Big News from Starfish Impact: #SupportingOurSector Contest Launch!

#SupportingOurSector artwork

[Update since original posting:  Voting has begun for the 5 selected organizations! Click here to learn more and cast your vote between now and Nov. 4!]

Today we’re thrilled to share some exciting news from our friends at Starfish Impact about a powerful new initiative launched this week, #SupportingOurSector, which will award a winning nonprofit more than $40,000 in combined cash and a custom pro bono services package. Good stuff, indeed! Continue reading

Navigating the Waters of Home Improvement: a Big small Talk with Mary True

mary-tongueWith the long days of summer coming to a close,  we’re taking a moment to reflect on both the great projects and partnerships that have been keeping us busy this season, and some new adventures ahead. Today, we bring another Big small Talk to our blog with a few thoughts from  Mary Tongue, principal of Mary True, a new consulting service that builds on her existing general contracting business. Mary was also the sponsor for our workshop held earlier this month, Gearing Up for the Giving Season. Thank you, Mary, for your generosity and your support of many terrific causes in our community! Continue reading

Gearing Up for the Giving Season: Summer Workshop Recap + Highlights

Last week, we were thrilled to host Gearing Up for the Giving Season, a workshop covering  branding basics, social media essentials, and online marketing and fundraising best practices to help local nonprofits plan for an impactful end-of-year season ahead. Special thanks to our workshop sponsor, Mary True, and the 11 amazing local organizations who attended. Below are some key tips we shared Continue reading

Big small Talk: The Dee Dee Jackson Foundation

ddjf_logoThis summer, we’ve been proud to dedicate our blog to community story-sharing series, which celebrates the work of nonprofit organizations who are  inspiring us to learn more, do more, and engage more—both locally and across the country. Today we are thrilled to catch up with a new organization we have gotten to know this year, The Dee Dee Jackson Foundation.

The Dee Dee Jackson Foundation was a founded by Taj, Taryll, and TJ Jackson,  along with Henri Hebert, an executive producer/showrunner, and a former ABC executive, Lillian Lim, while they were filming a docu-series for Lifetime, The Jacksons: Next Generation. I was introduced to this inspiring team by Henri, whom I met more than a decade ago through our work with Step Up Women’s Network. Thank you, Henri and team, for taking the time to talk with us today! Continue reading

Our Simple Summer Reading List: 20+ Quick Reads for Better Branding

BooksPictureWith summer in full swing,  our team is gearing up to take a break to re-charge the batteries. As we prep our own travel reading lists, we thought we’d give our readers a break, too, with a curated list of some favorite articles and tips to help you take your marketing efforts to the next level—while still leaving plenty of time for warm weather fun, because, let’s face it, no one should be stuck behind a screen any more than they have to at this time of year. Enjoy! Continue reading

Bringing Books to Local Families: A Big small Talk with First Book Portland

blue-line-speech-bubbleIt’s no secret we love sharing nonprofit stories on our blog, and finding ways to connect great causes with individuals and businesses in our community who can help them continue to grow. Today, we’re excited to talk with Stacy Owen and Nicole Sligh, volunteer Co-Chairs for First Book Portland.  I’ve been admiring their work for several years now, ever since my eyes were opened up to the critical role that early access to books plays in so many aspects of child development—both when my daughters were younger and through my experience serving as a Delegate for Parenting Magazines’ Mom Congress on Education in 2011–2012.  When I learned of the major disparity in the ratio of children to books in neighborhoods across the US, I knew this was an issue I needed to get behind. Since then, I’ve kept my eyes and ears out for organizations who are doing great work in this area. And so, today, I’m proud to feature First Book Portland as our cause partner for our August 3 workshop, Gearing Up for the Giving Season.  Thanks, Stacy and Nicole for taking a few moments to talk with us! Continue reading

Why We’re #WearingOrange Tomorrow…Join Us!

jen-wearingorangeAs our regular readers well know, we’re proud to showcase nonprofits and brands committed to driving social change on our blog whenever we can.  Today, we kickoff a month dedicated to sharing more stories from a variety of organizations we champion and admire, beginning with a cause very close to my heart: Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. I discovered this powerful community back in 2014, after reading  the story of a mom named Shannon Watts who started a Facebook page the day after  the Sandy Hook shootings, which quickly became a movement now more than 2 million members strong.  Today, I’m a volunteer for the Oregon chapter team, and a local campaign presenter for the BeSMART for Kids Campaign, which raises awareness of the importance of having conversations about kids, guns, and safety.

Tomorheart doodlerow, June 2,  is a big day for us:  National Gun Violence Awareness Day.  I will be joining other individuals, businesses, and community partners who will be #WearingOrange to honor those who have been killed by gun violence, and to inspire action to stop the gun violence that takes too many lives in America. Continue reading

BSB Spring Research Roundup: 4 Tips—and Many Resources—To Pave Your Path

One of my favorite parts about running our firm is the diversity of client projects we take on, and the industries we serve, throughout the year.  As I shared recently in What’s Your Secret?, the “typical day” around here can look and feel quite different, depending on the types of engagement we’re tackling at the time.

research-definitionThis spring, our project docket has been chock-full of research-oriented projects across a few different sectors—using surveys, in-depth interviews, and focus groups to help our clients conceive new communications campaigns, inform new product ideas, and drive strategic planning and growth efforts. While the projects themselves have been quite different in nature, each has been a reminder of how much we love helping organizations better understand and engage and the audiences they serve. So, today we’re taking a few moments to share a simple roundup of some easy research reads that may inspire better insights. Continue reading

Gearing up for the Giving Season — Join Us August 3!

speech-bubbles-coolIs your nonprofit ready for the 2016 end-of-year giving season? If you’re not sure, I invite fellow Portland organizations to join Big Small Brands on Wednesday, August 3 from 12-1:30pm at Hatch to help get your nonprofit ramped up to make the most of your end-of-year marketing and fundraising efforts. The session will cover:

  • Simple branding tips to refine and strengthen your online presence and engage donors
  • How to create and share powerful messages about your organization through brand storytelling
  • Social media best practices and emerging trends on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, and more
  • Tips, tools, and a campaign planning checklist for launching an effective #GivingTuesday and #OregoniansGive campaign

Lunch will be served.


Spots are limited, so reserve your seat today! A portion of ticket proceeds will benefit First Book Portland, to support their work providing new books to local children in need.

Can you Sponsor a Local Nonprofit Attendee?

heart doodleIf you are a local business or individual, we invite you to sponsor a spot for a local nonprofit. If you do, we will happily feature your organization in an upcoming blog post, too.  Need help connecting with a great local nonprofit partner to attend? Feel free to contact us and we can make a great match!


What Past Workshop Attendees Are Saying

“Jen’s workshop opened the door to a breadth of knowledge regarding social media strategies, both for specific campaigns and for increasing overall engagement in the longer term. I’m confident that employing these new ideas will help take my organization’s activity to the next level.”
—Caitlin Howard, Social Venture Partners Portland

“Jen Barth is a thought-provoking presenter and a great storyteller. In our workshop for small-business owners, she put sometimes difficult-to-cover topics like brand management into simple terms. Her knowledge of marketing was deep, and went beyond any simple listing of recommended activities. We are proud to have Jen as part of our presenter team.”
—Loren Guerrero, Mercy Corps

“Working with Jen was amazing. She was vital to the development and implementation of our organization’s social media, marketing, and fundraising efforts, and went out of her way to ensure that we had the resources and knowledge necessary to succeed.”
—Carlos Ramon, August Wilson Red Door Project