Bonyen Lee-Gilmore from Planned Parenthood Great Plains earlier this year appeared on the M&C Nonprofit Marketing Talk podcast to discuss her job as marketing and communications director.
“No matter what you do, no matter what kind of nonprofit you are, if we’re talking fundraising right now then you have to give people the ‘why,'” she said, “Why should I write a check to your organization? I think it all comes down to the ‘why,’ and the more compelling you can make that ‘why,’ more successful the fundraising campaign will be.”
M&C Nonprofit Marketing Talk is a monthly podcast hosted by Merritt Engel and Monica Tiffany from Merrigan and Co., a marketing agency in Kansas City, Missouri, also known as M&C. Engel and Tiffany interview organization leaders to discuss strategy and messaging for nonprofits.
“Some of the critical elements are a clear focus of the goal and what needs to be communicated,” Engel said, “A plan for getting it and the resources to achieve the plan. Successful marketing communications requires both skill in developing a sound concept and figuring out how to execute it flawlessly. Understanding your audience is key.”
Engel’s parents were both business owners and marketing was always present to her growing up. She earned her undergraduate degree in communication studies from Rockhurst University and her Master’s from the University of Kansas. She is president of the Kansas City Direct Marketing Education Foundation, marketing chair for the Communication Studies Alumni Board at the KU Edwards Campus, and an undergraduate professor at Rockhurst University. The Kansas City Direct Marketing Association named her “Direct Marketer of the Year” in 2012 and she was listed in Ingram’s Magazine’s 40 Under Forty in 2016.
“It’s hard to stand out these days with the glut of all forms of communications, so it’s important that communication be powerful, clear and succinct. Approval by large committees usually does not produce this type of communications, so we always recommend limiting the cooks in the kitchen.”
M&C offers comprehensive marketing support in every channel, from digital to print. Channels are selected based on strategies for the clients. Engel and Tiffany bought the company from its founder, Bob Merrigan, in 2015.
“As our business evolved over the years, nonprofits began to comprise the lion’s share of our business,” Engel said, “About 10 years ago, we made the conscious choice to specialize in this work. It fits our personal value systems and we like bring the latest, most effective approaches to this sector.”
M&C Nonprofit Marketing Talk is posted the third Thursday of every month at www.merriganco.com. Anyone who has an idea for the podcast or wishes to be a guest can contact Merritt Engel at firstname.lastname@example.org or Monica Tiffany at email@example.com.