Calling All Marketing Professionals : Nonprofit Boards Need You


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Nonprofit boards need you. Taproot and BoardSource interviewed and surveyed marketing professionals who served and who hadn’t served on nonprofit boards, and here’s what we heard:

- 92% of your marketing peers surveyed expressed interest in nonprofit board service
- Professional skill development was listed as the #1 reason to join a board
- 95% of your marketing peers who have served on boards believe it is important to share their marketing expertise with the nonprofit

You can play an incredibly valuable role on a nonprofit board — from sharing your perspective on an organization’s marketing & branding efforts, joining a board’s communications & marketing committee, to helping staff and board members learn how to effectively share the organization’s unique story.

Check out this presentation for more information on ways marketing professionals can drive impact for a nonprofit board. For more information, check out:

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Calling All Marketing Professionals : Nonprofit Boards Need You

  2. 2. MARKETING PROFESSIONALS &NONPROFIT BOARDS► Overview of Project► Key Research Findings► 10 Ways You Can Impact a Nonprofit Board► Tools/Resources► Questions/Feedback
  3. 3. SPECTRUM OF VOLUNTEERISM MAKING EXTRA HANDS INFRASTRUCTURE AND BUDGET LEADERSHIP SKILLS-BASED VOLUNTEERINGFINANCIAL HANDS-ON GENERAL SKILLS PRO BONO BOARD SERVICESUPPORT VOLUNTEERING EXPERTISE►Cash Grants ► Beach Clean-up ► Tutoring ► IT assistance ► Board►Dollars for Doers ► Soup Kitchen ► Junior ► Collateral Placement►Matching Gifts ► Habitat for Achievement Design ► Board Training Humanity ► Science Fair ► HR Consulting Judge
  5. 5. THE INSPIRATION “What if nonprofit boards had a CMO or VP of marketing to serve as treasurer of an organization’s brand and social capital?” - Aaron Hurst, President & Founder of Taproot, 2009 BoardSource Leadership Forum Keynote Speech
  6. 6. WHAT IS “LITERACY” RELATIVE TO ABOARD?LITERACY is enough familiarity with an area to understand issues and challenges toaid decision making Boards often focus on Financial Literacy Other kinds of literacy are highly relevant to board service • Marketing Literacy • HR Literacy • IT • Legal • Engineering
  7. 7. PROJECT GOAL & RESEARCH METHODOLOGY► PROJECT OVERVIEW META GOAL: To identify new opportunities for board leadership that: • Create tangible entry points for board service • Provide practical tools for organizations to identify, recruit, orient and engage new board leadership DELIVERABLES: • Recommended “roles” for marketing professionals within the board • Handbooks and how to guide for engaging new board leaders► METHODOLOGY INTERVIEWS • 24 interviews with professionals (both on and not on boards) and nonprofit Executive Directors SURVEY • 261 responses from professionals (both on and not on boards)
  8. 8. THE OPPORTUNITY Marketing professionals can Play an integral role in the strategic planning process Help set the branding & 92% of surveyed Marketing messaging strategy professionals are interested in Provide a “laser focus” to the board service nonprofit’s positioning Be the “guardian of the brand”560,490 Marketing Professionals (US)
  9. 9. PROFESSIONALS WHO SERVE ON BOARDS 95% said it’s important to share their expertise with the organizationTOP THREE REASONS TO JOIN A BOARD A positive volunteer experience with the organization To use professional skills to help a nonprofit Professional networking
  10. 10. PROFESSIONALS WHO DON’T SERVE ON BOARDS 9 in 10 expressed some interest in serving on a nonprofit boardBARRIERS TO BOARD SERVICE Don’t know where to start or who to approach Time commitment Reluctance to fundraise Uncertain about what role to play
  11. 11. WHY DON’T MORE PROFESSIONALS SERVE ON BOARDS? Consistent Finding: LACK OF AWARENESS on both sides Marketing Professionals Nonprofits need education want information on about Point Need for board service Marketing in general How to get started How to articulate what they How to leverage their NEED to these specific skill set, professionals once engaged What these professionals can do for their boards
  13. 13. CASE STUDYTHE PROFESSIONALTammy Brown, Marketing Director, TechnicolorTHE NONPROFITTHE NEED & FIT“I just knew exactly what the Executive Director was looking for. They wantedsomebody who lived and breathed their new marketing strategy, really giving therest of the board a repository of knowledge.”► Working board► Oversees branding & marketing strategy“Marketing is the one thing people think they can do, but they can’t. Mostnonprofits would kill for marketing experts to be on their board to guide theperception of the organization and build PR strategy; it’s just a matter ofmaking the marketing professionals aware of the need.”
  14. 14. 1 “Manage” the organization’s reputation “Organizational reputation is very important, especially in the nonprofit space, where there is so much competition. Organizations are constantly bombarding people for time, attention, and resources. A strong reputation is essential to stand out.”
  15. 15. Help articulate and2 refresh the organization’s mission, vision, and values“Particularly with newer nonprofits, I see a great needto really set up a solid mission and goals, and thenhave monthly reviews to ensure that they’re followingthese. It’s way too easy for nonprofits to go off ondifferent tangents that don’t really move theirorganization forward. As well, having a succinctmission makes development of a marketing plan orbranding much easier and more beneficial to theorganization.”
  16. 16. 3 Serve on the fundraising or development committee and/or help develop fundraising messaging“I happen to be a ‘connector’ so I want to use mycapabilities to help connect my nonprofit withcompanies, individuals, and other organizations thatcan move it forward.”
  17. 17. 4 Take part in a branding exercise“Branding is not just for external reasons — it pulls theorganization together — like a North Star.”
  18. 18. Participate in strategic5 planning“If you think of a nonprofit like any other type oforganization, with the need to attract funding, clients,and volunteers and if you have a budget of a certainlevel, you are at the scale at which marketing expertisewould be very valuable. Through a strategy lens, youreview whether or not you are engaged in the rightactivities, using your resources in the best possibleway, how you are aligning your mission back to theway your resources are deployed — are they in thebest places?”
  19. 19. 6 Provide access to pro bono marketing resources“There’s always a need for pro bono. I’ve never met anonprofit organization that isn’t stretched beyond fullcapacity.Two pieces that are needed: 1) a compelling casemade for pro bono service to be provided to thenonprofit organization and 2) both parties need to beclear in contracting — what are the roles each sideneeds to play to have a successful outcome. Nonprofitreadiness is key.”
  20. 20. 7 Lead board communications training“Few nonprofits have marketing staff, and as aresult, very few have a clear understanding ofwhat marketing is (and is not). They also do notunderstand whats involved (time, resources,discipline, focus) in embarking on a marketingeffort. It is important for board members withmarketing expertise to understand and anticipatethose factors. A large part of what they will haveto do is explain, persuade, and advocate for amarket-driven point of view.”
  21. 21. Develop and review an8 organizational crisis management plan“A crisis plan should be simple and unencumberedso that it can be activated should a crisis occur. Itmust be approved by everyone, and reviewed on aregular basis. You can’t simply put it on a shelf andnever review it again. I recommend a review on aquarterly basis, so that preparedness becomesinculcated into the organization’s culture.”
  22. 22. Provide access to media9 through public relations“A marketer needs to make sure nonprofits arerepresenting their brand correctly — everything frommaking sure sound bites are the correct ones, to notifyingthe right people, etc. Sometimes folks get daunted by a“PR” program, but it’s just a normal part of a marketingplan; for example — rebranding? — notify the media.”
  23. 23. Increase organizational10 awareness of emerging networking technology“Nonprofits need more integrated marketing strategiesthat utilize social media, new media, product placement,and creative media partnerships .move beyondtraditional methods and explore innovative ways ofmarketing and communicating their brand to a broaderaudience.”
  25. 25. 1. DETERMINE YOUR INTERESTSWhat causes do I care about most?What type of organization and board will best match my personal interestsand working style?Where am I already volunteering?
  26. 26. 2. FIND AN ORGANIZATION THAT FEELS RIGHTDoes your company have a formal/informal board matching program?Check with your corporate foundation to inquire about their relationshipswith local nonprofits who may be recruiting for a board memberCheck out board matching programs at the local United Way or localcommunity foundationOnline resources: www.allforgood.orgAsk your personal network for referrals to nonprofits they may knowHow about pro bono service?
  27. 27. 3. DO YOUR DUE DILIGENCEOnce youve identified an organization you’re interested in that isrecruiting for board members, find out everything you can aboutthe nonprofitSet up an interview with other board members or the ExecutiveDirectorCheck out to review their Form 990
  28. 28. 4. UNDERSTAND WHAT BOARDS WANT1. Proven interest in their mission2. Knowledge and understanding of their work3. Professional knowledge and skills needed by the board4. Connections in the community (media, politics, health care)5. Fundraising experience and willingness to participate6. Ability to make a substantial financial contribution7. Experience in working with people from other ethnic backgrounds8. Ability to listen well9. Ability to express ideas and opinions clearly10. Ability to participate effectively in a conversation (neither monopolizing nor hanging back)11. Sense of humor, positive presence12. Ability to ask appropriate questions13. Ability to participate on a regular basis in the board’s work
  29. 29. RESOURCESBOARD MATCHING PROGRAMSBridgestar: www.bridgestar.orgCorporation for National and Community Service: ; www.allforgood.orgVolunteerMatch: www.volunteermatch.orgBoardnet USA: www.boardnetusa.orgCORPORATIONSBoard matching programs within Public Affairs / Community Involvement departmentsPROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONSAmerican Marketing Association (AMA) www.marketingpower.comPRO BONO VOLUNTEERINGTaproot Foundation: www.taprootfoundation.orgCatchafire: www.catchafire.orgSparked:
  31. 31. QUESTIONS & CONTACT INFO DEBORAH DAVIDSON Vice President Vice President for Governance Research and Publications AMANDA PAPE LENAGHAN Senior Manager, Development & Strategic Initiatives