A display contains frozen items, and the shelves are stocked with jars and cans. But there’s just one reason to visit this Boerum Hill business: meat.
NYS Entity Status
NYS Filing Date
AUGUST 13, 2013
NYS DOS ID#
NYS Entity Type
DOMESTIC LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY
2013 - JENNY BEST COMMUNICATIONS LLC
AROUND THE WEB
- Neighborhood Joint: Staubitz Market in Brooklyn: 100 Years of Sawdust, Steaks and Chops
By ANDREW COTTO - Wednesday Jun 14, 2017
The High Value of Your Nonprofit’s Values
Wednesday Jan 25, 2017
I was delighted to participate as a steering committee in the Brooklyn Community Foundation’s inaugural Spark Prize, an exciting new grantmaking initiative. I was truly impressed with how the Foundation integrated its values into every aspect of this project and leveraged them as a strategic decision-making tool in the grant review process, so I asked their fabulous DIrector of Communications, Liane Stegmaier, to write about it. - Sarah Durham
This month, Brooklyn Community Foundation marks the third anniversary of Brooklyn Insights—an extensive Brooklyn-wide community engagement project launched shortly after our President Cecilia Clarke joined the Foundation, which ultimately produced a bold grantmaking strategy that has since garnered national recognition.
And coincidentally, on this anniversary we are announcing the recipients of our new Spark Prize—one of the Foundation’s highest-profile grantmaking efforts to date, awarding 5 outstanding Brooklyn nonprofits with no-strings-attached grants of $100,000 each in recognition of their service to Brooklyn, commitment to equity and justice, strong organizational values, and dynamic vision for the future.
While we’re often asked about the major themes surfaced through our 1,000-plus Brooklyn Insights’ community conversations, the core grantmaking strategies we’ve since focused on, or our new institution-wide Racial Justice Lens—in this blog, we’re going to focus on the set of values that emerged during Brooklyn Insights that not only helped the Foundation determine our new direction, but continue to guide us and inform new initiatives like the Spark Prize.
Of course, we knew three years ago that creating a community-led strategy might also lead us to change our mission statement and vision. But what we didn’t fully appreciate at the time was that while mission and vision are critical for moving us forward, strong institutional values are necessary to define who we are as an institution and how we hold ourselves accountable to these pursuits each and every day.
Over the six months of listening to Brooklynites tell us about the challenges they faced in their communities, the opportunities they saw for change, and the roles we as their Community Foundation could play, we also heard loud and clear a call for us to be a different kind of institution: one that wears its values on its sleeve, keeps the doors open, and always positions community voices at the fore of its work.
This call led us to articulate five new values for Brooklyn Community Foundation:
Courage. We believe in fearlessly identifying barriers to change and we fight for solutions that help overcome injustice.
Creativity. We believe that the power of imagination is greater than the challenges we face. We celebrate what works. We pursue the new. We learn as much from failure as we do from success.
Honesty. We are committed to being open and trustworthy in all we do and seek partners who share our values.
Collaboration. We believe in creating solutions together, harnessing the diversity of Brooklyn, and partnering with the community to spark change and produce results.
Respect. We believe in every resident’s dignity and basic human rights, and honor diversity of race, gender and background.
We’ve come to refer to these values at every test in our decision-making, we talk about them in our Board meetings, staff meetings, and annual staff reviews, and they’ve informed our ongoing racial justice and equity trainings.
And with the new Spark Prize, we are spotlighting the importance of strong values, and celebrating 5 Brooklyn nonprofits for their exemplary values-driven work. The first-ever recipients of the Spark Prize are Audre Lorde Project, Common Justice, Make the Road New York, MoCADA, and Neighbors Together.
A committee of approximately 30 Brooklyn civic, business and philanthropic leaders (including Big Duck’s own Sarah Durham!) selected the 5 organizations from an applicant pool of over 150. They were chosen on the basis of a 1,000 word essay, followed by in person interviews where each spoke to the role their values play in their organization and how they align with the Foundation’s values.
In their application, Audre Lorde Project stated that their values are rooted in transparency, wellness, transformation, cultural work and coalition building. “Collaboration with other social justice organizations is central to ALP’s intersectional, movement-building work.”
Make the Road wrote that their values are why their 19,000+ members shape all of their campaigns: “Our youth challenge oppression by naming the disparate treatment of black and brown, LGBTQ and immigrant young people …. Their passionate advocacy has resulted in huge movement victories.”
MoCADA is “a museum founded on principles of justice, equity, and inclusion….courage, creativity and collaboration are the key elements of our mission, vision and values.”
Neighbors Together’s work is “grounded in our belief in the dignity and potential of each person to be a vital part of creating a more just society” and its members have the courage “to fight for real and lasting solutions to overcome injustice.”
And last but not least, Common Justice highlighted each of their values in their application—demonstrating a deep connection between their values and the unique nature of their healing work between victims and perpetrators of violence:
Accountability. We are responsible for our actions, our words, our power, and our impacts. We know that accountability affirms the dignity and humanity both of those responsible and of those harmed, and we hold ourselves to the same high standards to which we hold others.
Transparency. We are transparent about our actions, our intentions, our options, and our decisions. We communicate with clarity and consistency with those impacted by what we do.
Transformation. We believe in the potential of all human beings to transform, heal, grow, change, and be resilient. We believe we all deserve individuals, communities, and institutions that support us in being our best selves.
Respect. We believe in the inherent worth, importance, rights, culture, and strengths of all people, and work to reflect and honor that in the way we behave toward others.
Purpose. We uphold the responsibilities and boundaries of our work because we are ambitious, hopeful, and outcomes-driven.
These 5 values send a powerful message, and are a primary reason Common Justice is receiving the Spark Prize in our inaugural year.
As nonprofit communicators, we are all very familiar with the adage “Show, Don’t Tell.”
Mission tells us what you do; values show who you are.
- Cyclist Killed by Bus in New York’s First Citi Bike Fatality
By MATTHEW HAAG and HANNAH ALANI - Tuesday Jun 13, 2017
Dan Hanegby of Brooklyn fell under a bus’s tires in Chelsea. He worked for Credit Suisse and was once the top-ranked tennis player in Israel.
3 Ways to Hire and Retain the Best Nonprofit Communicators
Wednesday Feb 15, 2017
Savvy communications directors with deep expertise and track records of success in larger nonprofits are, in my experience, a bit like the Painted Bunting who unexpectedly took up residence here in Brooklyn recently; rare birds that can be difficult to attract, spot, and head south for the winter too soon. When the right person applies to work for you and stays, spearheading game-changing communications projects year after year, you’ve hit the jackpot.
Here are three ways you can hire and retain the best nonprofit communicators:
Want a pro? Hire a pro.
It sounds funny to say, but if you want an expert communications director, you need to actually hire one. That often means resisting the urge to promote that programs person who you think is a good communicator just because they’ve worked at your org for awhile and “get it.” Try to avoid hiring that great person from the corporate world who comes without nonprofit experience too. Instead, recruit people with solid backgrounds working in nonprofit communications already so they can bring their knowledge of the sector, strategy, and skills with them.
Kivi Leroux-Miller and I recently collaborated on a study of successful in-house communications teams that revealed that hiring expert nonprofit communications professionals was a critical factor. (Download our ebook “What it Takes to Be Great: The top five factors of successful nonprofit communications teams” here).
Big team? Invest in a strong second-in-command.
I recently invited a handful of senior communicators at nonprofit organizations with operating budgets of 100 million dollars or more to meet each other over breakfast at Big Duck and share how their teams are structured. While each nonprofit’s communications team varied in size (from 1.5 to 14 full-time employees!) the directors in the room who seemed the happiest (and calmest) all had one thing in common: a strong second-in-command.
Senior-level communications pros don’t want want to do it all themselves, and they know it’s not a good use of donor dollars if they do. A strong Number Two gives your communications director the ability to step out of the weeds of managing every project, focus on setting priorities, and work more on the high-value projects. This generates greater value for the nonprofit, who’s likely paying that director a six-figure salary, and pushes down the day-to-day communications work to people who are less expensive, just starting their careers, and need to build these skills. It also provides your organization with a working succession plan if your director leaves.
?These Number Two spots are great opportunities to develop rising stars—and a more appropriate place for someone who’s entering your organization from the corporate sector or another department. They can be mentored by the Director while getting hands-on experience assuming management responsibilities.
Lots to do? Set priorities and be ruthless.
Communications teams have important strategic work to do: raising awareness, changing hearts and minds, engaging donors or members, recruiting participants to programs, strengthening the brand experience, and more. This work can take years to do successfully and well; it requires planning, budgeting, buy-in,methodical oversight, and execution.
At the same time, many communications teams also function as an internal agency. They are asked to create flyers for events at the last minute, help a department finesse and send an email out, and more to accommodate projects on short notice. This work is important too, but it’s often reactive and more tactical. It’s the sort of urgent (but not always important) work that eats up time from the important (but not always urgent) work of proactive, strategic communications.
That seasoned director you hope will build a nest for years to come will fly away fast if she’s burdened with an unreasonably long list of tasks, murky priorities, no resources for managing more production-based assignments, and left without time to advance the projects where she and her team might add the most value.
In our ebook, “What it Takes to Be Great: The top five factors of successful nonprofit communications teams,” we confirmed that successful communications teams rely not only on a clear set of priorities, but also the support of leadership who empowers them to be able to say no. At my roundtable of communications pros at large nonprofits there was consensus about this, too.
If priorities aren’t clear, consider labeling every project your department works on in one of these three ways:
Fire-extinguishing: these projects and tasks are typically urgent, time-sensitive, and often crisis-driven. They tend to be tactical and often have little or no long-term ROI. For example, fixing your board chair’s misspelled name on that big mailing you’re about to do.
Optimizing: these projects and tasks usually involve making processes, systems, and tools better. For instance, upgrading Constant Contact to something more state-of-the-art and powerful like Salesforce, or building a better website.
Seed-planting: these projects and tasks are the essence of important/not urgent work. They won’t bear fruit for some time, but when they do, you’ll feel great. For instance, researching and preparing a 3-year plan for your communications team that builds off of your organization’s strategic plan, includes a budget, and culminates by tackling a big project (such as a rebranding you know you should do but can’t happen soon).
Labeling these projects and tracking them in a project management system like Basecamp (or even on post-its on your wall) will help you get a clearer sense where your team’s time actually goes. Better yet, consider reviewing how many and what sort of fire-extinguishing, optimizing, and seed-planting projects you’re working on regularly with your boss so you can make sure you’re aligned.
Looking for more? Just reach out.
If you’re a CEO searching for your own Painted Bunting at a mid-size or larger organization, contact us. We might be able to help.
- Pride 2017: New York’s L.G.B.T.Q. Story Began Well Before Stonewall
By LIAM STACK - Monday Jun 19, 2017
The gay bar’s 1969 patron-police battle, hailed as a starting point, actually followed many events in the city, now mapped in a sites project.
Brand Building at the Prospect Park Alliance
Wednesday Jan 18, 2017
When I became the head of marketing at the Prospect Park Alliance, the non-profit organization that manages Brooklyn's flagship park in partnership with the City, I was given a marketing professional's dream situation and perhaps biggest challenge: creating a new website for the organization starting on day one—and adding to that, by my own initiative, the freshening of the brand identity.
The Alliance had just completed the Samuel J. and Ethel LeFrak Center at Lakeside, an award-winning recreation center designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architect, and an infusion of good will and heightened fundraising had provided the resources to take on this project, and in short time and with an ambitious timeline, we kicked off work.
The project went smoothly and was overall a success, and I attribute this to several steps that were taken along the way:
Set a strategy
About a year before I came to the Alliance, the organization hired Big Duck to undertake a brandraising intensive with leadership and key stakeholders. This valuable process, which identified the Alliance's key audiences, its brand "personality" and the start of key messaging for the organization, served as a valuable strategic road map for our brand refresh and website redesign.
Consider the Brand History and equity
For every organization, its history and focus for the future will dictate what direction to take with its brand identity. For the Alliance, we felt that its most recent brand identity, designed by Chermayeff & Geismar in 2002, had resonance with our audiences, so rather than start from scratch, our designers built on that brand equity by streamlining and modernizing our existing mark, and introducing full brand system that played to our key brand characteristics.
I am lucky to work in an environment with colleagues and leadership that were fully supportive of this project – this is not always the case. But even in the best situations, building consensus goes a long way toward ensuring the success of the project. From day one, I assembled a leadership team that was charged with making final decisions on the project, which met a key milestones in the project's development. In each phase of the project, the consultants met with key departments at the Alliance to gather their input and perspective. This not only ensured that the project went smoothly, but in my opinion also improved upon the design work.
Create a Full Brand System
Rather than just creating a logo and calling it a new brand identity, our designers fleshed out a full brand system, with our website as the first significant project. At the end of the project, we were provided with a font family, color palette, photography style guide, templates for creating the various types of print materials produced by the organization, letterhead, electronic newsletters, and even a system for branding all the work we do in Prospect Park. Consistency is incredibly important in establishing a brand and raising its profile, and this system was essential for our achieving these goals. Rather than restricting our designers, the new system has provided them with creative approaches for working within the system to produce strong and beautiful materials for our organization.
The results can be seen in the success of our marketing and fundraising activities – since the launch of our brand identity and website in late 2014, we have grown our email audience by nearly 200 percent, and have additional gains in our fundraising efforts with key audiences.
Deborah Kirschner is a marketing and communications professional with more than 20 years experience in the non-profit cultural sector. She oversees a full range of marketing and communications activities as the Assistant Vice President of Marketing and Communications at the Prospect Park Alliance, the non-profit organization that sustains, restores and advances Brooklyn's flagship park in partnership with the City. Deborah was responsible for the development and implementation of a new brand identity for the organization, as well as the launch of a new website, and is currently spearheading the marketing and promotional activities around the Park's 150th anniversary celebration.
- Mixed Links for Nonprofit Communicators
By Kristina Leroux, Community Engagement Manager - Friday Jun 16, 2017
Happy Friday, everyone! Join me for some of the best Mixed Links around… Something that could help you with your nonprofit communiations – How to Add Color and Richness to Your Writing … Without Making Us Want to Barf. Beth Kanter reviews Julia Campbell’s book Storytelling in the Digital Age. Wild Apricot shares 49 Popular Nonprofit […]
It might be time to kill your newsletter
Thursday May 11, 2017
Ah - the nonprofit newsletter. That communications tactic that’s so ubiquitous that you probably can’t imagine life without it. Like sliced bread. Or kale in Brooklyn. From the days of twenty page printed quarterlies (mailed the old fashioned way), to 2017 when our subscribers spend a few seconds thumbing through our content on their mobile devices, if we’re lucky. The nonprofit newsletter is destined to stand the test of time. Right?
I’m here today to make a potentially controversial statement: It’s time to say goodbye to the newsletter as we know it. Chances are your investment in it is simply just not worth the time and energy as it used to be.
As you are well aware, developing a newsletter takes a lot: content sourcing, writing, designing, formatting, testing. It can take hours, days, weeks to assemble—with touches, input, and approval from countless people throughout the organization—inside and outside the communications team.
Why do so many nonprofits take on the burden of producing the equivalent of a magazine a month that gets an average 1.5 percent click through rate and 14 percent open rate? Those figures are down from 2015, according to M+R's 11th Benchmarks Study of nonprofit digital advocacy, fundraising, social, and advertising. If your organization is in this predicament, it’s time for a new approach. This doesn't mean you should scrap the operation entirely (though it could)—but I bet there are some adjustments that you could make to get a better return. So, hold your horses, I’m not saying that the goal of your nonprofit newsletter isn’t important, I’m just saying that there are probably better [i.e. more efficient, leaner, and high-value] ways to achieve that goal.
Before you pull the plug (or press pause on that enews that’s about to blast in an hour) here are some questions to help you think this through.
What’s your enewsletter costing you?
How much total time is your entire team spending on your enews? Don’t know? Add it up. Track it honestly (There are lots of free time-tracking tools you can use if Excel is not your friend). Once you have a rough figure, take a hard look at it and ask yourself “Is it worth it?”
The time has come to approach nonprofit marketing with ruthless rigor. If you’re not already, you should ask yourself with every project—is the time and investment spent here a smart use of my limited resources? If you can look at that time calculation and make the case that it’s worth it, keep on trucking. If not, take steps to be more efficient.
What’s the point?
Every communications piece should be connected to a goal—the more specific the better. And the newsletter is no exception. You probably have several important goals for your newsletter—keeping your donors up-to-date, communicating impact, telling stories, putting a face to volunteers, showcasing exciting new programs, etc. And you 100% should keep in touch with your supporters, especially before fundraising asks. But take a step back and ask yourself, “is this newsletter in its current form the best way to achieve these goals?”
Who do we want to read this piece?
Knowing your audience is key. Ask yourself, who is our primary audience for our newsletter and what are they looking for? If you’re not sure, ask them. A simple survey to newsletter subscribers can go a long way. When it comes to communication, personalization matters. A recent study by Abila about donor loyalty reports that approximately 71 percent of donors feel more engaged with a nonprofit when they receive content that’s personalized to them. Investing all of your efforts on one-size-fits all newsletter may not be the right approach.
What content do we need to deliver?
We live in an age where good content matters. In that same study cited above, nearly 75 percent of donors say they might stop donating to an organization based on poor content, including vague, dull, or irrelevant content, and inconvenient formatting. With that in mind, your communications team should be in the habit of regularly developing content that will resonate with your audiences and assessing what channel is best for that content to be delivered. Maybe that one-size-fits-all monthly enews that takes weeks to assemble could be scrapped in place of shorter, more regular email updates or Facebook posts. Or perhaps you can build up your blog and treat your enews as a simple round-up of what you’ve already developed, segmented by audience type and emailing content to people in more targeted ways.
Think through first what content you really need to deliver, and then put pressure on whether your newsletter is the best format to deliver it. (Need help? Check our Sarah Durham’s content planning and management workshop coming up this summer.)
What does the data say?
If you aren’t already, you should be keeping a close eye on how your enewsletter is performing. Try comparing your open rates and click-through rates to industry averages using M&R’s 2017 e-benchmarks. If your enewsletter is performing at or below average, there’s probably a good case to be made to approach it with fresh eyes.