What we did
Casting a brighter light on kidney disease
While heart disease, cancer, and diabetes are health issues largely at the forefront of public awareness, conversations around kidney disease often fall by the wayside. Yet a staggering 33% of people in America are at risk for kidney disease. That’s one in three people who may be affected, which is why the National Kidney Foundation was founded in 1964.
Headquartered in New York with over 30 offices across the country, the National Kidney Foundation is the largest patient-centric nonprofit organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention, and treatment of kidney disease in the United States. The organization advocates for more policies, research, education, and innovation to support the kidney patient community.
To further its efforts, the National Kidney Foundation needed a way to reach and meaningfully connect with more constituents while still optimizing efficiencies from within. To do so, the organization partnered with Slalom to launch a transformational strategy that would unite the organization internally while driving external awareness and engagement across key audiences.
Our website and digital assets are extremely important to scaling our mission impact, but we’d underinvested in that area. Slalom helped us build the culture, infrastructure, and platform necessary to scale our organization’s reach in the way we needed.
Taking a human-centric approach to content
The first step of the project: tackling kidney.org, the organization’s digital front door. “Our website and digital assets are extremely important to scaling our mission impact, but we’d underinvested in that area,” says Kevin Longino, CEO of the National Kidney Foundation. “Slalom helped us build the culture, infrastructure, and platform necessary to scale our organization’s reach in the way we needed.”
Slalom’s team first audited the organization’s website, performing a crawl of over 25,000 pages to analyze user engagement, metadata, content tagging, and duplicative content. From there, we conducted more than 50 interviews with online users to understand how the nonprofit’s messaging resonated with its constituents. Our research uncovered misaligned messaging and found that over 56% of pages had received no traffic in a 12-month time span.
Together, using these key learnings, we stripped away thousands of website pages hindering search performance. We then developed six personas, two customer journey maps, and 14 recommendations to inform a human-centric content strategy for kidney.org that would resonate with the unique needs of every user.
Breaking down silos to build up relationships
Once a content strategy was in place, it was time to equip the organization internally. The National Kidney Foundation has an array of stakeholders to reach, including patients, care teams, policymakers, insurance companies, public health officials, and more. With the intricacies of so many stakeholders, the organization needed to go beyond its website and enact a digital services model that would enhance decision-making and build deeper relationships with every audience segment.
The Slalom team interviewed more than 60 stakeholders and performed an in-depth discovery into the nonprofit’s processes, uncovering that each department competed to obtain certain goals, leading to department-centricity and silos. To combat this problem, we worked with internal teams to deliver a best-practice architecture and future-state operating model, clearly articulating new roles, workflows, escalation procedures, a governance council, and more.
“If we don’t organize our own house, we’re just going to create chaos for others,” explains Dolores Machuca-Ruiz, chief marketing officer of the National Kidney Foundation. “Slalom really helped us with a digital framework that forced us to put a process into place. It’s helped us be more collaborative, more holistic, and more strategic.”
Turning compassionate focus inward
In the last phase of the project, we helped launch a cultural transformation that would allow the National Kidney Foundation to turn its compassionate focus inward and better unite staff on all levels and geographies in support of the organization’s mission.
Our team designed a culture survey and data dashboard to understand employee outlooks more deeply. Together, based on the results of this survey, we developed a cultural roadmap, vision, and new set of values for the organization. This laid the groundwork for the organization to address challenges, engage staff, and further promote diversity and inclusion.
“Slalom held itself up as a good example of what a culture could or should be. I believe that everyone at Slalom has bought into the values of their organization,” says Longino. “And that became very meaningful for us as we were trying to do our own cultural transformation.”
To ensure long-lasting success, the Slalom team delivered a change management plan, equipping leadership with coaching to champion changes from the top down. Our work allowed the National Kidney Foundation to strengthen its community across a hybrid workforce, elevate internal communications, and inform future recruiting, onboarding, and retention strategies.
Slalom really helped us with a digital framework that forced us to put a process into place. It’s helped us be more collaborative, more holistic, and more strategic.
Driving impact to save more lives
The National Kidney Foundation considers itself a lifeline for kidney patients, and at its core, the purpose of the organization is to save lives. Our comprehensive approach to business transformation will enable the National Kidney Foundation to broaden its reach, drive innovation, and elevate impact in its work to eradicate kidney disease.
“I cannot think of a better group of folks to collaborate with and partner with,” says Longino. “I’m honestly convinced that our constituents and patients are going to be benefiting for decades to come from the value that Slalom brought to our mission and our organization.”