In this podcast, we are talking with Chris McFarland, Executive Vice President of PULSE. We discussed topics related to how to structure, hire and manage staff in an ever-growing and expanding organization.
Chris McFarland joined the PULSE team in November of 2010 as Executive Director. Previously, he served as a national Festival Director with the Luis Palau Association for 7 years, moving to several major U.S. cities to build teams from the ground up, overseeing all operations including budget formation, fundraising, and public relations.
PULSE is a prayer and evangelism movement on a mission to help the younger generation come to know Jesus by hosting outreach events, providing the evangelistic voice at other organizations’ events, training evangelists on American college campuses and overseas. PULSE was started on the North Dakota State University campus in 2004 by Nick Hall.
The key points covered in this podcast discussion are:
• Continually Adapting and Adjusting to Allow Growth to Happen
• Developing Division of Responsibilities and Depth in the Organizational Chart
• Finding – or Growing – Fundraising Capability
• Building Out the Executive Team to Support Growth
• The Importance of the Right Fit – and of Moving On
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Jeff Griesemer is the founder of Child Rescue Network(CRN) where he serves as President and CEO. In 1994, Jeff saw first-hand the incredible damage inflicted on two innocent children who were abducted but finally rescued after 5 long years. Since then, he has been involved with issues regarding missing and victimized children. In addition to 17 years experience developing and implementing child safety programs, he has received training from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the US Justice Department's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and Fox Valley Technical College regarding missing child case management and safety procedures. He also had training including Incident Command, Search and Rescue techniques, Missing Child & Disabled Adult Search procedures with the NJ State Police and Internet Crimes training with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Here are some of the highlights from the episode:
Getting the Word Out: Speaking and Public Relations
Marketing your brand is very important for any nonprofit. Ways of achieving this are speaking, getting out in the community and talking to different groups including groups like Rotary, professional groups and chambers of commerce. It also includes the media. If there's a local story you can provide appropriate content or context for, reach out to the media and let them know you are available for interview anytime. Over time you will establish a positive relationship with them. This means they will likely reach out to you when something comes up.
Traditional Fundraising is Still a Relevant Funding Tool for Nonprofits
Cause marketing was Jeff's main idea of raising money because of his background in radio. He consults businesses and nonprofits on how partnerships can bring much-needed programs to communities, while also enhancing corporate brands and building customer loyalty. With so much focus on this in the early days he admitted to missing out on some opportunities. So now they are trying to catch up on applying for more grants, working on building donor relations and using other fundraising tools that nonprofits utilize.
Identifying Potential Corporate Partners
Corporate partners should be ones that have a natural passion for your mission. An example is a bottled water company which donates to areas of the world where drinking water is scarce. Jeff explained that this and other corporations or businesses who do a similar act of giving are really living out their mission. Consumers expect companies to give back to the community. The result is being more friendly to customers, and growing a base of loyal customers. But make a note that customers also can spot it if it's more about the company than the cause.
In closing, Jeff shared:
"You just have to remember that you have that passion, keep that vision in front of you, front and center, keep moving forward. And, while it may not happen as quickly as you would like if you just keep pushing for it, it does happen. Things fall into place..."
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