A Leading Nonprofit Advertising Agency

Community and charitable causes are part of the Innis Maggiore culture.

Nonprofit Advertising Agency

Helping charities help communities one person at a time.

Community is central to us. As the leading exponent of charity marketing in our region, Innis Maggiore is the nonprofit advertising agency of choice. Our nonprofit experience spans the arts (including Canton Museum of Art, Canton Symphony, Massillon Museum, and Vocal Fusion); associations (American Cable Association, several Regional Chambers of Commerce, Canton/Stark Convention & Visitors Bureau, National Association of College Bookstores, PolymerOhio, and Railway Tie Association); educational institutions (Aultman College, Bowling Green State University, Kent State University Stark, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northeast Ohio Medical University [NEOMED], Stark State College of Technology, and University of Akron); healthcare (AultCare Health Plans, Aultman Hospital, Canton City Public Health, Center for Health Affairs, NEOMED, PrimeTime Health Plan, Stark County Health Department); along with miscellaneous technology, economic development, and public service entities (CSE Federal Credit Union, Fair Housing Law Center, Goodwill Industries of Eastern North Carolina, SARTA [Stark Area Regional Transportation Authority], Stark Library, and Trumbull Metropolitan Housing Authority).

We’ve also helped many charitable organizations such as Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, American Cancer Society, Aultman Health Foundation, Pathway Caring for Children, Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley, United Way of Stark County, and Wishes Can Happen.

Helping causes is more than nonprofit marketing

Our associates are active in the community.

Many are volunteers and raise funds for their own charities of choice, while Innis Maggiore has a legacy of 100% employee participation and company matching for our local United Way and ArtsinStark. Others volunteer as boards members for Beacon Charitable Pharmacy, Canton Palace Theatre, Domestic Violence Project, Massillon Museum, National Sales and Marketing Executives, and Power of the Pen.

In 2007 Innis Maggiore created an Endowed Scholarship for Communications with one of our clients, Stark Community Foundation, to help full-time Kent State Stark students with communications, marketing, public relations, journalism, or advertising majors with the chance to get a scholarship of up to $4,000.

Our nonprofit advertising agency also partnered with Canton’s Repository newspaper to shine a light on and encourage the support of local businesses with a regular profile called Local Business Spotlight.

Charities and other organizations choose us to be their nonprofit marketing agency because we give them the attention they deserve and the results they need. As America’s #1 Positioning Ad Agency, we use brand positioning to market nonprofits more effectively and more efficiently, providing messaging focus to fight clutter and save money for organizations that don’t have much to spare.

A changing charitable landscape

As a leading nonprofit marketing agency, it’s crucial we keep up with trends.

Innis Maggiore has been supporting charities and nonprofit organizations toward their respective goals for decades. But it’s important to understand shifts in audience behavior and media/methodology effectiveness.

More males and married couples are giving, while younger demographics are increasingly active in donating and volunteering. Consequently, we frequently reexamine our recommended choices and mix of social media platforms. For instance, 60% of millennials prefer watching a video over reading an email or newsletter. Videos are perfect for storytelling, an essential way of connecting with audiences in an impactful fashion. This plays to the recognized need for marketing that builds meaningful relationships (also called relational marketing) instead of only concentrating on financial donations (known as transactional marketing). According to a top consultant to charities, videos also get 1,200% more shares than text-based content.

In addition to being a leading nonprofit advertising agency, Innis Maggiore is America’s #1 Positioning Ad Agency, and as such we always focus on what differentiates your nonprofit or charity from others competing for the same dollar and sweat equity support. This entails a three-step process: 1) make relevant audiences understand the organization’s mission (without appealing to their emotions, it’s hard to justify an expectation of financial help); 2) reach new donors and supporters (something that can never let up and that requires a commitment to ongoing efforts and investments); and 3) strengthening the relationships with current donors (this is the reality you must face given that retention stands below 50%).

We explore methods such as audience segmentation to increase the effectiveness of email marketing, for which the adage is “the more personalization, the more donations.” Our clients can touch the hearts and minds of prospective supporters through the use of User Generated Content (USG), which better connects with an audience who views USG as having more credibility and being more genuine. 90% of consumers say USG influences their buying decisions.

Overall, our nonprofit advertising agency creates content based on Google’s EEAT guidelines — with the initials standing for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. Innis Maggiore has also proven valuable to charitable and other nonprofit organizations by helping them get Google Grants to expand their budgets.

Marketing for Energy Companies - Babcock & Wilcox

Babcock & Wilcox

Established energy company repositions as a future-focused innovator by marketing its environmentally friendly inventions

Babcock & Wilcox, based in Akron, Ohio, has been servicing clients with original energy solutions for more than 150 years. Despite B&W’s long history providing reliable and quality energy, the company struggled to rid itself of old preconceptions that it was a “high-pollutant coal-burner,” a label heavily frowned upon in an environmentally minded world. B&W sought Innis Maggiore to reposition it as the future-focused innovator it had always embodied since its founding in 1867. Innis Maggiore devised a marketing strategy to reposition B&W as a clean power production technology company by highlighting its innovative form of hydrogen production that simultaneously minimizes carbon emissions. The strategy encompassed a remodel of the website, the creation of ClimateBright™ marketing materials, and crafted pitches tailored toward community and media engagement. Innis Maggiore’s repositioning strategy not only permitted B&W to engage consumers effectively, but also allowed the company to embrace a position that appealed to its vision of progress in the energy industry.

Nonprofit Advertising Agency for Guidestone

GuideStone Financial Resources

Helping retired pastors avoid deciding between heat and medicine

GuideStone Financial Resources is a leader in investments and retirement plans specifically for churches and their staff. Their brand position is represented by the Innis Maggiore-created tagline, “Do well. Do right.” One of the first accomplishments of our relationship (one thats lasted over a decade as GuideStone’s nonprofit advertising agency of record), the line illustrates the balance of the need for a family’s economic security with the dedication to living a higher calling.

As GuideStone’s agency, we have produced print, direct marketing, videos, and websites dedicated to their multiple divisions (including retirement plans, property and casualty insurance, investments, and their own charity called Mission:Dignity, which provides help for retired ministers and their spouses who through no fault of their own are forced to decide between necessities like medicine OR electricity). Over a five-year period, the charity has experienced a 55% increase in the number of donors making a gift and a 56.9% increase in new donors; a 55.7% improvement in dollar value of gifts; and a 35.5% increase in the number of gifts each year.

Proving the client’s quality of humility and dedication to doing well while doing right, GuideStone CEO O.S. Hawkins took time to write us an unexpected personal expression of appreciation, in part which reads:

I could not let another moment pass without pausing to send you a note to thank you for the tremendous work your team at Innis Maggiore has done for us in the redesign of our various websites. It is a tremendous joy to once again work with you and your talented professionals in enhancing the marketing efforts of GuideStone. The website is the front door many people will walk through, making the first impression on many scores of pastors and decision-makers. You have helped ensure that our first impression is a strong, positive one. For that we are most grateful.

Nonprofit Advertising Agency for Second Harvest

Second Harvest Food Bank

Helping a community help their own

To increase financial donations to the area’s largest community food pantry supply house, Second Harvest Food Bank uses an innovative letter messaging and donor list strategy. Innis Maggiore’s direct appeal approach targeted those most likely to donate continuously. Direct response donor data helped us target mid- to high-level donors from other large fundraising organizations. Our long-copy letter packages focused on hunger and poverty statistics and success stories of individuals within the Food Bank’s target geography. In addition to direct appeal DM, we also developed and executed quarterly newsletters, public relations activities, and event development to increase community awareness and advocacy.

In the first campaign, Second Harvest Food Bank increased its donor database by 21%! Since the campaigns inception in 2003, this success led to an increase to 8 mailings per year and a boost in active donor database of 211%. The resulting average gift among active donors is over $40.

Innis Maggiore also worked with Second Harvest to initiate face-to-face, telephone, and written communication opportunities with the Mahoning Valley’s media outlets ranging from print to broadcast. Several years into the campaign, Second Harvest distributed more than three times as much food than originally accomplished. The donor database had grown by more than 500%, donation dollars were up 1,500% (2015 over 2003), and volunteerism had doubled.

Second Harvest also turned to their nonprofit advertising agency of record when Innis Maggiore initiated a quick-turnaround COVID-19 emergency direct response mailing that resulted in a record-setting, single-day total of 300 donations for the food bank.

Nonprofit Advertising Agency for Stark Community Foundation

Stark Community Foundation

Helping the community, one fund at a time

Stark Community Foundation is an amalgam of trusts and funds designed to honor the wishes of donors who may not otherwise be able to afford the overhead of maintaining individual trust funds, as well as taking advantage of tax opportunities and other financial benefits. Innis Maggiore’s longstanding relationship with the foundation began when they asked Innis Maggiore to create their annual report and review their overall messaging.

Given that the benefits of the Foundation work are in the more neighborly “community” rather than a geographically defined “county,” we recommended a name shift from Stark County Foundation to the Stark Community Foundation, along with the new themeline “For Good. Forever.” We then promoted that new image and messaging through brand redevelopment and a re-imagining of their logo, while providing a sales kit to aid staff and volunteers in soliciting new gifts.

For the three-year period preceding our involvement as their nonprofit advertising agency, the SCF received $8.2 million in contributions. The three years after our initiative yielded contributions of $26.3 million, or a 319% increase. Greater awareness and a more tightly knitted message grew the foundation significantly. Assets under management grew 30%; donor advised funds increased from 16% to nearly 20% of monies under management; and new funds from organizational endowments have grown 75%; so that today Stark Community Foundation ranks in the top 10% of all community foundations in the US and continues its annual grant awards of $2 million to neighborhood associations.

Nonprofit Advertising Agency for SCHD

Stark County Health Department

Protecting our most vulnerable

Amongst many services provided to our community, the Stark County Health Department offers two home visiting programs which provide free, confidential, support services for pregnant mothers, as well as moms with infants under the age of one.

One is called THRIVE Home Visiting, which consists of a community health worker making monthly visits at the home or another place of the parent’s choice. They assist in connecting the person with resources such as access to transportation, health insurance, prenatal care, housing, crisis services, counseling services, items to prepare for the baby’s arrival, and help with early education for the baby.

The second is called Moms & Babies First, Ohio’s Black Infant Vitality Program. It consists of outreach services and health education for pregnant, African American mothers in Stark County. This is especially crucial because African Americans in Stark County have an infant mortality rate more than double that of Caucasians.

As Stark County’s leading advertising agency and standout nonprofit advertising agency, Innis Maggiore has helped our health department on a variety of endeavors. This particular project was to share the message that free resources are available on a confidential basis toward the theme that “every child deserves to celebrate their first birthday” with a campaign targeting statistically vulnerable African Americans.

We created a take-one brochure and series of social media posts targeted to the defined audience. Together with the client, we felt that the best strategy would be a balance of urgency with hope, informing prospective and new mothers about the necessity to act due to the troubling realities. To set the stage for that balance, we picked out a particularly concerning statistic, followed directly by the staging of hope:

“9 babies out of 1,000 never reach their first birthday. We want them to hear ‘Happy Birthday’ sung by loved ones.”

The piece talked about the most important ways to help babies, including prenatal care, avoiding smoking and drinking while pregnant, and safe sleep practices for infants. Proof that the program has been helping further bolstered the hope side of the messaging — from a 35% decrease in infant deaths and 50% decrease in African American infant mortality to a 40% improvement in infant mortality racial disparity.

The social media campaign was about a broader definition of help ready for those in the community, though all targeted mothers and expectant mothers.

These targeted Facebook ads also were created in a balance of concern with hope. We accomplished this by pairing provocative headlines in the form of a question — “FEEL ALONE?” | “CONFUSED ABOUT PRENATAL CARE?” | “NEED HELP?” | “DON’T KNOW WHERE TO TURN?” — with powerful photos depicting those in need. This was balanced by identifying the forms of help available (e.g., housing, food, clothing, and parenting classes; prenatal resources; infant mortality reduction programs; and healthy pregnancy assistance).

Nonprofit Advertising Agency for YMHA

Youngstown Metropolitan Housing Authority

Turning perceptions around creates a positive impact

Formed in 1933, Youngstown Metropolitan Housing Authority was one of the first public housing authorities established in the United States. The housing authority provides low- to moderate-income residents of Mahoning County a chance to become more self-sufficient and to prosper. But YMHA was facing some credibility issues in its home market, with a common misperception of poor people living in “projects” who were drug users, lawbreakers, or both. Innis Maggiore’s challenge was to get the good word out about the housing authority and tell the community about its abundance of success stories.

A community relations initiative — from news conferences and special events to feature articles in the local papers and a video — used case studies about individual success stories, to gain more positive coverage by the local media and favorable community response. This in part helped achieve a $20 million HUD grant as well as Executive Director Eugenia C. Atkinson’s recognition by the Chamber of Commerce as the most influential female leader in the community. As she later remarked when discussing their nonprofit advertising agency, “Innis Maggiore helped us improve the public perception about YMHA. They have helped us share our successes and unveil the tremendous accomplishments of our residents and staff members.”

Nonprofit Advertising Agency for Urban League

Greater Stark County Urban League

Pillars for success make a difference for all

This well-established nonprofit does tremendous good in the community, but their website didn’t live up to its reputation. Our mutually developed strategy was to create a welcoming, inspiring and uplifting website with greatly improved user experience and SEO.

The Greater Stark County Urban League has a long and distinguished history serving communities throughout the county. This affiliate of the National Urban League was founded in 1921. They came to Innis Maggiore as their new nonprofit advertising agency because they were not happy with their then-current website, feeling it did not portray their mission and values, nor represent the positive work they do in the community. Other issues were that it was not user-friendly, lacking in intuitive UE or easy navigation. Furthermore, the platform didn’t allow for easy updates.

The mission of Greater Stark County Urban League is to enable African Americans and the underserved to reach full economic, social, and health parity to enrich their lives and the lives of their families. The organization uses a 5-pillar strategy to help meet local needs and implement its mission: Workforce Development, Education, Health, Housing, and Social Justice.

Over the course of our relationship with the nonprofit, Innis Maggiore has helped them with materials and direct mail for their annual fundraising events, public relations, a workforce development campaign, and Facebook advertising.

However, their website was always a nagging issue. It didn’t reflect the quality of their work in the community, and it wasn’t easy for the visitor to find what they needed or for the client to make updates.

The main goals of a new website were to improve brand perception among the community and increase donations. A major consideration was that they needed to effectively reach multiple audiences: the people they serve (African Americans both male and female, and typically low income) and the people who give (individuals and businesses that donate to the cause, who could be any age, gender, and income level).

The mindset of the primary audience is, “I need help. I can’t do this by myself,” whether it’s finding a job, getting more education, finding housing, improving health, or assistance with social justice. The main message to that primary audience is that the Greater Stark County Urban League is a trusted source for making connections to the assistance they need.

Though the original site touched on their Five Pillars of Purpose and some of their programs, the client believed there was further opportunity to define these services in greater detail and provide more interactivity and engagement. The News, Contact Us, and Donate pages needed to be enhanced, both visually and interactively. They desired a fresh appearance, an improved user experience with intuitive navigation, to be developed on a CMS platform to enable easy updates and routine maintenance. We recommended the new site to be built on the latest version of Silverstripe, with integration coding to include a payment gateway for processing donations as well as social media links.

Innis Maggiore started with a website scan, research, and keyphrasing development. Prototyping followed, with the new website structure reflecting a new navigation and information architecture.

Our creative team started with a fresh home page design and messaging. The creative strategy was to come across as a welcoming place where visitors can go to find help from those who understand their situations. Warmth and trust were the two driving words that inspired the visual and copy styles.

The main theme we developed — “everything is possible” — set the tone for the entire site, as did the brand promise of “better jobs and a better home … bolstered by stronger education, health, and justice.”

We welcomed visitors by stating, “You’re among friends,” and defining the Greater Stark County Urban League as “the home for hope. Lasting hope. We love the word yes and the direction up. African Americans are welcome, and the underserved are fulfilled. This is your Urban League, and it is your place for joy.” The visual style was wonderful and distinctive, combining a rich appearance and sophisticated style with a deft combination of perfect choices in stock photography, ambient videos, and motion effects.

As the agency got into the heavier content portions of the site, we were guided by the client's desire to expand the descriptions of services and include actual examples of how they help in each category, with whom they connect people, testimonials, and more. We realized the burden that could place on the client. After all, we knew they were out in the community, actively helping. They wouldn’t have time to write input, so we took a more unusual turn, grabbing some time here and there for our public relations director to conduct informal interviews to gather content points little by little. Once completed, that allowed us to flesh out the remainder of the website, after which all content had an SEO review and was sculpted to new keywords as identified during the SEO audit.

We’re as proud of the resulting work as the client is with the impact it has on their visitors, both the people they help and the people who give.

Nonprofit marketing based on positioning for focus and efficiencies

Whether you are a charity looking to increase donations or a nonprofit promoting a cause, Innis Maggiore brings decades of experience as a leading nonprofit advertising agency to help you differentiate your brand and its mission to reach more for less. For proven results from your marketing efforts, reach out to us today.

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