In December 2018, The Patterson Foundation and No Margin No Mission hosted a gathering of all 19 organizations that had gone through or are going through the Margin & Mission Ignition earned-income opportunity. Invited from each organization were the CEO/ED and Board members. (We did something similar a year ago. This year’s meeting was more intentional about educating the attendees; last year was akin to a focus group with us trying to understand the value and the opportunities for improvement.) The purpose was to provide a learning and sharing experience to attendees with information that could be embedded within each organization.
Principles of No Margin No Mission Mike Oxman and Larry Clark began with an overview of experiences, and one slide stuck with me:
The 4 Truths of MMI (These four truths were generated from a survey of leaders who had experienced Margin & Mission Ignition.)
- You’ll work harder and dedicate more time to MMI than you ever anticipated.
- MMI creates “change” within NPO’s that has a profound and lasting impact.
- MMI takes organizations to new heights.
- If they had it to do all over again, NPO leaders unanimously agreed they would participate in MMI
After this, the action picked up with experts from within the MMI organizations sharing their expertise with the others on three topics. The following is a very brief overview:
Pines of Sarasota – Education & Training Institute
Joanne and Val from The Pines shared the 6 Marketing Tips and Tools for Visibility and Awareness:
- Use Amazon for fulfillment
- Create a podcast
- Write a regular blog
- Employ an e-mail marketing strategy
- Monitor your website analytics to understand your customers
- Use Pinterest to reach females
Manasota Lighthouse – Peepers Low Vision Store
Lisa Howard, CEO of Manasota Lighthouse shared the strategy for branding their earned-income initiative with a name different than the organization. Using Peepers Low Vision Store instead of Manasota Lighthouse allowed them to create a memorable logo and to have fun while marketing the store. The Peepers logo/brand enhances the Manasota Lighthouse logo/brand.
Charlotte County Habitat for Humanity – ReSale Store
CEO Mike Mansfield and Gabrielle Reinick, Senior Director of Outreach discussed that new business is everyone’s business, and firms should be intentional about selling products/services. To increase sales, they have implemented social media marketing, monitor daily revenue, and have created a frequent buyer program.
Humane Society of Manatee County – Expansion of Veterinary Services
CEO Rick Yocum shared their learnings:
1) Need for proper staffing levels, then training and compensation
2) The need to communicate with all staff regularly to set clear expectations
3) Monitor sales results daily
Manatee Performing Arts Center – Improving Financial Reporting
With an increase in sales being the result of the earned-income initiative, CEO Janene Amick saw the need to improve everyone’s financial understanding within the organization. Her approach:
1. Survey the board and staff to learn their financial understanding
2. Ask yourself, “Do your monthly financials properly reflect reality?”
3. Engage as many staff members as possible in a quarterly financial review
Not everyone understands financial statements, so it is essential to teach and train accordingly.
Friendship Centers – Using Dashboards to Monitor
Vice President of Operations Tom Ushio implemented a dashboard system so people can quickly see a snapshot of activity related to the earned-income initiative — Adult Day Services. Included in this dashboard are Revenues & Expenses, Outreach Activity, Referral Activity, Marketing Activity, Client Calls, and Tours. Creating a dashboard was done for three reasons:
1) Create a shared understanding
2) Creates a picture of what “good” is
3) Drives a team-focused discussion about data
The meeting was rich in content and useful information…another benefit of being a participant in Margin & Mission Ignition.