AFP Message Platform & Infographic

The Challenge

The Association of Fundraising Professionals Colorado Chapter came to us because their membership growth rate was going in the wrong direction – declining slightly instead of growing. The board felt that their messaging was inconsistent and failed to connect with what really matters to potential members (aka “the WHY”).


We started with evaluation and brainstorming

We began by evaluating current messaging and what board members were saying. We looked at consistency, tone and the overall gist of the messaging and presented our findings to the board.

A word cloud developed from our initial survey exercise.

From there, we facilitated a great discussion about their true value, and together crafted a first draft of a new core message that they could all get behind.

This educational and collaborative process generated a great amount of interest and fostered the buy-in by the board to move onto phase two – development of a message platform aimed at helping them better communicate the value of membership and get the membership growth rate moving in the right direction.

A more engaging message platform

To move beyond the one core message to a full message platform, we needed go through our full discovery process. As always we asked a lot of questions, we listened, we did some research, and we asked more questions. The discovery process was not just about getting up to speed, but also about gently pushing the committee to dig deeper, challenge their thinking, uncover previously unseen challenges so we could head them off and find additional opportunities to leverage. 


“Up & Up Creative’s process is so thorough. I was pleasantly surprised as they went beyond a basic solution to our problem, and took us on a journey to create a long-term solution with lasting impact.”

– Cindy Grubenhoff, VP of Marketing, Association of Fundraising Professionals Colorado Chapter

We wrote the first draft of the message platform based on all that we learned and then refined it through collaboration with the marketing committee. This collaborative process not only helped us to get to the best final draft, it also allowed us to educate and train the team along the way, gaining buy-in with each step.


Implementation is key!

The new on-target and compelling messaging was just an ingredient in the recipe for membership growth success. In order for true transformation to achieve their goals, it had to get mixed in with other ingredients and be baked into something beautiful. We consulted with the marketing committee on metrics and a plan for implementation.  

Everyone loves an infographic

Part of the implementation plan was to evolve the new messaging into an engaging infographic that would outline the value of being an AFP member. We designed two unique options to choose from. The selected design focuses on illustrations that highlight the highly relational aspect of membership. It’s not just about the number of people you can network with, it’s about the quality of those relationships.



The results: Highest Membership Growth on Record

This process fostered a pivot in focus which spurred other great changes within the organization – a more engaged marketing committee, additional and more strategic marketing efforts, and more word of mouth promotion as the team members had much more confidence in what they were saying.

“Board members have much more confidence in what they are saying which is having a HUGE impact on our numbers!”

– DeAnn Acosta, Executive Director, Association of Fundraising Professionals Colorado Chapter

Within a year of wrapping up the new message platform, AFP Colorado’s membership growth trend had not only turned around
from -2% to +19%, they saw the highest membership growth on record for their chapter (going back 10 years) AND they were recognized as achieving the Highest Membership Growth Award among all Ten Star Chapters for 2015!



Looking to see results like these for your organization?:

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Jami Fassett

Jami Fassett

I am a brand strategist passionate about using my time, talent and 12 years of experience to help people and communities. That is why I started Up and Up Creative, to help nonprofits use the power of branding to reach more people, raise more money and do more good.

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