Monday, February 14, 2011

Technology and Marketing Course Welcomes Top Professionals

(AFPTeaches Instructor, Merritt Engel shares her thoughts as the semester wraps up)

Confession. Teaching a course with the word “Trends” in the title is intimidating. It’s an ever-changing fundraising landscape … what works one month can be passé the next … a great new technology emerges only to fade into oblivion. So I opted to go a bit untraditional: less emphasis on textbooks and theoretical lectures and greater focus on the best practices that are working right now (without overlooking strategies that will always endure).

To that end, this semester, we’ve welcomed some of the most cutting-edge marketers and fundraising this city has to offer:

Libby Knox, President, Knox Creative—A nonprofit web guru and content expert, Libby shared terrific examples of her work with Special Olympics and other usability tips.

Jessica Best, Marketing Director, emfluence—Kansas City’s go-to gal of email marketing, Jessica told our group how to send emails ethically, legally and effectively (United Way is among her key clients).

Monica Tiffany, Principal/Creative Director, Merrigan & Co.—A nonprofit copywriting expert who has written for organizations like Komen and Shriners Hospitals for Children, Monica explained her career path and how technology and message are perfect partners.

Chris Lakin, Social Media Advisor, Mailprint—Chris gave us the 411 on the increasingly sophisticated techniques in variable data printing—and how those new technologies are being used to help nonprofits better communicate with their constituents.

Annie Noll, Social Media Specialist, Ottawa University—How do you build a great nonprofit community and how do you grow it? Annie told us how to go viral, what missteps to avoid and offered great video examples.

Angie Olson, Web Content Manager, Unity— Angie manages the flow of information for an international faith-based organization. She gave us the behind-the-scenes view of balancing competing demands and a diverse constituent base.

Angela Ridpath, Experience Planning Director, Bernstein-Rein Advertising—A founding member of the national DMA’s Mobile Marketing Council, Angela gave us insights into the emerging world of mobile marketing.

Looking ahead, we’ll hear from:
Bob Merrigan, President, Merrigan & Co., and Angie Heer, Director of Development, Harvesters—They’ll present a great case study on integration.

Dawn Brelsford, Chief Strategy Officer, Brickmill Marketing (Baltimore, Maryland)—She’ll describe why data drives the best decisions for nonprofits.

A big thank you to all our speakers. I’ve learned a lot, as have the students!
Follow our class on Twitter, hashtag: #afpteaches.