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Affiliate Spotlight: RAND Strategic Solutions, LLC

Posted By Charlotte Gill, 3 hours ago

1. What is your business name?

RAND Strategic Solutions, LLC

 

2. What do you (or your business) specialize in?

We are a consulting firm that provides everyday solutions to a business’ everyday problems.  For nonprofits, we carry that an extra step and show you how to achieve the maximum impact in your community, creating a solid foundation on which to operate.  Whether it’s fine-tuning your mission and vision statements, developing SMART strategic goals, or creating measurable program outcomes, our job is to ensure your success!

 

3. How did you get started in consulting?

About five years ago, I had the opportunity to leave the corporate world and venture out on my own, creating RAND Strategic Solutions, LLC.  I have been able to work with a diverse slate of businesses, meet many interesting people, challenge my limits, and most importantly, help others be the best at what they do.

 

4. What are you really good at?

I excel at determining the root cause of an issue so I can develop the appropriate solution that resolves your pain points.  I tell it like it is and give you candid honesty.  My personal sweet spot is creating strategies that move the needle for your agency and help you identify those obstacles (risks) that will prevent your success.

 

5. What is your firm really good at?

RAND Strategic Solutions is really good at showing you how to operate your nonprofit like a business, finding that perfect balance between corporate world best practices and the mission of your nonprofit.  For example, every business should have:

·         Mission, vision, and values statements

·        Strategic goals and objectives (and what the risks are to not accomplishing them)

·         Measurable program outcomes

·         Fiscal accountability (yes, somebody needs to count the beans on a regular basis and know what they mean!)

·         Diversified cash flows (and which have the highest ROI)

·         An effective board of directors and adds value to your agency

·         An organizational structure that helps you run smoothly

Give us a call for a complimentary meeting to see how we can help you with these and other opportunities.

 

6. What do you do better than your rivals?

We focus specifically on the business aspect of your business.  While well versed in leadership development, corporate culture, organizational development, coaching, or toxicity in the workplace, these are people-based topics and solutions.  Of course, the people in your organization are your greatest and most important resource, and RAND Strategic Solutions makes sure your business model supports and complements your people.  Your business framework (backend operations, logistics, front office, marketing, development, etc.) needs to be effective and efficient in order to offer the best programs possible and achieve maximum impact in your community. 

 

7. Who are some of your clients?

Our clients have included a broad range of sectors such as academia, the visual and performing arts, interior design, home staging, digital marketing, product and promotional branding, health and wellness, and banking.  Some of our nonprofit clients are the Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida, the Martin County Library System, Women Empowering Women, the Arts Council of Martin County, St. Mary’s Healing Center, CareBag, the Interagency Council of Martin County, and our own Nonprofits First.

 

8. What’s the most unique aspect of what you do?

I believe our uniqueness is the fact that we can take a complex situation or problem and transform it into a simple workable solution that is easily executable.

 

9. Who inspires you?

That’s a difficult question as it is hard to choose just one person.  I would say, however, that the philanthropic mindset of the people in Palm Beach and on the Treasure Coast humbles me.  There is so much generosity and outpouring in our communities as we try to address the multitude of issues people face on a daily basis.

 

10. What cause or mission is close to your heart?

We need to ensure people have access to the basics:  shelter, food, clothing, education, and healthcare.

 

11. What is your connection to the nonprofit community?

My connection to the nonprofit community started with the United Way of Atlanta, serving as a loaned executive for the annual campaign.  I worked on the combined Federal and state campaign and learned firsthand what huge needs we had in the community.  Ever since, I have tried to help close that gap.

 

12. How can organizations best reach you?

I can be reached via email at PaulH@randstrategicsolutions.com or by phone at 772.600.5529.  You can also check out our website at www.randstrategicsolutions.com

Tags:  Affiliate Consultant  Fundraising  Leadership  Nonprofit Philanthropy  Strategic Planning 

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Member Spotlight: Center for Child Counseling and Brandstory Communications

Posted By Charlotte Gill, Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Updated: Thursday, July 18, 2019

Affiliate Consultants provide support to the nonprofit community - one innovative project at a time. Search the directory to find experienced consultants for your nonprofit's needs. This month we're sharing tips on how to use videos as a storytelling tool to reach more people.

It’s our July Member spotlight! Read on to hear from Brandstory Communication and their award-winning video work for the Center for Child Counseling.

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Nonprofits First: Gary Widom of Brandstory Communications and the Center for Child Counseling teamed up to create an award-winning video. Congratulations on the 2019 Telly Award. How did you help the Center for Child Counseling tell their story in this video?

Brandstory Communications: People who are involved in the mental health field know that the Center for Child Counseling (CfCC) does amazing work helping kids and their parents identify, understand, and heal from Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Our goal was to produce a video explaining what ACEs are and how the CFCC works to create a trauma-informed community.

Tip #1 Define Your Audience!

The first step was to sit-down with Renée Layman, the organization’s Chief Executive Officer, for insight into the target audience of the video. For instance, are we talking to an everyday person who has no knowledge of the topic or are we talking to someone who has a mental health background? Once you determine your audience you can more clearly define the narrative.

Tip #2: Stay Singularly Focused!

The second point, I can't stress enough, is that it’s always better to focus on one main topic per video. Don’t try to cram a bunch of topics in a single piece of content if they are all closely related. Videos that have multiple topics are going to be too long to hold someone’s attention and if you try to keep it short, you are able to most effectively cut information that may make the video confusing.

Tip #3: Location, Location, Location!

After you know what story you’re telling it’s time to get organized. Make a list of your shoot locations.  Who you are interviewing?  What is their role? We want to know what video can we shoot in each location as it helps to best frame the story narrative. If you know one of the interviews will be about something that has happened in the past (where no fresh video can be produced), find supporting pictures or home video to incorporate. Any content collected before production helps to frame that key and unique narrative by framing how interviews will be conducted and what the video/pictures will be needed. The right locations and proper visuals will cue the viewer into your overall message.

Nonprofits First: How was this partnership a win/win for affiliate and nonprofit?

Brandstory Communications: Our team prides itself on the ability to tell stories through video. We passionately commit to this work in an effective & efficient way for our clients with our staff that consists of award-winning journalists & videographers with four decades of storytelling experience. We believe that every business and organization has multiple interesting stories to tell. It has been our experience that many of the best stories are those we tell for our long-list of nonprofit clients, including the Center for Child Counseling. 

Nonprofits First: What advice would you give nonprofits about story telling or choosing the right producer for their videos?

Brandstory Communications: With modern video and smartphone cameras there is a general belief that good looking videos are easy to shoot. It depends on your goals and use of those videos. What’s not fast and easy is conceptualizing, asking the right questions during an interview, crafting a story, and producing a quality and quantity of videos that is needed for our world of mobile/online consumers, donors, and service recipients.  When looking for a company to shoot videos make sure you’ve seen some of their work and it’s similar to something you’re looking for. Good video content producers are more than people who can press play, focus, edit and properly light an interview. Ask around as to a company’s consistency of meeting deadlines. Does the company understand the overall marketing and messaging that the video will contribute to? Consistent and quality video production has become one of the most powerful tools for modern day marketing. Your organization has impactful stories. The videos that tell those stories should positively impact the reputation and level of our organization’s brand awareness.

Nonprofits First: So can we see the video?

Brandstory Communications: Of course! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrpgVwDvbDE

Tags:  Affiliate Consultant  Membership  Nonprofit  Storytelling  Video 

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Member Spotlight: The Guatemalan-Maya Center and Achieve

Posted By Charlotte Gill, Tuesday, May 28, 2019

The recent Great Give was a boon for The Guatemalan-Maya Center (accredited nonprofit organization and member), which brought in nearly $40,000 during the one-day fundraising event.

 

The organization worked with the marketing company Achieve (our affiliate member) in raising the money through social media, e-blasts, and a string of volunteers.

 

How did they do it?

 

We asked Erica Linguanti, Achieve’s director of marketing, to explain their strategies for the campaign – and describe how similar strategies can help other nonprofits in various fundraising efforts.

 

It’s our May Member spotlight.

 

 

1) How did Achieve help The Guatemalan-Maya Center raise $38,787 during the Great Give?

 

Erica Linguanti: We developed a multi-channel campaign strategy to help The Guatemalan-Maya Center meet their goal of raising $30,000 to expand their after school program. Here are some of the key tactics we used to support our overall strategy:

 

1. Identified a clear/realistic fundraising goal. In the case of The Guatemalan-Maya Center, instead of simply having a monetary goal, we equated the goal to the impact: “Help 30 kids succeed in school this year.”

 

2. Updated their website to be mobile responsive and implemented a new donation platform for pre and post donations. It was important that their donation tool was both mobile friendly and trackable through Facebook conversion tracking.

 

3. Developed an email messaging strategy to leverage storytelling before, during, and after the Great Give to encourage support.

 

4. Utilized both paid and organic social media to generate awareness and garner donations. Paid social advertising was especially critical because it allowed us to leverage a variety of retargeting tactics to best reach our key audiences. To really succeed on social you can’t rely on a few organic posts anymore. On Facebook, typically only about 1-3% of your followers will ever organically see your content - and it usually takes at least 5-7 messaging “touch points” before a user will ever consider taking action. For better or worse, Facebook (and Instagram) have become very pay-to-play platforms making your organic social strategy only as effective as your paid social strategy (and vice versa).

 

5. Created phone scripts volunteers could use to reach out to past donors and encourage participation in the Great Give. Sometimes accomplishing fundraising goals takes a village, so we wanted to setup volunteers for success!

 

2) Was there anything during the Great Give event that didn’t go as planned?

 

Erica Linguanti: Initially we were unable to secure a donor match - which was a key tactic in our overall strategy. After this setback, we pivoted to a new messaging strategy. Then, a little over one week before the Great Give, our plans changed again after a $5,000 donor match was secured. While we were thrilled to have a match to help incentivize donors, the last-minute match meant we needed to change our messaging strategy again. With any type of marketing campaign, it’s important to remain flexible! 

 

3) What advice would you give other nonprofits about raising money during the Great Give or other events?

 

Erica Linguanti: The biggest pieces of advice I would give to other nonprofits looking to raise money during the Great Give (or other pinnacle events) would be to:

 

1. Start early! #GivingTuesday is coming in November. Ideally, you should be planning your strategy no later than July/August.

 

2. Keep your goal(s) simple and tangible. It also helps to humanize your ask by attaching money to actual impact. For example, with The Guatemalan-Maya Center, our goal was to “Help 30 kids succeed in school this year” vs. “Help us raise $30,000.”

 

3. Leverage paid social media advertising to extend your digital reach and get in front of new audiences.

 

4. Remember that for “day of giving” events - it’s not just about the amount of money raised. Giving days are great opportunities to bring in new donors for your organization that you can cultivate over time (and hopefully turn into loyal donors).

 

Learn more about The Guatemalan-Maya Center here.

 

Learn more about Achieve here.

 

If your nonprofit has a great story to tell, contact Charlotte Gill at Nonprofits First: 561-910-3891 or cgill@nonprofitsfirst.org.

Tags:  Affiliate Consultant  Charitable Giving  Charities  Collaborations  Fundraising  Membership  Nonprofit  Nonprofit Philanthropy 

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Affiliate Spotlight: AHA! Business Consulting

Posted By Charlotte Gill, Monday, April 22, 2019

1. What is your business name?  

AHA! Business Consulting

 

2.  What do you (or your business) specialize in?

Reducing your employee turnover by helping you to hire right and set your team members up for success.

 

3. How did you get started in consulting?  

Our founder, Andrea Hoffer, started her career in Higher Education Administration, where she worked with college students to help them to develop leadership skills and skills to be successful in the work world.  After 15 years, she left higher ed to open a spa with 35 employees and learned first-hand the challenges of finding and keeping the right team members for your business or organization.  AHA! was originally born out of a need from college campuses looking for an outside consultant to facilitate workshops for their team leadership for the purpose of improving team communication and negotiating change.  Andrea’s unique background in Higher Education and business was a good fit for their needs.  Later, AHA! Business Consulting expanded to working with both nonprofit organizations and for-profit businesses.

 

4. What are you really good at?

We give you the tools and support you need for continued growth and improvement.  Our focus is not just on hiring right or team development.  It is how each piece fits together to create a positive culture and successful team.  Each of our clients have a specific need in mind when they contact us.  We meet them where they are with a service or workshop that will start to address their immediate need, but we don’t just stop there.  Once we begin to understand our client’s long term goals and needs, we become partners in their on-going success.  Each of our clients receive an action plan for next steps we can help them with or simple actions they can take on their own to continue the growth.

 

5. Who are some of your clients?  

Nonprofits First-We have facilitated team workshops for their leadership team.  We also have facilitated an Everything DiSC Workshop for the Rising Leaders the last four years.  The Milagro Center.  Quantum Foundation.  These are some of the nonprofits we have worked with.  We also have worked with for-profit businesses like The Salt Suite, European Wax, Cold Stone Creamery.

 

6. What’s the most unique aspect of what you do?  

We take an educational approach. We teach our clients to fish instead of fishing for them. We provide tools, services and training that our clients can use as they grow and develop their team. 

 

7.  What is your connection to the nonprofit community?  

Our Founder, Andrea, came from the nonprofit world of Higher Education.  She also led a nonprofit theater in Atlanta, GA for a couple of years.  Working with nonprofit organizations has always held a special place in her heart- especially when the organizational mission involves education or the arts.  

 

8. How can organizations best reach you?  

We can be reached at 561.829.5611 or info@ahabusinessconsulting.com.

Tags:  Affiliate Consultant  Cultivate  Leadership  Membership  Professional Development 

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Affiliate Spotlight: Sharp & Sweet

Posted By Charlotte Gill, Friday, February 22, 2019

1.       What is your business name?

Sharp & Sweet. But we are actually two separate agencies. Cheryl Baldwin owns Sweet Boo Design and Laura Morse owns Sharp 11. Together we call ourselves Sharp & Sweet. But you might also say the name describes our personalities! Our project collaboration became so close over the years it made sense to package our work together. We recommend each other for almost every job we get into, so promoting ourselves as a team was just a natural step forward.

2.       What do you (or your business) specialize in?

Sharp & Sweet is all about nonprofit branding that elevates every aspect of your mission. To work with a brand is to take on an organization’s reason for existence. Your brand is so much more than a logo. Your brand is your cause, your culture, and your connection to donors. If it doesn’t hold meaning for the people experiencing it, your mission and everything you do is totally lost. Sharp & Sweet makes your brand SPEAK. And talk louder and above the rest, we might add. And we can do that in one hundred different ways.


3.       How did you get started in consulting?

Cheryl has been on her own for a long time now as a graphic designer, evolving into her own business when she took over a freelance magazine gig and then ran a business teaching children’s art classes. She did a corporate stint for a while but loved being an entrepreneur more. Cheryl also discovered a passion for furthering the work of the charitable sector, and most of her work now is with nonprofits.

Laura’s prior career was in nonprofit management, communications, and development for museums, underserved communities, and education. She brought her insider info and love for causes to create Sharp 11, a communications and strategy studio for nonprofits. Laura wants to help revolutionize the way causes share their message and engage their staff and the public.


4.       What are you really good at?

Sharp & Sweet is a cool combo. We start work with our clients by totally immersing ourselves in their story. We’re really good at listening so we can truly feel a part of the cause and understand its deepest needs. This knowledge lives in us and guides our entire strategy throughout the project. If we don’t think we can feel a connection to the cause, we won’t take on the work. It’s that personal to us.

 

5.            What is your firm really good at?

We’re really good at being bold and delivering something really special. We come out swinging. Our goal is to cut through clutter, noise, and tired old ideas to make your message totally stand out from the rest. This can be scary for clients, even if they think they want it. We know it takes time to change course or strike a new tone, but we know how to get you there. It’s a journey and it’s not for the faint. If you really want to change the world, you better step up and be big, even if you have two staff people and a budget under $250k. Donors don’t respond to weakness. They want solutions, change, and a meaningful cause to support.

 

6.            What do you do better than your rivals?

Sharp & Sweet is always cooking some secret sauce. There may only be two of us, but we bring the Total Package. We are full brand architects who understand fundraising.

We are amazing at bringing out simplicity, authenticity, and humanizing your message so you attract the people who will love and support your work. The rest of the crowd doesn’t matter. Our work is painstakingly careful in the message: no BS, never jargon-y, always human and relatable.

We are uber brain-stormers. There’s a real symbiotic flow to how we generate ideas and create. We absolutely push each other to be better with every piece we work on. We elevate each other’s work so we can be our very best for our clients.

And there’s a hell of a lot of seriousness and fun going on around here that our clients hop right into and enjoy.

5.       Who are some of your clients?

Wow, do we love us some awesome change-makers. We are overwhelmed by the good work these agencies do and are proud to be a small part of it: Community Partners, Dress for Success Palm Beaches, Alpert Jewish Family Service, Resource Depot, Center for Child Counseling, Mental Health Association of Palm Beach County, YMCA of South Palm Beach County, Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies of Palm Beach County, HomeSafe, Palm Beach County Food Bank, and even Nonprofits First.


6.       What's the most unique aspect of what you do?

Our method employs mission-driven design and we pour the secret sauce all over it. We’re not going to tell you what that is here. You have to call us. We don’t know anyone else around in design and communications who also knows fundraising strategy and how to appeal to donors. That’s pretty crucial, right? We are also rule-breakers when necessary. We create ways for causes to find freedom to be what they were meant to be.


7.       Who inspires you?

Being Boss (Kathleen Shannon and Emily Thompson), RBG, Michelle&BarackForever, Brene Brown, Beyonce, Maya Angelou

8.       What cause or mission is close to your heart?

Indulge us with several, please: Suicide Prevention Awareness, Women’s Issues, Rescue Animals, Racial Equity, Education, Underserved Communities, Mental Health, World Peace, Arts & Humanities, the Environment

9.       What is your connection to the nonprofit community?

Beyond our work with clients, our current volunteerism belongs to Leadership Palm Beach County, the Mental Health Association, the Women’s Foundation of Florida, and St. George’s Center.


10.   How can organizations best reach you?

Offering coffee or food usually works best.

 

Check us out at Sharp11.org and SweetBooDesign.com

Email or call either of us to talk about what we can do for you.

Laura: 561.531.3511 and laura@sharp11.org

Cheryl: 561.578.7019 and cheryl@sweetboodesign.com

 

Thanks for taking the time to learn about us!

 

Tags:  Affiliate Consultant  Membership  Nonprofit  Storytelling 

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