva|Sequence plan included a path for establishing a digital content cadence; pursuing earned media to amplify grantee issues; and developing Hazen Foundation leadership voices to augment these efforts.
Strategic Counsel: Sequence Strategies provided senior-level, weekly communications counsel along with the Minerva Strategies team. From the latest news to emerging grantee needs, we helped the Hazen Foundation think through proactive and reactive communications strategies.
Editorial Calendar: While the Hazen Foundation and grantees were doing great work, they needed more content that showcased it. To support them, Sequence Strategies developed internal communications infrastructure—an editorial calendar with comprehensive channel planning across traditional and social media.
With communications groundwork set, our team put plans into action. We developed tailored messaging to help the Hazen Foundation reach all its core audiences. The Minerva|Sequence team began drafting and delivering regular social media content and provided guidance on which channels to prioritize. For a consistent digital presence, we refreshed the foundation’s website to match new messaging.
Message Framework: Sequence Strategies led development of a message framework—a rubric including core audiences and narratives about the Hazen Foundation’s advocacy, legacy, and spend down. For each narrative, the Minerva|Sequence team crafted message points to embed in remarks, articles, and digital communications.
Social Media Content: To streamline efforts, Sequence Strategies established protocols for foundation staff to review, revise, and approve digital content each week. These drafts lived in the editorial calendar on a collaborative website, ensuring seamless access and editing in real-time.
Website Refresh: To improve the foundation’s website, the Minerva|Sequence team matched copy with new messaging, bolstered SEO (search engine optimization), boosted security, and updated visuals and navigation to optimize user experience.
The Hazen Foundation is driving important conversations about the issues grantees care about most. Aligned messaging and a refreshed digital presence provide the foundation powerful tools to share their unique history, impact, and legacy to current stakeholders and new audiences alike.
Digital Channel Assessment: Good communications mean meeting audiences where they are. The Minerva|Sequence team assessed the Hazen Foundation’s digital ecosystem, finding more opportunities to engage on growing social networks like LinkedIn than fading ones like Facebook. This boosted engagement on prioritized platforms, leading to more follows and content shares.
Positioned for Continued Success: With internal and external communications streamlined and protocols in place, leadership is well-positioned to amplify issues most important to grantees and the communities they serve, from advancing school reform to empowering young leaders in the fight for justice.
More Website Traffic: With integrated social media, the Hazen Foundation saw more traffic driven to its website—the one-stop hub for learning about the foundation and its work. After launching a social media campaign with partners, we saw website traffic more than triple from the previous day.
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