Brand Storytelling for Causes

Guest speakers Jennifer Fortney (of Cascade Communications) and Lidia Varesco Racoma (of Lidia Varesco Designs) take us through how PR and marketing has changed and how important it is to understand your brand so you can make a bigger impact with your charity.



In a recent iGive webinar, guest speakers Jennifer Fortney from Cascade Communications and Lidia Varesco Racoma from Lidia Varesco Design, shared their insights on the evolving landscape of PR and marketing and how these can be harnessed to strengthen brand recognition and impact for charities. The webinar also highlighted the extension of iGive’s New Member Bonus opportunity.

Key Takeaways

Changing Dynamics of PR

Jennifer Fortney underscored the transformation in the PR sector influenced by digital advancements and the shift to freelance journalism. She emphasized the importance of developing early and strong relationships with media, particularly local ones, to enhance visibility and support for nonprofits. She also discussed the strategic timing of press releases and leveraging national awareness months to anchor stories and maximize media pickup.

Importance of Brand Understanding

Lidia Varesco Racoma focused on the critical role of branding in conveying a nonprofit’s mission and values effectively. She detailed how branding should consistently reflect the organization’s essence across various platforms, ensuring that all communications resonate with the intended audience and drive engagement.

Practical Strategies and Tools

Both speakers provided actionable strategies for nonprofits to improve their public relations and marketing efforts:

  • Content Optimization for Search and Discovery: Highlighting the necessity of creating content that is not only informative but also easily searchable and discoverable online.
  • Use of Visuals and Infographics: Encouraging the use of engaging visuals and infographics to make complex data easily digestible and shareable, thereby enhancing media appeal.
  • Segmentation and Personalization: The importance of tailoring messages to different segments of the audience to increase relevance and engagement.

Enhancing Digital Presence

The discussion also covered effective methods for enhancing a nonprofit’s digital presence:

  • Email Campaigns: Importance of compelling subject lines to improve open rates and thoughtful segmentation to tailor content for different audiences.
  • Social Media Engagement: Utilizing social media platforms to create and share content that aligns with the nonprofit’s mission, increasing engagement and donor participation.


The webinar provided nonprofits with a comprehensive overview of current trends in PR and marketing, emphasizing strategic communication and strong branding as essential tools for enhancing impact and outreach. Participants were encouraged to leverage these insights to craft compelling narratives and engage effectively with their audiences.

For more detailed information and resources, participants were directed to iGive’s Support Portal:

Jennifer Fortney

Jennifer Fortney

President at Cascade Communications
Lidia Varesco Racoma

Lidia Varesco Racoma

Owner of Lidia Varesco Designs