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BACKGROUND

When Valerie Staggs' husband died suddenly in 2010, the mother of 7-year-old Ryan Staggs began searching for guidance to help her son adjust to the family's new normal. Valerie quickly found, however, that outside of therapy, resources for grieving children are quite limited. When she overheard one day Ryan and a young friend who had also suffered a loss talking about the similarities of their situation---communication on a level that only kids sharing with other kids can understand---the concept of Pandora's Kids was born.

 

Pandora's Kids (PK) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that connects grieving children, as kids are often the best therapy for other kids struggling with the death of someone they love. Death can mean big changes in a kid’s life, changes that adults cannot always fully understand or relate to. Pandora’s Kids helps children foster new friendships and support. Through Pandora’s Kids, grieving kids discover that they are not alone. 

 

CHALLENGE

Like any nonprofit, fundraising for Pandora's Kids is a close second to the mission of the organization itself because, of course, without adequate financing, the work of the organization suffers dramatically or can cease altogether. Following the pandemic, which forced Pandora's Kids into a holding pattern, the 2-year hiatus had taken its toll on fundraising efforts and the organization needed a lucrative score to continue its mission of helping grieving children.

SOLUTION

PK founder Valerie Staggs, also the founder of Ryan William's Agency, had been on the board of another local nonprofit and was instrumental in the creation of that organization's biggest annual fundraising event that was no longer taking place. Imitation being the sincerest form of flattery, Val parlayed the success of that event---a dance competition along the lines of Dancing with the Stars---and created Ballroom Blitz, Studio 54 Style in order to raise funds for both Pandora's Kids and Little Smiles, another local charity helping kids get through rough times. Ryan William's Agency created the event's themed imagery, event program, invitations, signage and more. 

 

RESULTS

As of this writing, financial reconciliation of the June, 2023, event is underway; however, initial tallies promise record-breaking funds raised for both organizations. 
 

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BACKGROUND

The Police Athletic League (PAL) of West Palm Beach is a 501(c)3 nonprofit juvenile crime prevention program that relies heavily upon academics and recreational activities to create and maintain the bond between police officers and the kids of West Palm Beach. The organization’s mission is to build self-esteem and resiliency in youth, and to provide positive alternatives to alcohol, tobacco, drugs, delinquency, violence, gang activity, and other negative behaviors. PAL reaches over 400 youth annually through a variety of programs including football, cheer, youth leadership, basketball, baseball, wrestling, and various after school programs.

CHALLENGE

When Ryan William’s Agency joined forces with PAL, the organization was at high risk of becoming financially insolvent, sought improvements in reaching area youth, and was in need of an effective program to attract teens to its Tamarind Avenue facility and away from a nearby mixed-use facility, CityPlace. The expansive and popular West Palm Beach shopping, dining and entertainment destination of CityPlace was a particularly attractive nighttime destination for area teens with little disposable income to gather and loiter. PAL was in need of a fresh approach to keep area teens safe, entertained and away from the mounting public relations tensions that were rising at CityPlace as a result of the loitering teens. The organization was also in desperate need of funding.

SOLUTION

The solution was a three-pronged approach to resolve PAL’s needs. The first was largely operational and involved addressing issues plaguing the board in order to resolve the organization’s potential financial insolvency. RWA President  at the time Valerie Staggs, with years of fundraising experience, including founding and running a thriving 501c3 nonprofit of her own, joined the board and helped revamp the structure to be more proactive and more strategic. RWA worked with the board to address fundraising initiatives, and created a new annual one-night gala event called “Ballroom Blitz” that by itself was helping PAL remain solvent.

 

Parts 2 and 3 of PAL’s challenges—improving methods of reaching out to area youth and attracting them to the PAL and away from CityPlace—were very closely related, and we dubbed this concept our “Reaching Kids Initiative.” RWA began with conducting research and a casual poll of our own staff members’ children, followed by more pointed research and polling of the wants and needs of both PAL youth specifically and West Palm Beach youth in general. Essentially, we researched and asked area youth for the best vehicles with which to communicate with them, as well as what would motivate them to attend on-site events.

 

A series of regularly occurring events was created including youth open-mic competitions, movie nights, street dance party competitions, and a Youth Summit, all in addition to the array of activities already available at PAL. RWA developed street signage for the area around the PAL center and nearby CityPlace, and Youth PAL Ambassadors were recruited in order to create a grassroots marketing program to disseminate event information via text and social media in the language that only other youth truly understand and are motivated by.

RESULTS

By its second year. “Ballroom Blitz" was a hugely successful fundraising event fashioned after the TV reality series “Dancing With the Stars.” Local celebrities, preferably with two left feet, were each paired with professional dance instructors to learn to dance and create a fully choreographed and costumed routine that culminates in this one-night gala competition at the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts. RWA’s “Reaching Kids” initiative was well received, and CityPlace management is onboard and committed to funding to the program. 

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BACKGROUND

Danny and Ron’s Rescue, a nonprofit animal rescue organization, contracted with Ryan William’s Agency for help in promoting the one-year anniversary of Life in the Doghouse, a television documentary about the organization.

CHALLENGE

Our team was hired just one month from the anniversary date. With limited time, we moved quickly to crate a strategy and implement a plan. The goals of the campaign were to 1) build a larger fanbase, increase online followers and increase engagement on the Facebook and Instagram pages created for the Life in the Doghouse movie, 2) attract a new wave of movie watchers, and 3) tap wealthy donors with a love for dogs to donate to the rescue.

SOLUTION

Our social media team took over the content and management of the rescue’s existing Facebook and Instagram pages with a month’s worth of fresh content and interactive elements designed to create engagement with our audiences. We researched and built key audience profiles, launched Facebook in-feed campaigns and targeted display advertising, driving traffic to the Facebook page. The campaigns were a buildup to the anniversary weekend, which hosted a live Facebook Watch Party aired from the home of Danny and Ron, also the location of the rescue.

RESULTS

The entire month, including the Watch Party, was a huge success, with downloads of the documentary via Amazon Prime, iTunes, Netflix, Google Play, Microsoft and more substantially increasing over the same period the prior year, as well as a substantial uptick in donations.  

PAL 4.jpg

BACKGROUND

The Police Athletic League (PAL) of West Palm Beach is a 501(c)3 nonprofit juvenile crime prevention program that relies heavily upon academics and recreational activities to create and maintain the bond between police officers and the kids of West Palm Beach. The organization’s mission is to build self-esteem and resiliency in youth, and to provide positive alternatives to alcohol, tobacco, drugs, delinquency, violence, gang activity, and other negative behaviors. PAL reaches over 400 youth annually through a variety of programs including football, cheer, youth leadership, basketball, baseball, wrestling, and various after school programs.

CHALLENGE

When Ryan William’s Agency joined forces with PAL, the organization was at high risk of becoming financially insolvent, sought improvements in reaching area youth, and was in need of an effective program to attract teens to its Tamarind Avenue facility and away from a nearby mixed-use facility, CityPlace. The expansive and popular West Palm Beach shopping, dining and entertainment destination of CityPlace was a particularly attractive nighttime destination for area teens with little disposable income to gather and loiter. PAL was in need of a fresh approach to keep area teens safe, entertained and away from the mounting public relations tensions that were rising at CityPlace as a result of the loitering teens. The organization was also in desperate need of funding.

SOLUTION

The solution was a three-pronged approach to resolve PAL’s needs. The first was largely operational and involved addressing issues plaguing the board in order to resolve the organization’s potential financial insolvency. RWA President  at the time Valerie Staggs, with years of fundraising experience, including founding and running a thriving 501c3 nonprofit of her own, joined the board and helped revamp the structure to be more proactive and more strategic. RWA worked with the board to address fundraising initiatives, and created a new annual one-night gala event called “Ballroom Blitz” that by itself was helping PAL remain solvent.

 

Parts 2 and 3 of PAL’s challenges—improving methods of reaching out to area youth and attracting them to the PAL and away from CityPlace—were very closely related, and we dubbed this concept our “Reaching Kids Initiative.” RWA began with conducting research and a casual poll of our own staff members’ children, followed by more pointed research and polling of the wants and needs of both PAL youth specifically and West Palm Beach youth in general. Essentially, we researched and asked area youth for the best vehicles with which to communicate with them, as well as what would motivate them to attend on-site events.

 

A series of regularly occurring events was created including youth open-mic competitions, movie nights, street dance party competitions, and a Youth Summit, all in addition to the array of activities already available at PAL. RWA developed street signage for the area around the PAL center and nearby CityPlace, and Youth PAL Ambassadors were recruited in order to create a grassroots marketing program to disseminate event information via text and social media in the language that only other youth truly understand and are motivated by.

RESULTS

By its second year. “Ballroom Blitz" was a hugely successful fundraising event fashioned after the TV reality series “Dancing With the Stars.” Local celebrities, preferably with two left feet, were each paired with professional dance instructors to learn to dance and create a fully choreographed and costumed routine that culminates in this one-night gala competition at the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts. RWA’s “Reaching Kids” initiative was well received, and CityPlace management is onboard and committed to funding to the program. 

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