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Human-centered design touches the lives of underserved youth

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Scaling up for greater online reach to help break the cycle of generational poverty

Friends of the Children is a national nonprofit that aims to break the cycle of generational poverty by providing a Friend — a salaried, professional mentor — to children who are in foster care or low-resource schools. This Friend mentors the student from kindergarten through high school, empowering them to graduate from high school, wait to become a parent until after their teen years and avoid the juvenile justice system. These long-term outcomes send positive ripple effects to their siblings, peers, neighbors and society at large. The Friends model is effective, with $7 in return to the community for every $1 invested in our nation’s highest-risk children.

A member of the Friends of the Children national board knew the organization’s extensive growth over the past several years had sparked an interest in enhancing their digital presence — and recognized that PwC had experience in this area. PwC identified the right resources to help Friends of the Children understand the changing needs of their stakeholders and translate those insights into an effective and compelling digital strategy.

     In the client’s words

“We were impressed with your talented team, who not only worked on this project, but went above and beyond all expectations to attend our Friends of the Children events in LA, NYC and Portland. We are amazed and truly grateful. We are excited about the foundation we have to move forward.”

Terri Sorensen, CEO, Friends of the Children
Elevating digital presence to more deeply engage the community

Elevating digital presence to more deeply engage the community

PwC assembled a team of user experience and digital strategists to review Friends of the Children’s website and social media channels with an eye toward audience segments, purpose and content that would resonate emotionally across all their user groups. The PwC team interviewed over 20 internal and external stakeholders to understand how supporters find and interact with Friends of the Children digitally in order to identify gaps between users and needs.

The 12-week pro bono engagement was a highly collaborative human-centered and data-informed process. The PwC team:

  • Defined primary digital user segments and developed personas for each. These personas gave Friends of the Children better perspectives into their audiences, providing a road map for what kind of content and resources would be most effective for different users to engage more deeply in the organization’s mission.
  • Designed recommendations to revamp Friends of the Children’s website, including a tailored user experience by persona type, humanized voice and content strategy, value-driven guiding principles and search engine optimization recommendations.
  • Helped Friends of the Children prioritize quick wins and create a strategy for long-term digital plans according to resource capacity, strategic objectives and user needs.

The path forward — digital transformation that changes kids’ lives  

Friends of the Children’s website was originally built for donors and supporters, but over time, families wanting to connect their children with mentors began interacting with the site. Through this pro bono engagement, PwC equipped the organization with a road map to expand their digital content and outreach and to engage all their online users and stakeholders in more meaningful and dynamic ways, including easier access to resources for families in need to aspirational stories to compel more donors to give. Friends of the Children now has immediate and long-term paths forward that will contribute to provide more youth facing incredible challenges with a consistent, caring adult in their lives — helping them reach their full potential. That’s the power of human-centered design.

Smiling young people toss their caps in the air at a graduation.

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Shannon Schuyler

Shannon Schuyler

Chief Purpose and Inclusion Officer, PwC US

Jeff Senne

Jeff Senne

Responsible Business Leader, PwC US

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