For my Practicum at Foster School of Business, I was part of a team of four who developed and wrote the marketing plan for a local Seattle business, Courthouse Dogs. CD is a nonprofit dedicated to educating legal professionals on the use of highly trained specialty dogs used in the legal system to provide emotional support to people who need it while testifying or providing information.
My contributions include the executive summary, positioning, values, mission statement, demographics and environmental analysis.
Your suggestion to better define the problem that we are solving (as in the second written material paragraph as the bottom of page 8 in the written plan) is excellent. We are so buried in the world or victim advocacy that we have not done a good job articulating the problem to an uninitiated audience. (All of our clients are very familiar with victim anxiety and its effects, but the average person may not have thought about it before.) -Celeste Walsen, Executive Director
Courthouse Dogs Foundation
Below is the plan’s executive summary. Feel free to peruse the rest of the marketing plan as well as watch me in action as we present our plan to our clients. I’m the second speaker and deliver the idea for a roadmap to donors through an extensive rebrand.
1. Executive Summary
Courthouse Dogs Foundation is a non‐profit organization dedicated to raising awareness and teaching the use of highly‐trained specialty dogs in various legal settings. The dogs are used to calm witnesses so they may testify in court or relay difficult information to legal professionals. The court system can be intimidating and painful for witnesses and the proper use of these dogs helps alleviate the potential stress of the legal process by providing a calm, unbiased presence. Courthouse Dogs educates legal professionals on the benefits of these animals in court, provides in‐depth education on how to use them in legal settings and how to interact the animals with a variety of individuals. The organization teaches people about the dogs’ use and connects legal professionals with resources on obtaining the dogs. The aim of Courthouse Dogs is to raise the awareness and use of the animals in legal settings so that it is commonplace and widely accepted.
Celeste Walsen and Ellen O’Neill‐Stevens founded the Courthouse Dogs Foundation. To date, they have funded the organization with their own money and with fees charged for classes on handling and using the dogs. Some donations have come in, but with their past status as a for‐profit business, donations have been small and unreliable. Outlined in this paper is how leveraging their past PR, cause, online marketing, the new non‐profit status will allow Courthouse Dogs will reach out to select individual and corporate donors in order to fund the organization.