GirlTrek races ahead with EveryAction and Mobilize

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GirlTrek logo

What is GirlTrek?

GirlTrek is a global movement of Black women leveraging the historic legacy of walking and the power of self-care as a pathway to healing and transformation. GirlTrek has unleashed a mass movement for health justice. Energized by the discipline of daily walking and in pursuit of solving inactivity, injustice, and isolation, GirlTrek members collectively organize to shift policy, change systems, and—at scale—solve seemingly intractable problems. The women of GirlTrek have the solutions. 

The challenge

Prior to EveryAction and Mobilize, GirlTrek’s technology and systems looked like many nonprofits’: they had a long list of different pieces in their tech stack serving a range of different purposes, and although the pieces worked together, GirlTrek staff realized they were being limited by it. Because they were not storing all of their data in one place, it wasn't easy to know that, for example, a supporter had opened an email, was going on regular walks on a Saturday, and had filled out an interest form on the GirlTrek website for a challenge. Those data points were gathered and stored in disparate places, making it tough to see the full picture of their supporters.

“We understood the value of those women and their information, and we wanted to make sure that it was safe and protected,” said Chyna Johnson, Director of Impact and Innovation at GirlTrek. “It felt urgent — supporting 1M Black women and the work they were and are doing on the ground was essential to how we would scale and sustain, and we needed a system to grow with us.”

GirlTrek tried a few other systems, but they didn't quite fit what the organization needed from a constituent relationship management (CRM) platform. Nor did they have some of the auxiliary tools GirlTrek needed, like an event component to track their walk participants and the thousands of weekly walks that make up the heart of the organization.

The solution

Needs assessment

GirlTrek conducted an extensive needs assessment, gathering their need-to-haves and their nice-to-haves. They also spoke with and researched other nonprofits and members of the progressive community doing similar work. This helped GirlTrek understand the kind of tools peers were using to power their organizations and/or movements.

Stand-out features and functionalities

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Easy user experience

As a scaling team working to support a rapidly-growing membership, staff needed an easy user experience, and this was one of their top reasons for choosing EveryAction. GirlTrek was also looking for that easy user experience to extend beyond their staff and into their base of volunteers. As an organization that embraces a distributed engagement and organizing model, GirlTrek had members who independently hosted their own walks, and the organization needed the ability to quickly onboard these passionate volunteers and create the potential for volunteers to train other women on how to use the tools.

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Event management with Mobilize

Mobilize's intuitive event management platform emerged as a valuable tool for GirlTrek to have.

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One of GirlTrek's primary goals is to change the narrative of health and wellness about Black women. Storytelling is an avenue for that change—and GirlTrek's weekly email newsletters and social media are the core of that storytelling and communication with the membership. They needed a straightforward email builder with easy-to-navigate functionality and transparent reporting. Enter: EveryAction’s drag and drop email builder tool.

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A strategic partner in scaling through integrations and tools

GirlTrek was looking for a tool that could integrate with Salesforce and select other pieces of their tech stack—and EveryAction easily met that need. Not only did EveryAction’s functionalities and integration capabilities appeal to GirlTrek, but they felt EveryAction’s direction and future as a company aligned with their own intent and strategic plans to scale up. As Chyna put it: “For us, the fact that EveryAction is always adding tools to your umbrella means that you’re really looking at how to continue to advance and grow in this space and keep up with the rate at which organizations like ours are scaling. Thinking ahead about how the CRM tool we are using will look like in the future was really important to us.”

The outcomes

GirlTrek’s signature Black Family 5K was the organization’s first event to be held on Mobilize after making the switch. They hold the event every year on Black Friday, with the intention of transforming a corporate holiday into a day to center kinship, health, and fun.

GirlTrek grew their number of Black Family 5K registrants by 55% in their first year on the Mobilize platform. The tool also gave previously-unavailable nuance to how they analyzed their registration numbers, such as the ability to track group registrations versus individual registrations. Other events and initiatives that have seen increased registrations since moving to EveryAction and Mobilize include GirlTrek’s Joy and Justice events and their Harriet House Parties, which reached nearly 8,000 registrants.

4,587 Black Family 5K registrants in 2021 7,134 Black Family 5K registrants in 2022
increase in registrants for GirlTrek’s signature Black Family 5K event
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Distributed organizing and relationship-building through Mobilize

Thanks to Mobilize’s feedback feature, custom share links, and so much more, organizers and coaches have been able to better connect with their network without dramatically expanding their workload.

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Hailey Darby, director of program and community partnerships and GirlTrek organizer (Houston, TX regional coach)

I deeply enjoyed the benefits of working with the EveryAction and Mobilize platforms for our 2022 GirlTrek season. As a West Coast Regional Coach for GirlTrek, having Mobilize as a resource to easily create, edit and get the word out about the walking event opportunities we had available for Black women and girls was truly a gift to our movement. Mobilize was not only easy to learn and navigate, but also made communicating with walk attendees fun and efficient. Having follow up emails, texts, and reminders automatically sent out to trekkers allowed more time to focus on other aspects of organizing. Additionally, receiving feedback from walk attendees about the treks they attended immediately following the walks helped us to gain insight that was fresh and prepared us to lead better walks from week to week.”

Scaled up capacity for engaging members through email, a 360-degree view of supporters, and automated reporting

As a result of centralizing their information in the EveryAction CRM, GirlTrek’s team now has the power to understand each supporter’s full history of participation, which in turn drives more effective action and connection in the present and into the future.

GirlTrek went from one person handling all member email to five trained staff who’ve become experts in the system and are empowered to manage member communications—a 400% increase in capacity. GirlTrek has also been able to make the most of their email channel with flexible functionality like email marketing automation, which has empowered them to enroll members who complete a form into an automated email stream. GirlTrek can then introduce members to the movement through their Black History Boot Camp podcast—without creating extra manual work for the team.

Additionally, through EveryAction’s automated reporting capabilities, GirlTrek can now ensure that all the right staff have regular access to up-to-date member information. “There are certain people on our team that need to know the online form engagement numbers and email metrics on a weekly basis, and I've been able to send them updated reports on an automated schedule so that they can access those numbers from their inbox,” said Chyna. This allows the team “to have a robust understanding of and advocacy for our membership, independent of one centralized person.”

Reimagining their brand and member connectivity with EveryAction partners Teal Media and Tectonica

When GirlTrek reached their millionth member, they didn’t just meet a long-standing goal—they also reached a strategic inflection point. As a result, GirlTrek made the decision to rebrand, and they collaborated with EveryAction partners Teal Media and Tectonica to build a beautiful new website and construct a custom immersive member walk map, respectively. These projects seamlessly integrated with their EveryAction and Mobilize platforms, and they’ve helped GirlTrek to better meet new members and connect with them on an ongoing basis.

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Driving mission-oriented outcomes

Over the last year and a half, GirlTrek has used Mobilize and EveryAction to support its mission and streamline its workload. Better reporting on outcomes and communication tools has allowed GirlTrek to deepen its impact to save Black women's lives and heal communities. In 2022, GirlTrek was able to impact their more than one million Black women members in the following ways:

Before walking with GirlTrek
  • 27% of women were not walking at all.
  • 16% of women were walking at least five days a week.
  • 44% of women were walking for less than 30 minutes when they walked for exercise.
GirlTrek's 2022 impact
  • 95% of women walked at least once a week.
  • 38% of women walked at least five days a week.
  • 75% of women walked for at least 30 minutes when they walked for exercise.
  • 44% of women walked more than they did before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Want to see how the right technology can help your nonprofit scale up membership, engage more supporters, and ultimately advance your mission? Talk to us to learn more.

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