Welcome to the Catalyst Member Spotlight series. Catalyst prioritizes sharing members’ stories to showcase the breadth of the IABC community, connect communicators across the globe and elevate personal stories to inspire fellow members. If you’d like to nominate yourself or a standout colleague to be featured in a spotlight, email the Catalyst editors at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Meet IABC member Reva Kautz, based in the Great Plains chapter. With more than 20 years of experience in the field, Reva is the marketing director for ND Assistive, a nonprofit based in North Dakota. Here, she shares how her leadership and communication strategy for an annual fundraiser resulted in a success story. Get to know Reva and connect with her on LinkedIn.
What is the most exciting aspect of your role as a communicator?
I have the amazing job of increasing public awareness of a North Dakota nonprofit called ND Assistive. We match assistive technology to people of all ages with disabilities so they can learn, work, play, and be safer and more independent in the home of their choice. As I create social media posts, plan events, write blogs, request donations, etc., I share success stories of those who have benefited from our grants or from receiving a device that improved their life.
Tell us about a situation or project that made you feel valued as a communicator.
Our office has been doing things “the same ol’ way” for many years, and now that I am part of the team, I am noticing how we can improve our branding and increase the amount of people who know about our nonprofit. I have shared ideas such as including a refer-a-friend note when our assistive devices are mailed to our clients so they can easily share our services with a neighbor or friend. I requested all team members and board members reach out to at least five more people than last year’s fundraiser, and I also was able to connect with my sphere of influence. Together the team increased new donors by 35% at our recent Giving Hearts Day fundraiser. My executive director has shared appreciation and excitement about how my efforts have improved the organization.
Think back on a time when you, as a communicator, collaborated with another department to bring a project to life. What made this process successful?
No one on the team at ND Assistive was in charge of the Giving Hearts Day campaign in the past, so the efforts in strategic planning for this annual fundraiser were lacking a leader. With my coordination of roles and responsibilities, getting the board members more involved in the fundraising campaign, and taking the initiative to analyze past data and make improvements to past efforts, we succeeded in raising more money than we have before and increased our number of donors by 35%. Collaboration between departments and improved communication through sharing clear expectations of our team members were the keys to our success.
What is the best career advice you’ve ever received? Who gave it?
I have attended many conferences and joined many online summits in the last three years, so I don’t know who shared this concept specifically. I have learned that when a person’s experience, personality and passion all come in alignment, they can have the most impact, success and enjoyment in their work. I feel like I am currently in a position with the nonprofit ND Assistive where I am poised to use all three of these areas. I am thrilled to have a part of improving people’s lives with assistive technology.
Tell us about a favorite resource that helps you stay connected and informed in the industry.
I keep up with CommunityBoost.org, a digital marketing platform or nonprofits, and Bethany Clemenson with BigLifeResources.com.
Interested in joining the IABC community to collaborate with professionals like Reva? Become a member of our global network today.
IABC Staff, Featuring Reva Kautz