training

It takes a team to create great messaging.

As I get ready to launch our first Tagline Focus Project (TFP) program on July 6, many of you have gotten in touch to discuss it with me. And you’ve reminded me how common it is to feel isolated and overwhelmed by the challenge to create messages that connect for our organizations.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

That’s one of the reasons I’m so looking forward to working with a small group of nonprofit communicators (no more than 10) like you this summer, leading them through this immersion program to learn how to develop messages collaboratively—with me, the other program participants, and their colleagues and external audiences.

That’s the only path to effective messaging, and one far more satisfying than trying to go it alone.

This action-oriented program is designed specifically to help you and your colleagues get the job done and do it well. All you need to do is participate actively in the Tagline Focus Project and complete the assignments to develop a tagline that will engage your base and motivate them to act.

You’ll learn to:

  • Understand your audiences’ wants and values better, so you know how to connect with them.
  • Use audience feedback to pinpoint the right messaging focus.
  • Gain the insights and support of your colleagues.
  • Shape the ingredients of your analysis, craft the right tagline and roll it out to your audience.
  • Build the skills to develop all the messages you need for your organization (the tagline is simply the messaging element we focus on in the program).
  • Plus, get access to all of the templates, checklists, worksheets, models and resources included in the Great Nonprofit Messages Toolkit that you’ll get with Tagline Focus Project participation.

Give It a Try

We’re starting on July 6, so if you’re interested in using this summer to vastly improve your organization’s messaging, I encourage you to go ahead and register today for the Tagline Focus Project.

We already have a rich mix of participants, communicators that work in organizations as varied as a state agricultural extension agency, a regional affiliate of one of the largest and most active national organizations there is, and a west coast community foundation. Just a few seats remain.

I hope we’ll get the chance to work together on this.

All the best,

 

 

P.S. My aim for this program is to deliver substantial value both to your organization and its messaging, and to you as a professional. Completing the program will vastly enhance your skill set as a nonprofit communications professional.

Learn more here.

Nancy Schwartz on June 14, 2011 in Branding and Messages | 0 comments
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I promise you it’ll be an incredibly worthwhile three hours when you do.

In Breakthrough E-Newsletters: 5 Steps to Shaping E-Communications that Connect, you’ll learn everything you need to get a high-impact e-newsletter going for your nonprofit, or to strengthen the one you have.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Define realistic goals for your e-newsletter and who you have to reach to achieve them
  • Shape the right approach—content, style, how much interactivity with readers
  • Design the most effective delivery—frequency, “look and feel”
  • Master the mechanics—opt-in vs. double opt-in, list management, in-house vs. outsource
  • Promote your e-newsletter to get the most from your effort

Best of all, you’ll walk out of the workshop with a practical, doable plan for your e-news launch or revision, ready to be implemented!

Register right now; just a few seats left.

P.S. Get more in-depth case studies, templates and tools, and guidance for nonprofit marketing success — all featured in the twice-monthly Getting Attention e-update. Subscribe today.

Nancy Schwartz on May 10, 2011 in Email and E-Newsletters | 0 comments
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Join Kivi and Me for this Free Webinar
Today-Monday May 2-at 3pm ET (Noon PT)
Learn How to
Set the Big-Picture Marketing Goals that
Take You Where You Want to Go!

My friend and colleague Kivi Leroux Miller and I have heard so many of you say that your marketing isn’t all it could be. And worse, you don’t know where to start to fix it.

You’re frustrated by how hard you’re working without generating the results you expect, and that your organization needs. Aargh!

So we’ve decided to show you exactly where to start, with setting your goals, in today’s free 30-minute webinar.
Register Now – Seats are Limited
Today, Monday, May 2, 2011
3:00 – 3:30 pm ET (12:00 – 12:30 pm PT)

When Kivi and I first put our heads together on how to team up to help nonprofits strengthen their marketing impact, marketing planning was at the top of our list.

Join us for this free 30-minute webinar to learn how to set clear marketing goals for your organization. They are the first crucial step towards an ambitious but fully-doable nonprofit marketing plan.

Register now for this free webinar today, Monday, May 2, 2011, at 3:00 pm Eastern (Noon Pacific).

We’re really looking forward to discussing this critical step to nonprofit marketing success with you! Join us.

Nancy Schwartz on May 2, 2011 in Planning and Evaluation | 0 comments
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Join Kivi and Me for this Free Webinar
Learn How to
Set the Big-Picture Marketing Goals that
Take You Where You Want to Go!

My friend and colleague Kivi Leroux Miller and I have heard so many of you say that your marketing isn’t all it could be. And worse, you don’t know where to start to fix it.

You’re frustrated by how hard you’re working without generating the results you expect, and that your organization needs. Aargh!

So we’ve decided to show you exactly where to start, with setting your goals, in this free 30-minute webinar.
Register Now – Seats are Limited
Monday, May 2, 2011
3:00 – 3:30 pm ET (12:00 – 12:30 pm PT)

When Kivi and I first put our heads together on how to team up to help nonprofits strengthen their marketing impact, marketing planning was at the top of our list.

Join us for this free 30-minute webinar to learn how to set clear marketing goals for your organization. They are the first crucial step towards an ambitious but fully-doable nonprofit marketing plan.

Register now for this free webinar on Monday, May 2, 2011, at 3:00 pm Eastern (Noon Pacific).

Seats are limited so register today.

Nancy Schwartz on April 18, 2011 in Planning and Evaluation | 0 comments
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Dear Nancy,

Our organization is preparing for a new structure in which it’s likely that Communications and Resource Generation (Fundraising) will become one department.

Do you have any advice as to implementing change from separate departments into one that lead to staff buy in as well as growing cooperation? Have you experienced any of these mergers where the department heads became Co-Directors? Some of the staff are very concerned about someone from RG leading the department. They feel it will lead to RG issues trumping the “prophetic voice” role of communications. Or that only stories favoring fund-raising efforts will get attention.

All the best,
Larry Guengerich, Communications Coordinator
Mennonite Central Committee East Coast

Dear Larry,

Your concern is a common one. In fact, the marketing-fundraising divide — whether these teams are joined in a single department or not — is one of the most common challenges nonprofits must tackle.

The real issue that the Committee is facing, no matter which team leader heads the new department, is that your marketing and fundraising teams are not productive partners.

Unfortunately, that’s the situation in most nonprofits where a single person doesn’t wear both hats. As fundraising expert Mal Warwick told me recently, when marketing and fundraising teams stand firm in their respective corners, the disconnect becomes a huge obstacle to building strong relationships with your organization’s community and raising money.

But there are ways to surmount this obstacle. Fairleigh-Dickinson University (FDU) succeeded in doing so via a deliberate, well-articulated re-structuring. I’ll tell you more about its approach in a moment. But first, here is my recommendation for a four-step process to bring marketing and fundraising into a productive partnership, supplemented by insights from some of the best fundraisers and nonprofit marketers I know.

  1. Start at the top. It’s the only hope for a strong marketing-fundraising partnership.
  2. Articulate shared priorities to serve as the core of a common agenda.
  3. Identify what’s working—from each “side”—and do more of it.
  4. Build on real, compelling success stories, well-honed and widely shared and discussed as the glue of your fundraising and marketing conversations.

Larry, breaking down the wall between marketing and fundraising is the only path to success on both fronts. I urge you to start today.

As a first step, I suggest you and your colleagues read this guide to a productive marketing-fundraising partnership, including details on the four steps to success and the Fairleigh-Dickinson case study.

Please report back on the outcome of this shift, Larry. Your experience will pave the way to more productive partnerships. Thank you!

Readers, what are your strategies to strengthen the marketing-fundraising partnership in your organization? Please share them here with the Getting Attention.org community.

P.S. Learn how to strengthen your nonprofit’s messaging with the all-new Nonprofit Tagline Database and 2011 Tagline Report.

Nancy Schwartz on January 19, 2011 in Fundraising: Innovations & Research | 1 comment
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Join us at the Total Focus Marketing Plan Workshop
D.C. Early Bird Rate Runs through Oct. 22 – Saves You $100

I’m partnering with my friend, Kivi Leroux Miller, to offer you a special opportunity to find the solutions to your 2011 marketing challenges: The Total Focus Marketing Plan Workshop. Plan in a day—blueprint forever!

We premiered the workshop in New York last week and received great ratings. Here’s what two of our participants had to say:

Would Have Taken Me Forever on My Own
I learned so much about marketing planning today. It would have taken weeks or months to do so on my own.

Now I Know How to Shape Our Marketing Plan and
Transform It into Action

As a result of participating in your outstanding workshop, I am re-focused on exactly what I need to do to create an effective marketing plan for our organization. Now I know the steps I need to take to transform that plan into actions that are understood and adopted throughout the organization.

We hope you’ll join us for this intensive, limited-enrollment planning seminar for nonprofit communicators and development staff members, board members and executive directors who do it all.

You see this day is going to be different from other workshops you’ve participated in.

You’ll immerse yourself in marketing planning for a day, as we help you shed the muddled messages and impossible to-do lists that pull you in too many directions and diminish your marketing impact.

And, most importantly, you’ll leave with a clear, focused, practical marketing plan that will work for your organization—one you are fully capable of implementing.

Don’t Miss this Opportunity –
Join Us in Washington, D.C., Oct. 28

Learn more now! The D.C. early-bird rate runs through Friday, Oct. 22 but seats are filling fast.

Hope to see you there!

Nancy Schwartz on October 12, 2010 in Professional Development | 0 comments
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Just Give Us One Day to
Transform Your Marketing Planning

Join us at the Total Focus Marketing Plan Workshops
Early Bird Rate Extended through Sept. 17 – Saves You $100

I’m partnering with my friend, Kivi Leroux Miller, to offer you a special opportunity to find the solutions to your 2011 marketing challenges: The Total Focus Marketing Plan Workshop. Plan in a day—blueprint forever!

We hope you’ll join us for this intensive, limited-enrollment planning seminar for nonprofit communicators and development staff members, board members and executive directors who do it all.

You see this day is going to be different from other workshops you’ve participated in.

You’ll immerse yourself in marketing planning for a day, as we help you shed the muddled messages and impossible to-do lists that pull you in too many directions and diminish your marketing impact.

And, most importantly, you’ll leave with a clear, focused, practical marketing plan that will work for your organization—one you are fully capable of implementing.

Don’t Miss this Opportunity –
Join Us in New York City or Washington, D.C.

Learn more now! The early-bird rate has been extended until tomorrow, Sept. 17, but seats are filling so fast that we just added a second NYC workshop on Wed., Oct. 6.

Hope to see you there!

Nancy Schwartz on September 15, 2010 in planning, Professional Development | 0 comments
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nonprofit messengersI just delivered a new message platform (positioning statement, tagline and talking points) to the passionate team at the Environmental Health Coalition (EHC).

The passionate EHC team builds grassroots campaigns to combat the unjust consequences of toxic pollution, discriminatory land use, and unsustainable energy policies. Through leader development, organizing and advocacy, EHC improves the health of children, families, neighborhoods and the natural environment in the San Diego/Tijuana region.  (That’s the positioning statement).

These folks do an incredible job with few staff members and a tight budget, even as the scope of their work grows to encompass a larger region. So when communications director Jason Baker asked me how to make the most of the messaging, I recommended that his first step be to train his colleagues, board members and large volunteer base as effective messengers.

Training your staff and supporters is a highly-effective, low- investment nonprofit marketing tactic, but one simply overlooked by most organizations. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Make sure you have a clear, relevant message platform that’s been approved and is in use (or about to be).
  2. Craft an email to each group (colleagues, leadership, volunteers/donors if relevant) emphasizing their potential impact as organizational messengers and what it’ll take to make that work – training, practice and feedback. Include the message platform and context such as why these new (if new) messages were developed and what colleague organizations are doing. Also, share a summary of your marketing strategy.  It’s hard to be an effective messenger without an understanding of the larger framework. Post everything on your website.
  3. Invite colleagues and leadership to join you for an in-person messenger training. At that meeting, review the message platform, inspire your messengers with examples of how this can work (e.g., next time you’re at a conference and are asked what you do, here’s what you’ll say and how it’ll make a difference), and train them. Role playing demos and break-outs are effective techniques for increasing comfort level and effectiveness.
  4. Make it easy for them to succeed by providing takeaways (email to their smartphones – or 3×5 cards  for non-smartphone-users – with the message platform. Also, have a messenger hotline (or email address) for ongoing questions and guidance. Monthly email outreach sharing success stories is a great way to keep your corps of messengers focused and confident.

Another boost to nonprofit messaging impact is a style guide, a blueprint to ensure staff, leadership and consultants talk about and visually portray the organization in a consistent way — to ensure a recognizable, rather than confusing, identity. And here are a few other ways to build your colleagues’ support and understanding of your communications work.

P.S. Get more in-depth articles, case studies and guides to nonprofit marketing (and video) success — all featured in the twice-monthly Getting Attention e-update. Subscribe today.

Photo-Flickr: LiveatJ&R

Nancy Schwartz on June 4, 2010 in Branding and Messages, People | 2 comments
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I'll Guide You to Short & Sweet Marketing Webinar, Wed. 123 1PM ETTired of getting blank stares when you describe what your organization does? Struggling to boil down your messages into few key words to use everywhere from fundraising pitches, press release headlines and e-news subject lines to business cards and billboard copy?

If so, here’s a great opportunity for you: I’ll be joining my good friend and colleague Kivi Leroux Miller — like me, she’s a relentless advocate for cutting the jargon and speaking in words your supporters can easily understand — to guide you in creating brief, punchy taglines, slogans, headlines, email subject lines and more. And there’s no more essential skill is in our fast-paced, limited-attention world.

We’ll be team-teaching this Wednesday, December 3rd, 1-2pm ET.

I hope you can join us for Short and Sweet: Boiling Down Your Message So Everyone Gets It. I promise you a huge ROI!

Register now, and we’ll be talking on Wednesday.

P.S. Yes We Can! When a powerful tagline is joined to a compelling mission…nothing is impossible! Download the free Nonprofit Tagline Report for must-dos, don’t dos, case studies and 1,000+ nonprofit tagline examples!

Nancy Schwartz on December 1, 2008 in Branding and Messages, Nonprofit Communications, Professional Development, Taglines | 0 comments
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