Marketing is a different breed. It's about creating a consistent look and feel across all mediums, and about knowing your audience and what they need to hear. It's not as cut-and-dry as a website, but it's just as much fun to create a large campaign. Most of marketing campaigns I work on for Pearl can't be shown in full here, so you'll have to make do with these.
Shameless Plug: GOYA is a local, Bloomington-based non-profit organization like nothing I had ever seen before. Everyone from the top on down is strictly volunteer, and there is zero overhead in the organization. Every single penny that gets donated goes directly to making a difference! Seriously, even the marketing costs are covered by various companies (my time was donated and I never received payment of any kind of my work with this organization). I highly suggest you check it out and donate. It's tax-deductable, makes a massive difference, and supports one of the best-run organizations I've ever seen! Do it!
GOYA needed a marketing strategy for both spreading the word, and raising funds. After two years of doing okay, they came to me for my expertise in marketing and print design, and asked me to help them find ways to increase revenue and support general marketing. It was quite the task—marketing for a non-profit is a completely different beast than it is when working for a corporation.
The first thing we tackled was to address how they were doing their fund-raising. Considering they rely heavily on word-of-mouth, we needed a takeaway. Their main source of donation was through local churches, where they would speak about their mission. The church would ask for donations, but that was about it. They had no way of tracking who donated, how much they donated, or whether they were interested in donating again. To address this, I developed a donation envelope—something that church-goers could fill out upon donating—so that we could track donations.
Keeping communication lines open with donors was the next step. People want to know where their money is going, so we developed a newsletter. Now that we were tracking information for donations, we had a mailing list that we could tap into, and this helped to increase our number of both monthly and recurring donations. We developed the 2+ Annual Report (an ode to our two-plus years of operation), which discussed all of the progress that had been made over the past two years. More importantly, we were sure to include projects slated for the future, so that donors would know what costs we needed covered in the coming year.
Next involved reaching out beyond the congregation for donations. There are many local businesses in the Bloomington-Normal area that were willing to allow us to leave information on their counters, or that would place them into bags for their customers. We developed the Hope Card to help spread the word throughout the community.
Over the course of a couple of years, we raised donations significantly. The money was used to build wells, fund job training programs, and build both elementary and middle schools. As a result of our continued outreach, we were able to work out a partnership with the Illinois State University Mennonite School of Nursing. Through this partnership, we were able to send nursing students and doctors to Kenya for twice-per-year medical missions. We could now treat children and adults in the community for medical issues, and allow students to meet missions requirements and college credits in the process.
There was a shit-ton of marketing campaigns and materials that I built and put together over the years. The 2+ booklet is just my favorite, and that hope card was how we set the tone for colors and branding throughout the campaign.
With GOYA growing rapidly , we were in crucial need of more volunteers. At this point, we were working out a partnership with the College of Nursing, planning more task-specific trips to Kenya, and needed a way to recruit volunteers.
After a long conversation during a meeting one evening, someone had mentioned, "This is how you change the world. One step at a time." I'll never forget that, and something about that stuck with me when I went home that night. And that's where the idea came from. I came up with the "How Far Would You Go" strategy because it's an important question—Kenya is a long way from here, but it's an experience that's worth every second of it.
This flyer did a world of wonder for us. Designed around legal size (8.5x14), with a tear off lead-generator, the flyer was presented as a folded half-sheet that simply read "how far would you go to change the world?" This design was enough to peak someone's interest, and get them to open the flyer to find out (8000.546 miles, just in case you were wondering).
The flyer was a success! I mean, if it wasn't, do you think I would put it on this list? not only did volunteers increase, but donations increased as well. Maybe 8,000 miles was too far to travel, but the ATM was a lot closer. Thanks to all of the amazing volunteers that we gained, we were able to begin sending medical trips once per year (twice per year now), that would help treat injuries, illness, provide vaccines, etc. Any way you look at it, the project was a massive success, with relatively little marketing. That's some great ROI!
The elementary and middle schools were done. Next step, build a high school. A massive undertaking, requiring us to raise over $250,000 just to construct the building. Plus, Kenyan high schools are boarding schools—this means needing to provide 24/7 staff for the students, plus meals, dorms, teachers, supplies, and everything else that goes into opening a school.
A quarter-million dollars. That's a daunting number for a small non-profit to face. This porject sat on the back burner for a while, because we just weren't sure it was possible. But we kept facing the reality that, without this school, our middle school students had nowhere to go after they graduated. We were providing a basic education, but we wanted more for them—a lot more.
To tackle this project, we had to get specific. What would it cost just to provide X. Ignore that end total for now, and just focus on the little stuff. How much will the land cost? How much will the building cost? How much will it cost to put desks in one room? These were the questions we would focus on, because these numbers seem much more realistic. We put together a small booklet that explained the entire process, and broke a lot of those numbers down into small chunks, making the whole thing easy to digest.
Think about it. How much do we need to provide school supplies for one classroom? Just $32! That's a doable donation, and one that we knew we could get. How much will it cost to feed 1 student for an entire year? $42! We can get $42! So that's what we did—we broke down our needs into manageable chunks, and set out to begin the process. We started with the "Did You Know" cards, which listed one of the questions I just asked. This helped us show people that a little bit goes a very long way. And when you add a lot of little pieces to a very large puzzle, eventually that puzzle will be complete.
Once that was rolling, we began the "Sponsor a Student" portion of the campaign. This is something that needed to happen, and required a recurring monthly donation. But the donation was only $30/month, which is doable for a lot of families. That money would provide a student an opportunity for education from Kindergarten through high school. It would provide them with everything they needed to succeed. In return, you would get report cards, letters, be able to track their progress, and see that your money was making a real difference. This portion of the campaign proved to be immensely successful, and the entire project wouldn't have happened without it.
To make a long story short, we continued with this process through the entire campaign. Just tackling little chunks where we could, and trust that our puzzle would come together. In the end, the campaign was a success. After several years of raising the funds, and facing some horrible setbacks along the way, the high school was officially completed and ready to open February 10, 2016. Our biggest, and most rewarding, project to this day.
Wheat paste propaganda project designed to raise awareness about global issues arising from U.S. involvement in war and politics. The project requires posters that could be reproduces easily and inexpensievely, that will be pasted all over the city.
I was immediatealy drawn to this project. Not necessarily for my political leanings, but because how often do you get to work on a guerilla marketing campaign? Plus, it has an element of that graffiti culture in it that reminds me of my youth. I was all over.
The project required dozens of posters (not all are shown here, obviously) that had to be visually striking. They had to grab your attention, or you weren't going to pay any attention to them. I used public-use images from anything relating to war or politics, both historical and present-day. To drive the point home, we relied on some great quotes that helped to emphasize the purpose of the picture and the campaign.
To make them cheap and easy, I designed them all as 11x17, black and white images. Anyone can go to Kinkos and print them for pennies, and any office copier is going to be able to replicate these in a rush. All of the pictures were made available on the internet for anyone to download. The website included instructions on how to mix up the wheat paste to glue these flyers up to any building, sign, or post. The project was pretty successful, although a lot of the posters didn't stay up long before getting ripped down. They helped to drive the point home, and were a ton of fun to work on! In the end, the client gave up on the project, and the website is no longer available. But it was one of my favorite projects and I just had to show it off!
The best way to contact me is through email. You can text me too—I'm a modern man.
Ampersand is a Peoria, IL based company. I operate out of coffee shops for meetings. You can find me at Leaves 'n' Beans most mornings. (I did not make their website!)
Just in case you need it: (309) 868-3449