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Ode to Jim Shirley: Get Creative & Go For It!

January 23, 2013

Our community saw a spectacular display of creativity during last year’s 36-Hour Giving Challenge, a real testament to the inventiveness and resourcefulness of nonprofits here in Southwest Florida.

This investment made the giving event exciting to watch online, and it made our community stand out around the country and the world. (Remember, gifts were made from all 50 states and from 24 countries.)

One of the most talked-about promotional pieces was the “Inspector Gadget” video, an offering from Jim Shirley, executive director of the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County, and his accomplice Brittany Norwood, communications manager.

If you haven’t seen it, please dive in. If you have seen it, we know you will want to watch it again.



Three reasons this piece of Giving Challenge creativity was so loved:

  1. It took some guts, Jim, we have to hand it to you. (We’re pretty sure Brittany was very persuasive.)
  2. It was unexpected, yet appropriate. The “decoding” of the instructions was a wonderful piece of humor that made all of us want to participate.
  3. It was free to produce and easy to share. This video cost nothing to make. Hosted on YouTube, it could easily be shared on Facebook or Twitter, embedded on a website, blog or e-mail.

As a result of the momentum generated by this video and so many other inventive campaigns last year, we are offering a $5,000 grant to the organization with the best overall campaign in this year’s Challenge.

Think about how you can integrate some combination of video, social media, an event, an innovative e-mail, website banner, or any number of other tools into an energizing campaign to help you raise dollars and visibility.

Carrie Rasmussen, marketing manager at the Herald-Tribune Media Group, is putting together a small team to take a look at our contestants and crown the winner. Even if your organization doesn’t “win,” consider how your campaign can inspire new and old supporters and build your messaging strength.

Remember, our “most creative campaign” category isn’t about spending money. It’s about using those juices of creativity innate in all of you…in a way that really speaks to your mission.

Who’s in?

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One Response to “Ode to Jim Shirley: Get Creative & Go For It!”

  1. Brittany Norwood Says:

    Thank you do much for featuring our campaign in your latest post. We are working hard on new concepts this year to top it which may or may not involve Jim dressing up as Cee Lo Green and Christina Aguilera…. shhhhhhh. 😉


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