Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Tuna (Brandon) Praised For Communications Work

Greetings friends. The below blog post was written by a friend and consultant, Mark Vincent.  He has been working closely with me (Tuna) on our campaign at Bethany Birches Camp to rebuild the main building at camp (Pavilion).  It's a high complement of my work.


Capital campaign communication: 2 awesome examples

We learn so much from our clients. Occasionally we can pass the benefits along.
I have been privileged to work with Bethany Birches Camp as they ready themselves for their first big capital campaign. Their Executive Director, still in the early stages of his career, is an outstanding example of someone who knows he doesn’t know and is therefore able to learn and grow and put a lot of long-timers to shame at the excellence he is already achieving.
Most noticeable is the way he, the board and volunteers have been able to inject the organizational culture of the camp into all their campaign communication. Whenever the constituency interacts with them they are having a camp experience, not just a communication from the camp. Here are two awesome examples:

1. Their video that introduces the campaign and makes the case provides an excellent standard other organizations can aspire to reach:

2. A recent update on an unanticipated project that could have harmed momentum conveys a non-anxious, thankful, yet light-heartedly determined way forward. Anyone who participated can find themselves in the blogs/photos etc. that are linked in the note. It provides a great personal touch mixed with the benefits of social media and web. Here is the text:
Greetings friends.  I’m writing with deep joy in my heart for each of you.  As you probably remember about a year ago we received some tough news from the fire marshal: that the Bethany Birches Cabin would be shut down April 1, 2012 until we complied with numerous requirements.
One of my biggest concerns was how we’d pay for the upgrades to the building.  My second concern related to how to get the work done.  Because of you, the work was finished and paid for!  THANK YOU!
Some goodies for you:
Thank you, thank you, thank you for your support of this effort and for your ongoing help in Bethany Birches’ mission to help young people develop their relationship with God.  Without you we would still be without the use of the cabin!
And here is one more idea.  Why not take these examples to your development and/or communications team to view and then ask what is one step we might take to better inject our organization’s culture into our communication–especially in a capital campaign? How might our constituency have an ongoing experience and not just another communications piece?
mark l vincent, design group international

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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Living with Cheeks is a gift!

Here's a post I made yesterday at the Birch Blog about how great Cheeks is!
Many of you know Cheeks.  She’s been the Program Director at Bethany Birches for many years (this will be her 9th summer).  She also happens to be my wife.  We got married after working here at camp together for a few years.
To me, Cheeks has been a gift from God.  Let me explain:
Many days I realize this through various circumstances.  Today, I realized it again.  This time it was related to the fact that she doesn't get distracted by stuff (you could even say she doesn’t care much about stuff).  Seriously.  She doesn’t like to spend a lot of money on stuff.  She uses stuff until it breaks down entirely.  If she looses something, she shrugs it off and mentions that she didn’t really need it anyway.  Take her purse/bag for example.  Right now, there’s a hole in it and one handle has broken off.  She’s still using it.  If it broke entirely, she might never get a new one.  She might use another bag in the closet or fill her pockets.
I am quite different.  I like stuff.  I like high quality stuff and I like when it performs well.  If it gets scratched or damaged, I like to repair it.  Take my bike for example.  I rode it today and it was wet.  When I got home, I hosed it off and set it in front of a fan to dry.  I washed it so the chain was free of grit and used the fan so that nothing would rust.
Tuna Cheeks Thumbs UpHere’s the thing.  We only get so much time on Earth.  Old people tell me that it goes fast.  Researching, getting and taking care of stuff takes a lot of time.  And, those of us who care about our stuff can at times be on the verge of caring too much for it.  This is part of why Jesus told the rich young ruler to sell his stuff.
Back to me and Cheeks.  She is a constant example of what it looks like to care less about stuff.  With her attention not focused on stuff, she tends to focus on people… and she’s very good at considering others!  Not only is this a blessing to me, it’s a witness.
I hope you find a way to bless those you live with today like Cheeks blesses me.  When that way is unclear, look to Jesus.  He will show you.


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