SafeGuards Training works to build the capacity of professionals through training on trauma-informed practice, trauma and related effects. They strive to make a difference in the lives of people impacted by trauma by providing relevant, responsive teaching and learning opportunities both online and in person. VA Partners has worked with SafeGuards for over 6 years.

Business Challenges:

In years past, SafeGuards relied heavily on in person and on-site training leveraging their website to promote course offerings and track registration. SafeGuards were experiencing low registration numbers, and they did not have the budget to fill a full-time marketing role, and that is where VA Partners stepped in to assist and fill these gaps to increase registration numbers.

In early 2020, Covid forced a dramatic change in their business as all courses had to be moved online.  Their current website was not sufficient in terms of user experience and was not optimized properly.  This was creating problems for the SafeGuards team in terms of making quick and efficient updates. 

In parallel, SafeGuards was struggling with their social media strategy.  They needed to develop a strong strategy to promote their course offerings, increase registration numbers and boost their visibility within the trauma support community. 

Executive Director Leslie Atkinson says “SafeGuards Training is a relatively small non-profit that was fully funded by government to provide trauma training to specific sectors. Over time, the funding didn’t grow to support increased costs and the demand for training so we decided to take a calculated leap and transition to a non-profit social enterprise. We struggled a bit as existing staff didn’t have the expertise and experience in marketing that we needed.  We’re so happy we discovered VA Partners as it provides us with an experienced team that brings to the table a diverse set of marketing skills and expertise. They work closely with us and are very responsive. I appreciate the fact they are proactive and keep us on track with regular reports which always include plans for improvement!”  

Our Solution:

Utilizing VA Partners Part-Time Marketing services, a marketing strategy was developed and executed including:

  • Assisted with the launch of a new website in the fall of 2019 with additional updates made in 2023
  • Migrated from an email only system to CRM in 2020 
  • E-commerce improvements made to website in 2023
  • Increased the SEO and created a more efficient platform for updates 
  • We monitored Google ads for Nonprofits to boost awareness and registration numbers
  • Moved the e-newsletter to HubSpot to increase deliverability and engagement
  • Introduced a marketing strategy for social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn 
  • Expanded third party network sites to post course offerings to increase visibility 
  • Support around trade shows including asset creation and virtual booth assistance 


The Results:

After working with VA Partners since the launch of the new website and making necessary changes to their social media strategy, SafeGuards has experienced positive results including

  • Increased web traffic including a dramatic increase in sessions by 79% and page views by 99% in the last 5 years
  • Improved deliverability of newsletters and traffic to site from these newsletters  
  • With a newsletter design which has increase open rates and click throughs 
  • Helped to increase registration numbers between 2017 and 2023, nearly doubling registration since 2017.  


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