Engagement Marketing Training & Development

It’s Here! Help for Engaging Nonprofits’ Most Powerful Assets

I’m thrilled to announce the release of my new book, Share of Mind, Share of Heart: Marketing Tools of Engagement for Nonprofits. Response to the book’s pre-publicity has been very positive, and I have several interviews and speaking requests already lined up, with more in the works. This summer will be a busy one!

An inspired journey …

My book was inspired by many dedicated nonprofit professionals and volunteers, including my colleagues, clients, and participants in my nonprofit workshops. I appreciate their willingness to share their expertise and experience with me as I worked on the book. Individually and collectively, they confirmed nonprofit engagement as an important area of interest that draws more intention than actual action. The reasons for this range from benign neglect (e.g., nonprofit managers who are stretched thin and don’t have the time to proactively engage staff and volunteers) to an organizational culture where passion-for-the-mission is deemed sufficient (i.e., once engaged = always engaged … an erroneous presumption).

Their concerns and ideas confirmed my own experience as a nonprofit advisor and volunteer. This insight guided me in writing Share of Mind, Share of Heart as a guide to the foundation and practical tools that will enable nonprofits to better engage the people behind the mission – the employees and volunteers who represent a nonprofit’s brand.

The book is on target
According to the following reviews:

  • Share of Mind, Share of Heart is a great guide to success in nonprofit marketing with a strong reminder about the importance of engaging an often overlooked audience — staff members of the organization.”
    – Celeste Wroblewski, Nonprofit Strategist
  • “Uniquely, [this] book shows how paid staff and volunteers are full partners in maintaining the organization’s image and impact in the community. ”
    – Susan J. Ellis, President, Energize, Inc., and Editor-in-Chief, e-Volunteerism
  • “Stocked with examples throughout, Share of Mind, Share of Heart … demonstrates how marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department — it’s everyone’s job.”
    –  Ken Bernhardt, Taylor E. Little Jr. Professor of Marketing, Georgia State University
  • “Stershic’s book is all about getting active in marketing your organization. [It] gives you practical action-oriented tasks that help you focus on getting more than your organization’s fair share of the minds and hearts of the people you want to reach.”
    – Chris Forbes, co-author of Guerrilla Marketing for Nonprofits
  • Share of Mind, Share of Heart is a pithy, potent survival guide to making good things happen with marketing. Read it to engage more powerfully within your own organization …”
    – Katya Andresen, Chief Strategy Officer, Network for Good; author of Robin Hood Marketing

If you know nonprofit leaders who want to strengthen employee, volunteer, and consumer engagement, please let them know that help is available in Share of Mind, Share of Heart: Marketing Tools of Engagement for Nonprofits.

Engagement Marketing Training & Development

Internal Marketing Tools of Engagement For Marketers (Part 2)

Last week I shared examples of how Marketing can start to build better relationships within the firm. In addition to this general outreach, it’s important to get employee buy-in and cooperation for each marketing program you implement. Here are several tools of engagement you can use.

Before launching any marketing initiative or program …

  • Share the rationale and goals behind this initiative with employees – clearly explain what you’re trying to do and why.
  • Communicate how Marketing’s efforts in relation to the program help support the firm’s overall mission and strategic plan – reinforce the message “we’re all in this together” instead of contributing to the perception that Marketing creates extra work for people.
  • Get employee input, and be sensitive and responsive to how their work will be affected by this program.
  • Provide the necessary training (and any incentives, if appropriate) so staff can effectively support the initiative.

Once the initiative is up-and-running …

You can’t just let it run its course and forget about it. As part of your monitoring efforts:

  • Stay in touch with what employees need to keep the program’s momentum going.
  • Share interim results and any fine-tuning that needs to be done and why.
  • Recognize and reinforce employees’ support of the initiative.

And when the program is over …

  • Share final results and “lessons learned” – for example, what worked & why (to replicate success in the future ) and what didn’t work & why (what to avoid and what to improve the next time)
  • Acknowledge employees’ individual and collective efforts in supporting marketing and organizational goals
  • Solicit employee feedback on how to improve future initiatives.

Employees who deliver on the brand promise can make or break Marketing. That’s why we need to consider employees “upfront” when planning and implementing any marketing initiative – so they’ll work with us, not against us.

Engagement Marketing Training & Development

Internal Marketing Tools of Engagement For Marketers (Part 1)

My recent post on How Marketers Sabotage Themselves raised the issue that marketers need to engage all employees who deliver on the brand, including those outside the Marketing Department.

To get employee buy-in, we need to break out of our silos and strengthen marketing’s relationship with employees; i.e., we need to do a better job of marketing “Marketing” within the firm. Here are a few ways we can accomplish this.

  • Participate in new employee orientation to explain how every employee has an important role in delivering the brand promise. If someone from Marketing is unable to attend, educate whoever is in charge of orientation to share this message.
  • Host a real or virtual “Open House” so non-marketing co-workers can get acquainted with Marketing and its resources. Invite key people from other departments to your staff meetings to learn what Marketing is doing and vice-versa.
  • Share general marketing information info to let others know what’s happening in the marketplace, such as consumer/customer trends, competitive analysis, customer satisfaction results, etc.
  • Find ways to effectively recognize employees who positively deliver on the brand promise; e.g., “Brand Champions” or “Marketing Heroes.”

I’ll have more on this topic in my next post, so stay tuned …

Engagement Marketing

New Book Preview: Share of Mind, Share of Heart – Marketing Tools of Engagement for Nonprofits

One of the reasons I love working with nonprofits is that they are so mission-focused. When you’re passionate about your mission, it’s easier to feel good about your work. But having a noble mission doesn’t guarantee organizational success!

Effectively managing a nonprofit on a daily basis is a challenge that involves:

  • planning and delivering mission-based programs in response to constituent needs
  • securing scarce resources and funding to meet ever-increasing needs
  • developing and maintaining good relationships with the board, staff and volunteers
  • ensuring governance compliance, etc.

These are just a few of many critical tasks facing nonprofit professionals. With so many responsibilities, it’s easy for nonprofit leaders and managers to get caught up in operational issues and lose sight of what matters – and what matters is the tremendous impact every employee and volunteer has on the organization’s brand.

This is why I wrote Share of Mind, Share of Heart: Marketing Tools of Engagement for Nonprofits – to help nonprofits better engage their employees and volunteers. The book is scheduled for release this June, but here’s a sneak peak at what’s inside.

Part 1: Nonprofit Marketing and Engagement

Ch. 1. Understanding Nonprofit Marketing and Your Brand

Ch. 2. Why Nonprofit Marketing Needs to be Different but the Same

Ch. 3. Taking Care of the People Who Most Impact Your Brand

Part 2: Marketing Tools of Engagement

Ch. 4. Introduction to Internal Marketing Tools of Engagement

Ch. 5. Connecting to the Organization

Ch. 6. Connecting to Customers

Ch. 7. Connecting to Other Employees and Volunteers

Part 3: Facilitating Your Nonprofit Engagement

Ch. 8. Keeping People Engaged

Ch. 9. Making It Happen – Your Internal Marketing Plan.

Special Pre-Release Offer: Share of Mind, Share of Heart: Marketing Tools of Engagement for Nonprofits will be published this June, and I’m pleased to offer a special discount of 20% off the retail price before the book’s actual release. Click here to reserve your copy now!

[Sorry, this offer expired!]



Engagement Marketing

Why Nonprofits Need Engagement-Part 2

Upon learning about my new book, Share of Mind, Share of Heart: Marketing Tools of Engagement for Nonprofits, my friend was puzzled. “I don’t get it,” he said, “especially when nonprofits are so mission-driven. Aren’t the people who work there more engaged than those who work in the for-profit sector?”

My friend’s presumption about nonprofit engagement is a common one. Regardless of whether an organization is profit-driven or mission-driven, the quality of workplace engagement depends on the organizational culture and how its people are treated. Nonprofits can’t claim any advantage based on employees’ and volunteers’ passion for the mission.

As nonprofit employee and consultant Jinna Halperin wrote in Voices from the Field: Nonprofit Workplace Culture – Why it Matters so Much to Us:

“All nonprofits are dysfunctional in some way or another and figuring out where to hang your hat requires one to assess whether the level and type of dysfunction is personally tolerable …

“I am no longer driven only by the mission of the organization. Having so many issues about which I feel passionate and on which I have worked, I have come to believe that employment happiness at nonprofits is more about how one is treated and whether one’s contribution is respected …”

An inspiring mission may attract talent employees and volunteers to an organization, but it takes much more to get them to stay. People need to feel they matter as much as their work.

Note: To get a look inside my new book on nonprofit engagement, stay tuned for next week’s post.


Engagement Marketing

Why Nonprofits Need Engagement-Part 1

My love of nonprofits started in my teens when I volunteered to work at a summer camp for intellectually disabled children. Since then, I’ve served a variety of nonprofit organizations in a range of roles that include frontline volunteer, committee member, advisory member, board member, board chair, and in a professional capacity as a marketing & organizational advisor.

Here’s what I’ve learned based on my personal and professional experience:

1. Mission matters – it provides organizational focus and intention. It also brings together the people who share a passion for the mission and want to do something about it.

2. The people behind the mission also matter – the employees and volunteers who carry out the mission through their dedication and commitment.

3. People’s passion for the mission should not be taken for granted – employees’ and volunteers’ passion for the mission does not guarantee their continued commitment to an organization.

These valuable insights are the basis for my new book that I’m excited to introduce here. I wrote Share of Mind, Share of Heart – Marketing Tools of Engagement for Nonprofits to help nonprofit leaders, executives and managers better engage the employees and volunteers who carry out their organization’s mission.

My book will be published shortly. In the meantime, I’ll share more about nonprofit engagement and my new book in the next two posts.

Engagement Marketing

Special Request Over My Summer Blog Break

Note to my loyal blog followers:

It’s time for my annual break since blog traffic is typically slower in summer. What’s special about this year’s break is that I’ll be using the time to research and write my new book for nonprofits: Engaging Nonprofit Employees, Volunteers, and Consumers: A Manager’s Guide to Inside-Out Marketing (the “working title” at this stage).

Please let me know if you want to share any good or bad examples of internal marketing in nonprofit organizations. The “good” examples of nonprofits that effectively engage staff and volunteers (including board members) I choose to use in this book may include the organizations’ names, pending their permission. However, I won’t name nonprofits with “bad” examples of what not to do when it comes to engagement or, conversely, how to alienate staff, volunteers, and (ultimately) consumers.

Note to new readers:

Welcome! I hope you’ll take a few minutes to explore my blog that offers an abundance of thoughtful content – more than six years worth! I also invite you to share good and/or bad examples of nonprofit engagement.

See you in September

I’ll return to posting this fall with new content – including updates on my new book. In the meantime, enjoy the summer!


Marketing Training & Development

What’s in YOUR Office Library?

In the spirit of observing National Library Week (April 10-16, 2011), I want to thank libraries and librarians everywhere for their invaluable service in encouraging reading for enlightenment and enjoyment.

I love libraries – public, school, corporate, and private. Over the years my husband and I have created our own home library with a collection of books on art, management, business, food, investing, historical biographies, local history, religion, classic literature, and fiction. We’ve even kept a few of our favorite college textbooks.

I also have my own business library that reflects my professional interests. My book shelves include books on:

  • Marketing and branding, with emphasis on services marketing
  • Employee engagement and HR/talent management
  • Nonprofit marketing, management, and leadership
  • Facilitation and training
  • Writing reference and grammar guides (my favorite is J. I. Rodale’s classic, The Synonym Finder)
  • Humor and creativity (mostly cartoon collections from the New Yorker  and the Far Side; Gordon MacKenzie’s Orbiting the Giant Hairball is another favorite)

What types of books do you keep in your office?


Why Nonprofits Need to Look Backward as Well as Forward

Talking about nonprofit marketing with colleagues recently sparked an interesting discussion on using an organization’s history (aka “heritage marketing”) – for example, celebrating a notable anniversary of a nonprofit’s founding to kick-off a fundraising drive or reinforce an organization’s longevity and brand.

Given the dynamic pace of change today, some might question whether this approach is outmoded. Shouldn’t nonprofits focus on the future rather than the past?

My answer is that an organization’s history shouldn’t be ignored because the past is tangible, the future is not. Through historic records, past meeting minutes and reports, photos, audio visuals, and printed matter, you can:

  • revisit, review, and explore the past as a way to understand what worked and what didn’t
  • gain insight into how the organization, its mission, and its culture have evolved
  • and leverage this knowledge to help the organization continue to evolve and adapt in a changing world.

It’s the reason we consider both the past and the future in strategic planning – to reflect on an organization’s history as part of a situational analysis and use it as a bridge to help envision the future.


Stop Fundraising!

Attention certain nonprofits:

You already have me as a friend & supporter/donor, and I’m happy to send you a contribution once a year.

In the meantime, PLEASE stop sending me continuous solicitations!

  • I don’t want/need frequent reminders to give to your cause.
  • I don’t want you to send me any more pins, note cards, mailing labels, decals, etc.
  • I don’t want you to waste any more paper and postage.
  • Most of all, I don’t want you to waste precious time (mine and yours) – especially when you can take whatever time and expense you’re spending on these unnecessary mailings and reallocate them to  furthering your mission.

I’m not saying that you should stop all your fundraising efforts – just the multiple ones to me … unless you no longer want my contribution.

So I urge you to stop.

Consider this fair warning: donor alienation is just one mailing away.