Turning off the dark
Turning off the dark

SOLARBUDDY IS an Australian charity with a goal to gift six million solar lights to children living in energy poverty by 2030, allowing them to study after dark, improve their education and help break the cycle of poverty. To achieve this ambitious goal, it was imperative for SolarBuddy to raise awareness of not only their goal, but of energy poverty itself.

SolarBuddy’s 2030 vision: 6m solar lights gifted to children living in energy poverty

A bright spot in a dark time

2020 has created significant difficulties in the not-for-profit space. In a year of record-breaking bushfires, let alone the pandemic, potential donors focused on local issues and disaster response. This has posed a challenge for charities like SolarBuddy, who are focused on international and long-standing issues. A highly competitive market, a lack of donor trust in charities, plus a reduction in individual donations due to COVID-19 threatened SolarBuddy’s ability to achieve its important goal.

To overcome these challenges and help SolarBuddy expand into global markets, we were engaged to create the not-for-profit’s marketing capability strategy. Co-designed with key SolarBuddy stakeholders, the strategy articulated a proposition, capability framework and a roadmap of initiatives for 2020 and beyond.

A strategy to guide and support growth

Over the four-week engagement, we provided SolarBuddy with four key outcomes. First, we helped them articulate their value, refining their goals, purpose and vision to help them communicate what they stood for, and why.

Second, we focused their effort on refining their target audiences, and developing a donation-generation funnel and prioritisation framework that will help SolarBuddy put their energy where it will make the most difference.

Third, we invested in their people, providing a capability and upskilling approach to help SolarBuddy with the development of core skills in key areas, helping them upskill for growth.

And finally, we provided a pathway to scale, defining a high level future operating model that allows SolarBuddy to go from local to global, growing its donor base and power to change lives.

Creativity through co-design

The SolarBuddy team are highly dedicated and passionate, with an innovation mindset embedded at the core of their organisation. It was paramount SolarBuddy could hear their voice reflected in the outcomes of this engagement to build support and create a sense of ownership over their new marketing strategy. To achieve this, we collaborated closely with key stakeholders in a series of hybrid co-design workshops throughout the engagement.

These workshops included brainstorming key opportunities to creatively engage with SolarBuddy’s key donor segments, as well as ideation of SolarBuddy’s purpose statement underpinned by core principles. Through this process we created consistent language and messaging that both inspired and aligned their staff and stakeholders alike. We also helped SolarBuddy articulate a second goal, to educate six million people globally about Energy Poverty by 2030, which works hand in hand with the first goal to gift six million solar lights to children living in Energy Poverty by 2030.

Turning off the dark
Turning off the dark

Shining a light on the path forward

The new strategy resonated with SolarBuddy’s needs, and exceeded its expectations. In the words of SolarBuddy CEO and founder Simon Doble: “To say your team and the outcomes of your work have gone beyond my expectations is an understatement. I never doubted the standard of work, but I guess I may (from previous low bono experiences) have doubted the enthusiasm and drive to ‘blow our minds’ and blow our minds you did!

Your outcomes have mirrored our passions and encouraged us to focus on strategic outcomes to propel us forward.

Thank you.”

Published 01 May 2021

About the authors

Bianca Liapis's profile

Bianca Liapis

Consultant, Marketing, Data, Technology

Bianca is a Consultant in the Marketing, Data & Technology team of Deloitte Digital, with a strong interest in customer behaviour, digital marketing and behavioural science. Her core capabilities are within digital marketing strategy, as she helps her clients scale personalisation using marketing technologies. She focuses on enabling her clients to leverage their marketing tools to deliver better customer experiences. Bianca’s ability to display great interpersonal skills is a testament to her capacity for self-awareness and relationship awareness – as she can easily connect with others, build positive relationships and build empathy.

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Emma Anderson's profile

Emma Anderson

Consultant, Experience Design

Emma is a Consultant at Deloitte Digital Brisbane specialising in customer experience and service design. With a background in IT and design, she is passionate about leveraging technology to solve complex problems, uplift experiences and create meaningful change. She strives to combine creative and analytical thinking with evidence-based decision making to drive innovative solutions that balance business goals and customer needs.

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