Marketing for Non-Profits

Social media is only a small part of what Marketing does...

Marketing Director: An Ever-Changing Role

Charlotte Wood is Family Giving Tree’s Marketing Director, and her career in marketing has involved a wide range of perspectives. Having worked on both client and studio sides, and in a print-based advertising world that has since changed to the digital landscape we know today, Charlotte’s ability to adapt and expand her practice has proved invaluable to FGT. In her interview, she reflects on how her skillset and mindset have grown and shifted over time.

What makes marketing for a non-profit difficult?

“Budget! Not just a smaller budget to work with, but the potential for funding to be delayed.” FGT keeps its non-program expenses low, which means that marketing has to be very resourceful. Part of thinking creatively is thinking collaboratively; when sponsors support our marketing materials, it means we can both spread our message further. One complication that occasionally arises from collaboration, however, is conflicting timelines. Small organizations like us are able to work quickly, while the larger corporations that support our work often have more red tape involved in delivering that support. Balancing both of those perspectives is important in communicating effectively to reach shared goals of helping our community.

What are some advantages of non-profit marketing?

“Smaller teams are more nimble--you’re able to make faster decisions and experiment more freely.” It’s much quicker to walk to the next cubicle over to ask for feedback on a design, rather than wait for an email reply that might come some time in the next 48 hours. It also means that we all see the changes we’ve put time into, rather than having feedback disappear into the ether of information continually being passed up the chain of command.

“It’s also so easy to believe in what you’re marketing!” While many for-profit organizations exist explicitly to create things that benefit society, organizations that recycle their profits directly into the causes they promote are charged with a greater responsibility for transparency and prioritization of community. In a world where marketing is all about story-telling, it’s quite rewarding to tell a story that you truly believe in. It also makes it very exciting to collaborate with other organizations (non- or for-profits) in order to promote and share each others’ stories.

What has changed about your marketing practice since coming to work at FGT?

“A lot of my creative work is written, now, so I’m developing a unique professional voice.” Charlotte writes emails, edits the blog (thanks!), and leads updates on our annual drive materials. She has her hand in a lot of different projects, most of them digital.

“Print is still important, but digital is the foundation of marketing now.” This shift led Charlotte into the role of Web Developer for the first time. Other new positions she’s taken on include Warehouse Lobby Decoration Specialist and Backpack Tag Durability Tester.

Boba Review: T4

Boba Team member Evelyn was filming videos for FGT all of Thursday, so our weekly boba run has been bumped to today. Friday has found us venturing into T4 territory for their tasty tea and treats.

Ordering Experience: 5/5 Online ordering made for an incredibly easy and efficient ordering and payment process.

Taste Factor: 4/5 Evelyn Hernandez got a really pretty fruit tea that was a tad sweeter than expected, but still delicious.

Snack Quality: 5/5 Jake's order of fried lobster balls had great flavor. Jessica's curly fries were wonderfully crispy, flavorful, though it carried some serious kick! Evelyn's order of egg puffs was generous, fluffy, and delicious - not too sweet and came in perfectly-sized pieces.

Overall: 4/5 Bubbles Our Friday office crew is very happy they decided to make their day extra special with some wonderful treats to pair with their delicious drinks.

Staff Feature

Charlotte Wood: PhD in DIY

Charlotte is a fan of DIY in a pretty advanced way. Outside of work, you can find her knitting by the TV... in a house which she happened to build with her husband. She knows how to drive a tractor, front loader, and backhoe, and spent 3 years living on a houseboat with 2 cats, a dog, her husband, and son. Creative solutions seem to be “The Charlotte Way,” and that kind of out-of-the-box perspective certainly helps in marketing for a small organization like FGT.

Charlotte began her creative career pursuing a degree in Studio Art from Kenyon College, and from there created her own freelance graphic design company before moving to photography. She’s worked on the studio and client side, creating marketing materials and directing others in their creative work. Now that her youngest son is gearing up to graduate from highschool (as her eldest graduates from college, congratulations all around!), Charlotte is excited to have more time to explore the variety of art forms she’s been trained in over the years. Sculpting, illustration, and needlework are only the beginning, and with her experience in web, there very well might be an incredible online portfolio to document these endeavours. We’ll just have to stay tuned!

(As an ending note, she does not have any relation to Charlotte Wood Middle School, which is named after a teacher from the late 1800’s.)


Created with images by inspirexpressmiami - "blog word letters" • geralt - "social media social keyboard" • sam651030 - "drink glass fruit"

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