HOW WE WORK
We work with both nonprofits and brands. For nonprofits, we act as an extension of their development and marketing teams to augment and champion their development efforts with fresh thinking and innovative strategies. For brands, we create results-driven cause-marketing promotions through existing or new nonprofit relationships.
Assessment and Condition Setting. The Freestyle Strategy team evaluates your organization’s current efforts to uncover areas for growth. This involves understanding your goals, branding, existing assets, KPI's, and stakeholder perspectives. This immersion also includes landscape analysis of the issue space, competition (SWOT), and key stakeholders' feedback.
Asset Inventory. Freestyle Strategy will facilitate a deep dive to uncover the organizational and events assets you have available that will add value to sponsorship packages and corporate partnerships. Simply linking with a charity and co-branding is not enough for a company. Today, companies want measurable benefits and results. They want to activate and achieve specific marketing goals and objectives. This exercise will discover what assets you have: both intangible and tangible. We will also challenge you to think creatively about what you can bring to the table; you probably have assets right underneath your noses that you may not realize are of value to a partner.
Fundraising Bootcamp. This ½ or full-day program brings together your development team and key internal stakeholders together to energize them and provide them with the knowledge they need to raise additional funds for your cause. Freestyle Strategy conducts an intake session to understand roles, challenges, and opportunities and then designs the day accordingly. This teaching/working session is based on reality – that limited time and money are a fact. We provide trend information and tangible ideas that your team can put into action.
Prospecting Toolkit/Collateral. The Freestyle Strategy team develops strategies and tools to help your organization raise funds through its current partner relationships and attract new partners. We develop the following:
Selling Strategy – Create partnership criteria, refine existing offerings, bundle assets, and advise on benefits and pricing.
Key Message Development – Refine brand positioning and develop key messages.
Master Pitch Deck – Develop a branded PowerPoint that provides industry stats on benefits of social issue marketing, answer they “why your cause matters and “why” the prospect brand should become a partner. This master deck can be tailored/branded to use in varied prospect pitches.
Sell Sheet – Create a one-pager PDF that gives the highlights of the partnership opportunity.
Pipeline Support. The Freestyle Strategy team supports your development efforts by providing prospect lists and provides tailored activation ideas.
Target List – Develop/refine partnership criteria, and provide a prospect list of corporations that meet that criteria. Note this list does not include contacts.
Blueprints – Research targeted prospects and provide information on the companies’ target audience, goals, key products, board members. This data helps to inform the pitch strategy.
Email Outreach/Pitch Letter – Create a compelling subject line and write the letter that highlights the opportunity and call to action.
Creative Ideation. Freestyle Strategy has a boatload of creative writing and thinkers on staff who can develop strategic and creative ideas for you. If you are in need of creative ideas to pitch to prospective clients, we can help. We can develop high concepts – to demonstrate how they - the business -can activate their support to raise funds and awareness for your cause and simultaneously sell more and gain brand visibility. Tactics include consumer-facing social media, public relations, and onsite activation ideas.
Nonprofit Board Strategic Guidance. Nanette Fridman, our resident nonprofit board sage, will align your board members and train them to work in sync to govern. From designing best practice organizational governance structures to clarifying board and individual responsibilities, to working on leadership development and succession planning, to training board members or facilitating retreats, she’ll impact your board's performance. Nanette is known for firing up boards to be confident ambassadors and fundraisers.
Board Retreats – Successful boards retreat to dive more in-depth into strategic topics, fortify and learn new skills, and plan for the future. The best retreats are expertly designed and facilitated. Nanette has led hundreds of productive (and fun) retreats for nonprofits and for-profit organizations.
Board Training – Most boards need training on five core topics at a minimum: Board 101 (Roles, Responsibilities, Expectations, Governance v. Management); Storytelling; Being Ambassadors; Financial Resource Development; and Solicitation. These and other topics can be offered in-person, remotely, individually or as part of a series.
Leadership Development Programs – Leaders don’t usually arrive at your doorstep. Learn how to identify interest and passion and invest in giving people the skills and coaching to become your rock stars of the future.
Succession Planning – Strong organizations know who their next leader will be. Do you? Leadership succession planning is an art and a science. Learn how to approach this important ingredient of organizational stability and success.
CEO/Executive Director and Board Chair Coaching – The Executive and Board Chair are both vital in an organization’s ability to deliver on its mission. And their relationship needs to be solid in order for the rest of the team to be high performing. Nanette has coached thousands of board chairs and executives.
FOR BRANDS AND COMPANIES
Cause Bootcamp. This ½ or full-day program helps companies’ hone their social issue strategy. Freestyle Strategy conducts an intake session to understand key brand attributes, target audience insights, and assets and then design the day accordingly. This teaching/working session is based in reality – that limited time and money are a fact. We provide CSR trend information, best-in-class examples, and key learnings; and a competitive snapshot. The working session facilities the gathering of insights, challenges, and opportunities and provides recommendations for developing or enhancing their cause programs.
Bat-Phone Cause Support. Freestyle Strategy serves as a virtual extension of your team. We provide ongoing strategic support to help manage and grow your partnerships. Think of this service like “bat phone," a direct line to expert cause strategists when you need it. You have an issue, board meeting, need help with partnership negotiation, developing measurement and evaluation (KIPs), or something has gone south, and you need access to another expert opinion to bounce ideas around with and generate solutions. This includes strategic counsel, crisis communications, cause-marketing promotional ideation/refinement, writing, reporting, merchandising results.
Cause 101 Webinar. 90% of U.S. consumers say they would switch to a brand associated with a cause, given comparable price and quality. If you are curious about how your company can drive social impact through cause programs, this is the session for you. Freestyle Strategy takes you on a cause-journey. We unpack the history of the cause, and given a bunch of us were there back in 1993 when the idea of cause marketing was born, we’ve got a bunch of firsthand insights and experience to share. We’ll also cover marketplace opportunity, consumer and employee interest, types of cause marketing initiatives, cause-trends, best in class cause programs, legal implications, and more.
Consumer-Facing Social Issue Platform. Freestyle Strategy will develop a social impact platform for your business or brand. The platform will be designed to meet your goals and build equity with key target audiences in a meaningful way beyond the product itself; help differentiate your brand competitively and importantly help to make an impact in an issue area that is relevant to the brand and your consumers. This body of work takes place in two phases. Phase one: involves asset immersion, stakeholder interviews, competitive review, cause-criteria development, and social issue identification. Phase two: nonprofit partnership recommendations, high-concepts –to showcase how the issue/ cause could be activated for the bran, which includes an overall framework that enables your business/brand to develop cause-marketing promotional opportunities over the long term. Once the final issue/concept has been chosen, Freestyle Strategy will refine the concept and deliver an integrated marketing plan.
Freestyle Strategy is available to help you with other cause-related and social impact challenges that are not listed above. Please reach out to us to learn more.