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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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Member Spotlight: Women’s Foundation of Florida & Philanthropy Tank

Posted By Charlotte Gill, Monday, March 25, 2019

Nonprofits First offers many services to the nonprofit community – including the ability to rent space in our West Palm Beach office.

 

Two organizations are taking advantage of that, using our space to maximize the opportunity to be “next door” to our many educational workshops.

 

Those two agencies are: Women’s Foundation of Florida and Philanthropy Tank.

 

They are the focus of our March member spotlight.

 

 

Women’s Foundation of Florida and Philanthropy Tank have different missions, but they have many similarities. They are both small but mighty organizations looking to grow.

 

We asked the staff of both organizations to tell us about their organizations and why they support Nonprofits First.

 

1) Explain briefly how your organization helps people in Palm Beach County/South Florida.

 

Judith Selzer, co-founder and president of Women’s Foundation of Florida: The Women’s Foundation of Florida empowers women and girls to be leaders so we can change the world. Our leadership programs and micro-grants invest in challenging the status quo, lifting up innovative ideas and leaning into the magic of women’s vision for the world around us. Check us out at WomensFoundationFL.org.

 

Mathew Avila, project assistant at Philanthropy Tank: The Philanthropy Tank is an organization that challenges, empowers, and equips the next generation of CHANGEmakers in grades 8-12 to develop and implement a sustainable social service, activism, or entrepreneurship idea that aims to solve a problem in the community.

 

We have over 20 active projects that cover a vast range of topics. One of our 2018 winners, Surface 71, aims to reduce plastic use, improve marine habitats, and advocate that water is life. This past month, Surface 71 successfully lobbied to eliminate plastic straws and stirrers at local businesses and restaurants in West Palm Beach. Their success has even earned them a private tour of the White House and the U.S. Capitol by Senator Marco Rubio.

 

Some of our most recent 2019 winners include groups like the Mayan Girls and Code Autism. The Mayan Girls are a group of young women that translate and market important content relating to health, severe weather, and community updates from English and Spanish to various indigenous Mayan languages in the Lake Worth area. Code Autism is a project that teaches computer programming classes to autistic children from the Els Center for Autism. These are just a fraction of the numerous projects that the Philanthropy Tank has helped support in the past four years. In total, the Philanthropy Tank has impacted over 300,000 lives in Palm Beach County through the various CHANGEmaker programs. Check us out at philanthropytank.org

 

 

2) Why did you decide to be housed in the office of Nonprofits First? What’s the advantage of being there?

 

Judith Selzer: We are thrilled to utilize office space and technical assistance from Nonprofits First because this is an organization that reflects our values and mission. We both believe in public service, leadership and collaboration. It’s a perfect fit!

 

Mathew Avila: The Nonprofits First family recognizes what it takes to construct and maintain an organization that is only starting to bury its roots into the ground. Since the Philanthropy Tank is a young organization, it makes complete sense that we surround ourselves with experienced professionals who know how to develop nonprofits.

 

Over the past two years, the Philanthropy Tank staff has attended numerous informational and collaborative workshops. We walk away with innovative tools and advice from these workshops that make all the difference in the world. The variety of topics covered is endless. Sharing an office with Nonprofits First is a wonderful experience.

 

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

Tags:  Charities  Collaborations  Cultivate  Leadership  Membership  Nonprofit 

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Member Spotlight: Center for Child Counseling

Posted By Charlotte Gill, Tuesday, February 26, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, February 27, 2019

February Member Spotlight: Center for Child Counseling

 

The Center for Child Counseling is on a roll lately– they’ve won major grants, a Hats Off Award, and many other accolades for their work in improving the social-emotional wellness of children and their families in Palm Beach County.

The recent successes are the result of a lunch meeting in 2013, and the hard work that followed and continues today.

The Center’s story is our February Member Spotlight. 

 

The Center for Child Counseling has received a lot of attention as of late – and deservedly so.

 

In October, the agency won Nonprofit of the Year (Medium) at the 2018 Hats Off Nonprofit Awards. In November, they were one of 16 nonprofits selected to receive a grant from New York Life to provide trauma and grief support to those who have experienced devastation or loss. And in February, they won $100,000 from Impact the Palm Beaches.

 

Overseeing all of this is CEO Renée Layman, MS, LMHC. She manages a staff of more than 10 people and their work in helping more than 1,500 children and their caregivers. Layman has more than 20 years of experience in mental health services, most of which are specific to children’s mental health.

 

She’s had the job since 2013 when she and the organization’s founder, Jane Robinson, met over lunch and Robinson offered Layman the opportunity to take over the group (then called All ‘Bout Children) and take it to the next level. Layman accepted and, with Robinson’s guidance and feedback, teamed up with infant mental health specialist Lauren Scirrotto, LMHC, to develop the foundation for the next chapter of the agency, starting with the new name, Center for Child Counseling.

 

Both women had a vision for a supportive, transparent, and compassionate workplace that enabled staff to thrive while they helped the most vulnerable populations in Palm Beach County heal from trauma and toxic stress. Layman and Scirrotto, often sitting face-to-face, developed policies and procedures with a clear focus on what they wanted the agency to accomplish: building the foundation for playful, healthful, and hopeful living for children and families.  

 

Through prevention, early intervention, and targeted treatment, the staff focused on creating a “trauma-informed” community where all partners (schools, criminal justice system, shelters, health care providers, and many other professionals and institutions) worked closely to identify and heal the effects of toxic stress and trauma before they developed into damaging behaviors.

 

The goal also was to shift from asking “what’s wrong with you?” to “what happened to you” and “how can we help?”

 

Over time, the Center for Child Counseling did just that, and today it’s focused on three key areas:

 

  • Improving the social-emotional wellness of children and their caregivers by providing an array of prevention, early intervention, and mental health services.
  • Improving caregivers' mental health and use of effective strategies to support children, while strengthening their ability to provide an environment that promotes healthy outcomes.
  • Training professionals and the community on effective clinical models and trauma-informed strategies for working with children and families.

 

How does all of that fit together?

 

A staggering 1 in 4 children live in poverty in Palm Beach County, putting them at risk for an array of experiences that can change the structure of the developing brain.

 

Some organization has to fill critical gaps in the system of care to address urgent needs of those children and their families.

 

That organization is the Center for Child Counseling.

 

 

Contact the Center for Child Counseling by calling 561-244-9499 or emailing info@centerforchildcounseling.org.

 

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

Tags:  Membership  Nonprofit  Storytelling 

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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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