The Ronald McDonald House is a charitable foundation designed to house families of ill children being treated at nearby facilities. The organization has strong ties to McDonald’s, being founded by Gerald Newman, Chief Accounting Officer for McDonald’s.
For the purpose of this blog post, I will focus on the Ronald McDonald House present here in Morgantown, WV. This small branch of the corporation was only opened in 1990, so we are still a fledgling operation. I use “we” because I have been employed by the Ronald McDonald House since summer of 2014. As the mission statement states, RMHC’s purpose is to provide “a home-away-from-home” for families who have their children being treated at any Morgantown facility (such as Ruby Memorial Hospital). To elaborate, RMHC has sixteen bedrooms that house four people each, a laundry facility, and a large kitchen and pantry stored to the brim with essentials. Through work that the employees do and the charitable donations of various corporations and people, RMHC makes sure that families can focus solely on the health of their loved ones during trying times, instead of worrying about where they will sleep and how they can afford it.
As far as local competitors, RMHC is rather standalone in what the organization does. The neighboring Rosenbaum House provides the same service, but Rosenbaum houses families of adults aged eighteen and over. There is a three year overlap between potential guests (RMHC’s age bracket is birth to twenty-one), though otherwise there is no direct competition in the manner of guests. However, looking at competition from the perspective of receiving donations and volunteers, the number of competitors certainly increases.
In terms of volunteers, RMHC directly competes with the Rosenbaum House, Ruby Memorial Hospital, Bartlett House, and many other non-profits located in Morgantown. Likewise, RMHC competes with the aforementioned for donations, both monetary and for items, in addition to other organizations like Salvation Army.
The RMHC social media pages are run by the very talented Ms. Lindsay Dawson, and RMHC has presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even YouTube. Every page is updated at least once a week, with Facebook having the largest reach (as of this blog, 3,349 people have liked the RMHC Morgantown Facebook page). The aforementioned competitors all have strong social media presence as well, with strong reviews on their social media sites like Facebook. However, none have the amount of likes as RMHC (Bartlett House has 777 as of this writing).
Even so, the competition for donations and volunteers is still strong. I have told many people that I work for Ronald McDonald House and they have responded with “McDonald’s?” To increase RMHC’s social media presence even more, I would focus on Twitter and Instagram to attract more young people as volunteers. I would update more frequently with events and photos. Moreover, I would use social media to target more corporations around Morgantown to attract them to RMHC’s events so that they may view our devotion to helping families firsthand.
RMHC is a wonderful organization dedicated to helping children and their families during turbulent times, and for that cause, I want to bring a even larger awareness to their mission.
If any of you reading this are interested in learning more about Ronald McDonald House Charities of Morgantown, feel free to visit the wonderful Facebook page, as well as the personal website!