The Harlem Educational Activities Fund (HEAF) is an educational nonprofit that provides afterschool, summer and weekend programs to empower underserved New York City students to pursue and obtain a college education. The organization helps public school students in grades 6-12 and college develop the intellectual curiosity, academic ability, social values and personal resiliency they need to ensure success in school, career and life.
In June 2011, HEAF engaged RF|Binder to tell a story that currently isn’t being told in the news media or included in the national education dialogue: that supplemental, or afterschool, education offers a here-and-now solution to mitigating America’s educational crisis. Since HEAF is a centerpiece to solving New York City’s education woes and the organization is primed for expansion, RF|Binder was charged with introducing both HEAF and the concept of supplemental education to an audience of national and local news media, educational stakeholders and potential investors in the organization.
- Ready to meet these challenges, RF|Binder set out to achieve a number of objectives:
- Advance the educational dialogue to include the role the supplemental education market plays in student achievement
- Emphasize HEAF’s program success among local, regional and national education journalists
- Position HEAF as a highly successful, cost-effective alternative to addressing the education crisis
To date, the RF|Binder team has helped HEAF earn:
- Coverage in top-tier and local outlets including The New York Times, USA Today and The New York Daily News, as well as a coveted Donor of the Day column in The Wall Street Journal the day of HEAF’s benefit dinner
- A secured series of five blog posts on influential educational blog Edutopia about college preparation
- A thought leadership piece on The New York Times’ Schoolbook blog
Additionally, RF|Binder has worked closely with HEAF’s development team to increase communications with current and potential donors and HEAF alumni. Activities have included the creation of an overview video about HEAF and a monthly donor newsletter.
Finally, RF|Binder has increased the content and engagement of HEAF’s social media properties. To date, HEAF Facebook post views and Twitter followers have increased dramatically.