Last year, Asindown contacted the Esade Alumni Pro Bono Consultants programme to ask for advice about its communication plan. Asindown has been operating since October with a new brand that is much younger and in tune with its values. To discover the secrets of this collaboration, we spoke with Roberto Ballester (PMD ‘12), coordinator of the Pro Bono Consultants project, and Manuel Campos (DGONG MAD ‘20), director of Asindown.
Asindown is made up of two organisations: the Down Syndrome Association of Valencia and the Asindown Foundation. These two entities work together with a single objective and mission: to improve the quality of life of people with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities and promote their inclusion and participation as full citizens at every stage of their lives.
Last year, the organisation contacted the Esade Alumni Pro Bono Consultants programme, where teams of alumni provide pro bono consultancy services for third-sector organisations, to request advice about their communication plan. Asindown now has a new brand that reflects all of the organisation’s values. Collaborating with Asindown was also a transformative experience for the alumni consultants, as it gave them an opportunity to apply their knowledge in the service of the greater good.
Manuel Campos, director of Asindown, explained that third-sector organisations, due to their own synergies, are often focused on providing direct services to their beneficiaries, channelling all of their resources – material and human – into these efforts. This lack of resources means that important aspects such as communication and marketing tend to be relegated to the background. “The opportunity offered to us by Esade Alumni was a chance to professionalise an area that had not received the attention it deserved, despite our being aware of its importance. Having a team of top-notch professionals willing to work alongside our organisation’s professionals at no cost to Asindown meant that all the synergies were able to come together,” he commented.
Work of diverse teams
The first step of our collaboration with Asindown was to set up a working group of Esade Alumni professionals specialised in strategic and professional plans, management teams and organisational governing bodies. One unusual aspect of this consulting project was that practically 100% of the work had to be done online. “I think only the first two meetings and the last meeting were held in person,” explained pro bono consultant Roberto Ballester. “In any case, we were able to integrate this aspect into our approach and forge ahead.”
By implementing various dynamics, the consultants were able to develop a strategic plan that has helped the organisation change its communication strategy, acting as a turning point for the launch of the new Asindown brand.
“At Esade Alumni Pro Bono Consultants, we have to create a team consisting of a diverse range of people – who have never met and have not worked together before – to carry out a project in a very limited time frame,” explained Roberto. “It is very enriching to learn from the knowledge and professional experiences of the other people on the team. Integrating diverse teams and getting down to work from day one, while also learning to work in an environment that is completely different from what you’re used to, is becoming increasingly important in corporate settings. And, of course, it’s very motivating for the team to have a positive impact on the world.”
Working with the foundation proved to be easy: “The fact that it is an organisation that involves the families of people with Down syndrome makes it much more direct and personal,” Roberto added. “It was a tremendous privilege to be able to work with such a professional and motivated team of workers.”
One step further in Asindown’s transformation
“For Asindown, this project by a group of outside experts lends credibility to the entire change, as it is based on a strategic plan,” commented Manuel.
Since early October, Asindown has been operating with a new brand that is much younger and in tune with its values. “In addition to changing the Asindown brand, we have also changed our claim to ‘genetically rebellious’, which accompanies Asindown, and La mare que va, a pioneering project that we hope will become a benchmark in the autonomous community of Valencia,” added Manuel. “Now, all three brands have the same identity and form part of a much more unified whole. I’m confident that this change will allow us to support the entire transformation that the foundation is carrying out and drive us to achieve new challenges.”