Posted By Jon Lenz, Thursday, April 23, 2015
Updated: Thursday, April 23, 2015

We’ve all got gifts. How are you sharing yours?

In mid-March, more than 20 IABC-MN members opened their communicative toolbox and sat down with 10 local nonprofits to pound out a SMART communications plan at the 2015 Gift of Communication.

These nonprofits are led by smart, engaging and passionate people. They’re all doing some seriously impactful work—with some serious resource constraints.

Real talk. Take a look at the nonprofit organizations IABC-MN partnered with at #GiftofComm2015:

HOPE Coalition: Working to end domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, and homelessness so that every person has the opportunity to live life to its fullest

High Tech Kids: Inspiring Minnesota kids to build confidence, create opportunities and thrive in the 21st century using fun, hands-on science, engineering and technology programs and events

Dakota Wicohan: Revitalizing Dakota language and lifeways in Minnesota

Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration: Inspiring excellence in the leadership of volunteers to impact communities

CEAP (Community Emergency Assistance Programs): Helping families in all life stages gain financial stability and maximize their ability to live independently and with dignity

West Broadway Business and Area Coalition: Creating an inviting and vital West Broadway Corridor and transforming the North side into a thriving economic community

She Rock She Rock: Dedicated to empowering girls, women and female-identified folks through the art of music

Payne-Phalen District Five Planning Council: Improving Payne-Phalen neighborhoods by engaging, educating and empowering all residents in our diverse community

Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging: The gateway to resources for older adults, caregivers and service providers in the 27 counties of southwest Minnesota

Habitat for Humanity of Minnesota: Putting God’s love in action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope

Take away the time for creative briefs. Remove any notion of a marketing and communications budget. And reduce staffing by, well, a lot. That’s the challenge our IABC-MN members embraced.

The true test of these communicators was capturing the unique value of each organization, understanding the core business issue, and distilling that into a strategic, focused and articulate communications plan. In a few hours. No big deal.

At the end of the afternoon, progress was clear. The room was abuzz with optimism and opportunity. Nonprofit leaders spoke with confidence and new perspectives. Communicators stood tall and revitalized. The collaboration, the passion and the partnerships made something happen. Something big.

Stretch your skills for a cause, collaborate with other communicators, or build lasting business relationships. It all starts by getting involved and sharing your gifts.

PS: Shout-out to Diana Dukich, lead planner of this great event, the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, and all of the other IABC-MN members who volunteered their time and expertise for a cause.