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This is just a bit of the work I did over my nine years at Desert AIDS Project in my beautiful, chosen home town of Palm Springs, California. 

The same StorySELLING principles you'll see employed below could apply to a targeted Content Marketing Strategy we could build for your particular needs. Together, we can prospect for new customers, clients, volunteers or donors … build your brand … become a thought leader ... and whatever else meets YOUR goals and objectives.



This is an essential tool for almost every business or nonprofit today, whether the videos are captured with a camera-phone or produced in-studio. Three consecutive years of ADDY award-winning public service campaigns ran on TV and online, to deepen this local brand for a cause that some had disengaged with on a national basis. This first campaign won a national award from GLAAD (formerly the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) for its reinforcement of the strategic messages "AIDS is not over" and "think globally, act locally." There's even a comedic award acceptance video featuring local treasure, the legendary Carol Channing!


Nonprofit donors and volunteers want to see success of the programs they support. These testimonial ads reinforced the brand proposition that "D.A.P. treats and supports the whole person, all under one roof" through the stories of satisfied clients. Likewise, delighted business customers should be engaged to tell the world what they love about your products and services. And when they’re invited to also tell you what they DON’T like, your online presence gives you the opportunity to answer their complaints, fix the problems, and show the world that you're listening. 


Whether printed or electronic, this is a tried-and-true method of staying connected with your customers or donors and volunteers. Featuring each "D.A.P. Dose" story online also gave supporters the opportunity to be brand ambassadors by sharing with their social networks, spreading the "good juju" and even bringing donations from sources formerly untapped. After email delivery, hard copies of these program success updates also provided fresh enclosures each month for donation letters and grant proposals.


Whether a fundraising walk, an open house, an annual awards gala complete with lavish dinner and entertainment, or something completely different, event marketing is a staple of many nonprofits. Some businesses have created online events for greater engagement with their products or services by tapping the popularity of video games and using gamification techniques, including point scoring, team competitions, and other involvement devices.  

Direct response

Direct mail is the grandfather of this marketing approach ... but now the "snail mail" package is often reinforced through email, your website, social media or a combination of all. The "fill the pantry" 2015 campaign centering around a Thanksgiving appeal with gentle-nudge reminder was D.A.P.'s most successful to date. And since "thank you" are the two words no nonprofit or business can say too much, a post-appeal stewardship follow-up was part of the campaign. 


With the Revivals chain of resale stores already a significant revenue source for D.A.P., new furniture was added under the sub-brand "Mode Furniture at Revivals." In keeping with the merchandise, the Mode creative approach used for print, mobile and digital ads, and email marketing was tied to the Palm Springs Modernism aesthetic. Small ad buys on social media helped to further build targeted awareness, traffic, and sales.