PeopleFund Blog

IBM: Superheroes for Small Business

PeopleFund is a nonprofit community lender that provides affordable small business loans and free educational programs for underserved Texans. With a focus on women, minorities, veterans, and low income people, PeopleFund helps small businesses create jobs and build ladders out of poverty and toward prosperity.

IBM has been an invaluable partner of PeopleFund and a true hero for the underserved entrepreneur chasing the American Dream, thanks in large part to Beth Tracy, IBM Corporate Citizenship Manager.

With a small marketing team, we’ve made great strides, but there are always ways to improve efficiencies and new opportunities to reach those who need us most. Thanks to the IBM Social Media Accelerator impact grant, more people are registering for our financial literacy and business education programs and our community impact, especially among women and veterans, enrollment has grown dramatically. PeopleFund has leveraged our existing social media presence to engage with our audience by building interactive content, creating social events through Facebook for increased attendance, and posting creative content that encouraged people to share and comment. Additionally, we have revised web content to be more conservational to appeal to a broader base. For example, the Innovation Week agenda now features color-coded, short snapshots of workshops complete with photos and easy-to-navigate drop down menus. We’ve seen increased program attendance from the advice gained through the IBM training session, with registration exceeding this year in comparison to last year.

PeopleFund has continued to grow our presence on LinkedIn with discussions, groups, and job postings. We have even begun conversations with LinkedIn about enhancing job postings so our organization can attract the best talent statewide. IBM consultant expertise training enabled more members of the PeopleFund team to be cross-trained on social media, so the Director of Advancement and Education can focus more strategically on fundraising, outreach, and programming, and not the daily posts and updates. From interns to staff, with the development of an enriched social media strategy; in partnership with IBM, we’re able to delegate the work to be more efficient with our time, energy and resources.

Due to the IBM training and the new social media strategies we have implemented, PeopleFund was recently recognized by the Goodman Center for Social Media at the Bank of America Neighborhood Builders cohort or outstanding web and social content for a nonprofit organization.

The IBM impact grant offered so much more than social media strategies; it enabled our staff to gain new skills and helped us reach more people than ever before. Together we are transforming lives, one loan at a time. The staff at PeopleFund are incredibly grateful to IBM and our partner representative Beth Tracy, for the training and we look forward to enriching our partnership with IBM so we can all be superheroes for small business.

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