Archive for the ‘Non Profit & Philanthropy’ Category

NTC 2010

April 10th, 2010

It’s time for the Nonprofit Tech conference and this year it is here in Atlanta! Check it out at

If you’re around, please attend my session on Saturday morning from 10:30 -12 and the Omni CNN Center. The session is hosted by our friends at the Georgia Center for Nonprofits and the topic is how to improve your fundraising efforts through integrated marketing.

Session Description:

Join us for a discussion on how to improve your fundraising efforts through integrated marketing. It’s important to understand the changes taking place today in both disciplines, and how these shifts are reshaping the way we approach both fundraising and marketing. In this workshop, a seasoned veteran with 15+ years experience as a nonprofit leader and business executive will outline exactly what you need to do to be successful at both.

Kicking off 2010 in Atlanta

January 21st, 2010

Well, it is now official…I even have a shiny new State of Georgia Driver’s License this month to prove it! Why is it your driver’s license photo always makes it look like you just got out of prison, or maybe should go to prison? And no, I am not posting the image of it in this post or anywhere else :)

2010 is here, or has been for a few weeks now, and a great New Year it is looking to be. For one, as noted in the title, I was able to kick it off in Atlanta. Even if just barely – the movers unloaded us on New Year’s eve! But we were officially here, which is just where my family and I wanted to be on Jan 1st, in our new home town. Atlanta is a great town. We are excited to explore the city and the surrounding areas. The first weekend landed us at the Aquarium, which was amazing. If you come to town, I recommend it!

Additionally, Grizzard Communications is an outstanding company to kick off the New Year with! Grizzard, a leading nonprofit response marketing and fundraising agency with offices in Atlanta and Los Angeles, contacted me with a great opportunity in the later part of last year. While the reasons to join the Grizzard team, a group with 90 years of experience and an impressive client base, were many, one stood out in particular. As the Vice President of Digital Marketing, spearheading delivery of our digital services and offerings, I have the opportunity to expand proven digital strategies to a portfolio of clients that work in the US and across the globe to help those in need, look to cure disease, protect animals, are there when disasters hit and bring the services to our communities that make them a better place. And that is just too hard to pass up. Plus, partnering with these groups to build digital programs that build engagement and loyalty faster than arguably any other media ever before, provides a great attraction and a challenge. And I love it! Arm your supporters with the digital tools they need, and give them a chance to take a more direct role in changing the world, and they will be your fundraisers, advocates, supporters, volunteers, adding reach and dollars to your cause in a way not possible before.

My time at Grizzard has confirmed that this great opportunity was also the perfect fit. Over the past months, it has been impressive to see the talent within the organization. Not only have I made some great new friends, but enjoy working with what is proven to me again and again to be leading talent as client strategies are developed and delivered. Branding, Research & Analytics, Creative, Account Management, Strategic Planning, Media Buying, Integrated & Digital Marketing, Proprietary Technologies, Campaign Delivery. Working in tandem to deliver results. Results that allow leading nonprofits to go further, do more, help more. How can that not end up making the world a better place?

I hope you are off to a great 2010 as well. And if I can help your program out, don’t hesitate to contact me at:

C. Eric Overman
VP, Digital Marketing
Grizzard Communications Group
229 Peachtree Street, #1400
Atlanta, GA 30303

Lights. Camera. Help!

July 31st, 2009


Time for ACTION – Lights. Camera. Help.

This weekend marks the first annual Lights. Camera. Help. awards festival, and you need to check this out!  Lights. Camera. Help. is the premiere film festival for non-profit and cause-driven organizations.

Numerous organizations are taking part in this annual event by submitting films and videos directly related to advancing their cause,  to be reviewed by a panel of judges.  The films and videos will gain recognition by being considered the best in one of several distinct categories.

I wish I knew about this group before I met and became friends with founder David J. Neff at the AMA Nonprofit Marketing Conference two weeks ago.  David was honored with a Social Media award by the AMA for his outstanding work in the field.  Lights. Camera. Help. is just one of many ways he is contributing to Online, Video and Social Media.   If I had known, I would have submitted videos from Operation Smile for consideration!  Well, we will be there next year!  

Not only is this festival a cool idea (I know, if you say “cool” it is a sure sign you are not!), but it’s importance in furthering video as a nonprofit marketing tool can’t be understated.  Video is simply a crucial cornerstone for almost any successful and rounded nonprofit marketing strategy, and an event that recognizes the best will help further our ability to spread the word, empower supporters and raise funds.  Not only will Lights. Camera. Help. highlight outstanding work in the field, they will offer support to nonprofits on how to effectively use video to further their missions.  Additionally, proceeds of the festival go to the winning nonprofit.


 If you can get to Austin this weekend, check it out.  A three day pass is available for only $15.  Unfortunately, I can’t make it in this weekend, but I do have a ticket to give away for free.  Just contact me and let me know you want to go, and it is yours!!!  If you can make, find David and say hi.  He is a great guy.
This festival is the first of its kind in the nation and reflects the spirit of Austin, a prominent city in the non-profit, cause-driven and activism communities. These organizations, along with filmmakers, will use the festival to spread the word about their cause, develop a community of followers, and expand the film-for-a-cause genre.

This year The Lights. Camera. Help. team viewed over 140 nonprofit and cause-driven films. One of these lucky organizations will take home all of the proceeds from these events so get your tickets today!  Pre-judging has narrowed the competition down to 19 groups:
Mills to Manhattan – Best Friends Animal Society
Survivors of Dating Abuse – Break the Cycle
Manifesto – Lance Armstrong Foundation
Family Portraits – Jewish Family Services of Seattle
Give 5 – United Way Capital Area
Reality, Mobility, Independence – Wheelchair Foundation
Think Pink Lemonade Stand – Women Playing for T.I.M.E.
Think Before You Speak – Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network
Aid to Artisans – Aid to Artisans
Fowl Play – Mercy for Animals
Fighting Goliath: Texas Coal Wars – Texas Clean Air Cities Coalition
Red Ink – We Are Family
Perfect Match – Michigan Humane Society
Time Bomb – charity:water
Impacting the Future – National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
Tale of Two Brothers – Los Angles Urban League
Thoughts in a Hijab – Reel Grrls
The Perfect Parent PSAs – AdoptUSKids
Art From The Streets – Art From The Streets

So, head out this weekend if you can.  Otherwise, we’ll post the winning video soon!

Thank You AMA & AMA Foundation (aka Shameless Self Promotion…)

July 20th, 2009

Just returned from a great trip to Chicago where I was honored to receive the American Marketing Association and the American Marketing Association Foundation Nonprofit Marketer of the Year for 2009! Wow, what an honor and a privilege. Especially considering the outstanding field of nominees this year and the talented folks that won special awards for Social Media and Special Projects, David J. Neff and Anne Bergquist. Read all about it below:

AMA & AMAF Honor the Recipients of the
2009 Nonprofit Marketer of the Year Awards

(CHICAGO, July 16, 2009) – The American Marketing Association (AMA) and the American Marketing Association Foundation (AMAF) honored three nonprofit marketing leaders at its Nonprofit Marketing Conference in Chicago, IL, on July 16, 2009. Eric Overman, Operation Smile, received the Nonprofit Marketer of the Year Award, and Anne Bergquist, YMCA of Metro Chicago, and David Neff, American Cancer Society High Plains, received the Special Marketing Initiatives and Social Media subcategory awards, respectively. The AMA/AMAF Nonprofit Marketer of the Year Awards honor extraordinary leadership and achievement in the field of nonprofit marketing.

Eric Overman is Director of Online Communities and Social Media at Operation Smile (, an international medical charity dedicated to mobilizing a world of generous hearts to heal children’s smiles and transform lives across the globe.

Since joining the organization in 2006, Eric has launched its first Online and Interactive department, promoted integrated marketing programs, and introduced new technologies to increase donor engagement and empower supporters to also become advocates and fundraisers. These efforts generated 30 percent annual online revenue growth and resulted in email list growth of 500 percent. Eric is currently launching branded online communities and leading the charge to integrate social media into the marketing mix, as well as deploying an internal social business software platform to enhance global communications.

Eric’s blog, Disrupt IT (, explores the impact of the emerging disruptive technologies and media on the nonprofit world. Eric lives in Virginia Beach, VA, with his wife, Karen, and two children. He serves as president-elect of the Hampton Roads American Marketing Association and holds an MBA from William & Mary’s Mason School of Business.

Anne Bergquist, Vice President of Brand Management and Marketing for the YMCA of Metro Chicago (, joined the Y in 2002. She is responsible for the Y’s brand image through its corporate marketing program that drives annual membership revenue in excess of $28 million from more than 120,000 members at 19 branches across Chicagoland.

In addition to the corporate marketing strategy, Anne directs the development and execution of the marketing plans at each YMCA membership branch, enabling customization with consistent brand identity using guerrilla marketing, advertising, and promotional tactics at the local level. As a result of her efforts, from 2003 to 2006 the Y grew membership revenue by $6 million and increased retention by 11 percent.

During her tenure at the Y, Anne restructured the corporate marketing department to function as an in-house agency serving 19 membership branches, six Human Services programs, and four resident camps. She also developed a comprehensive graphic design/copy template system for membership marketing, retention, and fundraising materials, ensuring maximized internal resources and consistent brand identity across the association. In addition, Anne developed and directed the Y’s first image awareness campaign tied to the YMCA’s 150th anniversary in 2008.

Anne has a BA in American Studies from the University of Notre Dame. She and her husband, Kent, reside in Chicago.

David J. Neff is the Director of Web, Film and Interactive Strategy for the American Cancer Society’s High Plains division ( and is also the Executive Director of Lights. Camera. Help (

In his capacity at the American Cancer Society, David directs all Web and interactive strategies and online properties for six states in addition to managing the division’s eRevenue strategy, social networking/media strategy, and online community strategy. As the executive director of Lights. Camera. Help, he is working to start the world’s first nonprofit-focused film festival.

David is a two-time recipient of a Futuring and Innovations grant, which he used to create C-Tools and SharingHope.TV ( C-Tools was the first PDA software tool for the prevention of cancer developed by the American Cancer Society, and SharingHope.TV is the nonprofit world’s first totally user-generated content Web site. In 2009, the Austin American Statesman recognized David as one of the top 25 Social Media People in the state of Texas.

David earned his BS in Public Relations from the University of Texas with a minor in Business from the McCombs School of Business. He currently lives in Austin, TX.

About the AMA/AMAF Nonprofit Marketer of the Year Awards
In addition to honoring the Nonprofit Marketer of the Year, the AMA and AMAF wanted to recognize two additional marketers whose skills and accomplishments are particularly relevant for today’s changing economy and technology with the Special Marketing Initiatives and the Social Media awards. With the help of The Nonprofit Times (award presenting sponsor), the AMA Foundation promoted the awards and received close to 100 nominations. Winners were selected by a six person committee consisting of members of the 2009 AMA Nonprofit Marketing Conference Committee and Advisory Council, AMA Foundation Board members, and a representative from The Nonprofit Times–all of whom are leaders and experts in the field of nonprofit marketing. Judges rated nominees on three criteria: vision and leadership, strategy, and results.

The AMA/AMAF Nonprofit Marketer of the Year Awards Committee was chaired by Tom Abrahamson, Managing Director & Principal, Lipman Hearne, AMAF Board member, and former AMA Board member. The committee is as follows:

Tom Abrahamson (Chair), Managing Director & Principal, Lipman Hearne;
Jay Aldous, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, U.S. Fund for UNICEF;
Lisa Chernick, Executive Director, American Marketing Association Foundation;
Cynthia Currence, President and CEO, Currence & Associates;
Meme Drumwright, Associate Professor, Advertising, University of Texas at Austin; and
John McIlquham, President, The Nonprofit Times.

The AMA Foundation will announce the call for nominations for the 2010 Nonprofit Marketer of the Year Awards in the winter of 2010.

About the American Marketing Association
The American Marketing Association is the largest marketing association in North America. It is a professional association for individuals and organizations involved in the practice, teaching and study of marketing worldwide. It is also the source that marketers turn to every day to deepen their marketing expertise, elevate their careers, and, ultimately, achieve better results. American Marketing Association members are connected to a network of experienced marketers nearly 40,000 strong.

American Marketing Association offers highly acclaimed Training Series, professional conferences and Hot Topic events focused on the immediate needs of marketers, as well as trends shaping the future. American Marketing Association’s website,, is the everyday connection to marketing data, articles, case studies, best practices and a robust job bank. Additionally, the American Marketing Association is the source for the field’s top magazines and journals, including Marketing News. Through local and collegiate chapters, American Marketing Association members are connected with the best people and the best practices. For more information on the American Marketing Association please visit

About the American Marketing Association Foundation
The American Marketing Association Foundation maximizes marketing for the betterment of society. This is accomplished by:

Investing in the growth and use of nonprofit and social marketing knowledge;
Supporting appropriate community outreach efforts; and
Acknowledging academic and practitioner marketing excellence.
The AMAF works in partnerships and other strategic collaborations with the AMA, AMA chapters, marketing practitioners and academics, and scores of voluntary and community organizations. For additional information about the AMAF and its programs or to make a contribution, please visit

Who Really Cares?

March 13th, 2009

Let me start with a little backround. This blog really started back in August of 2006. I know, I know, the post date of this entry is actually March 2009….let me explain.

During that summer of 2006, a combination of fate and fortunate circumstances recently landed me at Operation Smile, a great organization dedicated to providing medical relief to children around the world. A reforming cynic, I was excited to join Operation Smile and work to make the world better.  I have since enjoyed an exciting career in which I have been able to act on a passion for bringing online and interactive programs to the organization that have made a measurable positive impact. It was my first non-profit industry event and my enthusiasm was palpable.

I was sitting in one of the meeting rooms at the Waldorf Astoria in New York, attending a DMA Non Profit Association’s annual Conference, listening to the very engaging speaker and writer Arthur C. Brooks. As many of you may know, Brooks had recently published a book titled, coincidently, Who Really Cares? The take away from Brooks’ lecture and the book were basically that, well, we should all care….a lot!! Backed up by a variety of research – I recommend you read the book here – Brooks contends that the more we care, the better off we are. Those that donated to charities, it turns out, tended to be happier, wealthier, and healthier. Further, nations with generous populations were stronger for it. So, Who Really Cares? We all do!

Wow. As the realization of this set in, it was great. Not only did charitable giving allow for help to be distributed around the country and world, personally touching lives across the globe, but it benefited the giver themselves in numerous ways. My new efforts at working for the common good, it turned out, have more benefactors than just those Operation Smile and other charitable organizations are helping around the globe.

It was really at that point, on that afternoon, that this blog started. I wanted to exchange ideas on how interactive, web, and social media strategies and other disruptive technologies can help make the world a better place.

Join me and exchange ideas on how we can Disrupt IT > Bringing new media and technologies to impact the common good.