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UCAN’s CEO Emeritus on Aligning Marketing and Development Inside Non-Profits

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Tom Vanden Berk UCAN’s CEO on The Brand Lab Series™ Ep 8

UCAN Chief Executive Officer Tom Vanden Berk back again as our special guest on Episode 008 on the Brand Lab Series™ Podcast. Your host Brian Walker talks with Tom Vanden Berk about how non-profits operate at the highest level when marketing efforts are truly aligned. Tom discusses how to overcome a significant brand failure and brings insights into developing mission and brand awareness in non-profits.

Tom believes that investing in mission and brand awareness should become one in the same. “If you don’t build your brand, or bring it internally, and get people throughout the organization to understand and commit to it, then your number one brand ambassador, your employees, are not in a good position to share.”

By working hard and focusing on their overall brand and mission development, UCAN has gotten a handle on its brand development. During Tom’s 30 years at UCAN, he says that The biggest brand failure is that they lost a lot of time not focusing greater attention on developing their brand.

Brian and Tom discuss the competitive aspect in the nonprofit’s community. Non-profits aren’t just competing against organizations with their similar missions, they are competing against all nonprofits for private dollars. What has really helped UCAN is their campaign for violence prevention. By engaging people in a solution, UCAN was able to get those private dollars from many high-level organizations, not just “tug at their heart” with sad stories.

UCAN’s challenge going forward is showing society the impact of their private dollars invested now and how it will save society a lot later. This business approach is a commitment to investing in the community, and UCAN’s product is violence prevention.

UCAN is a Chicago-based organization that supports youth overcoming from violence and trauma. To learn more about how UCAN brings hope that Chicago’s youth can become future leaders, check out Fred Long’s story West Side Rising.

Tags: Nonprofit, Brand and Marketing, Employee Advocacy

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