COMMUNICATE Diversity!

Diversity
By Sharon Danosky

     Diversity has been in our nonprofit vernacular for some time now. I see it in discussions in boardrooms all the time. Yet, I feel as if many nonprofits use it as a word without embracing it as a norm.

We think about diversity instead of being inclusive. One place where this is so apparent is in marketing materials. Having a picture depicting diverse populations is not being inclusive. If you are serious about tapping into diverse markets – it takes a lot more than an occasional picture and printing business cards in another language. Here are some suggestions: [Read more…]

Do You Know More Than Your Donors’ Names?

Pile of colorful paper notes with question marks and magnifying glass. Closeup.

By David Deschenes

It is the new year. This means a brand new period of looking forward and planning for success. I hope that 2020 brings you all that you ask for and more. But before we look forward, I’d like to take a quick look back.

This past December, like all Decembers, my mailbox was bending to capacity with mail. LOTS of mail. Holiday sale flyers that reminded me of the shopping I hadn’t done yet, holiday cards from friends and relatives that reminded me of the family card we didn’t do this year (again), and bills (oh, the bills). Then in equal number to all of the aforementioned pieces, there was an ever-present pile of year-end appeals from every organization known to man, woman and family pet. All addressed to me. David. But while they used my name, I felt that most didn’t really know me. It would impress me as a donor if any one of these organizations asked me directly. “Hey, David. What are your interests? What do you want to know?” [Read more…]

Communications Assessments: Looking Within to Communicate Out

Communicating to a Group

By David Deschenes

“When you consider our limited staff and marketing budget, we put out a LOT of information – bi-annual fundraising letters, quarterly newsletters, flyers, and an annual report. We also send more than 30 e-blasts a year and have a robust presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It’s all important, timely and informative communications. But we’re struggling to keep up with it. We rely on other departments to get us at least the starting content for our collateral, and we often can’t get it when we need it. We feel like we’re always scrambling or trying to ‘wing it’ with content that’s owned by others.”

This was one of the primary concerns we heard at our first meeting with a new client who had hired us to conduct a communications assessment – a top-to-bottom audit of all current marketing and communications efforts in practice by the organization. [Read more…]

Communications Assessments:
Looking Inward to Get Your Message Outward

communi-32

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…]