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This is What Democracy Looks Like

It’s hard to miss, and hard not to celebrate, the levels of energy and engagement in our participatory democracy we’re seeing today. People aren’t just taking to social media to make their voices heard; they’re joining their neighbors and going to marches and meetings and rallies in cities and towns across the country. Folks who’d never thought about running for political office are thinking about it now.

It’s thrilling, and encouraging, to see due attention paid to responsible and responsive government. But engagement – and impact on people’s lives – doesn’t, of course, stop at government. Civil society, the non-governmental organizations and institutions that also drive the will of citizens and residents, responds to communities’ needs on the ground and helps people every day in every corner of the nation, in a way government often cannot.

As an agency that is both a nonprofit devoted to capacity building in the social sector, and as a business whose mission is to amplify nonprofits’ and foundations’ impact, we know that the role of civil society in preserving rights and in building more just, inclusive and healthy communities is more important than it has ever been. That’s why we do what we do, and it’s why we so deeply admire and respect what you do, as a member of this utterly indispensable “third sector.” Every day we share your indispensable work defending the vulnerable and advancing principles like fairness, inclusivity and prosperity for all.

Indeed, as many are saying at events across the country, this is what democracy looks like.

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Laws of Attraction: Bringing New Donors to Your Cause

Valentine’s Day: love it or hate it, this time of year sparks conversations about how to attract that special someone. The same can be said for nonprofits all year round – how do you attract the right supporters and, most importantly, donors to your cause? Our Cause Clarity video “How to Attract New Donors” is a great place to start. Here are a few highlights.

As with any successful long-term relationship, often finding the right partner and acquiring new donors both take time. With so many causes and so much clutter in today’s fast paced world, it takes discipline and creativity to reach new people so they can hear about, become interested in and donate to your cause. An important first step for your nonprofit is to identity the types of donors you want to reach. After all, if you don’t know who you are looking for, it’s hard to find them. Once you can organize your ideal prospective donors into your top two to three priority groups, make a list of the characteristics or interests they share. The more you can understand what they care about and what motivates them, the easier it will be to figure out the best strategies to reach them in an authentic and meaningful way.

While attracting new donors to your cause is always a priority, it’s also important to maintain the relationships you have carefully developed with your current donors. With many worthwhile causes out there to compete with, and new ones popping up every day, you need to consistently connect with your current donors to keep them engaged. Just like a healthy and thriving personal relationship, you need to work at it to keep it going. Carve out standing times to touch base with your donors. Update them with relevant stories about the impact of the work they are supporting.

When reaching out, tailor your communications to the preferences of each of your donor groups (not everyone likes roses and chocolate). Regular email updates can be very effective, and including photos and video can make a powerful statement. Social media posts are a fast way to reach people. Mailed letters may also be appropriate for some of your donors who may not always be online. And don’t forget to invite your donors to any in-person events so they can see the work up-close and personal.

Ever been set up by a friend? Don’t be afraid to tap into your professional networks for a little assistance expanding your donor base. From a simple “like” or “share” to making an introduction, think about ways to equip your board, supporters and even current donors to be ambassadors of your great work.

And with any important relationship, don’t forget to say thank you. Acknowledging partners and supporters is always a crucial step in ensuring healthy, long-lasting relationships. And that’s something everyone can love this time of year.

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Why We March — A Reflection from Our Founder

R. Christine Hershey, the founder of Hershey Cause Communications, is known as a pioneer in the world of cause communications and cause marketing, and as a champion for people and organizations whose work is focused on the social good. But at her core, Chris is an activist, someone who has never been afraid to fight for change by speaking truth to power, and she’s never shied away from a confrontation when equality and justice were on the line. Below is a dispatch she sent us on the go, as she travels to DC to once more jump into the fray by joining the hundreds of thousands who will march in the Nation’s Capitol this Saturday in support of the protecting rights of people who have been hurtfully attacked and maligned and whose rights may well be threatened by the incoming administration.

We’re so inspired by Chris’s leadership, and we’re so glad that she, her partner Susi and daughter Katie will be in DC representing us. We’ll be marching here in LA, too, and we hope to see you out in the community!

Susi and I have marched our whole lives. Even before we met each other and many times since over our 37 years together. We have marched to celebrate our diversity and renew the spirit of democracy. We have marched to honor the champions of human rights, dignity, and justice who have come before us. And we have marched to show our presence in numbers too great to ignore. Now, we march again so that our progress will not be thwarted by bigotry.

Wherever you are, wherever you call home, we hope you will join us.

Here is a brief history of some of the Marches we’ve participated in:

July 4, 1970
Honor America Day — During a period of contentiousness over the U.S. military involvement in Vietnam, Bob Hope helped to coordinate a rally intended to “show Americans can have a good time together despite their differences.” On July 4, 1970, “Honor America Day” was held in Washington, D.C. The day was intended to be non-partisan but was interpreted by many as a pro-war rally and was marred by anti-war demonstrators.

Summer 1978
California Proposition 6 was an initiative on the California State ballot on November 7, 1978, and was more commonly known as The Briggs Initiative. It was sponsored by John Briggs, a conservative state legislator from Orange County. The failed initiative would have banned gays and lesbians, and possibly anyone who supported gay rights, from working in California’s public schools. The Briggs Initiative was the first failure in a movement that started with the successful campaign headed by Anita Bryant and her organization Save Our Children in Dade County, Florida, to repeal a local gay rights ordinance.

October 11, 1987
The Second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights was a large political rally that took place in Washington, D.C., on October 11, 1987. Its success, size, scope, and historical importance have led to it being called, “The Great March”. It marked the first national coverage of ACT UP, with AIDS activists prominent in the main march as well as the civil disobedience actions at the Supreme Court.

April 25, 1993
The March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay, and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation was a large political rally that took place in Washington, D.C., on April 25, 1993. Organizers estimated that 1 million attended the March. The D.C. Police Department put the number at more than 1 million. The National Park Service estimated attendance at 300,000, but their figure attracted so much negative attention that it shortly thereafter stopped issuing attendance estimates for similar events.

November 2002
Protests against Proposition 8 took place in California starting in November 2008. These included prominent protests against the Roman Catholic church and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), which collaboratively campaigned in favor of California’s Proposition 8 through volunteer and financial support for the measure. The proposition was a voter referendum that amended the state constitution to recognize marriage only as being between one man and one woman, thus banning same-sex marriage, which was legal in the state following a May 2008 California Supreme Court case.

January 21, 2017
The Women’s March in Washington DC
The rhetoric of the past election cycle by the incoming administration has insulted and threatened many of us – immigrants of all statuses, Muslims and those of diverse religious faiths, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, survivors of sexual assault and so many others.

This Saturday in DC, we will be holding all these people in our hearts as we march for hope to prevail over hate.

Click here to watch a FB live interview Chris did about what the march means to her.

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Join Our Team! We are Hiring a Senior Account Supervisor

Senior Account Supervisor (SAS) Job Description:

Hershey Cause Communications, one of the first mission-driven strategic communications agencies and a pioneer in the field of cause communications, has an opportunity for an experienced communicator who excels at leading teams. We work nationally but are grounded in Los Angeles’ rich and diverse culture. We have a uniquely “LA” spirit of innovation that helps our clients transform fields like healthcare, education, the environment and domestic violence by providing strategy, insight, planning and implementation across media that build influence and amplify impact.

Are you an action-oriented leader who’s equally decisive and full of energy? Do colleagues describe you as practical and resourceful, yet passionate about finding new solutions? Are you excited to lead teams of people in order to deliver the best possible results on behalf of clients and causes?

We are looking for a Senior Account Supervisor to join the agency’s leadership team. A seasoned communications and marketing professional with exceptional client/account management and people skills, the SAS is responsible for overseeing the agency’s account teams – providing both external communications expertise to clients and internal leadership to staff. The ideal candidate is adaptable, strategic and results-driven.

Critical Job Responsibilities
Client Management and Client Service Delivery (75%)

  • Responsible for account management and oversight for all client accounts, including the development and implementation of communications strategies and ensuring the profitability of accounts
  • Guide the direction of all client accounts in conjunction with the Founder/President and Chief Relationship Officer
  • Build and supervise teams of people necessary to deliver excellence in client service; responsible for ensuring client project goals are achieved and service and quality expectations are exceeded
  • Hands-on leadership for several client accounts, and oversight of other accounts led by direct reports
  • Develop project scopes and budgets, and then ensure that these are met
  • Ongoing monitoring of client accounts, including monthly projections and identifying both priorities and opportunities on behalf of the agency and clients
  • In partnership with the Operations team, responsible for managing the cost, schedule and performance for client engagements and ensuring the client experience is exceptional
  • Oversee the strategy implementation and management of a full range of marketing and communications projects and campaigns – including public relations, branding, advertising, digital and social media, event planning, message development, collateral development and more
  • Provide creative yet practical solutions to client projects, grounded in knowledge and experience communicating to diverse populations

Staff Oversight and Development (15%)

  • Supervise account team members and contribute to their short and long-term professional development; responsible for managing, developing and cultivating them
  • Contribute to staff recruitment and hiring/vetting processes; train new account staff

Senior Management Team Engagement (10%)

  • Participate in agency leadership meetings; monitor and provide recommendations on the agency’s ongoing growth and efficiency
  • Actively engage in helping to shape the future direction of agency
  • Advise on ways to grow existing client base
  • Lead/assist in the preparation and implementation of new business proposals and pitches
  • Contribute to other agency marketing activities, including content creation and representing the agency at conferences and events

Minimum Requirements
Education and Experience

  • At least 10+ years of experience in marketing communications, public relations, advertising or related field
  • Five or more years of agency experience, supervising projects and teams
  • Degree in marketing, communications, public relations or related field preferred
  • Strong project management skills required; certificate in project management a plus

Skills and Abilities

  • Record of achievement in marketing communications, media relations and creative services
  • Proven expertise in reaching the diverse communities of California
  • Expertise/industry knowledge in philanthropy, public policy and/or social entrepreneurship
  • Strong organizational, follow-through and time management skills
  • Detail-oriented and consistent, yet eager to test new ideas and find ways to make any situation more successful
  • Affinity for tackling day-to-day client management challenges as they arise
  • Strong project management skills
  • Demonstrated success with project planning, project management tools, budget development, resource planning and delivery
  • Ability to translate client requirements into strategic concepts
  • Impeccable speaking and written communication skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills necessary to build and maintain client relations and direct project members
  • Proficient with MS Word, Excel and PPT. Must be able to work on a Mac platform

The ideal person for this position also embodies our values: excellence, quality, substance, vision, energy, warmth and authenticity.

How to Apply
If our mission and values align with yours, if your skills and experience match what we’ve outlined above and if you’re serious about having a positive impact on the world by using “Communications for Good,” we’d love to hear from you.

Please send resumes, cover letters and writing samples per the following instructions to Juliet Gifford at

1) Resume should include work experience, skills, education and salary history
2) Cover letter should include the following:
Why do you want to work at Hershey Cause Communications?
Why this position is attractive and would be satisfying?

What do you bring to this position? How do your skills and experience match the job?

Your desired career path
3) A brief professional writing sample (report, memo, correspondence) that illustrates your ability to describe an issue, articulate a plan and/or delineate next steps or recommendations. This document should be an example of your writing abilities, critical thinking, and mastery of form (i.e. layout, presentation, design, etc.)

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A Holiday Message From Hershey Cause Communications

This holiday season, we celebrate you — the change-makers whose care and compassion is matched only by your resilience and determination. You create beauty with limited resources and flourish when there is no choice but to innovate. Thank you for being a shining example of grace, strength and resourcefulness.

You protect our planet, cultivate the next generation of leaders, enrich lives in Los Angeles and around the world, advance new ways of thinking and engage others to take action on the issues that matter most.

We are proud to partner with change-makers like you on this important work and especially in these most challenging conditions.

From all of us here at Hershey Cause, we wish you a wonderful holiday season and a dynamic new year.

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