Uncover the keys to impactful marketing and compelling communications with our extensive collection of training video courses–tailored to meet the needs of nonprofits. Immerse yourself in learning about effective branding, content strategy, social media engagement, and beyond. Each of these lessons, guided by seasoned nonprofit professionals, will provide you with a deeper understanding of the unique marketing landscape nonprofits navigate, and equip you with practical skills to communicate your mission convincingly. You’ll learn how to amplify your organization’s voice and make it resonate with potential donors, volunteers, and the communities you serve. Dive deep into topics like creating inspiring narratives, building influential marketing campaigns, and leveraging the digital world to reach broader audiences.
Deb Nelson, a partner and nonprofit industry leader at EideBailly, introduces the ‘Resourcefullness Award’! This award, now in it’s 12th year, was conceived to recognize and celebrate nonprofits' innovative revenue-generating initiatives. The award has evolved to a national scale, offering a single $50,000 unrestricted grant to the winning organization, allowing them to allocate funds as they see fit. Deb outlines the importance of sustainability, creativity, impact, implementation, and overall impression in the judging criteria. With over 430 applications from nearly all states in 2023, the Resourcefullness Awards have become a prestigious recognition for nonprofits of all sizes and ages.
The 2023 winner, Project Chimps, exemplified creativity by developing a hiking trail through their sanctuary for retired research chimpanzees, leveraging their community for support and revenue generation. Judges, external thought leaders in the nonprofit sector, assess applications and determine the winner based on the outlined criteria.
Deb extends an invitation to nonprofits to apply for the 2024 awards, with the application period opening on July 11th and closing on August 9th. She speaks about clarity and conciseness in applications, sharing that the process aims to be non-burdensome for applicants.
Additionally, a webinar on February 27th will provide insights into past winners' experiences and offer inspiration for prospective applicants. Finally, EideBailly plans to host a nonprofit-focused week in October, providing further opportunities for engagement and support within the nonprofit community.
Deb also explained that EideBailly, as a top 25 CPA firm, provides services beyond auditing and taxes, including outsourced accounting and technology needs for nonprofits.
Host Jarrett Ransom and Guest LaShonda Williams dig deep, eagerly tackling questions submitted by nonprofits, demonstrating their passion for supporting and empowering organizations in the sector.
The conversation kicks off with a focus on community engagement, as LaShonda advises a nonprofit leader on the savvy idea of leveraging board members to facilitate introductions to key community leaders. Emphasizing the need for swift action, she recommends accelerating the timeframe to maximize the impact of these networking efforts.
Moving on to donor management, LaShonda and Jarrett provide valuable insights into the ideal number of donors in a development officer's portfolio. Stressing the importance of quality over quantity, they explore strategies for effectively balancing workload and personalization in donor relationships. They also discuss the merits of collaboration within development teams, advocating for regular meetings to strategize and optimize portfolio management.
The conversation extends to organizational challenges, such as navigating leadership transitions and ethical dilemmas. LaShonda offers thoughtful guidance on maintaining confidentiality and fostering transparent communication in sensitive situations involving board members and CEOs.
The duo also explores the concept of milestone marketing, celebrating organizations' anniversaries as an opportunity to showcase achievements, recognize supporters, and attract new donors. They illuminate the potential of milestone events to generate awareness and engagement, even on a modest budget.
Towards the end of the episode, LaShonda and Jarrett shine a spotlight on the upcoming Cultivate conference, organized by Fundraising Academy. They invite listeners to participate in this enriching event, which promises to offer valuable insights, networking opportunities, and practical strategies for nonprofit professionals.
LaShonda Williams, MPA and CFRE, and trainer at Fundraising Academy, brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the discussion. She highlights the importance of equipping professionals with essential tools to establish and sustain meaningful relationships with donors, ultimately enhancing their organizations' impact.
Dr. Bre Gentile, the CEO and founder of Doctor G's Lab, who holds a PhD, discusses the importance of engaging young people for social change and shares her wisdom about amplifying the voices of youth in the nonprofit sector, emphasizing the need for adults to actively support and collaborate with young people to drive meaningful social change.
Dr. G starts with her thoughts on the significance of youth involvement in social impact initiatives and emphasizes how young people often initiate positive change. She provides examples like Greta Thunberg, who started her climate activism as a teenager, and Sunflower in Thailand, a youth-led organization combating human trafficking. Dr. G's optimism about the passion, awareness, and open-mindedness of today's youth will inspire you! She states, "Our youth are thinking, they're aware, their eyes are open, and they're caring, and that is hope for me as an adult."
The conversation covers the role of youth in various social sectors and touches on their desire to be part of meaningful initiatives, and how they are changing the landscape, particularly through the power of social media. Dr. G brings up the importance of creating safe spaces for youth to express themselves and suggests that adults should be more open to sitting with discomfort and uncertainty, mirroring the resilience and determination displayed by young people.
The hosts ask about the influence of social media and technology on youth engagement and activism and Dr. G discusses the challenges and opportunities presented by these platforms, emphasizing the need for careful facilitation and adult guidance.
The fast-paced chat touches on the evolving landscape of higher education, with young people seeking more information and insights into their choices, particularly regarding college and career paths. Dr. G highlights the importance of providing platforms for young individuals to connect with college students and professionals who can offer guidance.
As the interview concludes, the hosts ask about the concept of youth-led initiatives and the challenges they face as they age out of their roles. Dr. G replies how adults can play a crucial role in ensuring the sustainability of youth-led initiatives by offering mentorship and support.
In this high-energy and informative interview, investigative reporter Jason Wolf sheds light on the world of athletes and their sports foundations. Wolf's extensive experience in sports reporting and investigative journalism has allowed him to uncover critical issues in the NFL and player philanthropy.
Wolf's journey through journalism spans two decades, starting with small community papers and culminating in his current position as a sports investigative reporter for the Arizona Republic and USA TODAY Network. His unique perspective from covering various cities, fan bases, and NFL teams sets the stage for his impactful journalism.
The interview explores the ways many athletes create foundations without fully understanding nonprofit management, often relying on marketers and management companies. Wolf's reporting uncovered instances where these third-party organizations took substantial portions of funds intended for charitable purposes, raising questions about the efficiency and impact of these athlete-led nonprofits. Wolf's groundbreaking reporting has had a significant influence on the sports philanthropy landscape.
The conversation delves into the prestigious Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, its significance, and the importance of recognizing the efficient use of funds by athlete foundations. An exploration of grant funding from these foundations reveals their role as fundraising vehicles to support charitable causes. Wolf also discusses the prevalence of signed memorabilia as auction items in fundraising events.
The interview concludes by revealing Wolf's upcoming work, and he briefs us on www.SportforImpact.org, a new organization founded by Anquan and Dionne Boldin, aimed at improving fiscal responsibility in athlete philanthropy. The launch of this organization represents a promising step toward more effective and accountable athlete-led foundations.
You will learn a lot from this discussion about Jason Wolf's passionate investigative reporting and his dedication to shedding light on athlete philanthropy challenges. His work will leave a lasting impact on the sports world, encouraging positive change and accountability in the sector.
A revealing and fun discussion on the value and process of media sponsorships for your nonprofit. Julia Patrick, the CEO of the American Nonprofit Academy, takes us through the intricacies of what media sponsors truly desire and the potential they hold for nonprofits.
"Connectivity is key," Julia begins, as she elaborates on the importance of connecting with media outlets, those gateways to vast audiences. Whether it's through TV, radio, digital media, or even sports franchises like the NBA or MLB, these media titans wield the power to connect you with their audience like never before.
Julia's recounts a hilarious incident involving her own daughter being approached by an event chair to be their media partner – an unforgettable tale of mishaps in the world of media partnerships!
Host Jarrett Ransom shares in expressing how media partnerships could be a game-changer for nonprofits, focusing questions on when is the best time to approach a media partners.
The conversation shifts to data, and Julia shares how nonprofits need to paint a clear picture of their donor base, showcasing their interests, demographics, and economic impact. Media partners want this valuable data to ensure a perfect alignment of values and mission.
But the curveball of the day comes when Jarrett asks about social media influencers. Julia's response is a cautious one – pointing out the flaws that may be hiding from the opportunity. . . . . . it might not be the right fit.
In this Master Class discussion about leadership networking at nonprofits, Julia Patrick, the CEO of the American Nonprofit Academy, emphasizes the importance of connecting with leadership, encouraging nonprofits to look beyond their own organizations and collaborate with a broader network of leaders to maximize their impact and influence in their communities. By sharing stories, building connections, and fostering a sense of community support, nonprofits can achieve greater success in their missions.
The conversation starts with the realization that many nonprofit leaders don't know each other well enough, despite being part of the same community. Even though leaders are often well-known in the public eye, there are significant gaps in their knowledge about each other's organizations and activities.
The discussion emphasizes the need for nonprofit leaders to actively connect and share their stories with one another, especially in a post-pandemic world where in-person networking opportunities have diminished. They discuss the significance of creating a leadership list that includes a wide range of leaders, including those from different sectors like education, faith, government, media, and boards of directors. The purpose of this list is to foster collaboration, share knowledge, and identify opportunities for joint ventures, partnerships, or support.
Julia recommends using a basic spreadsheet to manage the leadership list, including names, affiliations, and email addresses. The communication should be concise, focusing on impact and achievements rather than solely on fundraising. Calls to action, such as inviting leaders for tours or roundtable discussions, can help strengthen connections.
The conversation also highlights the importance of reaching out to faith leaders and those in the education sector, including school leaders and university presidents, as they play crucial roles in shaping the community's future.
In this fun episode about trends in charity auctions, Bobby D. Ehlert, a benefit auctioneer specialist at CallToAuction.com, chats about the latest trends in nonprofit auctions, emphasizing the importance of benefit auctioneers in creating successful fundraising events. He describes the three types of auctioneers: free auctioneers, commercial auctioneers, and benefit auctioneers, elaborating on the significance of benefit auctioneers in nonprofit events, as they understand the unique dynamics of fundraising events and focus on creating memorable experiences for donors.
You’ll appreciate his important point more fully, regarding the difference between commercial auctioneers and fundraising auctioneers . . . . . . . "Fundraising auctioneers understand the process of a fundraising event. They're not just up there to talk fast. They're there to help cultivate and identify those relationships with the donors."
He highlights the shift towards more highly produced events that focus on storytelling and creating impactful experiences for donors. Bobby D. also shares insights into the changing donor landscape, the popularity of unique experiences as auction items, and the growing trend of paddle raise-only events. Join us in this informative discussion as we explore the evolving world of charity auctions and fundraising events.
Diana Otero from Bloomerang, sheds light on the evolving landscape of nonprofit annual reports, emphasizing the importance of donor-centric storytelling, personalization, and strategic use of these reports to engage and retain donors effectively. Boomerang's commitment to elevating the sector and providing innovative solutions further supports nonprofits in achieving their goals.
Diana emphasizes the importance of understanding what donors want to hear. She highlights that donors want to know how their contributions have made a difference and that their support is essential for the organization's success. This message should be at the core of any annual report.
The conversation also digs into the idea of using annual reports strategically. Diana suggests that nonprofits should view annual reports as more than just a summary of activities; they should be used to tell compelling stories about the organization's impact, engaging donors on a deeper level.
Personalization at scale is another trend discussed. Diana predicts that nonprofits will expand their tools that can tailor their communications to individual donors based on their interests and preferences. This personalization can lead to more meaningful donor relationships.
Diana Farias Heinrich, CEO of Habra Marketing, sheds light on the significance of ethical storytelling in nonprofit marketing. She stresses the importance of informed consent and a client-centric approach to safeguard clients' privacy, dignity, and overall well-being during the storytelling process.
Diana shares a personal experience where she unknowingly put a client at risk by sharing their story without fully considering the potential consequences. This experience drove her to establish a four-step process for informed consent conversations:
Prep: Understand the intended end product and vet clients before approaching them for interviews.
Conducting the Interview: Build trust with clients, make them feel comfortable, and ensure they know they can say no at any point.
Stakeholder Test: Examine how the client and their community might react to the story when shared publicly.
Pass Back the Mic: After crafting the story, give clients the opportunity to review, make revisions, or reject it if they feel uncomfortable.
Diana also addresses the challenge of reusing old stories from the "vault" and suggests that organizations should establish an intentional storytelling rhythm while involving clients in the decision-making process.
This Best Practices discussion wraps up with a few words about revolutionizing storytelling by incorporating principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Diana advocates for changing the language used to describe people and being mindful of how words can impact individuals and communities.
Throughout the lively conversation, Diana underscores the necessity of a considerate, client-centered approach to storytelling in the nonprofit sector. She emphasizes the importance of informed consent and ethical practices to safeguard both clients and the reputation of organizations. She encourages nonprofits to embrace these best practices to create impactful and responsible storytelling campaigns. As she aptly puts it, "It's doing the right thing."
In this lively episode, Micah James, Manager of Professional Services at Bloomerang.co, shares insights on how nonprofits can enhance their year-end fundraising efforts. Micah starts with the importance of authenticity in nonprofit messaging during this busy season, advising organizations to avoid cookie-cutter approaches and instead showcase their unique missions and impact.
Micah encourages nonprofits to communicate authentically, connecting with their local communities and highlighting their specific contributions to solving community problems. She points out that unique approaches tend to resonate more with donors, stating, "It's really about connecting not only with your community—where are you located? What's your context? —but also, what do you do in that community to solve that community's problems?"
The conversation also covers the use of video in nonprofit communications. Micah recommends short (90-second or less) videos to provide a distinctive touch and make supporters feel connected to the organization's work. Authenticity was key, and she advised against over-editing, encouraging nonprofits to showcase their day-to-day operations and impact. Micah urges, "90 seconds or less is like that perfect sauce. So it's not too long, not too short—just letting me say, 'Hey, how are you? This is us. Come on in. Don't you want to be a part of this?'"
The hosts asked about the challenge of nonprofits operating remotely or without a physical presence to showcase. Micah digs into storytelling and capturing the essence of the organization through conversations, even if it's a virtual tour or discussion among team members.
This episode also describes the importance of maintaining a consistent brand image throughout the donation process, including on landing pages. Micah stresses the need to minimize friction in the donation process, ensuring that donors feel safe and comfortable, advising nonprofits to test their own donation experiences, stating, "If you haven't gone through your own donor experience yourself, do it today, like before the end of the day, donate a dollar and see how it feels all the way through so you know what your donors."
Watch the entire episode and you will gain practical advice for your NPO to optimize year-end fundraising efforts, focusing on authenticity, effective use of video, and maintaining brand consistency to create a compelling donor experience.
Focusing on the significance of ongoing testing and measurement in nonprofit marketing, Jill Crumbacher, the Senior VP of Marketing and Development at the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, shares how they boost fundraising and brand awareness in this Nonprofit Power Week episode!
Jill begins, stating "We have to test our marketing because there are two key components to raising money. We have to have a lot of market fundraising efforts, which the marketing team supports all of those through all of their channels... But also, to fundraise, you have to have brand awareness, somebody's got to know who you are, and that is 100% a marketing function.". She continues, highlighting that revenue is just one part of the equation. She details how their organization has a marketing team and a fundraising team, totaling around 22 employees, and these two teams work closely together. One key aspect of their testing involves evaluating the effectiveness of different creative elements in marketing campaigns, such as fonts, colors, and messaging. They use surveys to measure if audiences remember their organization's name after exposure to various marketing materials.
Jill also emphasizes the importance of consistency in branding across different channels and the need to adapt creative elements for different mediums, such as direct mail, email, and digital advertising. She suggests conducting tests whenever entering a new channel and retesting every 18 months to two years to stay updated with changing trends.
Additionally, Jill shares examples on how nonprofits can leverage their corporate partners for research opportunities, as many of them have access to resources that can aid in testing and research efforts.
Julianne Nichols, Vice President of Marketing and Communications at the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, discusses how nonprofits use research effectively to drive positive change in attitudes and behaviors, and shares an inside look on how their foundation’s approach can serve as a compelling example. Throughout this Nonprofit Power Week episode, the emphasis is on the importance of continuous, strategic, and multi-channel efforts to change attitudes and drive action. Julianne emphasizes the long-term commitment needed to shift public perceptions about foster care adoption and the critical role of storytelling in this process.
Julianne begins by emphasizing the importance of research in shaping public perceptions and attitudes towards foster care adoption. She cites several examples, such as their Adoption and Foster Care Attitude Survey, which reveals that 30% of the public believe that teenagers in foster care can fend for themselves without the support of a permanent family. This finding drives the organization to leverage storytelling through public service announcements and other channels to humanize the issue and challenge misconceptions.
An important quote from Julianne highlights the power of storytelling: "What we have really found is that a storytelling approach is among the most powerful tools in your toolbox." She explains how sharing personal stories of adopted children and adoptive parents changes minds and inspires action.
Additionally, she discusses how research informs the development of programs like Wendy's Wonderful Kids, which demonstrates through rigorous evaluation that children referred to the program are up to three times more likely to be adopted, leading to the scaling of this initiative.
This lively fast-paced conversation also touches on the cost and time associated with research, highlighting that it varies widely based on the complexity and scope of the study, and why external research partners are considered crucial when research results will inform policy decisions or public claims.
In this Thought Leader episode, Anne McAuley Lopez elaborates on the benefits of creating a book related to your nonprofit's mission and achievements, stating, "Everybody has a story. Every business has a story. Yours just needs to be told." She highlights the various storylines that nonprofits can explore, including their origin stories, impact milestones, and personal stories of founders and beneficiaries.
Anne also discusses the process of working with a ghostwriter and the importance of maintaining the organization's authentic voice. She assures, "It's not that it's simple; it's still a book and it's still a project. But you could take pieces of chapters from your book and put them on your blog," encouraging nonprofits to repurpose existing content like blogs and interviews for various marketing purposes.
Throughout the episode, Anne's expertise in content creation shines through, offering several innovative insights for nonprofit leaders considering the idea of writing a book to boost their organization's impact and elevate their funding success.
Eric Ressler's insights underscore the critical role of brand building in a nonprofit's success. He encourages NPO’s to maintain a clear brand identity, engage with their communities, and strategically use their expertise to drive real-world change and revenue growth. As he aptly put it, "The brand is not something you just do and then it's done. It requires constant building, curation, and attention."
Host Jarrett Ransom had the pleasure of speaking with Eric Ressler, the founder and Creative Director of Design by Cosmic, a social impact creative agency. Eric shared valuable insights on the importance of brand building for nonprofits and its impact on achieving real-world action and revenue generation.
Eric highlights the essence of understanding a nonprofit's unique niche within the social impact landscape, emphasizing the need to focus on specific strengths and avoid mission creep. He points out that organizations should consider their brand as a dynamic relationship between the community and the organization, not just a logo or visual identity. Eric affirms that building and nurturing this relationship is an ongoing process that requires attention and consistent efforts.
He also addressed the fear some nonprofits have about taking a stance on divisive issues, acknowledging the challenges of navigating politically charged topics, and emphasizing that organizations should engage in issues within their expertise and advocate for what aligns with their mission and values.
Julia Patrick, CEO of the American Nonprofit Academy, shares her insights about the importance of nonprofits effectively communicating their missions and activities to the community, underscoring the importance to build awareness, foster collaborations, and secure support. The conversation looks into the reasons behind this need for improved communication and practical steps to achieve it.
Julia explained that her motivation to address this issue arose from her experiences in distributing prestigious funding opportunities. She found that seasoned nonprofit professionals often lacked a comprehensive understanding of what various nonprofits were doing in their community, even though they acknowledged their positive impact. Co-host Jarrett Ransom adds that missions and programs can change over time, making it crucial for organizations to keep their communities informed about their evolving roles.
Julia introduced the concept of a "leadership list" – a curated database of stakeholders, opinion makers, community leaders, partners, vendors, and more. This list serves as an asset for marketing and communication, helping nonprofits stay connected with key figures in their community and share their stories effectively.
The interview also explored the role of board members and executive leaders in promoting the organization's mission within the community. Julia encouraged the nomination of these individuals for community awards to raise the profile of the nonprofit and attract potential donors and collaborators.
Additionally, Julia discussed the significance of a fact sheet summarizing key impact metrics and fast facts about the organization. This sheet can be shared digitally, posted on the website, or distributed in print to help control the narrative and ensure accurate information reaches the community.
In a surprising twist, Ransom proposed using email signature blocks to link to the fact sheet, providing an additional avenue for community members to access essential information about the nonprofit.