Guy Arceneaux

Guest blogger Guy Arceneaux is Director of Marketing and Communications for Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland

Here’s my top takeaway from my first three months on the job at Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland: Smaller, more nimble nonprofits like ours typically know their audiences better—so are far more connected with them—than do most large, complex organizations.

That Was Then
In 2013, I was the Director of Marketing for an international humanitarian development nonprofit. The annual budget was nearly one billion dollars, with our $2.3 million marketing budget funding the work of three departments and 13 staff members. Sounds like a lot, right?


Guest Blogger on October 7, 2015 in Relationship Building | 0 comments
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Donald_J__Trump___realDonaldTrump____TwitterThere’s so much to learn from the way others communicate, even if you don’t share perspectives. In fact, it can be easier to highlight and harvest high-impact marketing techniques when you’re on opposite sides of an issue or cause. Because we all want to do better than that guy!

There’s no better Twitter-er to learn from than Donald Trump, whose technique “allows millions of supporters to make his case for him,” reports The New York Times.

Put Trump’s Twitter tactics to work today for your organization. Here’s how:


Nancy Schwartz on October 6, 2015 in Social Media | 0 comments
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South_Carolina_Children_s_TheatreYou have a priceless, DOABLE opportunity to position your organization, programs, services, campaigns, and events in audiences’ hearts, minds, schedules, and wallets: Relevant messages!

Your tagline is the heart of your message platform. If crafted right, these eight words (or less) will complement your organization’s name to convey its unique impact or value with personality, passion, and commitment.

Take a look at this one from the South Carolina Children’s Theatre (SCCT): Totally professional. Delightfully immature.


Nancy Schwartz on September 30, 2015 in Messaging | 0 comments

Nonprofit Marketing MetricsRead Part 1 first

Metric mania! It’s all around us. Unfortunately, when we try to measure too many marketing measures, all we get is frustrated. Even for nonprofit communicators in large, well-staffed organizations, there’s rarely enough bandwidth to capture, analyze, share and use many marketing insights.

But there is a better way…I urge you to take these three steps to identify five or fewer insights that will make the MOST DIFFERENCE in boosting marketing impact:

Nancy Schwartz on September 22, 2015 in Benchmarks and Measurements | 0 comments
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FullSizeRenderI’ve rarely seen a bigger message fail than this one.

There’s clearly been some controversy on this nearby street about front lawn etiquette. Typically, there are lawn lovers, who water and fertilize their way through summer. Then there are the folks (my family among them) who focus on garden beds instead, and others who just cut the grass. Peaceful coexistence, till now!

When you demand your audiences take action, you’ll fail every time. What you will succeed in is pushing prospects and supporters away for good.


Nancy Schwartz on September 8, 2015 in Messaging | 0 comments
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Summer-ize Nonprofit MarketingYou know it, and I know it. Shaping content that matters to your readers is everything. But that’s tough when we’re all seasonally distracted by the fireflies, fireworks and family vacations.

Even though schooldays ended eons ago for most of us, our focus, attitudes, and readiness to act change as the weather warms. But how to reshape your communications to meet your people where they are?

Here are three ways to up your summer communications game in the next few weeks and future summers:


Nancy Schwartz on August 18, 2015 in Relevance Rules | 0 comments

Reboot Nonprofit MarketingOur daughter Charlotte is finishing up a blissful summer at a few different day and overnight camps. At the end of each and every day, her mind and creativity are stimulated, she’s made new friends, and she sleeps solidly with a smile on her face. She finishes the summer inspired, energized and smarter than ever.

I envy her greatly. But you and I are too old for summer camp (find me an adult camp, please!). Instead, I set out an a discovery mission—asking fellow nonprofit staffers and consultants how they reboot to tee up for a great fall and forward.

There’s still time for you to reboot. Dig into these inventive approaches a.s.a.p.:

1) Seek a different point of view: Gillian Ream Gainsley, who works in Communications and Development at the Ypsilanti District Library (MI), takes a unique approach:


Nancy Schwartz on August 11, 2015 in Professional Development | 6 comments
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Marketing Insights

Take 3 Steps to Meaningful Marketing Measures (Part 2)

Ever since super-smart statistician Nate Silver brought presidential campaign data to the headlines in 2012, we’ve become a metrics-obsessed nation. That’s changed the life of most marketers I know, who have been asked (pressured in some cases) to harvest more and more data.

This laser focus on data parallels the growth of nonprofits’ use of social media and mobile channels—whether whole-hog or in experimentation mode. You’ll find lists of must-measures for your website, blog, direct mail, telemarketing, social channels. Put those musts together and you get a baseline of 50 data points or more—pretty impossible for most of us to manage.

But there is a way out, one that will boost your org’s marketing impact while maintaining your sanity.


Nancy Schwartz on August 4, 2015 in Benchmarks and Measurements | 0 comments

Donor relationshipsPlease tell us what you’re doing to strengthen supporter relationships, and what’s in your way. Thanks!

Read Part 1 here

Thanks to these fabulous folks in the field for sharing their right-now paths to stronger relationships with supporters, and what’s getting in their way!

The greatest challenge Kathleen Kennedy faces in building relationships and keeping them strong

“ I have so many competing priorities! My job has both development and program responsibilities, and sometimes the program side overshadows the development side.

“As a result, I don’t get as much accomplished as I would like in donor engagement and consistency. This may speak to our need for additional staff, a conversation I may pursue this year.”  —Kathleen Kennedy, Program and Development Coordinator Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection


Nancy Schwartz on July 28, 2015 in Relationship Building | 0 comments

Supporter LoveGot 2 minutes? Please tell us what YOU’RE DOING to strengthen supporter relationships, and what’s in your way. Thanks!

Read Part 2 here.

Thanks to these fabulous folks in the field for sharing their right-now paths to stronger relationships with supporters, and what’s getting in their way!

What Lorna Riddle is doing differently to build stronger relationships

“I’m creating a welcome pack for new donors, and a plan on how to steward them through the first 18 months.”   —Lorna Riddle, Community Champion
The Mary Potter Foundation


Nancy Schwartz on July 22, 2015 in Relationship Building | 0 comments