Youth Development Nonprofit Marketing Case Study

The Client

Catalyst Works with a Prominent Youth Development Program to Communicate the Stories Behind the Program

The First Tee is a national youth development program – and official partner to the USGA, PGA/LPGA, and Masters organizations. Its mission places golf at the center of an effort to help children and young adults of all socio-economic backgrounds develop important leadership, confidence, and self-awareness skills. It’s programming that  ranges from personal safety to college scholarship guidance.

While the organization’s mission focuses on kids, its impact is much further reach and includes its athletes’, coaches, families and communities. Skills learned through the organization’s programs are meant to help participants live healthier, more fulfilling lives and preserve the broader value of golf for future generations.

The Pain Point

Marketing A Different Kind of Platform

As a nonprofit, the First Tee relies largely on online channels like email and social media to communicate its mission, programs, and recent updates. It also needs them to tell compelling stories about the effectiveness of those programs and the impact they’re having on various constituencies. These communications come in from a variety of sources: Departmental heads like development and events as well as coaches, participants and local partner organizations like parks departments. Aggregating each of them into a single online voice and managing dozens of simultaneous online conversations can prove challenging for a small organization though. Catalyst was ready to help.
The Strategy

An Integrated Marketing Strategy

With a strong organizational backing, The First Tee’s communications strategy was sound, if generic. Our strategy focused on making it relevant to local communities. To do it, we worked with the organization on highlighting how the work impacted individuals and communities through intimate storytelling experiences.


Since the organization didn’t have an outsized marketing budget, we worked with its leadership team to develop a workflow for identifying and aggregating unique storytelling content. That included a steady stream of images and videos captured by its network of coaches, mentors, athletes, parks employees and other organizational supporters. When combined with an ongoing stream of nationally driven news and information, we were able to help create a compelling social media marketing that drove attention.



Our team assumed control of the First Tee’s social media marketing channels. Once stakeholders shared content our community manager scheduled in for distribution using our in-house editorial calendar. Catalyst answered all online engagement, conferring with the organization’s answers to specific questions. The organization’s office shared content from the local organization’s social media channels on more than a dozen occasions, earning interest from its parent organization as well as media manager at the PGA and Masters.

“As an organization predominantly focused on young people, communicating the impact of our programs in a way that’s visible and consistent - for parents, donors, and the community is absolutely vital. We have loved working with Catalyst and would recommend them to other nonprofits as well as sponsors and other friends of The First Tee.”


A Direct-to-Consumer Marketing Strategy that Works

As a nonprofit member of the community surrounding our Seattle headquarters, we worked to develop systems for collaborating with the organization that required as little upfront cost as possible. That included embedding our community manager directly into The First Tee’s  existing management group where we could aggregate content from a wide array of community stakeholders. Our team sends the nonprofits stakeholders automated reporting about top of funnel KPIs like follower growth, engagement, and sharing on a monthly basis for organizational reporting.

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