Our Blog


Open hGrant: The Little Plug-in for Philanthropy’s Big Data

Mission Minded recently partnered with our client the Walter & Elise Haas Fund to develop and launch an open-source WordPress plug-in that supercharges transparency in grant reporting. Like many grantmakers, the Haas Sr. Fund operates its own proprietary system for recording, tracking, and publishing grants. Sharing that information — with its web audience and with peers in philanthropy — was a technical challenge as there was no direct route from desktop grant management software to dynamic publishing on the web. Different naming conventions and classification methods between... +Read More

Children’s Museum Denver Demonstrates How to Employ the Minute Message Model

Mission Minded’s client, the Children’s Museum of Denver, announced the public phase of their capital campaign at a groundbreaking ceremony on April 8, 2014. In so doing, President and CEO Mike Yankovich, along with his skilled team, demonstrated how to effectively leverage the power of brand and messaging for a successful capital campaign. First, the campaign was built on a clearly articulated brand and theme. Campaign materials, visuals, and messages all reinforced the campaign’s theme: “Opening Doors for Young Minds.” The campaign used a consistent visual identity, and... +Read More

Turn Tech Leaders Into Top Donors: How to Court the Internet Elite

Has your board ever made the helpful suggestion that you should be getting large gifts for your nonprofit from the millionaires of Silicon Valley? We recently discussed the subject of how to effectively court the Internet elite with some Bay Area nonprofit executives keen to zero in on this topic. The centerpiece of the discussion was 11 hard-won insights by Jennifer Lynch, the development director at San Francisco Opera, a longtime Mission Minded client. After several years of intense and intentional outreach into this sector of donor prospects, Jennifer and her colleagues have gleaned some... +Read More

The 6 Most Important Steps for Nonprofit Branding

We strongly believe that great branding takes time—both time to clarify and develop a clear brand positioning, as well as the time to build recognition for your brand. Yet, if you work in a nonprofit you’re pressed for time, for staff resources, and for money. With so many competing priorities, branding may fall by the wayside. Rather than see branding as an all or nothing equation, we believe that some strategic thinking toward your brand is better than none at all. With that in mind, we’ve highlighted the 6 steps that we believe are most critical to establishing your brand. 1.... +Read More

Why Your Foundation Needs a Brand

Let’s face it. Private Foundations don’t have the same reasons as nonprofits do to build a strong brand. Foundations already have money. What does it matter what anyone thinks about them? Plenty, it turns out. Recently, one of our clients, who serves as the head of a family foundation, said to me, “Grantmaking is the consequence of leadership and vision.” That is, grantmaking is the final punctuation of a much longer sentence. Once upon a time, foundations considered their primary role to be the distribution of philanthropic dollars—and there are plenty who still do.... +Read More

Simple Marketing From The Farm: Using Old-School, Cost-Effective Tactics

Twelve months worth of words add up. From blog posts to brochures, websites to marketing collateral, I have found words to explain, entice and entertain. Yet, some of the most compelling words I have come across were in an unlikely, unexpected place—Pella, Iowa. My husband and I were making the trek from visiting my family in Nebraska to his in Illinois for the holidays. Without warning, we wandered into a marketing campaign in the middle of America’s cornfields. In the current generation of technology and newfangled marketing gimmicks, there stood a campaign built on simple common sense... +Read More