It is gala season! That means nonprofits are seeking corporate sponsorship dollars to not only help support these large events, but to help fund much needed programs throughout the year. At the same time, businesses are trying to justify community investment dollars as their budgets shrink.
If you work for a nonprofit and are preparing to meet with a corporate partner, it’s time to reevaluate your ask and look toward long-term programs with measurable return on investment (ROI). And I’m not talking about touting the number of people served or programs activated via your organization. Although these are incredibly important, they focus on your organization and not the corporate partner. You have to build a case for why the corporate partner should invest in your organization. Read more after the jump…
I love great ideas! Especially the ones that start out small but then revolutionize an industry. In 2007, a like-minded group of individuals, including Pam Warhurst and Mary Clear, wanted to find a way in which everyone could help improve their own community. Their solution: They taught their local residents to take control of their community through gardening and eating.
“The answer was food,” said Warhurst in her TED Talk. “Everyone understands food. Food gets people talking; even better, it inspires people to take action.” They started with small herb gardens and community plots in a Northern England town called Todmorden. Then they planted corn in front of a police station, fruit trees on the sides of roads, vegetables in front of the senior center, and even planted gardens in the cemetery, where “things grow really well because the soil is really good!” Read more after the jump…
This year, Patagonia announced that it would donate all Black Friday proceeds to grassroots environmental groups fighting to protect natural resources like water, oil and soil. The company expected to rake in about $2 million across its 80 global stores and Patagonia.com. In reality, Patagonia recorded $10 million in revenue – five times what the company expected – and is still promising to donate 100 percent of that revenue to the environmental groups.
When it comes to business, Denver is a bit of a ‘tweener. We’re not as big as New York, L.A. or Chicago, of course. But we also aren’t as big as Minneapolis, Dallas or Atlanta. When it comes to the business world, we continue to occupy a level beneath all of those cities.
But in many ways, we rank better than those larger cities. For example, we have teams in all four major sports leagues – the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL. And our cultural facilities are better than you might expect in a city our size. The Denver Center for the Performing Arts, the Denver Art Museum, the Denver Botanic Gardens and the Denver Zoo all regularly present exhibits and programs that rival those in nearly all other major cities.
And that is no accident. Nearly 30 years ago, Denver-area voters stepped up and approved the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD), a taxing organization that ensured organizations both large and small would be funded with tax dollars to ensure they could provide the kind of cultural experiences that would enrich Denver and make it even more attractive to local residents and visitors alike.
This year, voters are being asked to approve Issue 4B to extend the SCFD another 12 years. The initiative would maintain a tax of one penny on every $10 spent to continue to fund our vibrant arts and culture facilities. This is one of the best investments Denver voters can make, and I hope everyone will vote to support Issue 4B.
The SCFD is one of the unique things that has contributed to Denver being one of the best places to live in the country, and we owe it to ourselves and our children to continue that innovative approach to supporting culture and the arts in our region.
Not long ago, I posted a blog about what I believe really matters when it comes to company culture. One aspect I didn’t really delve into in that post was employee engagement. I recently came across Cone Communications’ 2016 Employee Engagement Study and wanted to share some interesting insights that I think absolutely relate back to creating a strong company culture where employees look forward to coming to work and want to stick around long-term.
In the article, Rudawsky acknowledged that it was a fast-moving story that news outlets were covering round-the-clock. In the initial hours, media was speculating on the cause, without any supporting facts. EgyptAir went on the offensive and chastised the media for jumping to conclusions.
Millennials – they seem to be all the marketing world is buzzing about these days.
And for good reason. According to Dan Schawbel’s January 2015 Forbes article, “10 New Findings About The Millennial Consumer,” there are 80 million Millennials with $200 billion in annual purchasing power in the U.S. alone. No wonder companies are clamoring to find ways to engage them.
GroundFloor Media’s President Ramonna Robinson was featured in a recent blog post from the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce on the 5 lessons that can make you a more effective leader. The story contains some great, actionable tips that anyone can implement.
For GroundFloor Media President Ramonna Robinson, learning about leadership was just the first step. The Leadership Foundation also connected her with people she may not have otherwise.
“In business—and even in my personal life—I find it extremely beneficial to surround myself with individuals who bring a variety of perspectives to the table,” she said. “Whether I need to think of a solution from a different perspective or come up with a new idea from an industry I’m not familiar with, my Leadership Denver classmates and Leadership Exchange colleagues are only a phone call away and always provide unique and interesting perspectives that broaden my horizons and help me think of things in new ways.”
I recently read an Advertising Age article about Target’s new cause marketing campaign (launched July 13) in which, for every Up & Up brand school supply purchased between July 13 and Aug. 2, the retailer will donate one Up & Up brand school supply product to a child in need via the Kids In Need Foundation. While this tactic may not necessarily be new – in fact, here is a list of ten “Buy One, Give One” Companies – I’m intrigued by Target’s use of this approach to build awareness and share for a specific category within a specific brand. (This is an approach we are seeing more frequently as the “Buy One, Give One” model continues to grow in popularity. As indicated in this Winter 2014 article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, companies such as Kiehl’s, Sephora, Whole Foods and Aveda have also introduced buy one, give one items.)
This week, more than 100 employees from Certified B Corporations around the Denver, Boulder, and Fort Collins areas volunteered in their communities, tangibly showing how they are using business as a force for good by “B-ing the Change” in Colorado. Similar efforts are taking place around the county, and the world as part of this global effort.
Colorado has an especially strong B Corp community with more than 40 local companies certified including New Belgium Brewing, Rally Software, Moye White, GoLite, Namasté Solar, Door to Door Organics, and the Gary Community Investment Company. Nearly all of the 40 companies in Colorado participated in this program throughout the week – a remarkable showing of how invested our businesses are in the communities in which we live, work and play. Read more after the jump…