Our Blog

9 Mistakes Your Independent School Can Avoid This Admissions Season

Knowing how to create a great admissions experience can be tricky. You want to attract new families to your school, yet you know your school isn’t right for everyone. You want to communicate powerfully, but you don’t want to waste money on printing materials that no one ever reads. You want campus visits to provide an insider’s view, but may not be sure where to focus. If you’re under time and budget constraints to you keep things moving, you may make improvements to your admissions communications where you can, but stick to the basic approach year after year. This can lead to... +Read More

Your Brand is a Shortcut. Where Does it Lead?

Strong brands lead to desired interactions. They quickly attract the audiences who align with their values, appreciate what the brands offer, and support the organizations with their resources. Does your organization’s brand offer your audiences a clear shortcut to the action you want them to take? If not, it’s time to reassess your brand strategy. Here’s why: your organization’s brand offers your target audiences a shortcut for (1) understanding who you are and what value they might derive from engaging with you, and then (2) acting accordingly. One year ago, powerful storms swamped... +Read More

A Branding Mistake We Almost Made

At Mission Minded we counsel our clients to think of branding as everybody’s job. It’s not only the responsibility of the executive director, or the marketing committee of the board, or the marketing director (if you’re lucky enough to have one). Once you’ve set the strategy for your brand, everyone who works and volunteers for your organization has a role in bringing it to life. We also teach that your brand gets built one interaction at a time. Your public decides what your brand is based on what you say, how you look, what you do, and how you act. People make conclusions about... +Read More

Be Honest About Competition—It Might Just Make You a Better Collaborator

People don’t like to talk about competition in the nonprofit world. Competition suggests a dog-eat-dog fight to the finish where one valuable nonprofit edges another out of the marketplace. Instead, it’s more comfortable to suppose that do-gooders work together to collaboratively accomplish shared goals. Typically this line of thinking leads nonprofit leaders to avoid thinking about market competition. When an organization is clear about who it is, what it stands for, and what makes it different from other similar organizations, that organization is in a better position to raise... +Read More

Is Your E-newsletter a Must-read or a Yawn?

Is your newsletter one that people welcome? Do your supporters read and get inspired by it? If you’re not sure, or if you have a sinking feeling it could be better, we’re offering 7 ways to make your writing the kind people want to read. Most of these ideas will make your annual report, website, and fundraising campaign materials better, too. How to turn your next newsletter from boring into bedazzling: 1. Say less. Shorter is better. Your newsletter doesn’t have to say it all, but it does need to engage your reader. Why make a point in three paragraphs that you could make in three... +Read More

The O2 Sabbatical Award: Elevating leaders, lifting organizations

What happens to a stellar nonprofit organization when its equally stellar executive director takes a three-month leave of absence? “Fall apart?” you say? Wrong. It gets stronger. O2 Initiatives, a new Bay Area-based philanthropic partnership and a Mission Minded client, knows how and why this works — and they’ve launched a new grant program to make sure it happens more often. The O2 Sabbatical Award offers exceptional nonprofit executive directors a three-month break for personal and professional reinvigoration. The program, inspired by the successes of the Durfee Foundation’s... +Read More