Scott Allen Creative nonprofits are our jam! Fri, 07 Aug 2020 17:18:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Scott Allen Creative 32 32 112599393 How to Define your Target Audience Mon, 03 Aug 2020 17:41:11 +0000 The post How to Define your Target Audience appeared first on Scott Allen Creative.


how to define your

target audience


If we had a nickel for every time we asked a nonprofit who they wanted to reach, and their answer was “everyone,” well, we could take that team retreat to the Bahamas we’ve always dreamed about. Why is it bad to appeal to everyone? Doesn’t that mean more chances to attract donors? Not always.

Take a moment to consider the two websites shown below.

Very different, right? Do Something is tailored to a younger audience and donor base, while Feeding America is more traditional for an older donor base. When you can nail down what type of person will be most inspired by your mission, you can zero in on the messages they respond to. Then you can get the most ROI from your touchpoints with them.

When brands try to appeal to every waking person, what results is an ugly shade of beige. A blah brand that doesn’t really inspire anyone, because it’s trying too hard to inspire everyone.

Luckily, Scott Allen Creative is an expert at zeroing in on those needle-in-the-haystack people who will latch onto your mission for life. In our process with every nonprofit, we take time to identify those niche people. A tool we love to use is Claritas Prizm Segments. It’s a resource that splits demographics up into 68 categories, conveniently separated by age, socioeconomic status, education, employment, family members, and much more.

We love this tool because it gives educated estimates on what each group values, down to their type of car and favorite TV shows. Scary, right?

Let’s take a look at Segment 28- Country Casuals. Let’s call this couple Jean and Paul Sothers.

“Today, these baby boomer couples enjoy outdoor activities, like hunting and buying locally grown food, but are not likely to be up-to-date on technology.”

Okay, we’ve already learned that a savvy email-campaign might not be the best way to reach Jean and Paul. What else can we gather?

“US Households: 2,321,807
Median Household Income: $76,825″

We won’t be asking for a large, one-time donation from the Sothers. They would most likely respond to a planned giving campaign.

On the weekends, Paul goes hunting and watches NASCAR with his buddies, while Jean shops at the local Dillard’s. While this is less of an obvious clue, it might point us in the direction of some nonprofits that they would support, such as Neighborworks or Salvation Army.

To proactively market Jean and Paul, we would recommend sending out a mailer or newsletter to them during the week with some information on how to join a planned giving program. Bam! Your marketing dollars being spent intelligently.

Take a moment to explore the Claritas demographic segments on your own. Does your nonprofit have 2-3 specific segments you are targeting? Do you need some help figuring out who they are? Give us a call, we would love to help!

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The Importance of Brand Standards Tue, 28 Jul 2020 14:17:05 +0000 The post The Importance of Brand Standards appeared first on Scott Allen Creative.


make brand standards

your standards

Ever wonder what sets a thriving nonprofit organization apart from its competition? We know that in order to be taken seriously in the nonprofit world, your brand must be consistent and cohesive with its brand standards. Well, what makes a brand, a brand? A brand is any service, product, person, company, or concept with something exciting that distinguishes them from their competition. Sounds simple, right? Well, as important as all of that is you have to be certain to keep it cohesive. Let’s talk about putting together a brand standards guide, and why it’ll keep you on track.

Brand standard guides are a perfect reference for company newbies, interns that might need to familiarize, or even design agencies hired to create a new campaign for your nonprofit. This ensures that everyone knows what can and can’t be implemented to showcase the brand. The brand standards guide is also a helpful reference point for ongoing material such as social media. It is important to circle back and reference what is and isn’t allowed to be posted on certain platforms, and what the overall presence should look and sound like. But, there is more to a brand than the shiny envelope you package it in. Your brand’s appearance and its voice must align.


Consistency is key. You’ve heard this before, right? To be consistent is to hold a standard of similarity or uniformity; it is to be unchanging in nature or standard. So, why is brand consistency so important? For starters, many people subconsciously gravitate towards brands or companies with a consistent brand identity. Let’s uncover why:

    • When a nonprofit has consistent brand standards, a donor can immediately recognize that this nonprofit cares about the way their mission is perceived.
    • This nonprofit’s mission automatically has more credibility. According to Millennium Agency, “Having a strong, well-known brand enhances your credibility with customers, your industry, and the marketplace as a whole. As you build your credibility, you also build recognition, loyalty, and competitiveness. Everything goes hand-in-hand, and you’ll find that your credibility has a direct connection to customers ease of purchase.” A fantastic example of a nonprofit with a consistent and credible online presence is the The Metropolitan Museum of ArtAnother credible organization would be Oceana. Both examples show off powerful brand cohesiveness. 

Crowdspring went ahead and gathered a few statistics proving that well-designed platforms perform significantly better.

“According to Adobe, companies with a strong design outperform companies with a weak design by 219% on the S&P Index (a stock market index) over the span of 10 years.”

“In fact, 48% of people surveyed by Tyton Media said that the website design of a business was their number one factor in determining the credibility of that business.”


what’s in a guide?

Typically, a brand standard guide contains a few key ingredients. The content may vary, but generally the guide will detail visual styles, voice and tone, and brand ideologies. Let’s discuss what those key ingredients look like.


It is important to set a strong tone of voice for your nonprofit. Do you want to come off as approachable and friendly? Do you want to sound serious and down to business?The tone will be weighed by the product or service you provide. For instance, your local zoo might want to come off as friendly and approachable, like the guides and zookeepers are your best buds. A domestic violence organization may want to voice a more serious tone in order to assure you are in responsible hands. 

A great example of a friendly nonprofit would be the Cincinnati Zoo. The zoo does a wonderful job of engaging its visitors both in person and online. Their baby hippo, Fiona has taken the internet by storm, and their voice is cheerful and fun when highlighting animals like her on their heavily followed social media platforms. Your nonprofit’s voice must stretch well beyond your marketing.

A company that gives off a comforting yet serious tone is the National Domestic Violence Hotline. They keep things to the point, while ensuring their audience that they can find support. They even go as far as ensuring website visitors are able to reach out for help discretely if they are in dangerous situations.


When it comes to consistency, you want to ensure your logo is not everchanging. Your logo is the first thing donors will recognize, so your simplified logo mark must be a substantial representation of that. A few timeless logos are World Wildlife Fund, UNICEF, and the American Red Cross.

color palette

When choosing colors, keep a select few for your color palette, and only a couple of secondary alternatives to pair them with. Colors pack a psychological punch, so be sure to use ones that are associated with your mission. For example, pink emotes compassion, whereas blue evokes sadness. An example of a nonprofit that uses bright colors to convey the joys of youth would be Girl Scouts of the USA. An example of a more serious tone would be the ACLU with dark grays, and black paired with moodier purples and noble golds.


When choosing typefaces that speak to your brand’s voice, be sure you are selective with your headline choice, while keeping your subheadlines and body copy in sync. Family Promise of Arizona has a typeface that is specifically used when something is to be read in “the voice of a child”. This typeface is a depiction of a child’s handwriting. When Family Promise needs to convey a more serious matter, the fonts switch to a professional san-serif. These font choices will give strength to your message while also carrying consistency through your brand.

photography and assets

When implementing photography, make sure your stylistic choices are matched with the personality your brand is portraying.Use imagery that brings the heart of your mission to life.  There are many different styles of photography, so when you are looking for something to fit your nonprofit’s mood, you have a few options to consider. Do you want your imagery to portray an elated mood, or are you looking to say something more serious? This goes hand-in-hand with setting your tone. Brighter imagery with smiling subjects will set a more hopeful mood, where you would find that black and white imagery may not be able to convey that as well.

Donors will be much more likely to respond positively to your nonprofit if you visibly have your “ducks in a row” so to speak. By keeping your brand’s appearance uniform, and ensuring your organization’s voice stays within the same tone, your brand will already have an upperhand among the competition. Not sure where to start? 

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Unify with your Why Tue, 07 Jul 2020 13:52:41 +0000 The post Unify with your Why appeared first on Scott Allen Creative.


unify with your why

Does it feel like you’re saying the same thing time and time again, but the message isn’t getting through? And we’re not talking about those you work with (we’re not gonna get into that) – we are talking about your donors.

unify the message

The thing is, you may be communicating the same message consistently, but is everyone else inside your organization sharing the same message? Studies have shown that people need to see a message at least seven times before it sinks in. (source) 

A donor needs to see your message an average of 7 times for it to resonate with them. 

If your event, print, and digital communications are being created by different people, there’s a good chance your donor is hearing completely different messages, and even worse, not retaining any of it. 

How do you avoid this? Easy. Determine your why.

This one idea gets at the heart of why your organization does what it does. Not you – your organization. Keep that in mind. No matter who is saying it – whether it’s you, the executive director, board member, volunteer coordinator, etc. – everyone is communicating the same why. 

The why is absolutely critical to your communications. Think of it as a theme woven throughout all of your messaging. It motivates your staff, donors, and volunteers. It attracts a person to an organization. 

So how do you determine your why?  Good question. Think about why your organization does what it does. Perhaps a few examples will help. Let’s start with one most everyone will recognize. 


For more than 30 years, just do it  has been Nike’s why. No matter a person’s abilities – or lack thereof – they want you to feel inspired to go for it. Just do it. The beauty of their why is that it extends beyond athletics and into everyday life. 

Preparing to run a marathon at 80 years old? Just do it.
Make the game-winning shot – from your wheelchair? Just do it.
Want to be the first female to coach your team to a Superbowl win? Just do it. 

These moments inspire everyone to just do it. It motivates them to take the next step. To go back to school or quit their dead-end job. This why is what makes Nike’s messaging so successful 30+ years later.  

So let’s bring this to a nonprofit level.


Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired (ABVI) helps those with significant vision loss live their best life. But how do you say that in a way that’s unique and memorable?   

     I lost my sight, not my vision.

It gets at the idea that life isn’t over for someone living with vision loss. A person can still live life to the fullest and achieve their dreams.

70×7 life recovery

70×7 Life Recovery wants men and women to see themselves loved by God after they’re released from jail or prison. Their why?

     Freed for life

Every one of their programs – job training, mentoring, family support, etc. – exist to help a person be freed for life by staying out of incarceration and living in the love of Jesus Christ.

repetition is key

Once you’ve established your why, it needs to be evident in everything you say. It’s the element that unifies your messaging.  Do you have a newsletter? The name of the newsletter can reflect this theme. ABVI named their newsletter Vision.  Make it obvious on the headlines of your webpage. 70×7’s mentoring webpage headline is Freed to Lead

And, YES, it’s okay to use the same content across numerous communication platforms. Remember, a message needs to be seen an average of 7 times before it inspires action. This is exactly the type of consistency that’s needed to unify your messaging so donors actually hear, and more importantly, remember your message. 

So what’s your why?
Not sure? Let’s team up to figure it out.

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Renovating your Brand Thu, 25 Jun 2020 19:17:20 +0000 The post Renovating your Brand appeared first on Scott Allen Creative.


renovating your brand

A refinished website is a beautiful and powerful tool, and we don’t need a lengthy description of why that is. But just like a renovated home, the shiny outcome is the product of blood, sweat, tears, and probably some beer. Take a look at how we stripped 70×7 Life Recovery back to its studs and reimagined their whole brand.

Previous logo and website homepage

1. vision

Joanna Gaines taught us well. To build something new, you’ve got to have a vision. What are the goals of the nonprofit? Increased donations is always a must-have, but what about website traffic? Event attendance? A need for experienced staff? For 70×7, their must-have list looked like this:

  • Build a donor base to sustain them financially
  • Attract passionate mentors with a strong brand
  • Better recognition as a re-entry program instead of a rehab facility
2. demolition

This is our research process. (A lot less exciting than smashing a wall, we know). But the concept is the same: Get rid of the fluff and find out what is truly important at the heart of the brand. For 70×7, we discovered their key components were:

  • Going the Extra Mile: 70×7 Life Recovery looks beyond getting somebody a job. They take the time to get to know the member and to match them with the right job and resources. The mentorship doesn’t stop once a job is secured, unlike a lot of the competition.
  • Rooted in Faith: 70×7 Life Recovery is the only faith-based organization offering a complete and results-driven program. The name 70×7 comes from Bible verses Matthew 18:21-22: “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.’”
  • Real-World Relatability: A significant percentage of the 70×7 staff are ex-offenders, are in drug or alcohol recovery, or have been directly affected by someone who is. This helps them in recruiting participants and working with them as they can understand their situation in a unique, real-world sense. 
  • Impact in Numbers: Lastly, 70×7 Life Recovery’s recidivism rate is under 4%, compared to 68% nationally and 28% for the state of Michigan. This makes their success rate over 96%!
3. foundation

Would you buy a house with a failing foundation? No. So why would a donor give to a brand with a weak foundation? A brand needs to be strong, solid, and timeless. This includes the logo, colors, type, and key messages. Having this sets the entire organization up for success for decades to come. Here is a look at the foundation we laid for 70×7:

See the full brand here

4. crunch-time

Now is the time that is highlighted in 3 minutes, but actually takes 3 months. This is the behind-the-scenes of building a library of images to be used, writing, re-writing, and fine-tuning copy, and finding the PERFECT doorknob for that rustic door. It’s hard work, but once you take a step back, the end result is always worth it. For 70×7, here’s what crunch time resulted in:

  • E-News template
  • Social Media assets
  • Corporate collateral
  • Library of images, all customized with a branded filter
  • System of brand statements to inspire
  • Fully custom website

See the full website here

5. move-in

Just like you can’t move into the new bedroom while the entire house is still ripped up, you can’t release part of your brand until the whole thing is done. See our blog on how to successfully launch your brand for more on this. Anyway, once 70×7 moved-in to their new brand, the impact was immediate. A high-giving donor said:

“I took a peek at the website last night. Like most of us, I’ve looked at hundreds, if not thousands, of websites; and frankly they don’t do much to trip my trigger. This is an incredible exception. I was absolutely floored! I literally had tears welling in my eyes. Informative, succinct & compelling narrative. Beautiful colors. I could go on and on. INCREDIBLE job team. I’m SO proud. I believe this very well might be the most well done site I’ve ever seen!”

Wow, is that how Chip and Joanna feel once they reveal the newly remodeled home? We could get used to this. #passioninspires

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Coronavirus + Nonprofits Wed, 18 Mar 2020 17:23:16 +0000 The post Coronavirus + Nonprofits appeared first on Scott Allen Creative.


coronavirus + nonprofits

This is a strange and confusing time in the world right now. The Coronavirus pandemic is influencing so many areas of our lives – including the nonprofit organizations we support. Fundraising galas are being canceled. Volunteers are being asked to stay home. Desperately needed supplies are back-ordered. In a time when we all need to unite, we’re being asked to stay away from one another.

Well, let’s find the silver lining in all of this. Here are a few ideas on how to make this crisis a time of opportunity for your nonprofit.


1. be straight up about fundraising events

If you are a nonprofit that has to postpone or even cancel a gala, let your donors know how much this is affecting you. Galas can bring in a huge amount of nonprofit’s funding for the year. Tell donors how much you typically raise from your fundraiser. And then ask for their help. Here are a few ways:

    • Donate – Ask them to donate the cost of their ticket or make the donation they would have made at the event.
    • Online auction – Host an online auction with the materials or products donated to your event. Send an announcement out a few days prior and host a livestream on Facebook or Instagram.
    • Virtual event – Were you supposed to have keynote speakers at your event? This can still happen – virtually. Have them record themselves giving their speech and post it on social media, or in an e-blast. See how a charity in Seattle launched a four-day virtual party and surpassed its fundraising goals.
    • Reach out – Have your gifts officer reach out to people who were supposed to attend your event. A simple phone call can go a long way. Be honest about how you are dealing with this situation, but stay positive.

2. other ways to give

The reality is, nonprofits are losing money because of this virus. The other reality is, nonprofits serve people who will struggle most from social distancing. Service industries are shutting down, schools are closing, and stress is high. Give your supporters as many opportunities to give as you can so you can continue to help those who need it most.

    • Digital giving campaign – Come up with a simple campaign idea and launch it on any and all platforms. Email, social media, website, etc. Here is a resource on how to effectively create a digital campaign.
    • Rewrite your appeal – Has your spring appeal gone out yet? If it hasn’t, consider rewriting parts of it to incorporate how your nonprofit is fairing this storm. Be very clear, concise, and honest about the impact this is having on the people you serve. If you have already sent your appeal out, follow up with an email on how much much the Coronavirus is affecting your organization. Remember, keep your messaging optimistic.
3. get creative

Right now, we are playing the waiting game. Everyone has been sequestered to their homes and cabin fever is real. Take this opportunity to be innovative and encourage people to take action!

  • Live tours – Do you have a new project or space you have been working on? People love seeing life on the inside of a business. Give them a virtual tour of your space. Let them see how this mayhem has brought innovation and creativity to your mission.
  • Instagram takeovers – This is a great way to let your supporters experience different points of view throughout your nonprofit. Give your login information to one of your clients, staff members, etc. and let them show what a day-in-the-life looks like. People love getting the inside scoop on exactly who they are supporting. Reminding the community who you are serving can drive donors to give to make an even greater impact.
  • Highlight the good – In the midst of the chaos that this virus is bringing to our communities, people need to hear the good stories that can come out of this. There is a positive side to everything. Call out someone you recognize as doing some good. Share a story of someone being a good neighbor. People need to see how in times of struggle, there is always hope.
  • Other than money – What about the people who aren’t able to give financially? Can they give in another way? Be inventive by offering other opportunities for individuals or families to give. Can they write cards for homebound residents? Can supporters send food? Homemade meals? Sack lunches? Give the people at home something to do!
  • Start conversations – Communication is key right now. Ask your supporters questions. Give them a phone call. Send out a questionnaire. Ask your followers on social media. What are they doing to push through this pandemic? Are they doing anything remotely to help support the community? Share those ideas. Give more ideas. Make this experience a conversation.

To sum things up – be honest, ask for help, and get creative. But don’t forget to thank. Show your supporters how appreciative you are of their assistance. Send video acknowledgments, handwritten thank you notes, texts, and phone calls. This shows just how much their support means to your organization. Without them, the community wouldn’t be the same. 

When times are tough, the best of humanity needs to come out. We need to relay the importance of helping others along with yourself. We need to be a true community. And together, we can.

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Cut the Crap: What’s the Best Way to do an Appeal? Fri, 07 Feb 2020 15:34:19 +0000 The post Cut the Crap: What’s the Best Way to do an Appeal? appeared first on Scott Allen Creative.


cut the crap: what’s the best way to do an appeal? 

Here in the nonprofit world, spring appeals are about to flood our inboxes, our mailboxes, and our wallet-boxes. Over the years, we have been privy to many strategies on how to get the most impact with your appeal, and it seems everyone has different theories on what strategy works the best. We cut the crap, rolled up our sleeves, and got real. What exactly is the best way to appeal?

1. Method

As your donor base ages, so will the method of receiving donations via direct mail. A study done in 2018 found that 18% of baby boomers, 9% of Gen Xers, and 6% of millenials are most inspired to give by direct mail. Meanwhile, social media giving is quickly rising in popularity. 39% of millennials, 33% of Gen Xers, and 19% of baby boomers are most inspired to give by social media. (Source) Consider running social media ad campaigns around your appeal and invest heavily in a Giving Tuesday campaign after Thanksgiving. 

All generations across the board prefer giving online as opposed to cash, transfers, or check in the mail. (Source)

2. Hero’s Journey – wait, who is the hero again?

We are all familiar with the idea that an appeal should be written like a story. Most of us have been taught to make the donor the hero. But what if this is backwards? Some nonprofits struggle with an “us vs. them” mentality that results in issues with donor retention. The true heroes of the story should be the people (or animals) who are overcoming their adversity with the help of their guide (the nonprofit and donor). Here, we have re-organized the typical hero’s journey for you.

3. Segment

Have slightly different appeals for different levels of donors. If you have one donor that is stuck giving $50/month, push them an appeal asking for $75/month. Lapsed donors? They need their own special appeal. The limits are endless, but we caution to only embark down this road if your CRM is organized enough to handle this list separation.

Mailchimp allows you to segment your emails based on sign-up date. When used, companies reported open rates 29.56% higher than non-segmented campaigns. Mailchimp also has a feature to allow new sign-ups to indicate what their interests are. If you’re a multi-faceted nonprofit, consider creating interest groups based on different areas of your nonprofit. Organizations that utilize this reported click-rates 74.53% higher than non-segmented campaigns. (Source)

4. Have Impactful Design

Never underestimate the power of a good photo. There is a reason photography outperforms graphics by miles on social media: people love to connect with other people. When people hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later. (Source)

Invest time into a quality photoshoot with the subject of your appeal. Get good lighting. Get good angles. Get candid shots. You know, everything those 22-year-old Instagram influencers manage to do so well. It will pay off with increased donations, trust us. 

Keep the colors consistent with your brand. That’s all we have to say about that. 

Type size and style
Keep it simple and easy. Stay away from handwritten fonts, no matter how tempting it seems to make it look like it was written by an actual person. We all know it wasn’t written by an actual person.

Okay, now you are ready to spring into your spring appeals. Sorry everyone, that was our last joke. May your appeals be appealing!

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interns for impact Wed, 08 Jan 2020 16:47:39 +0000 The post interns for impact appeared first on Scott Allen Creative.


interns for impact


Michael Karanja
Market Research Intern

Tell us a little about yourself. 

My hometown is Kijabe, Kenya. I was born there and then lived in the United States from 9 months old to 10 years old. My family moved back to Kenya as missionaries and have been working there ever since. I am currently in my final year at Kuyper College. My passions include watching any and all professional sports, singing and leading worship, keeping up with DC and Marvel comics, movies and TV, and consuming unhealthy amounts of coffee on a regular basis.

What’s next after graduation?

Following a year of work in the United States, I would consider returning home to Kenya and using my knowledge and skills to work in the rapidly growing Kenyan business sector. Marketing is such a broad field and there is so much that interests me. I seek to interact with varying clients and industries, finding the best ways to help organizations project their vision to those they serve in the most effective way possible. In marketing, there are opportunities to conduct research and analysis, and interact with people on a personal level. This dynamic is what I love most about the field and I look forward to exploring both of these avenues as I move forward in my work. 

What’s the biggest takeaway from your internship?

Scott Allen Creative has provided me with an opportunity to gain practical experience, learn about different nonprofits, and understand more about how to care for organizations that care about people. I have learned so much about the realm of nonprofit work and the vitality of marketing for these organizations.

Thank you, Michael, for joining our team this Fall You brought knowledge and growth to our business and you will be missed. We see your potential, and know others will too! 

Elizabeth Okma
Video Production Intern

What inspired you to pursue video?

I grew up in the good old country town of Hamilton, MI. I joined the set crew for my high school’s theater because I got addicted to the rush of seeing a character come to life. It wasn’t until I took a film class that I discovered that I could funnel my inner storyteller into something for others. For the first time, I knew what I wanted to do with my life, or as much as a high schooler could say. I’ve become the weirdo, geeky storyteller that I am today. 

What’s next after graduation?

As a college student, you’re expected to have a solid answer. Some do. I used to. Then two minors and an eye-opening three years later, I’m left exploring, abandoning the detailed path of what I thought I wanted. Right now my goal is to tell stories: mine and others. I want to make people feel raw emotion and connect with each other even if they’re not physically in the same room. I want my life’s work to be whatever God calls me for, even if I hate not knowing what it is.

What’s the biggest takeaway from your internship?

Scott Allen Creative helped me by simply opening a door. I’d been working at a church for over five years. It was a wonderful time, but it was all I knew. I could edit a video announcement and testimony like no other, and run a service like a commander going to war. Outside of that, I was lost and curious. I knew how to work within an agency. Scott Allen has allowed me to explore a different career option while still doing what I love. I still get to tell stories just in a different way. They showed me that a lot of what I already knew transfers over and I’m not as clueless as I think. I get to learn a little more about what this awesome city has to offer and work with some pretty great people. There’s not a chance that I would have gotten otherwise and I’m grateful for it.


Thank you, Elizabeth, for bringing stories to life this Fall! You brought great ideas and spirit to our business and you will be missed. We hope you succeed in your career and take the skills you have learned here at Scott Allen Creative to your future endeavors. 

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Create A Giving Tuesday Campaign That Doesn’t Get Lost Tue, 29 Oct 2019 17:32:56 +0000 The post Create A Giving Tuesday Campaign That Doesn’t Get Lost appeared first on Scott Allen Creative.


create a giving tuesday campaign that doesn’t get lost


Giving Tuesday is almost upon us again. The official day is Tuesday, December 3rd. The social media-driven movement follows the need to give back after a weekend of consumer binge-shopping and for a lot of nonprofits, is the kickstart to year-end giving. Nearly all nonprofits aim to cash-in on this Tuesday of Giving, which creates a lot of noise out there in the social world. Here are some tips to create a campaign that not only stands out, but will give your board a reason to smile with an influx of donations.

1. Create a week-long strategy

Start your GivingTuesday campaign a week early, on Tuesday, November 26th. That gives you 7 whole days to cultivate excitement and buzz around your organization and will keep you top of mind during those 24 hours. Use countdowns, highlight specific areas of your organization, and never forget to tell your story! Be mindful that during this week, we have Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. Get creative and use these in your campaign as well!

2. Be consistent with all platforms

Share the same message across all platforms: Facebook. Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and even Google+ if you still utilize that dinosaur. Make sure to change all of the banner images to graphics that are unique to #GivingTuesday and your campaign.

3. Have a specific goal

Having a specific dollar amount  you want to raise from the campaign will encourage immediate action. Include that goal in your e-blasts and what kind of impact a $10 donation, $50, and $100 donation will have. Consider your audiences for this campaign: Middle-aged women and Millennials. The generation that is driven by the need to see immediate impact. This is also a great opportunity to reach this elusive demographic that traditionally isn’t giving as much as their Boomer parents.

4. Create a specific donation page for Giving Tuesday.

On this page, have a donation-tracking thermometer to show immediate impact. If you use a WordPress site, here is a link to a good thermometer plugin. You should also consider the time it takes to make a donation. It should take a donor no more than 30 seconds to input their data and make a donation. Remember that this is social-media driven and if someone can’t figure out your donation process, they will be quick to go to another cause they care about!

5. E-blasts

You should send  an email a week out from Giving Tuesday to announce your campaign and goal, a follow-up 3 days out, and multiple emails the day of.  One successful campaign last year sent 3 emails on Giving Tuesday: The first at 6am to encourage early donations, the second at 2pm to follow up and track the progress, and the last one at 7pm to encourage last-minute donations. If your email system allows, do not send emails to donors after they have already donated.

6. Engage

Engage with your all platforms all throughout the day. Respond to comments, encourage shares, and give shout-outs for large donation amounts. Users like when they can easily contact the organization they are donated to because it increases transparency. It also shows your involvement with the community!

7. Do Giveaways

Consider having swag-giveaways for the highest donation, the most shares, etc. This could be an internal contest with staff to encourage them to share your campaign, or it could be a contest open to the public. Swag ideas that are popular are t-shirts, mugs, keychains, waterbottles, and even stickers.

8. Partner with Small Businesses

Small Business Saturday is 3 days before Giving Tuesday. Reach out to local small businesses and offer to share their social for Saturday and ask them to share yours on Tuesday. You could take it farther and do Instagram and Facebook stories or takeovers for each day to show support.

9. Reach out to media outlets

Reach out to news and other media outlets to have them feature you for Giving Tuesday.

10. Keep it positive and simple

Research shows that people are more likely to give to a campaign when it has a positive direction as opposed to a negative one. (Read more at In other words, show the benefit of your nonprofit to the community. Another thing to keep in mind with all of the noise on Giving Tuesday is to keep it simple. A user should be able to see a clear graphic and a Call to Action while they are skimming. (Assume all users are skimming through Facebook and not taking time to read every caption) Paragraphs or complex graphics are scrolled over and forgotten.

11. Use video

Engagement on video has historically beat static graphics by landslides. If you have the budget and if it aligns with your campaign, consider creating a 30-60 second video to promote for the week. Remember that a lot of users do not click “turn sound on” for videos, so make sure that the message from the video is clear without sound or audio.

12. #Unselfie

If you haven’t heard of the #unselfie craze, you’re not alone. It is a hashtag that is picking up speed with celebrities and influencers where they take a “seflie” with a sign that explains the cause they care about. The goal of the photo is to raise money or awareness by using the mysterious power of the selfie in an unselfish way. Consider having your staff, board, or volunteers take an #unselfie and tag your page, or create a highlight on your Instagram to showcase them!


To wrap up, Giving Tuesday is a wonderful way to reach the younger demographics and get them excited about your cause. It shouldn’t be an afterthought or just a post on the day of, but rather an annual campaign with strategy and goals. If you implement a few of these ideas, your campaign is sure to be a great success and stand out! Happy Giving!

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2019 List of Resources for Nonprofits Tue, 08 Oct 2019 17:09:39 +0000 The post 2019 List of Resources for Nonprofits appeared first on Scott Allen Creative.


2019 list of resources for nonprofits


We get it. You’re busy and you have a big job to do – saving the world and all. We wanted to help, so we compiled a list of our favorite online tools that are either free or affordable for nonprofits. Take a look and let us know what you think.


Canva: We’ve talked about Canva a lot, and we actually already wrote a blog on how to get your free Canva account here.

Public Relations & Media

HARO (Help a Reporter Out): HARO provides journalists with a robust database of sources for upcoming stories and daily opportunities for sources to secure valuable media coverage. Subscribe to their free email list here.

Google Alerts: Google Alerts allows you to set email alerts to keep tabs on who is mentioning your nonprofit for free. Try it out here.

Online Donations

DonorBox: Donorbox is another Scott Allen favorite. We’re all about keeping online donations simple and Donorbox does this at an affordable cost. Read our blog about why we love using Donorbox.

Online Forms & Surveys

Typeform: Create interative and engaging forms with TypeForm. This online tool makes any old form look fun to complete. Ask for a nonprofit discount here, or try it for free.

SurveyMonkey: SurveyMonkey is pretty well-known free, online survey tool. But did you know they have nonprofit discounts beyond the free version?

Website Analytics

Google Analytics: Another given for some, but in case web isn’t your world, take a look into Google Analytics to track your website traffic for free. For example, it’s helpful to know which pages your donors are visiting before making an online donation. This is something you can track with Google Analytics.

Social Media

Hootsuite: Hootsuite allows you to schedule social media posts ahead of time, and it’s a lifesaver. Apply for the nonprofit discount here, or use their free version.


Honestly, we use both Mail Chimp and Constant Contact for ourselves, and our clients. Both are great for different reasons. Check out their discounts:

Constant Contact

Mail Chimp

Extra Help & Organization

Adobe Acrobat: Save time proofing projects with Adobe Acrobat. With these program, you can easily make comments on pdfs that automatically import to Adobe design programs – thus saving you time and money! Ask us for a demo on how to add edits to a proof. We would love to show you. Here is a link on Adobe nonprofit discounts.

Trello: Trello is a great project management tool. Trello’s boards, lists, and cards enable you to organize and prioritize your projects in a fun, flexible, and rewarding way. Plus, it’s free

Slack: Slack is great for internal communication and keeps projects moving. They also have a nonprofit discount

Grammarly: Last but not least, Grammarly…it’s our best friend – our free writing assistant. Spell check everything you write as you go. Check it out.

G Suite: Did you know that a G Suite Basic account is available for free to eligible nonprofits? You’ll get Gmail, Docs, Calendar, Drive, Hangouts Meet and more. And most importantly, all of these tools can be used together to streamline standard processes and tasks at your nonprofit to be easier and more convenient. 

Before you can use G Suite for nonprofits, you’ll need to apply for the Google for Nonprofits program, activate your account and adjust the settings for each program based on your preferences and needs.


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How to Foster Relationships with Donors Tue, 03 Sep 2019 14:30:04 +0000 The post How to Foster Relationships with Donors appeared first on Scott Allen Creative.


how to foster
relationships with donors


Think about your own friendships and relationships that you have. How did you get there with that person? What makes the two of you close? The thing that makes my besties my besties is that joke we have about  the song Rumor Has It by Adele, late-night talks about whether gelato is better than ice cream, how to stop world hunger, and just being there after a bad day of work. Basically, it’s sharing quality time together to create those moments. 

In order to foster quality relationships with donors, follow the same recipe as you do with your closest friends: be authentic, be yourself, listen, and share.

Practical things you can do to foster a relationship with a donor:

  1. Prepare. Do some research into who you want to foster a relationship with. Ask a mutual friend some questions first so you are prepared. Looking on Facebook and other social media platforms for interests and hobbies wouldn’t hurt either. Would they have any interest in the mission of your organization? (What if they are passionate about music and not animals?) This would be great to know before meeting so you can use your time and their time well.


  2. Spend time with him/her. Developing a friendship/relationship takes time – even years. But they all start somewhere. Start small and invite them to have coffee. As the relationship progresses, invite them to  a concert or have them over for a barbeque to meet the family. Get to know them. These are the moments when memories and inside jokes are created. This is what friendships are made of.


  3. Remember important dates. Birthdays, anniversaries, the day they brought their puppy home, or the death of a loved one, are often  brought up in conversation. Take a mental note. Send a card, flowers, or whatever is appropriate according to the relationship you have. You could even send a text or make a call on those days to tell them you are thinking about them.


  1. Love of the mission. Make sure you are meeting with people for the right reasons: Love of the mission. If you truly are passionate about the mission of your nonprofit, it will show naturally. If you are struggling with the organization’s mission, perhaps you should take time to reflect on why that is and whether or not it is the right fit for you. We are all passionate about something and sometimes discovering it takes time.


  2. Be authentic. People are smart. They can smell a fake from a mile away. They know whether or not you are being yourself and truly care about them as a human being. Check yourself before diving into a new relationship. Sometimes this means taking time to reflect on who you are about to meet with, why you love what you do, and putting together some talking point so you are prepared.


  3. Hit or miss. There will be moments when your personality doesn’t mesh with a potential donor. It happens. This may be a moment to step aside and introduce them to someone else that may be a better fit to spend time with them. This is a situation you will have to read and be humble enough to make that call. For the good of the mission, right?

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