Marketing from the Heart: Why We Started a Nonprofit Service Project
Note: Applications for Marketing from the Heart are currently closed. We’ll reopen applications in December 2020. Read this post to learn about how the program started before you apply!
There’s a new energy at the 9 Clouds office right now.
Not only do we have a new employee, but we have also officially launched our nonprofit marketing program.
No, we’re not changing our focus from automotive marketing to the nonprofit sector. We’ve simply crafted a new program called Marketing from the Heart, where we donate marketing hours to local organizations in need of digital help.
Why? Read on to hear how the program came to be, how it works, and why we think it’s so important.
Using Our Talents for Good
The genesis of Marketing from the Heart takes us back to October 2017, when we were on our annual team retreat in Omaha, Nebraska.
We’d been brainstorming ideas we wanted to pursue in 2018, and from a Post-it note scrawled with “community involvement,” this project was born.
Community involvement as a general concept is pretty vague, right? After all, 9 Clouds is already involved in Sioux Falls in many ways: volunteering as a team, growing in leadership programs, and supporting our beloved local businesses.
But we wanted to find a way to provide real value to an organization that might not otherwise have access to an agency like ours.
We’re good at marketing. Nonprofits need marketing assistance.
Marketing from the Heart was an obvious conclusion.
Creating Attainable + Actionable Marketing
We began sharing our Marketing from the Heart application page last week, and already we’ve seen so many inspiring submissions.
Every time a new submission comes in, we take a few minutes to learn about our newest applicant and the amazing work they’re doing for our community. It’s both distracting and heartwarming.
There are so many nonprofit groups in our area of Sioux Falls, South Dakota! Some I’ve volunteered with, some I’ve only heard of, and some are completely new to me.
These applicants are coming through the Marketing from the Heart landing page, where we ask a few important questions to help our team make the decision about which agency to work with.
When the application period ends on March 31, 2018, our team selection committee will choose one agency, and that’s when the real work will begin.
We’re dedicating two hours a month from each employee for a period of six months. In this time, we’ll work to meet the nonprofit’s greatest needs online. Some might have a great website, but no social presence. Others might be starting from the ground up.
Throughout our six months together, we’ll optimize the nonprofit’s digital presence and train someone on their team to continue building on that success.
Nonprofits aren’t known for their huge budgets or massive teams, so we’re being intentional about building a marketing strategy that’s attainable even after we hand over the reins.
Living True to Our Manifesto
For some of you — especially business owners or managers — you’re probably trying to figure out why we’d give up about 26 production hours a month.
It comes down to the manifesto that drives 9 Clouds. We believe everyone has an equal opportunity to be heard, and we believe in building and supporting a community with digital resources.
We do everything we can to live out this manifesto as a group. The opportunity to offer our services to a local nonprofit gives us something to be passionate about together.
I’d encourage all of you to consider how you can use your unique talents to make an impact in your own community. This exact model won’t work for every business, but it’s authentic to who we are at 9 Clouds.
Find what works for your team, and do good.
Share Your Own Talents (or Ours!)
I couldn’t end this without (another) shameless plug for our program.
If you’re in Sioux Falls or the vicinity, please share this application page far and wide. We don’t want anyone to miss out on the opportunity because they simply weren’t aware.
If you’re considering starting a program like this for your business, let us know. We’d really love to hear how other businesses are sharing their talents.