William Joseph Communications

Growing and Mentoring Small Marketing Teams for Non-Profits

Although communications and marketing is a critical function for non-profit organizations it is generally an underfunded and understaffed area. In particular, smaller organizations might add-on communications to fundraising or have a team of one taking on internal and external needs.

Understandably, organizational knowledge and expertise is focused on the cause and services provided which makes it very challenging to provide growth, mentorship, and professional development opportunities for communications staff.

Here are five ways to overcome this challenge without having to build a big communications team or take resources away from the cause:

1) Mentorship

Professional organizations like IABC provide mentorship programs for communications professionals. This is an excellent opportunity to learn and to build your skill set.  Reach out to senior professionals who you respect and have worked or studied with in the past. LinkedIn is a great tool for seeking a mentor and building relationships.

Many corporations also offer mentoring programs, giving employees volunteer hours to mentor non-profit professionals. Work with your fund development team to determine if any of your corporate partners would be willing to provide this type of mentorship or if there are programs you could apply for.

2) Create a Communications Meet Up

A trend in the non-profit sector is partnership and collaboration. Though this is often more program focused it could also be done for communications.  Which organizations do you partner with and are there opportunities for you to meet up and learn from one another? At the very least get to know who is working in these roles and have coffee or lunch together once in a while.

3) Join a professional organization

Professional organizations are excellent resources for publications on the latest trends, professional development and networking opportunities. They are also another way to meet other people working in your field and/or sector.

4) Work with a marketing agency

Although marketing agencies can be perceived as cost prohibitive they are often a more cost effective way to increase effectiveness than adding additional staff. Agency experts can also work as marketing consultants providing guidance and experience for communications staff.

In a small team or team of one it is easy to get burnt out and to become overwhelmed. It is also easy to get stuck in a rut in terms of creativity and approach. Working with an agency can provide perspective, design support, and a fresh set of eyes to take things to the next level. They can also support the planning process – amidst the day to day demands of working in a non-profit organization strategic marketing and communications planning often gets lost. Having a well-thought out plan to follow provides opportunities for tracking your progress and for prioritizing your workload. Also having a clear brand and some guidelines to follow can take the guesswork out of developing materials.

5) Networking

Get out there and get to know others in your field and sector. There is an element of networking in all of the previous suggestions, but it is important to make a conscious effort to network and meet others. Once again, LinkedIn is an excellent resource for meeting people and also finding out about events. Your local IABC chapter or other professional groups host networking and professional development events. Also look for larger non-profits that host their own conferences and have the resources to host events.

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Monday, March 18th, 2019 at 11:50am
We're so happy to work with incredible organizations such as @ChoirsRedDeer and it looks like the feeling is mutual. Thanks for the kind words!

Learn more about the brand we created for CRD! https://t.co/kQFDDd8ktZ https://t.co/P2bjUcSien
wj_agency photo
Sunday, March 17th, 2019 at 7:00am
We hope you enjoy St.Patrick's Day today! Remember, be responsible! #thinklucky https://t.co/JEf2wmdTuG wj_agency photo
Thursday, March 14th, 2019 at 12:01pm
Senior Strategist Erin will be in Grande Prairie on March 19, 11:30AM for her Marketing for Non-Profits sesh.

https://t.co/W7jBdOhYN2 https://t.co/Q5O6dfuUqT
Wednesday, March 13th, 2019 at 2:25pm
Ryan's Roundup is coming to #YXE! Join us for a night of good times filled with drinks and networking at @HudsonsPub from 4-6PM on March 15th - let's start those St. Patrick's Day celebrations early! https://t.co/uDZRbDsld3 https://t.co/uKDjjVMw3s wj_agency photo
Monday, March 11th, 2019 at 1:16pm
March 19th at 11:30 am. #GrandePrairie, our Marketing for Non-Profits WJU session is coming to you! Learn how to make your non-profit stand up and stand out. https://t.co/W7jBdOhYN2


William Joseph Communications

We are the difference between momentary achievement and enduring success.Your success requires an agency that offers a fully integrated solution. One that has the vision to see beyond your current borders and the troops to guide you there. With us as your allies, be confident that you can achieve your boldest ambitions. At William Joseph we offer complete marketing solutions composed of strategies, tactics, and designs that effectively tell your story and address your unique marketing goals. Everything from advertising campaigns to experiential design, our team takes your corporate identity and translates it through a wide array of mediums to successfully champion your company.
William Joseph Communications
William Joseph CommunicationsMonday, March 18th, 2019 at 2:23pm
We're so happy to work with incredible organizations such as Choirs Red Deer and it looks like the feeling is mutual. Thanks for the kind words!

Check out the link to learn more about the brand we created for CRD!

William Joseph Communications
William Joseph CommunicationsSunday, March 17th, 2019 at 10:00am
We hope you enjoy St.Patrick's Day today! Remember, be responsible! #thinklucky
William Joseph Communications
William Joseph CommunicationsFriday, March 15th, 2019 at 10:34pm
A big shout out to everyone that came out tonight to Ryan’s Roundup in Saskatoon. Let’s keep the spirit alive and do it again! Good folks make the world go round!
William Joseph Communications
William Joseph CommunicationsFriday, March 15th, 2019 at 10:33pm
Over a year ago our branding and marketing strategy work started for Excel Health. Tonight, all our hard work takes centre stage at the grand opening. Congrats to such a visionary group of individuals on building such an amazing clinic.
William Joseph Communications
William Joseph CommunicationsFriday, March 15th, 2019 at 3:09pm
We got into the St.Patrick’s Day spirit a couple days early at the office!


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