Relationship Building

Aunt FrancesSome of you may remember my stories about my wondrous Great Aunt Frances. We grew into close friends over the years I lived a few blocks from her in NYC.

Aunt Frances was fantastic—a warm, loving, down-to-earth lady who’d had many life adventures and was a fantastic cook.

Her stories of life as a girl in the Bronx—where her mother stored the live fish bought to make gefilte fish each Shabbat (the Jewish sabbath) in the bathtub overnight—were memorable. So were those she shared from her life as a young teen (I wish I could find that picture of her playing the violin on the rooftop of their Lower East Side tenement), briefly-working young woman, and long-term mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. On top of that, she forced her delectable homemade cookies on me on every visit, as only a Jewish grandmother can. Who could resist?

Aunt Frances passed away recently at the age of 107 1/2, and I’ll miss her greatly. But she’s left me—and so many others—with so much.

Today, I want to share three relationship-building skills I learned from Aunt Frances. Take her lead to strengthen your nonprofit marketing approach, and results:

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Nancy Schwartz in Relationship Building | 3 comments
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Aunt FrancesMy Great Aunt Frances turned 107 last week and she’s as warm, loving and sharp as ever. She’s unknowingly taught me so much, including this recipe for strong and lasting relationships that I want to share with you today.

Years ago, when I rushed to Manhattan after college graduation, I found myself living just a few blocks from Aunt Frances. Having grown up in Philly, I had visited with her just a handful of times before then, so didn’t really know her.

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Nancy Schwartz in Relationship Building | 8 comments
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Tip of the hat to Marketing Profs for framing content marketing—how your nonprofit can use content to build strong relationships with target audiences—in terms of this delightful cooking-themed info-doodle.

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Nancy Schwartz in Content Marketing | 9 comments
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The late Senator Robert Byrd entered politics on a song. And your organization can do the same via savvy nonprofit marketing.

He took up the fiddle when he was growing up in West Virginia coal country. and put it to work years later to build support in his first run for office – a seat in the West Virginia House of Delegates.

Byrd fiddled his way into hostile meetings and bars in communities where he wasn’t known. And only after he had charmed his audience with his tunes, did he introduce himself, first as a fiddler and then as a candidate.

He knew that one-to-one engagement, especially when built on wonder and pleasure, was the strongest tie there was. So he made that personal, gut-level connection before anything else.

When you meet or greet your base as an individual, especially in a way that shows your humanity, special interest or quirk, connection. Your team should do the same from time to time, just like Patricia Wilson, executive director of the Greater Bay Area Make-a-Wish Foundation who launched a diet-based fund-raising campaign to help close the gap on her org’s $200,000 deficit.  It’s nonprofit marketing at its finest – read more case studies here.

Here is Byrd’s strategy. Put it to work for your organization!

“That fiddle has opened many doors for me. I’ve gone into hostile groups that back in those coal-mining towns might have been a group made up of United Mining Workers, or it might have been the opposition in those days. …A Republican lawyer had told me, ‘Bob, you take that fiddle and make that your briefcase.’

“You play a tune or two, put the fiddle down and quote a piece of poetry and tell them what you stand for and sit down. And that’s what I did. And I led the ticket. That fiddle got me places where I couldn’t have gotten in at all.”

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Nancy Schwartz in Relationship Building, Strategy | 3 comments
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