Dating My Spouse IN Dalton

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
Northwest Georgia Marriage Initiative, DBA: Family Frameworks
City & State:
Organization Website:
Organization's Mission Statement

Family Frameworks is a marriage initiative that has been developed to raise the awareness and importance of a healthy marriage in our community and the northwest Georgia area. By providing educational classes, tools and resources to area churches, school systems, business leaders and government officials we seek to strengthen the community by helping healthy marriages and families thrive while decreasing the rate of divorce and family fragmentation.

Submission Information

Impact Essay

Our organization wanted to create a win-win situation for our community. Below are the four areas we felt we needed to make an impact or a winning situation.1. With our Community: Our community has an unemployment rate of 13.7% which is 5 points higher than average for Georgia. In recent years it has increased to an average of 4-6% to 13.7%, which has had a tremendous effect on the economy of our community. Needless to say, there are many families suffering financially, which leads to our businesses suffering. 2. With our local businesses: We wanted to create a way to encourage people to buy local and stay local to keep our businesses strong. Because of our geographic location many people tend to go to Chattanooga or Atlanta for entertainment and shopping. Our community needs our people to stay in the area and buy locally as much as possible. 3. With our families: The statistics show that over 700 families go through a divorce and around 700 couples marry each year. This means that our families are unstable and at high risk of many social problems. With the economy being as unstable as it is we expect even more families to fall apart. With the unstable families come teen pregnancy and high school drop-out rates as well as other social problems that add stress to our families and community. We needed a way to reach couples that would encourage them to work on their marriages with the target age being 30 to 50 year old individuals. This group has shown that they tend to stop dating, due to children, work or elderly parents. Stanley and Markman from the University of Colorado found that the couples that do not report having fun in their marriages tended to have a greater risk of divorce. We are hoping that this program will help the couples participating to have fun in their marriages and build an even stronger, healthy relationship. 4. Our organization: We needed a way to help brand our organization so that the community will know who we are and what we do. We recently updated our organizations name and logo and needed a quick but impactful way to get the word out. We also needed a way to bring some income for sustainability to our organization. We also wanted to create a mechanism that would bring attention to the importance of having fun in a marriage, because that is a stabilizing force in healthy marriages. With our needs listed we came to the conclusion that we needed to create a way to make a date-night for married couples work within our community. We had been emailing our newsletter and knew there must be a way that this technology could be used to help couples even more. We decided to work with our local Chamber of Commerce and utilize a marketing tool that is currently being used in Dalton to keep business local. The tool is called the IN campaign, businesses would use the logo to show that they were IN Dalton and believed in Dalton. We jumped on board and also got IN with our slogan “Dating My Spouse IN Dalton”. We made agreements with ten local restaurants and eateries to join IN with us to offer our couples either “buy one get one free” or “buy one get one half off”, during some of their less busy evenings, which were Sunday through Thursday during the second week of each month. We wanted to make sure that couples did not just go out and talk about work and the kids, but wanted to give them some stimulating, enriching conversation during their date. An incentive is offered every month for those that participate in the question for the month, there is a drawing for a prize from a local merchant. We decided to send out a coupon that listed the ten different restaurants that they could choose from during the designated week to take advantage of significant specials. But one of the concerns that the restaurants had was that the coupon could be mailed to anyone in the community and it would be abused by people other than couples participating in the program. To solve that challenge we developed a button that was sold to the couples for $15 that was also good for one year. This would alert the restaurants to the couples that were participating in the program. During the first week of the month we would email the coupon, they would print it and then take it to the restaurant as well as wear the button to receive the discount. In the email we would list all the restaurants that were participating as well as merchants that were participating to help market our local businesses. After the week was over we would send another email listing the merchants again and feature the winner of the prize and the merchant from whom the prize came. We would also list all merchants in our monthly email newsletter. So there were three times per month that the email list would see these merchants and their logo listed. The program started during Marriage Week which is Valentines Week. When we started, our email newsletter was going to around 700 different addresses. With the “Dating My Spouse” program we have increased our email newsletter to over 1300 contacts. This impacted our organization in many different ways. 1. Branded us in the community to who we are and what we do. 2. Helped over 400 couples establish regular date night habits, which ultimately will strengthen marriages and families.3. Worked with our community to keep more business at home.4. Helped our restaurants by bringing in business that had a greater chance of loyalty5. We raised over $4000 for our organization with a simple program. 6. We raised awareness of the importance of keeping your marriage fun. 7. We saved our families significant amounts of money that could be used for baby-sitting or other areas needed in the household. We had to utilize the technology that we had, which was Microsoft Office that we had received from Tech Soup. By utilizing this method of marketing there was a fresh and different approach that people were intrigued by. We also collaborated with our community in many ways that is not only helping the economy but helped with social stability that we hope to see a tangible difference in the years to come. Also by utilizing the technology that we had we were able to be very cost effective and time-saving. Though this was a simple program it is making a huge impact in our community.

Submission Category
Optimize Mission Delivery
Supporting Work Files