Local Nonprofit Communications Trends

What marketing and communication issues are keeping local nonprofit leaders up at night? What are their top marketing goals? How do these organizations compare to nonprofits nationally?

These are a few of the questions InterCom and ONEplace sought to answer with a Kalamazoo Area Nonprofit Marketing/Communications Survey completed in February. The results of that survey and possible implications for both the nonprofit and communication industry sectors will be discussed at InterCom’s 2nd Friday Speakers’ Series on April 14. This special event is FREE and open to the public.

“Kalamazoo is widely recognized as a generous, philanthropically minded county,” says Gretchen Johnson, InterCom president. “Private giving drives our quality of life, meeting crucial human service needs, providing financial and educational support for students of all ages, and even making the arts possible — from theatre to dance, music and so much more. The success of the nonprofit organizations that carry out this important work depends on effective marketing and communication. We believe it is imperative for our members to understand as much as possible about these organizations. We also believe we have experience, insight and expertise to share.”

Nonprofits are also an important economic driver for the region. According to a 2016 survey by the Michigan Nonprofit Association, this industry sector includes more than 1,200 nonprofits in Kalamazoo County. Nearly 22,500 people work in nonprofits here, and these organizations generate a combined annual revenue of $2.7 million (as of 2014).

“A community’s success is reflected in the capacity of its nonprofit sectors,” says Thom Andrews, director of ONEplace, a capacity building organization offering resources and services to nonprofits in Kalamazoo County. Andrews said the survey results are already playing an important role in helping his team develop programming for the many area nonprofits that have come to rely on ONEplace as the education arm of the funding community.

At the April 14 event, InterCom members will lead participants through small-group dialogue. Communication professionals will have the opportunity to hear from nonprofit leaders about vital needs for their organizations — while nonprofit professionals learn marketing tips and best practices from area communications experts. The event is free and open to the public.

Event Details

The brown-bag lunchtime event starts at noon (following 30 minutes of networking) at Kalamazoo Valley Community College’s Anna Whitten Hall, 202 N Rose St, Kalamazoo, 49007. This session only is open as a free event to the public. Guests, however, are asked to register online at Eventbrite. Learn more at InterComKalamazoo.com: Events.