Communications Assessments:
Looking Inward to Get Your Message Outward

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By David Deschenes

Build it and they will come? No. That only happens in the movies. Whether you are looking to engage new & existing donors, attract talented staff or volunteers, implement a new internal process, or make your services known to the community, effective marketing and communications practices will have a crucial bearing on your success. That’s where a communications assessment is key. [Read more…]

The Post-Feasibility Study Reception:
A Capital Idea for Engaging Major Donors

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By Sharon Danosky

Capital campaigns – traditionally the holy grail of fundraising.  And for good reasons.  They allow you to raise significant sums of money in a relatively short period of time for a critical need.  While campaigns have evolved over the years – (they are not always for capital projects, for instance) – they still remain a relevant and critical source of philanthropic revenue.

The question of whether a feasibility study is a valuable part of the pre-campaign planning has been debated for a number of years now.  I subscribe to the school of thought that it is.  And while I am not debating the value of feasibility studies in this blog – I believe one of the primary benefits of the study is the opportunity  to ask your donors for their input on your initiative before you launch it and ask for their support.  And as a consultant who has had numerous conversations with donors over many years – I appreciate the candid and frank responses they giving knowing that their answers will remain anonymous. [Read more…]

I Can’t Believe They Didn’t Run It!
Five Steps to a Good Relationship with the Media

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I was speaking with someone new to the field recently, and they were perplexed that their press releases weren’t getting run in their local paper. So, I told him a story about the first press release I ever sent out. The short version is that when I followed up with the reporter — to complain — I got lambasted. The last thing the reporter said to me was, “Do you have ANY idea how many things I’m working on right now? THIRTY! So pardon the [bleep] out of me if I don’t have time to chase down a quote for your [bleeping, bleeping] BOARD ANNOUNCEMENT!!!” Click… [Read more…]

Community Seeks to Make a Big Impact in Addressing Childhood Poverty

Collective Impact

What better way to start the New Year than to set a goal to reduce childhood poverty in not just one Connecticut community, but many? The Valley Community Foundation, Griffin Hospital, TEAM, Inc., and Valley United Way came together with more than 20 other organizations in Ansonia, Derby, Oxford, Seymour, and Shelton (the Valley) to figure out how to do just that over the next 10 years. Danosky & Associates was honored to be asked to facilitate this initiative as they explore all the different facets that contribute to childhood poverty – and the impact it causes. [Read more…]

Case Study: Local Residents Vote for a Library and Affirm Their Roles as Shareholders

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It had been almost ten years since a community library in New York had received an increase to its operating budget from the town. Private funding and contributions helped, but the Library was facing a deficit that made it impossible to keep pace with the inflationary costs of salaries and healthcare. The library also feared that it would not be able to continue the quality of services the community had come to expect. In New York State, libraries can’t just request an increase from their town, though. It needs to go before a town-wide ballet and residents vote on whether or not the library should receive an increase (increasing their own taxes). The Library had never undertaken a public awareness campaign. Yet, without an increase in funding, the Library knew it would not be able to continue their level of service. [Read more…]