The Business of Giving

In this episode of The Business of Giving, host Guy Dawson and cause marketing coach Maria Perez delve into a discussion on reflecting on the past year's cause marketing efforts and planning for a successful 2024. They explore the importance of assessing what worked and what didn't, setting clear goals, and achieving clarity in cause marketing initiatives. Maria shares valuable insights on aligning mission and values with partners, creating sustainable funding, and the critical role of leadership in nonprofits. The conversation provides practical advice for both nonprofit and for-profit organizations, emphasizing collaboration, transparency, and authenticity. Tune in for a deep dive into cause marketing strategies and gain valuable insights to make a positive impact in the coming year.

What is The Business of Giving?

Every 1st Sunday Morning, Guy Dawson from the Cause Marketing Chamber of Commerce sits down with non-profit organizations in Las Vegas to discuss their businesses.

Unknown Speaker 0:00
You're listening to locally produced programming created in KU NV studios on public radio K, u and v 91.5. You're listening to special programming sponsored by the cars marketing Chamber of Commerce. The content of this program does not reflect the views or opinions of 91.5 Jazz and more the University of Nevada Las Vegas, or the Board of Regents, the Nevada System of Higher Education.

Unknown Speaker 0:37
People live in the whole world addicted to the drama. Happy holidays, everyone and welcome to the business of giving podcast. My name is Guy Dawson and I am the founder and executive director of the cause marketing Chamber of Commerce. And we are an organization that brings businesses and nonprofit organizations together to create synergistic relationships that benefit the community with the business of giving podcast, we highlight these two pillars of the community and show ways that the two of them can work together to make the world and society a better place. If you'd like to learn more about what we do at the cause, marketing Chamber of Commerce, cause marketing This valuable show is made possible through the generosity of our series, sponsors solar and energy solution and conservation company specializing in solar and battery storage systems, including solar panels to learn more about them, they can be reached soul And of course, I am always accompanied by Maria Perez, the cause marketing coach, happy holidays, Maria. Likewise, yes, this is an exciting time of the year for so many people, because we are closing out one year and heading into another and from a business perspective and a nonprofit perspective, I guess there are a lot of us that are working on our goals, we're kind of closing the books out for 2023 and getting ready to open new books in 2024. And one of the things that Moran I want to talk about today is how to do both how to kind of assess where you were with your your cause marketing oriented endeavors and 2023 how things turned out. And then also exploring opportunities and 2024. individually. Maria, how do you go about this process, kind of closing the books and then opening new books?

Unknown Speaker 2:39
Well, you have to have a look back at your year and sort of assess what was successful, so that you can amplify it going forward. And you know, swallow a difficult pill for those initiatives that were lackluster and set some revenue goals and and set your sights towards achieving those goals.

Unknown Speaker 3:04
Yes, and so with you, I mean, you are very hands on in your your activities, the things that you do to position organizations to improve their their cause marketing efforts, when you're working with people and I know you have lots of different clients in different sectors that you work with? How do you bring clarity to you as part of your coaching? How do you bring that type of clarity to people so that they really understand the path that they've taken so that you're they're setting themselves up for an even more prosperous path in the future?

Unknown Speaker 3:37
You know, that's a great question. One of the things that we utilize a couple of things, is something that we call a pathway call. And we try to help our nonprofit partners or businesses that want to be you know, have a bit more socially responsible, see their future self pathway, set some some goal outcomes for what what that future could look like. And then we kind of rewind back and figure out well, sort of what initiatives and steps can we take to go down that path? It's really straightforward, but it's a great exercise. And

Unknown Speaker 4:16
what types of results do you see from the people who you work with in terms of creating that type of clarity and specificity in the results that they're able to produce? Well, once

Unknown Speaker 4:29
you start to talk about aligning mission, mission and values with prospective partners on either side of the aisle, and you start talking about things like what would it be like to have sustainable funding and and you explore what would it be like to to appear to my customers as being more socially responsible? And how do we realize those things in our cars, market initiatives? It gives people context and then they really see themselves as being involved intimately and cause marketing and they understand it better. But if they're crawling down the hole, they're not going to go anywhere. So I think the critical path to clarity is getting out of the hole and understanding the pieces, the bits and pieces of the puzzle.

Unknown Speaker 5:19
Yeah, I have a good understanding of that Maria in from not only on the cause marketing side, where I've had a lot of mentorship that has been incredibly valuable is we've been developing the cause marketing chamber, all the different things programs that we have created, and even the path that we currently are, are on and wanting to grow it in our presence. But I've also seen this a lot in the public relations and marketing space, when I'm working with business clients is that clarity is key. And when you're able to, that's where the value comes, I think in what we provide as a company anyway, uh, working with people is having someone to hold your hand, when you're in unfamiliar territory, like, you know, you go on a vacation, you've got a tour guide, I've, I've been on lots of vacations, where I didn't have a tour guide. But I have found that the vacations that I've gone on where I had a tour guide, always took me to the best places. And I can kind of equate that to what you do. Maria, you are the cause marketing tour guide, the person that can take them into areas where they really don't know the environment, right or understand the environment, they have an overview of where they're going, but you take them into the, to the nooks and crannies that they might not understand.

Unknown Speaker 6:41
You know, it's interesting that you say that I agree. I mean, I see myself, I really do see myself as a coach. But I think what's really important and something that that you bring to the party is that once you have that clarity, you still need a clear and compelling message. And you still need to be able to articulate transparency and authenticity, and you still need to leverage your digital assets. So you know, I'm one half of the equation. But what you do, as a publicist, and a PR, professional is the other half of the puzzle. I mean, talk about that a little bit.

Unknown Speaker 7:16
Absolutely. And that was a lot of my motivation. At the very beginning, we started doing these businesses with heart events back in 2015. And at that time, I really didn't know very much about cause marketing, although I did know all about philanthropy, bringing businesses together with with nonprofits, I mean, it was a part of the platform that I would always recommend to the PR clients. But when I started to understand this space, from a broader perspective, and I would connect with so many nonprofit organizations, and I already had a lot of friends in the business sector, that messaging the messaging that cause marketing creates and how impactful it is really jumped out at me, and how some companies are so effective in utilizing it, I started to really look around the marketing space or the way that companies leverage these relationships with nonprofit organizations to do a lot of good and to also bring a lot of clarity and recognition about their particular brands. So yes, well, we, we have this marketing aspect of the cause marketing Chamber of Commerce, which is exactly what you just spoke about my Maria is that we want you to be more effective in marketing your business in this in this particular space. And that's kind of a lot of what we do at the chamber as we coach you on that messaging and along with the connecting and being the resource for the community is that that messaging is so valuable. And I know, we cover these topics a lot with these shows that we do every week, sometimes just not as openly as we're talking about today.

Unknown Speaker 8:54
Yeah, and I think to your point about, you know, what, what should you be doing in q4, you should be looking back because you're you need to monitor the past performance and then adapt accordingly. It doesn't matter whether you're a business or a nonprofit, I mean, this is just, if you if you want to serve more people, if you want to sell more things, you have to look back and monitor and adapt.

Unknown Speaker 9:18
So we've got that element of it, looking back, taking a look at work, what worked out what didn't work out, I mean, business, or running a nonprofit organization, it's very dependent on you knowing the score is what sometimes you hear people talk about in business and knowing the score is doing the analysis of the business, what worked well. And a lot of times there's a lot of different ways that you can do that analysis. But that's a really important thing, I think for any entity. To get that understanding. You have to go back and you have to review the data to see what actually did work. I mean for me when people they decide that they want to be a member of the cause marketing chamber, for instance, this is an example. Whether or not they renew their membership with us is really dependent on their overview of the effectiveness of the membership that they've had with us. So for us with the events that we put on the programs that we offer, we're trying to position members of the chamber to get an ROI, or return on their investment, which means doing more business getting more exposure in the community. And part of their investment is that they are passionate about nonprofit organizations, did we put them in a position to be able to do more of that. And so for us, our overview of the year is we go back and we see what we were effective at. But a lot of it comes the results are due people renew with us, that tells us whether or not they were feeling fulfilled with what we provided as an organization. And for other people, Maria, how can they go back and check the data? What does that look like? I know it varies for different businesses or different organizations, but how can they do that type of investigation to really understand where they are heading into the new year?

Unknown Speaker 11:13
Well, I mean, first of all, I think that a lot of people avoid doing that. Because they're scared that they're gonna have to do a 360 retool. But in point of fact, if you if you look back quarter by quarter, you take it piecemeal, you might just have to pivot 15 degrees. So I think what's what's really an effective way to do that is to get your folks in a room, whether you're a business or nonprofit, and kind of have a debriefing meeting, where you just discuss what were the goals and what happened. And you know, you can look at your data points, you can look at your metrics, you know, you you just look at those data points and decide whether it hit the bar, right? Did you did you come under or over or smack on target. And then you just adjust accordingly. It's not that difficult.

Unknown Speaker 12:11
And the stats matter, they really do it. It's the yardstick for what's working and what's not working again, with us being involved in something Maria that is so heart centered, which is the world of cause marketing, I think most people who engage in this type of work are really big hearted people who they they have something really important that they want to contribute to the community and society. And that's why they start up a nonprofit or they volunteer, why they engage in this world. And but one of the things that I think has been great that you've specifically have been bringing to this platform, is that the stats count, and that there, yes, this all starts at a at the heart level, is the reason why you start something like this. Now, how do we incorporate the realities of business? With your heart? How do we balance out both of these sides? And so again, I just I have really enjoyed that contribution that you've been making to the show, as you've been co hosting it with me is that other part? Yes. Did the stats matter? Yes, your big heart is really important. We know that. But the stats matter, right?

Unknown Speaker 13:26
Yeah, I mean, you're sharing the impact of your mission and values with your partner. And so there has to be a win win. For a number of reasons. The business wants to look good to their customers, but the nonprofit cannot grow without more money. So you kind of have to I tell my nonprofit partners, you have to business business by your mission. That's, that's what it's all about. And you have to be able to articulate your impact for yourself, your nonprofit, your cause your mission, and your partners. Super important. Yeah, so

Unknown Speaker 14:02
many elements to to success in any endeavor that you embark on. And, again, that's what this show is all about is that we hope, with each show that we do here. We interview a lot of great nonprofits, we've, we've interviewed a lot of very successful business people. And also Maria and I with some of these types of shows have provided a lot of great information that we hope put you in a position to really succeed in whatever the endeavors are. And so, but you're heading into this new year, and you know, there's uncertainty and I think at the very beginning when people are getting started, let's say Maria, let's, let's talk about startups a little bit. Someone's got a great idea about a nonprofit organization that they want to start and this type of thing is presented to me all the time. I would presume that it's also presented to you all the time. There Heading into a new year, you know, new goal is going to start this new organization. You know, what's the starting point? What types of suggestions would you make to a business or a nonprofit organization that's just getting started? To get them off to the right start in 2024?

Unknown Speaker 15:17
Well, I would say the first thing they have to do is identify what it is they have to leverage beyond their mission, you know, what, who do they have in their circle of influence that can support what they hope to accomplish? And look around, look around their circle their sphere, do they have what they need to be successful, otherwise, they should just go volunteer with an organization that's like minded. And sometimes it's a really good idea to do that, anyway, as a starting point, to sort of learn, learn who's out there. And who else is serving that that group of people on the non on the for profit side, you know, they have to make sure that they can bake the support into the DNA of their business, because no consumer wants a disingenuous cause marketing initiative, they see right through it. You know, that's, that's like saying, Well, I want to, I want to, I don't want to pollute anymore. But guess what, I don't use recycled plastic. I mean, the consumer looks at that and says, I don't believe you, I don't trust you, I'm not going to support you. So I would say, you know, go hang out with some other like minded groups, they're not going to turn you away. Because you're you are like minded, correct. That would be my suggestion. And

Unknown Speaker 16:40
yes, and the great point that you brought up about volunteerism being an excellent way for you to get into the space of cause marketing, for you to start to meet people who are like minded. And you're also going to meet people who are already doing it. And, you know, one of the things that I have felt has been a great thing, running this chamber. And being in this space, Maria is how accessible all of us are a mean, you can come to a cause marketing Chamber of Commerce event, and you will meet me, the executive director of the organization, you're not going to be meeting someone who's lower in the hierarchy, let's say, I mean, we're all in it together, right? I just happened to be the person who founded the organization. But I mean, you literally will be talking to me. And I can share a lot running a nonprofit. And the experience that I've had, over these years, working with so many nonprofit organizations, is something that you can tap into. And there are so many other nonprofits like that the leadership is accessible, there's people out there who were would be willing to mentor you to really put you in the right direction. And and then, of course, you could meet someone like Maria Perez, another big hearted person who's been in this sector for many years, who would point you in the right direction, the same way that she's pointing you in the right direction with all the information that she's providing on on the show. But yes, volunteerism is a great way to network and learn more about the nonprofit community for sure. And then I think you had also did pretty much the same thing on the for profit side, Maria, it's business networking, going out into the business networking community, I know, for me, when I was starting my company, it was completely built off of the business networking community, then it's the same principle, you've got like minded people there with experience, it's a great way to get started, get familiar with the business community. And then you will also find, so you go to one networking event, right, you see a group of people at that one networking event, you start going maybe regularly, maybe it's a weekly networking event at a restaurant or something like that. There's a lot of excellent groups around town. There's one group that I really enjoy, I'm a member of it's called spark. And we are a networking group that meets once a week we're out it, we work in town square, just so wonderful group of people, people in different businesses, but all those industries that are represented in that networking group, you're going to make great friends, you're going to make contacts, there's potential business there. But as Maria had mentioned before, there are a lot of mentoring opportunities as well when you start to get in the space have something that you're interested in. So yes, I just I love that. The the things that you touched on Maria and I just want to let everyone know that this valuable show is made possible through the generosity of our series sponsors solar up an energy solution and conservation company specializing in solar and battery storage systems, including solar panels, to learn more about them. So And you are listening to the business of giving podcasts here at K u n v 91.5. FM, and I'm speaking with Maria Perez, the cars marketing coach, we've just been exploring cause marketing and kind of a loose fashion today. All right, so Maria, what kind of goals do you have in 2024? Oh,

Unknown Speaker 20:17
very lofty, lofty goals, to help to help a lot more nonprofit, and for profit. Sponsorship seekers build out their initiatives for sure. I enjoy coaching a great deal. And, and so I'm very focused in that regard. that's those are my plans for 2024.

Unknown Speaker 20:43
Yes, and for you, Maria, there is a vast world of opportunity for you, because of how long you've been doing this work and the connections that you have, and, and the partnerships that you've developed. For a person like you with lots of opportunities. I know, there are even challenges that come with that. I know, there are challenges that for me, when you know, a lot of people and you have access to a lot of things. Sometimes it's kinda like, being in a room full of like, 100 presents, right? And trying to figure out, what's the first present that you opened? Do you ever experienced that when there are so many different opportunities out there to help people how to keep yourself in the right space, so that you truly will be most effective?

Unknown Speaker 21:31
You know, that's a great question. And yes, we have been my partner and I have been struggling with identifying our ideal customer, client and coaching students. But we've kind of had an epiphany as of late, and we've come to land on whether it's a nonprofit, or for profit going to the boss, the executive director, like yourself, and coaching that person, because that person has to manage the people below them. And if they're not successful, and they also don't have the tools, you know, the business or the nonprofit won't grow. So, ya know, we went through that exercise of identifying, how do we figure this out, and this is where we've landed. So it's very empowering to go through an exercise like that. Because you gotta get you got to get, you've got to iterate your way to awesome, you've got to get past, past the bottleneck.

Unknown Speaker 22:25
Yes, and I know you and your partner, and I had a great conversation not that long ago, and I was sharing sort of, you know, my experience, being the executive director of an organization and my pain points. And there were so many things that the two of you were touching on, when you were talking about what you provide, that I could resonate with, in being the person who is the leader of the organization, you have a lot of responsibility, there's lots of moving parts, and you're spinning plates all over the place, all the time. And that when you're doing that, you sometimes need that consultant, that person where you can just kind of dump the things. Anyone who is in a leadership position, I think can can resonate with that is that when you've got a lot to do, sometimes you need the therapy of someone just to listen. And that's how I think of someone like you, Maria, you, you would definitely benefit a person in my position that needs that at times whether we admit it or not, we can't solve all the problems, or challenges that we have within our organizations. Well, we've

Unknown Speaker 23:36
made it a mandate, that when we take on a new client, they have to be willing to participate in the strategy, and then launch that initiatives. But the strategy part is a critical piece because we're not psychic, and we can't crawl into their heads and we want the best for them. And we want to be able to elicit that information so we can help them succeed.

Unknown Speaker 24:00
And cause marketing means so many different things. The organ organizational leadership aspect of it, as we were just touching on there's, of course, you have this this person who's the executive director are the person who is at the top of the pyramid as they would say in the the old pier, the old paradigm of the way that leadership works is that you've got this person at the top and then everything just kind of works down at the bottom of the pyramid. But you know, what I have found in the nonprofit world, Maria specifically is that pyramid is really reversed. You know, you have your picture of what a pyramid is like. The top point would be the president in the in the traditional business world, but when it comes to the nonprofit world, the base is at the top in my experience is that the point is at the bottom. If you understand where I'm coming from, it really is about the base the mission, the The people who you are serving that you're engaging, and then so they're at the top of the pyramid, and the person who is the leader is almost at the bottom of the pyramid. Could Could you speak to that?

Unknown Speaker 25:14
Well, it's because traditionally, and what's endemic and a lot of nonprofits are silos, and you have to break them down and you can't have the development people and the event people, and the donor, you know, individual donor people and the corporate partnership seekers, that's, that's the problem. They their fights them. And and if a leader wants to be have their organization be successful, they've got to flip that script. And that's exactly what you're talking about is flipping it, you've got to flip it. And these people have to talk to one another and work together. And that is how organizations will succeed in the future.

Unknown Speaker 25:50
Yes, there's a huge leadership element. If you're someone out there who's thinking about starting a nonprofit organization, or you've newly started one, or starting a business, the the leadership aspect of it is, is very underrated, because you're going to be taking on things that are going to stretch you in a lot of directions and your ability to work with people to really understand how to get the best out of people, your your partners, your employees, your the organizations that you're working with. And the partners, I would really highly recommend to anyone who's going to start a business is that you read some books about leadership, or you may be joining organizations that teach leadership, I know I got a lot of great leadership, training. And I'm still getting a lot of leadership training from being a member of Toastmasters International, there's a huge part of that organization that specifically teaches you things about organizational leadership. And I would highly recommend that as an organization, but there's lots of great books out there, that will give you some of the tools that you need to be a more effective leader because you take on a lot of responsibilities. When you start a nonprofit organization and preparing yourself by reading and of course holding hands with people who can help you even someone like Maria, who has a lot of knowledge to share conceptually on the right track. And, Maria, this was a great talk that we had today. I think we helped a lot of people. And I'm sure that there's more that you could share with someone if they wanted to reach out to you to learn about what you do as a cause marketing consultant, how can they reach you?

Unknown Speaker 27:32
Well, I'm very accessible by phone or by email, but I'll give you my email address. It's Maria at cause marketing And if you wanted to discuss cause marketing or social issue strategy with me, send me an email,

Unknown Speaker 27:46
as always, greatly appreciate your insight as my co hostess with the mostest. As I always say, Maria, thank you so much again for being a part of the show. Likewise, appreciate it. I just wanted to let you all know I announced last week that we are going on the first annual cars and business cruise October 19 through the 26th 2024 we're going to cruise through the Hawaiian Islands you're going to get a chance to network with professionals. And then there's also going to be proceeds that are going to go to nonprofit organizations as well. We're going to have so much fun over in Hawaii in 2024 For more information, cause marketing You can also send me an email info at cause marketing Yeah, we're looking forward to having a great time over in Hawaii and supporting worthy causes. I also want to let you know that you can listen to our podcast on Spotify, Apple podcast and Amazon music. You can follow the cause marketing chamber on our social media sites we've got a full calendar of events that are going to be coming up in 2024 that we will be sharing about you can always learn more about that cause marketing We hope you enjoyed our show this week and that you have a happy holiday season. We look forward to seeing you next week and always want to remind you to give and do business for good oh by the way, the business of giving podcast was brought to you by sole UPS underwriting of our series See you soon

Unknown Speaker 29:33

Unknown Speaker 29:40
the weight of the world on my shoulder as I'm getting older your people guess holder most of us only care about money.

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