Who Can You Reach with $25,000?

Who Can You Reach with $25,000?

money1 - Who Can You Reach with $25,000?$25,000 seems like a lot, but it’s really peanuts in the marketing and communications world. Especially when you see this as your total annual marketing and communications budget.

Social media is a great win for business. It’s an incredable new medium that allows you to be the publisher. Now, yes, it doesn’t cost anything to sign-up for these websites but it does take time. Budgeting your staff’s time in this communications strategy is so important.

For an average nonprofit in Denver, a Communications Director gets paid around $50,000, hire an intern for $1,500 a semester and have each of them dedicate half their time to social media. That is a communications budget of $25,750. That is a whole lot cheaper than an advertising campaign. In fact for some nonprofits, that is their annual report budget.

This is what we did at CCIC for 2009. What did we do with that budget?

We are reaching 1,500 new people via Twitter in less than a year. Our success has been in being strategic and having a plan. We’ve targeted specific audiences on the social media tool. Our top targets: mom bloggers, funders, healthcare organizations and other nonprofits. Sure, not all those people are super users, but 10% are super users and that’s 150 people who are dedicated to using Twitter as a communications tool. This core of 150 are the ones who spread your message through retweeting. These 150 read your tweets religiously and interact regularly.

Other benefits of Twitter? I’ve made real relationships with real reporters and news producers. I’ve connected with national bloggers for national magazines. I’ve drawn the attention of national organizations in our cause, including the CDC. I’ve literally raised our profile from a small nonprofit in Colorado to a national leader in using social media for nonprofits.

One more benefit of Twitter is answering questions about our cause in real time. I monitor Twitter for certain keywords with TweetDeck and answer parent’s questions about vaccines. During the height of the H1N1 scare I helped lots of parents make the decision to vaccinate their children by giving them more information and dispelling fears about the vaccine. This level of customer service and cause promotion is incredibly difficult to do without social media.

On Facebook, we’ve gained a fan base of 284 people from across the county. These Facebook fans are moms, dads and vaccine advocates who care about our cause and “like” our posts.

An added benefit of Facebook is that we have live demographics on these followers. We know they are 72% female with 35% of them being between the ages of 25-34. I can track what posts they like most. I can track when people “unfan” my page and move on.  All invaluable information that can cost a lot to gather on any other way.

Our subscribers on YouTube are few, I only have 14 subscribers, but my videos have been played nearly 2,500 times since March 16, 2009. We are part of the community and favorite like-organization videos, sharing the pro-vaccine message.

We’ve started a mommy blog – www.Coloradomom2mom.com – to be a voice for moms who believe in vaccinating their kids. This blog was free to set-up and after just two months of existence have almost 1,000 page views, 15 comments and 8 subscribers.

The most exciting and innovative project was the Healthy Kids Thank-A-Thon which allowed parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles to give thanks for the healthy kids in their life. Great interaction and amazing results.

We’ve done all this for just salary. That is the best ROI I can find.

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Kate Runy


A passionate technical wizard, Kate thrives on managing online content, social media for communications, and development projects.  Kate is the workhorse of the team, pulling out amazing feats of content creation and management week in and week out. 

Prior to joining BC/DC Ideas, Kate coordinated website and social media content, communications, and advertising for Go Global NC and Alzheimer’s NC.

Things that make her happy: I love animals about as much as I love working for nonprofits.

Mishel Gomez Cespedes


Mishel brings a passion for video storytelling and quippy social media content to the team.  At BC/DC Ideas, she is most likely editing video or scheduling the next moving social media post for our clients.

Her ear for storytelling is her greatest asset. Mishel has a unique ability to assemble content into a concise story that moves audiences to action.

A graduate of Wake Forest University she spent a semester in Spain and years serving her community through the campus organizations. Now, she is putting her passion for good to work.

Brian Crawford

creative director

Mix equal parts nerd and creativity and that’s Brian. A natural problem-solver, Brian’s ability to cut to the core of any problem helps guide our creative team to the correct solution without wasted time or money. It’s the core, this little nugget of truth, that helps our clients take the next step with their audiences.

Brian gets the greatest joy out of helping our clients realize and connect with their story. He is a true believer that everyone and every organization has a compelling story to tell, you just have to listen with an open heart.

Things that make him happy: Hanging out at the park with family, toddler-speak, hitting the focus pull, and good coffee.

Dawn Crawford


The engine behind BC/DC Ideas, Dawn has dedicated her career to good. Dawn brings her considerable experience and expertise to helping elevate the nonprofit sector. Our team’s lead strategist, Dawn is often seen leading our IdeaStorms, penning communications plans, or checking in with clients.

Before launching BC/DC Ideas in 2010, she earned her chops in 10+ years of communications leadership roles for public health, healthcare and youth-focused nonprofits. Working for nonprofits is Dawn’s dream job, and she loves that her 40+ hours a week make the world a better place.

Things that make her happy: A glass of champagne to celebrate big wins, Basecamp, living in the South, seeing the world, and a well-formatted spreadsheet.