White Paper: Seven communication policies your nonprofit cannot live without

So what makes up a world class communications, PR and marketing department?

In one simple word: Structure. Set aside experience, skills, budget, internal bureaucracy and all the other issues that exist within every organization…and it doesn’t matter whether you are two person team or part of a forty person team in place at most major universities.   The bottom line is that without structure and a solid foundation of support, your organization’s communication’s department will never be able to function with the efficiency, creativity, effectiveness and level of organizational respect that is necessary to create effective marketing strategy that supports the organization’s strategic plan.

So where do you start?

What policies, procedures and plans create a solid communications foundation?
In this white paper we explore seven organizational policies, plans or tools that no growth-oriented nonprofit can afford to be without. These policies create the foundation and framework for successful organizational communications and marketing.

Click here to download “7 Communications Policies Your Nonprofit Cannot Live Without”

St. Patrick Catholic School Website Launch

St. Patrick Catholic School in Springfield, Illinois, is a mission school providing a faith-based environment with a rigorous academic curriculum focused on each student’s present and future success. St. Patrick is a learning environment open to children and families of all races and creeds within the community, providing an affordable, high-quality education to families with limited resources. As a charitable organization with limited resources, St. Patrick needed a website that balanced the charitable mission of the school while providing important information for the families of current and prospective students.

The previous website, a one-size fits all website through a national carrier, offered limited functionality for the organization as reflected in the limited information available through the previous website. We new website was built to reflect several goals:

  1. Provide updated information for families and prospective families.
  2. Better educate the public as to the school’s history and mission.
  3. Provide donors with updated event information and an easy to navigate method for giving online.
  4. Establish new lines of communication with the school’s alumni.
  5. Provide a platform that allows staff to easily update the website with minimal publishing experience.

Nonprofit website design exemplifies the need for a balance between design and function, and working with the dedicated, mission-driven staff of St. Pat’s allowed me to better balance these needs.  So click over and learn more about one of Springfield’s finest charitable organizations and how they are working tirelessly to better our community.

Be sure to check out Jarid Brown’s Blog; and connect on LinkedIn, Twitter or Google+.

Jarid Brown featured in Web Marketing for Dummies

HCM Brown’s founder, Jarid Brown, was recently featured in the 3 edition of Web Marketing for Dummies. The 408 page book presents the rapidly changing landscape of web marketing and how companies are adopting innovative marketing approaches and new technologies as they emerge.

The first chapter of the book offered an in-depth case study of my work as the Director of Online Interactions for Hope in working with Lynn Storey, Hope’s Director of Direct Response, to create a comprehensive digital marketing platform and integrated approach to organizational marketing.

The first chapter of the book is available as a free preview here: http://books.google.com/books?id=nqKUxBnWWA4C&printsec=frontcover

You will find the case study beginning on page 16.

Thank you to author Jan Zimmerman and John Wiley & Sons Publishing for the opportunity to be included in the book.

Turning Fundraising on its Head - FR Success Magazine

November 2011 Fundraising Success Magazine

HCM Brown’s founder, Jarid Brown, was recently featured in the November edition of Fundraising Success Magazine. The magazine’s cover story, Turning Fundraising on its Head, features an overview of Hope’s digital media and marketing strategy.

The digital edition can be viewed here.

Or view a pdf version here.

White Paper: Are social giving contests right for your organization

Over the course of the past two years, I have had the pleasure of helping 4 local organizations secure more than $175,000 in funding through social giving contests. Although a majority of social giving contests are largely built upon social media, achieving consistent victories in social giving contests requires utilizing email marketing, social media marketing, traditional outreach, SEM and strategic partnerships.

Each year corporations give more than $15 billion to charity. However, a vast majority of charitable contributions have traditionally been given to the nation,s largest charitable organizations. Cause Marketing or Social Giving Contests represent a new trend in corporate giving that makes it easier for the general public to decide where corporate dollars should go through online contests. The popularity of such contests, fueled by the rise in social media usage, presents a new opportunity for nonprofits to gain exposure and earn money for their organizations.

Large corporations like JPMorgan Chase, Kohl’s, Pepsi and Microsoft have launched innovative programs that encourage them to vote online for their favorite charity. In turn, the corporation gives away hundreds of thousands of dollars to the winning organization.

Although many corporations have only allocated a relatively small portion of the total charitable donations to social giving contests, the viral publicity associated with these contests continues to drive more and more companies into launching their own social giving campaigns.
But there is a price to pay for the opportunity to cash in on one of these social giving contests, and nonprofits should approach such contests with the same sound business practices that they would use to evaluate and plan any fundraising opportunity.

Jarid Brown & Hope featured in Fundraising Success

HCM Brown’s founder, Jarid Brown, was recently featured in the eNewsletter and website of Fundraising Success Magazine for.  The article, providing tips for nonprofit’s to better manage their online interactions, is a pelude to an upcoming article in the August or November issue in which Jarid discusses the digital media & marketing strategy in place at The Hope Institute. 

5 Keys to Make the Most of Your Nonprofit’s Online Experience

From Fundraising Success Magazine

When Jarid Brown joined the Hope Institute for Children and Families 18 months ago as manager of online interactions, the Springfield, Ill.-based organization dedicated to educational, residential and health services to children with disabilities had very little in the way of online communications.

A year and a half later, the Hope Institute now has a fully integrated online strategy that has seen remarkable growth in e-mail and e-newsletter subscribers, social-media followers, website visitors, and e-philanthropy. It was such a remarkable transformation that FundRaising Success will be sharing the Hope Institute’s online metamorphosis in one of the two remaining cover stories (August and November) in our four-part case studies series this year.

Here, Brown shares his keys to getting the most out of your nonprofit’s online experience.

Don’t follow the herd

It’s perfectly normal and even encouraged to look at what other successful organizations are doing and take a cue from them. But it’s foolish to…

Connect with Jarid A. Brown @ LinkedIn
Learn more about Hope’s Digital Media Platform here
Visits my personal blog here

Jarid Brown & Hope show how nonprofits can get strategic

I was recently featured in an article by JD Lasica, the founder of Socialbrite. JD highlighted the digital marketing and social media strategy that we implemented at Hope:

When nonprofits roll out a social media program, their tendency is to launch a presence on Facebook or Twitter and then treat them simply as new communication or marketing channels.

No, no, a thousand times no!Of the 1.5 million charities in this country, perhaps 99 out of 100 go about using social media the wrong way, as a stand-alone tactic. The right way, as we tell our nonprofit clients, is to roll out a social media plan where all of the channels begin to work with each other in an integrated, aligned, complementary, strategic fashion.

Easier said than done, right? But one nonprofit that seems to be doing this well is worth a close look: The Hope Institute for Children and Families of Springfield, Illinois. It’s a midsize nonprofit that provides educational, residential and health services to children ages 5-21 with multiple developmental disabilities, including autism spectrum disorders.

Building out a digital marketing platform

I chatted the other day with Jarid A. Brown, who runs online interactions for Hope (which I’ll use as a shorthand here for the organization that runs education centers, residential services, a children’s home and a school in Chicago, among other things). Hope brought on Jarid 18 months ago to create a digital marketing platform.

“Our first task was to… Click to read the full story.


HCM Brown partners with Business Catalyst

I am pleased to announced that HCM Brown has entered into a partner agreement with Adobe’s Business Catalyst content management system.

Adobe’s Business Catalyst system represents an expansion of current CMS offerings to our clients and provides a powerful and flexible solution designed for small and medium sized businesses focused on growth. The new partnership allows us to offer our clients an all affordable, all inclusive system designed for businesses whose basic website needs today, may someday expand to needing a complete online business solution. By working within Adobe’s powerful platform, we are able to meet the long term needs of expanding businesses, while eliminating the need to design across multiple platforms. Sometimes clients just want to start with something basic. With Business Catalyst, we can start themoff on a basic website and hosting plan… and then upgrade them at any time into a complete Online Business solution.

Business Catalyst provides both us, as designers, and our clients a powerful, flexible and seamlessly integrated solution.