The GuideStar Blog retired September 9, 2019. We invite you to visit its replacement, the Candid Blog. You’re also welcome to browse or search the GuideStar Blog archives. Onward!

GuideStar Blog

Share Compelling Models to Build Marketing Buy-In

Have marketing naysayers among your colleagues or leadership? Honestly, they’re there in every organization I know!

Take these quick steps to open their hearts, eyes and minds. The best way to motivate their interest and participation in marketing is by sharing critical insights on supporters and competitors and learning to be effective messengers:


1) Show them this short video (in person with others if possible—grabbing a few minutes when folks are already in a meeting is best), then pause to let it sink in.

2) Take the pulse of the folks who watchedlisten closely and watch their facial expressions.

If you’ve shared the link via email, ask your colleagues to let you know if this approach is something they think could work for your organization. Make it easy—and worth their time and effort—to get back to you. Pick up the phone and call to discuss—you have to lay the groundwork here.

3) If your observations and gut tell you that watchers are moved, inspired, provoked and/or startled by the video, re-open the marketing conversation to ask, “What steps do you think the Dalit Freedom Network team took to create this video, before they even touched a camera?”

4) Make a list of the responses you hear, then fill in the gaps to bring your colleagues step-by-step through what it took to get there—clear definition of goal, audiences, call to action, distribution/promotion.

I bet you’ll see at least a touch of an “Aha!” moment. Jump on it! Use this small but concrete opening to mark the kick-off of your all-org marketing team.


Nancy Schwartz Nancy Schwartz

What’s worked for you in spurring the marketing “I get it?” For those of you who struggle with building understanding, what’s the biggest barrier?

The preceding is a guest post by Nancy Schwartz, Speaker-Author-Strategist, Nancy helps nonprofits like yours succeed through effective marketing. For more nonprofit marketing guidance like this, subscribe to her e-update at

Topics: Communications