Updated: Dec 11, 2021
Originally posted September 30, 2021 on Scot Scoop:
When a classmate reached out about their organization, I simply could not resist. I knew that the story was a good one, especially with the message they conveyed. Mutually helping both the student body and nonprofit organizations, I knew that an article about this student group would interest both the general campus and anyone due to its broader human interest angle. This article even won a "Best of SNO" award.
When the world calls out for help, nonprofit organizations reach out and support it. But who offers a hand when nonprofits themselves need assistance?
Student Business Enterprises, or SBE, is a group of Carlmont students who do web development and advertising for nonprofit organizations. They utilize both the skills they learned in their marketing class and Google’s ad service, which offers $10,000 for nonprofit organizations in advertising credit.
The group started in May 2021, according to Carlmont junior Amelia Clevenger, the head of Google Ads for SBE. They met via Zoom throughout the summer and are continuing to meet this way.
“It originally started because Mr. Rowe taught us how to use Google Ads in his marketing class and got everyone certified in Google Ads for free,” Clevenger said.
John Rowe is the business teacher at Carlmont as well as the president of Student Business Enterprises. As a mentor to Carlmont students, Rowe saw the difficulties with students obtaining internships in the field. By establishing SBE, he created a win-win situation.
“I thought it’d be a great idea to create opportunities for my students to be able to learn about business by working as a digital advertising agency where we do marketing work for other nonprofit companies,” Rowe said. “So our students will get experience that way.”
At the moment, the group assists with advertising by utilizing Google Ads as well as helping nonprofit organizations create better websites. However, there is room for future expansion into other fields.
“We’re also going to be working in social media management,” Rowe said. “Facebook has a cool program where they are creating a curriculum for teachers to teach their students all about how to do digital marketing or social media advertising on platforms like Instagram and Facebook.”
According to Clevenger, Rowe was the mastermind of the whole project, encouraging them to use the knowledge they learned in class and apply it to real-world concepts.
“I thought it’d be a great idea to create opportunities for my students to be able to learn about business by working as a digital advertising agency where we do marketing work for other nonprofit companies. ” — John Rowe
Furthermore, advertising, which Clevenger specializes in, is a significant real-world topic at the moment. Clevenger expressed how difficult it was to become proficient at the skill.
“It’s a very complex area. It’s not just writing copy [writing something for the purpose of marketing], it has multiple steps to it, and you get to learn about optimization. You can do data analytics on that side because you get to see how the ads are performing and you get to write copy on the editing/writing side. You get to brainstorm keywords to do target market research and practice your marketing tools, so there’s a lot of different areas that it tests you in,” Clevenger said.
However, many nonprofits can’t access and utilize the resources allotted to them without outside support, which is why Clevenger and her team help. According to Clevenger, it helps not just the nonprofits but also the student team, giving them vital practice in a real-world situation.
“I get to learn about Google ads while helping out nonprofit organizations and helping them with something that they might not be able to do otherwise,” Clevenger said.
“[Advertising is] a very complex area. It’s not just writing copy, it has multiple steps to it, and you get to learn about optimization.” — Amelia Clevenger
Another branch of SBE is web development, which Carlmont senior Guillermo Mendoza works on. Mendoza is a team manager for web development, working on projects such as SBE’s own website. He also helps finalize certain decisions and helps run the group’s meetings.
Mendoza also sees the importance of web development, especially for nonprofit organizations.
“It’s a way of getting more attention to their company,” Mendoza said. “They have all their information on their websites: how to contact them, what their products are, what they do, their mission statements, everything like that is important for a website to be clear and concise.”
SBE’s goals regarding web development are simple. They wish to help make simple websites for nonprofits that are easy to get to and straightforward to update if need be.
“They really do appreciate what we’re doing for them. These websites are a step up from what they’ve had previously. ” — Guillermo Mendoza
According to Mendoza’s recollection of his team’s opinions, the impact was evident. The websites are actively used by nonprofit organizations hosting their products and providing more accessibility for customers on their new websites, helping the companies grow.
“They really do appreciate what we’re doing for them,” Mendoza said. “These websites are a step up from what they’ve had previously.”
For prospective members, Clevenger emphasized the multitude of opportunities that the organization presents.
“There are so many opportunities, and everyone wants to get involved. This is a great way if you don’t have any experience with Google Ads; you don’t have to have any experience with web development. We’ll teach you how to do that,” Clevenger said.