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Brand development under way for Safonova

September 25, 2010

When long-time clothing retailers and owners of a new upscale women’s clothing boutique in Park City, Utah approached us about assisting with their new brand, we jumped at the chance despite many looming challenges.

Some of the tests the project faces include a tight turn time, a long-planned vacation out of the country by key team members scheduled to begin just days after the initial inquiry, and the retail space being in the process of being vacated by another clothing retailer with a long-established reputation in the location.

The clients’ goals are to:

Read more…


What’s with the rub between fundraising and marketing?

August 28, 2010

For years we have dispensed the advice that nonprofit organizations are “real businesses” too and should, in many ways, be run the same way as for-profit businesses. While this makes for a good attention getter with clients who are seeking direction in getting on track and making progress with an org that has lost its way, we have to admit that it’s a fundamentally flawed hypothesis as it relates to the underpinnings of why each type of business exists.

Legally speaking, it’s true that nonprofits with a 501″x” designation are just businesses that are exempt from certain taxes. A closer look at why businesses are started, whom they serve, and their motivations for continued operations is where the two models diverge rapidly.

While there are some exceptions, it can be put simply that for-profit companies provide units of value for the purpose of raising money, while nonprofit companies raise money for the purpose of providing units of value. Read more…

What is a messaging framework and why your nonprofit needs one.

July 14, 2010

All nonprofit organizations answer to many masters. Among them are the board of directors, staff leadership, individual and institutional donors, the press, the general public and of course there’s your constituency. If you have earned revenue, you also market a product or service and answer to your customers. When managing your communications, a key challenge is sorting out what message to communicate to each of these audiences in a way that compels them to respond and interact in a meaningful way.

While many organizations may not have considered who their various audience segments are, far fewer have taken the time to decide how best to craft messaging that speaks to each audience segment individually. Doing so enables you to more efficiently capture the attention of each segment in a way that resonates with them, resulting in them taking the action you want.

When working with our clients on their communications, we use a tool called a messaging framework. Read more…

Your opinion, please.

June 30, 2010

When we launched our company over three years ago, we never thought that I would play more than a cursory role in the business. It was always going to be “Ashley’s company”. We thought that I may take on the occasional project for one of our clients, but didn’t imagine that demand would be so great as to require my full attention. Since leaving my former company, we’ve been blessed with tremendous good fortune and my involvement quickly increased to the point where I was a “real” part of the company.

As a real employee, it quickly became clear that I needed a business card. At first it wasn’t a huge priority, and for a while I made a number of excuses, but as I’ve spent more time networking, meeting with clients and getting to know others in the industry, I have decided to stop putting off the inevitable and face the facts… Our logo isn’t exactly gender-neutral.

So we engaged our design team with the difficult task of designing a “less feminine, but not necessarily masculine” business card, and remaining as true to our brand as possible. I.e., the flower stays…

What you see here is where we’ve landed. We’ve not yet gone to press with these, but will be soon. Please let us know what you think of the new design relative to our overall brand and our website’s design. (Click on either image to enlarge.)

Which is it? Nonprofit, Non-profit or Non profit?

June 17, 2010

Over the years, we’ve gone back and forth on the hyphen vs. no-hyphen debate, which explains why you may still find both throughout our site, blog and any number of social profiles. Our current thinking, based on day-to-day interactions, analysis of Google Trends and just because we think it’s cleaner; is “nonprofit”. To be clear, more rests on this decision than personal preference. When one takes into consideration the need to market a nonprofit organization or nonprofit concept to those who may be more familiar with one versus another, not to mention keywords and search engine optimization, it quickly becomes more of a business decision.

When we saw this great post titled Non???Profit, by Chris Coyier, we couldn’t pass on the opportunity to share it. It looks like the jury is still out in many places, but we’re happy with our choice.

Which do you prefer and why?

Board Term Limits

June 12, 2010

There are several determining factors for deciding whether to impose term limits for the board of directors of a nonprofit organization. In our experience, setting term limits plays a crucial role in the long-term success of the organization.

Whether to impose term limits for board members can best be addressed by examining the expectations and qualities of board members. When choosing board members, desirable qualities in a candidate might include energy, passion and tenacity. These same qualities also come into play when considering term limits.  Read more…

Duties of the Board of Directors

June 11, 2010

As a general rule the board of directors of any nonprofit organization should be expected to develop the directives, mission statement and overall management strategy that will carry the nonprofit into the future.  It is crucial that they play an active role in raising funds, cultivating new donors and garnering new board members.

Over the course of the life of a nonprofit organization, the board of directors will likely pass through multiple stages. Through this evolution, the degree to which the board is involved in a hands-on capacity will vary. Ultimately, the longevity and effectiveness of the nonprofit will be determined in the very beginnings of the organization, and can be positively impacted by ensuring that each member is aware of his or her responsibilities. Whether acting as the body responsible for oversight or as active contributors, the board will: Read more…