Learning from our clients in the not-for-profit sector informs how we deliver creative services to businesse sof all kinds, including yours.

Organizations have financial goals just like for-profit companies, but they go about meeting them in very different ways. A volunteer’s time or a charitable donation can’t be put “on sale now.” There’s no “buy one, get one free” in making the world a safer, more equitable place, unless the check is being signed with someone’s hard work – someone very personal and human. In the .org world, a lot more happens right here in our communities, and as an agency partner soon discovers, there are many levels of users coming from just as many personal vantage points, all interacting with that organization’s brand on their own terms. Very quickly, designs either rise to their potential as unifiers, speaking with ubiquity and courage, or slip into the murk of mediocrity and fail to connect with any of their multiple audiences.

thumbWhen we designed and developed a new website for Special Olympics Illinois this spring, we built a platform to deliver unique value and personal relevance on every page and every widget. Throughout design and development, we engaged “our users” (our client) in the process, creating informed advocates within the organization and keeping us clearly focused on “their users.” The result is a place where brand sentiment translates into action of all types.

This kind of dialogue is the hallmark of successful marketing by not-for-profits. It’s what most companies with bigger budgets overlook right from the start – community building through user experience. By genuinely caring about users and acknowledging them as indispensable partners in achieving a shared mission, .org’s capitalize on the best form of advertising available — word of mouth. Those that deliver valuable experiences in every aspect of their communication, develop vocal advocates at every step as a result. This can take shape in any medium from person-to-person to e-mail to social media. Where positive dialogues take place, evidence is there. Where it’s not, there’s silence. Most users in any environment aren’t the squeaky wheel. If they aren’t engaged and delivered value, they simply move on. The same steps take place for any branded experience – either your company’s or someone else’s. Sparkfactor’s team can help create the energy that drives action around any brand. All we need to ignite yours is a conversation. Let’s start here.

Russell Lord