Introducing the Blog

Oooh glasses! Do I look smarter ;)

Oooh glasses! Do I look smarter ;)

I created Lodi Live to be a platform for good in our community. I’m excited as it continues to grow and evolve to better serve people (like you!) who are looking for uplifting news. I love being able to serve people who have a common interest of wanting to see more good around them.  When people think of Lodi Live, I want them to associate that with positive feelings knowing we’re sharing all good news. I want people to feel inspired and hopeful and proud. Lodi Live started by sharing one good, local story once a week online. It has grown to one good story a week online, a quarterly print publication full of all new stories, a partnership with Good Day Sacramento to share good stories on channel 31, and now Lodi Live is growing again. So far Lodi Live has all been sharing news but this new blog is going to be for people who want to be the creators of their own good news. This won’t be for all of my audience all the time, but I do believe most of you are change makers and do-gooders, so when you are looking to do something good, I want you to know this resource is here.

I love helping support businesses to do create positivity, and I love helping nonprofits with sustainability and fundraising strategies. It’s been a niche form of marketing I’ve carved out for myself. I’ve spent the last ten years creating new ideas for nonprofits who need to reach the community in new ways, and with businesses who also need to reach the community in new ways. I’ve had lots of marketing roles, but never one of those big, fun marketing budgets. This means I’ve had to learn to get creative. Through my own work experience, I’ve had countless media coverage between newspaper, radio and tv media. I’ve been able to leverage social media platforms and network through key groups to share good things. This is just through my work, it doesn’t include the friends and families I’ve helped or the volunteer groups I’ve shared my skills with. I enjoy it so much that I decided to introduce this blog to Lodi Live, dedicated to: finding fun ways for businesses to engage communities by being socially responsible, and helping nonprofits engage communities with innovative programs. It’s really two sides of the same coin.

My first experience with this type of marketing was when I worked at a small local science museum (for local readers, the World of Wonders [WOW] Science Museum). It was 2009, the height of the recession and we were brand new, so there was very little big money available. We had a small budget and almost no systems, so I had to (or I should say I got to) create the foundational programming. I had to make sure it was turning a profit, that it was true to our mission, that there were people who wanted to pay for this programming, and that those people knew we had existed. Sound like familiar work to any of you reading this? Since the WOW, I’ve grown and perfected these skills. I’ve completed my MBA with the goal of nonprofit sustainability. I’ve had jobs in the nonprofit realm, the for-profit realm, and even the government realm. Now I get to create marketing campaigns where instead of paying for ad space (which I still do occasionally when it’s the right fit), I spend most of our marketing budget on creating programs that promote good (like seniors preparing and serving food to the women at the Salvation Army), and then share those good stories with the community. It’s a win, win situation for everyone involved. One of the things I’ve learned during my experiences is that I really love working for smaller businesses and smaller nonprofits. It’s where the passion is and where you can make the biggest impact, and I want to make an impact. I also learned you don’t have to be working for a nonprofit to help people. When I got my degree, I always assumed I would be working in nonprofits (museums to be specific). What I found for me personally though, is I’ve had more opportunity to help others when I was not with nonprofits, which is why this is where I’ve gravitated to recently.

Right now, I see two trends happening: First, businesses are doing more good. People want to work with socially responsible businesses, and businesses are moving their marketing dollars to socially responsible actions and causes. Second, nonprofits are starting to act a little more like for profits- in a good way. We all like the thought of our money just going to good, but we don’t always like the thought of donating to cover overhead, although, spoiler alert, nonprofits have utility bills and other annoying (and mandatory) expenses too. So what’s the solution? For many nonprofits it means creating your own means of income separate from donations, money in exchange for items or services, that go towards covering a lot of these overhead costs.

With these changes, you can now look to the Lodi Live blog for help. I’m going to share my expertise to help you create good. I’ll also share the expertise of my friends and people who inspire me, all for you guys (although who am I kidding, I can’t wait for those interviews). I have so many people who reach out asking for help, I thought this would be the best space to serve the most people. I’ll still be sharing stories of people doing good, and now when you’re feeling inspired you’ll have this resource full of tips and tricks so you too can be a source of inspiration. I hope you love it as much as I love creating it! Thank you for the opportunity to do more of what I love!