August 30, 2016

It’s Been a Hot Summer

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Somewhere around mid–July, my wife and I looked at each other and said, “Why are we working so hard this summer?”

hot summer musings from Aespire

Of course, that didn’t stop us from playing as hard as we work — because we live in Northeast Ohio, we made certain to spend more time with friends, watching sunsets on beautiful Lake Erie, and enjoying the company of our daughter who recently returned to Bowling Green State University as a junior.

If you are familiar with Northeast Ohio, you’re aware that temperatures can be hot, and humidity levels high. When we are on the lake, we always keep one eye to the sky for unexpected thunderstorms.

Since my wife and I are business partners, we blend work and play. We know when to take a break, but we don’t mind talking about business or working while we relax on our patio.

At the beginning of summer, I made this list of goals for Aespire's summer strategy. I didn’t complete them all, but made great progress:

  1. SharpSpring push—To promote the value of content and marketing automation as an effective resource for donor and advocate nurturing nonprofit communication.

  2. Program Officer Promotion—Promoting my nonprofit branding book, Raise Your Voice: A Cause Manifesto to Foundation Program Officers. The Community Foundation of Lorain County is one example of a forward–thinking foundation who helped strengthen nonprofit capacity by providing copies of this book to the organizations it funds. (40% off list price for qualifying Foundations, contact Aespire if you're interested).

  3. Client (re)orientation campaign— using our marketing automation suite, we’re creating a campaign that clients and prospective clients will receive to familiarize them with who we are, what we do, and how we can help. It's not ready yet, but you can jump in on the ChangeMaker Movement and receive a year's worth of tips for better nonprofit communication, and a free poster.

  4. "Brands must communicate" article—OK, that's next on the list...

  5. Nonprofit security article—July was #NPTech month at Aespire, and we published an article on safety and security, especially with regard to create a trusted experience for online donations.

  6. Story of my life for kids—Looking back, this was a bit ambitious. But I did realize that my blog is really written for my children and the next generation of my family (the nieces and nephews).

  7. Raise Your Voice giveaway—Two and a half years after publication, Aespire ran a Goodreads giveaway for Raise Your Voice: A Cause Manifesto. Over 600 readers signed up to win. Only two were chosen!

  8. Raise Your Voice Platform curriculum and training platform—I’m working hard on creating an online course based on the popular Cause Manifesto principles from Raise Your Voice, which will include all of the resources we’ve developed for developing nonprofit brands and strategic communications based on purpose, character, culture, and voice. Your can sign up for your webinars on demand anytime at Thinkific.

  9. Raise Your Voice (The Textbook)—The Department of Mass Communication at Eastern Tennessee State University has launched a course in Nonprofit and Cause Communications focusing on "The purpose of this course is to compliment the other mass communications core courses by increasing your understanding of strategic communications in nonprofit organizations and for mission-driven causes.” The curriculum is based on Raise Your Voice: A Cause Manifesto.

  10. Luckey Haskins Zoo Adventure by Brian SooyLuckey Haskins launch—In just five weeks I wrote, commissioned illustrations, and published my first children’s book, Luckey Haskins and the Zoo Adventure. It’s getting excellent reviews.

It might not seem like it, but I will look back on this summer and be glad I worked a little less, and played a lot more. I hope you did the same!

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