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Gratitude Inspires A Super-Human Feat October 7, 2014

Posted by Jack Macholl in Donor Development, Fundraising, non-profit, Peddle For Pennies, Philanthropy, Shriners Hospitals for Children.
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John Nightingale- Peddling for Pennies

John Nightingale- Peddling for Pennies

The other night I had the great privilege of doing a phone interview with John Nightingale, a grateful parent of a child undergoing treatment at the Shriners Hospital in Greenville, South Carolina.

As a display of his gratitude for the help doctors and hospital staff have provided his family, John is riding a bicycle over 1,800 miles from his home in Chattanooga, Tennessee to Boston Massachusetts raising money for the Shriners Hospitals for Children. The route includes stops at six of the Shriners hospitals including Greenville, Cincinnati, Lexington, Erie, Philadelphia, Springfield and Boston.

During the interview I asked John how he was holding up on the road, his answer was one of the most selfless I’ve heard to date. “When I don’t feel well, my legs hurt, I want to quit … I think about the kids who can’t be unbent, unbroken, or unburned, and yet they always manage a genuine smile- that is what compels me to go another day. ”

John also talked about the human kindness that he has received on this journey. As he puts it “seeing America from five feet above the ground at ten miles per hour gives you a different perspective.” For me, this conversation with a young man intent on giving back no matter the personal toll has bolstered my viewpoint on the viability of our country’s future.

His campaign is called Peddle For Pennies. John is providing a daily update to his blog and sharing thoughts from his phone as he makes this amazing trek to help children in need of specialized medical attention. To follow John’s progress and learn more about his quest, visit





The Power of Thank You January 27, 2014

Posted by Jack Macholl in Bank marketing, Brand personality, Branding, Communications, Customer Service, Image, Marketing, non-profit, Philanthropy, Referral marketing, Sales.
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Whether you are acknowledging a present, business referral or expressing gratitude to a donor at a non-profit, sending something to express your gratitude should be standard procedure.  In our hurried SMS text and e-mail world, the power of a handwritten thank-you note is astounding.

Part of my weekly routine includes sending written thank-you cards to people who have helped with a business (or personal) matter. Today getting “snail mail” is often as infrequent as a fax. Granted there is a cost and some inertia to overcome, but what is the price of an impersonal thank-you?bigstock-Thank-you-vector-stamp-24628313

Academic Outreach December 15, 2011

Posted by Jack Macholl in Brand building, Brand personality, Branding, Corporate Social Responsibility, Donor Development, Marketing Planning, non-profit, Philanthropy.
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Graduate Students Giving and Learning

In these times of chronic bad news, cutbacks and political fighting a positive movement has begun with my  graduate Integrated Marketing Communication students at Roosevelt University. In lieu of a Masters thesis, students in Roosevelt’s IMC program work on a complete marketing campaign for an actual company.

This year instead of working on an assignment with a corporate partner, we “adopted” a not-for-profit organization WINGS (Women In Need of Growing Stronger). This group located in the northwest suburbs of Chicago provides emergency services, sheltered living, legal help, employment training, child care and job search services for abused women and children.

WINGS creates a large percentage of its operating fund via three resale stores in suburban Chicagoland. Two student teams worked on integrated marketing campaigns designed to raise awareness of WINGS brand, its mission and the wide selection of quality, brand name merchandise available in their shops.

A formal client “pitch” that emulates a “real world” agency new business presentation was delivered to members of WINGS leadership team. An array of low-cost, high-impact creative concepts and “guerilla” tactics- events, advertising and social media approaches to build brand and drive store traffic were delivered for consideration.

In addition to creating a plan book  and numerous cost-effective tactical ideas, the students delivered more. Many were so moved by the trials and cutbacks WINGS leadership has been required to make for survival, they opened their own wallets to help. Members of both teams donated bags of “wish list” items and donated clothing that will help meet the daily needs of the women and children served.

The talent and generosity shown renewed my faith and hope that better days are ahead in spite of the madness we see and hear on cable news each day.

The essence of guerilla marketing is action– these talented and generous leaders of the future did just that-they delivered.

To learn more about WINGS and the meaningful work they do, visit


Yes, a Dollar Matters December 7, 2011

Posted by Jack Macholl in Brand personality, Branding, Corporate Social Responsibility, Donor Development, non-profit, Philanthropy.
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Working in the non-profit sector has opened my eyes not only as a marketer, but also as a human. For many years I automatically said no to the “do you want to add a dollar to your purchase?” question. Today I’m much more in-tune with the tremendous amount of human and financial resources required to provide services to those in need.

This small yet elegant display was at a Jones New York store (instead of sitting in the “guy chair” I elected to do something constructive and take a photo for this post). A tasteful point of purchase display and ribbons attached to the sales ladies clothing set the stage for a friendly ” register ask” to support St. Jude’s Hospital for Children in Memphis.

Certainly the economic times have created a multitude of donation requests from dollars to canned food. I’ve heard many people ask, what difference does my dollar make?  A lot when you are on the other side of the equation.