The mission of Avenidas is to help older adults in the Mid-Peninsula community be as active, engaged, and healthy as possible throughout their lives by providing relevant services and programs. Avenidas serves more than 5,200 people a year and is the go-to place for information, services, and activities offered through a number of programs.
For more than 50 years, Avenidas has been creating innovative programs, providing resources, and coordinating services for older adults and their families. Avenidas’ vision is to be the leader in the creation of a community that supports and celebrates its older adults. It is continually experimenting and responding to the needs, desires, and demographics of the changing face of positive aging.
One of Avenidas’ newest programs is the Avenidas Chinese Community Center (ACCC), opened in 2018, which serves bilingual and monolingual seniors from the Chinese community. Offerings include classes, activities, workshops, and cultural events bilingually in English and Mandarin, including BaDuanJin, Chinese Brush Painting, Cantonese, and more.
Except for an annual membership fee and a few select classes, all activities offered by ACCC are free for members. At this time, there is very little revenue from program fees. The program is primarily funded by a private donor; current funding will allow the program to operate for approximately three more years.
The move to 100% online classes at the start of the pandemic in March 2020 has expanded the reach of the ACCC program to include people from all over the Bay Area, the state, and indeed the United States. A few participants join programs from other countries as well. At one point, Avenidas was approached by a member of the San Ramon Senior Center who wondered if there was a way to have ACCC programming broadcasted to their senior center, where they have a large number of Chinese participants for whom they have no specific programming.
Avenidas asked for an ACT project team to help explore options for generating revenue in the Avenidas Chinese Community Center, so the Center could remain sustainable and perhaps could expand to provide services throughout the Bay Area and California…and maybe the United States!
The project team sought to understand the local Chinese community, specifically their willingness to pay for ACCC’s offerings in light of other alternatives in the area, the perceived value of ACCC’s classes, and the Avenidas membership. The team also considered the long-term sustainability of ACCC in light of the target market’s willingness to pay.
There were two main aspects of the project. First, the ACT team gained an understanding of the target market, local Chinese seniors, via focus groups with ACCC participants, interviews with peer organizations and non-ACCC participants, and conducting secondary research. Their target market analysis included segments of Chinese seniors with different willingness to pay, ability to pay, and family members who might be willing to pay for Chinese seniors. After understanding the value proposition for seniors, the team suggested appropriate pricing.
Second, the team conducted a competitive/peer analysis to learn about other organizations in the area that serve Chinese seniors. Using secondary research and interviews, the team learned what peers were offering, how their organizations were funded, and what their experiences were with Chinese seniors, particularly in regard to willingness to pay.
Through interviews and secondary research, the ACT team learned about how senior centers are typically funded and uncovered earned income opportunities and fundraising opportunities for Avenidas to explore.
The ACT team provided a roadmap for ACCC to move towards a sustainable business model. These included ideas for earned income and fundraising.
The target market analysis suggested that there were two target markets of interest, and that membership fees and class fees should remain modest.
The ACT team also had specific recommendations for increasing awareness, creating interest and desire, and encouraging action (i.e., to become an Avenidas member) to grow the ACCC.
Final Report Outline
- Project Plan Review
- Target Market Analysis
- Peer Analysis
- Earned Income Opportunities