4 July 2022 | Münster
When a child is born prematurely or with a chronic illness, parents are suddenly faced with significant challenges. Worries about the health of their offspring are often accompanied by financial hardship, helplessness or excessive demands. What many do not know: With the Bunter Kreis Münsterland e. V., there is an organisation that supports affected families in this situation. Students of the Münster School of Business (MSB) have investigated in a course under the direction of Katrin Uude from the Science-to-Business Marketing Research Centre (S2BMRC) how the association from Coesfeld can raise its profile in Münster and the surrounding area. At the end of the semester, they now presented their results to the Bunter Kreis Münsterland e.V.
The association was founded in 2000 and enables families in the Münsterland to receive close support in difficult life situations in cooperation with children's and youth clinics. "As a non-profit organisation, we rely on donations and voluntary supporters to be able to finance our services for families," explains Gisela Schumacher, managing director of the Bunter Kreis: "The cooperation with the MSB students was a good opportunity for us to identify unused potential and to find out how people perceive our association who have not had any personal contact with the topic so far."
The students worked on a concept in three small groups, each under the supervision of a Master's student. In the first step, the teams got an overview of the instruments the association has used for its public relations work. In the further course of the project, the prospective business students then collected data on the willingness to donate in the different population groups through online and offline surveys in the city centre. The students also investigated whether and for what reasons people engage in voluntary work. The results derived concrete recommendations for actions for the Bunter Kreis. These include long-term measures such as editorial plans for the association's social media presence or a flyer informing about volunteer work opportunities.
According to the students, events in the city centre or cooperations with local cafés could provide more visibility. It is advisable to include affected people in such activities to give the families affected and thus the association a face. The teams agreed on one aspect: the association needs to communicate better on its website and social media. Then it would have a good chance of being supported more strongly because the willingness to donate to children or to get involved for them is there, according to the survey results.
For MSB students, practice-oriented projects are nothing new. In the Science-to-Society research line at the Science-to-Business Marketing Research Centre, the MSB focuses on research with a societal benefit. "Especially for non-profit associations with small budgets, it is often difficult to become more visible in public," Katrin Uude from the S2BMRC knows. "We are therefore very happy when we can also support social projects with our students. For them, the practical relevance is important, and the organisations benefit from our results."
"I am thrilled with the analysis," says Gisela Schumacher after completing the presentation. "Many points confirm our previous findings. At the same time, we got plenty of new impulses on how we can achieve a lot with small adjusting screws." Miriam Holtkamp, responsible for public relations and fundraising, confirmed this: "You have done a great job. We will certainly take a closer look at many of these ideas in the coming time and implement them."