I love a good story! I learned to tell them by writing direct mail letters. I wasn’t soliciting funds back then; I was running corporate conferences and sold them through direct mail (imagine making a telecommunications conference sound exciting!). That led to developing marketing materials for some of the world’s biggest brands. When communications moved online I produced the first corporate mega-site. Then I had the opportunity to work with leading Internet pioneers, providing marketing and production services.
But I kept up an active volunteer life. So, along the way I would take what I learned and apply it to the nonprofits that I loved, helping them raise money. Of course, I discovered, as you have, the great pleasure of helping an organization succeed. That’s why I became a fundraiser!
Long before I started Nonprofit Champion, even before my corporate career, I loved volunteering. I was a patrol leader in my first troop and grew up to be a Girl Scout leader. Combining my leadership skills and compassion to creatively address a need is my idea of fun! I am thrilled to devote all my energy to the growth and success of nonprofits and their champions. We have assembled a first-rate team to help more and more organizations tell their Million Dollar Story.
Everyday when I listen to the radio, read the paper, go online or watch TV, I see again and again how important a good story is. I hear a voice, see a picture, read a few words and I want more. In seconds someone’s life becomes important to me. I care.
Do you know what I mean? A good story is the beginning of a relationship. You have a great story and I want to hear it!
At heart, I’m an idea guy. Oh, I may have gone to art school (VCU-Go Rams!) with illustration in mind, but I soon became drawn to advertising, design and conceptual thinking. The challenge of creative problem solving really got my juices going. Using the visual and the verbal sides of my brain to communicate the complex, simply.
Soon after graduating, a NY advertising bigwig took one look at my split personality, illustration/design vs. conceptual/writing portfolio and said: “Well, you’re going to have to decide son. Is it going to be words or pictures?” The idea that an artist could write, or that awriter could visualize, would never occur to him. It sure occurred to me. Why should have I have to pick one over the other? So I didn’t, and it has served me (and our clients) quite well over the years, thank you very much!
I also wasn’t buying into the idea that the branding and creative for nonprofits had to be different, tempered, less challenging or engaging than its forprofit counterpart. That just makes no sense. People want to be challenged, stimulated, inspired, even provoked, not pitched or pandered to.
To me, the days of the timid or apologetic nonprofit are few. And that doesn’t mean the dawn of the brash & obnoxious (in your face) nonprofit either. Success and growth are not for business only. It’s time for a smarter, forward thinking, outward reaching (in your head/heart) nonprofit. Everyone’s got a story to tell, nonprofits especially. There’s very little as creatively challenging or rewarding as finding the core of a great story and using just the right words and pictures. I’m ready! Are you?
Video is a powerful tool for your nonprofit. Nobody does it like Duncan. He shoots, directs, edits and produces film and video projects – from 2 minute promos, to TV shows, to full length movies. But he joined Nonprofit Champion because he wants to tell the stories that will make a difference for organizations. Going beyond technical expertise, Duncan’s greatest gift is storytelling. Stories that reach the mind, and touch the heart; making the all-important intellectual and emotional connection needed to inspire action.