James Thiessen

James grew up in Canada until he married an American and moved to sunny California. He came to the US with a marketing degree and a go-getter attitude in pursuit of the American dream.
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Recent Posts

Does SEO Matter for a Non-Profit?

Posted by James Thiessen on May 31, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Have ever asked yourself if SEO actually matters for a non-profit? The answer is a resounding 'Yes!' SEO makes all of the content you create reach more people, and with the amount of content that non-profits produce, it just makes sense for to invest in it. For a non-profit organization, whenever you make a financial investment it important to know if it’s working or not. A bad investment can cause people to question how their donations are being used. SEO will make your online investments work better and reach more people.

Every non-profit should invest in marketing in some way. Marketing is how you connect with people and create awareness for your cause. SEO is a big piece of that, and the online success of your non-profit, as it will help you connect and engage with more people online.

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Topics: non-profit, seo

How To Find The Right Partner For Your Non-Profit Organization

Posted by James Thiessen on May 27, 2016 8:00:00 AM

There are many people who have amazing dreams, visions, and ideas for non-profit organizations that will make a difference in this world. But not everybody can do it alone. Finding the right people to partner with can increase the impact you have. Successful partnerships built on a shared vision are what allow these ideas to take shape, attract volunteers and make an impact.

Before focusing on how to raise money, you need to know how to find the right partner for your non-profit organization. Just simply finding somebody who sounds like they care about the same issues as you, doesn’t constitute a good partnership. The people that you choose to partner with will make a big impact on the success of your non-profit organization.

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Topics: non-profit

How To Attract Volunteers To Your Non-Profit Organization

Posted by James Thiessen on May 25, 2016 8:00:00 AM

For a non-profit organization, there is nothing more valuable than your volunteers. They have a significant impact on the organizations ability to execute plans and strategies. Unfortunately, the number of people regularly volunteering has been decreasing. According to a 2015 report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 24.9% of the U.S. population over the age of 16 volunteered at least once in the last year. In 2011, this percentage was 26.8, and in 2005 it was 28.8%.

This decline has caused many organizations to become more desperate because volunteers are such a key piece to raising money for your non-profit. However, there is hope. And it may be found in the millennial generation and their innate desire to do good in the world. 

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Topics: non-profit, Responsive Web Design

How To Inspire People With Your Vision

Posted by James Thiessen on May 16, 2016 8:00:00 AM

One of the most important factors in the success of a non-profit organization is the ability to inspire people with your vision. I have seen it time and time again when someone has an amazing vision, but they struggle to gain any momentum because they can’t get people to follow them. Non-profit's need to invest in marketing in order to reach people with their message. Benjamin Hooks, said it best, "If you think you are leading and turn around to see no one following, then you are just taking a walk."

To start a movement, you need to learn how to inspire people with your visions and embrace people when they choose to follow you. Derek Sivers has an incredible Ted Talk on "How to start a movement". He talks about the power of embracing your first followers by seeing them as equals. When you embrace them, the focus becomes more about the movement and less about the person leading it. First followers are the most important people because they show others what it looks like to follow the person with the vision.

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Topics: non-profit, Web Design

4 Tips On Raising Money For Your Non-profit Organization

Posted by James Thiessen on May 6, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Almost everybody has been at an event where its entertaining and fun until someone walks out on stage and spends 20 minutes asking for your money. You know the feeling. It goes from having fun to wanting to leave in seconds. While this isn't always the case, non-profit organizations need to learn how to as for donations without sounding like they are begging. Which can be a difficult thing to do because if you own a non-profit, you know that your ability to make an impact in the world is defendant upon getting people to donate. Non-profit organizations need to invest in marketing and make sure you have everything you need on your website. find creative ways to raise money for their cause.

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Topics: Web Design

4 Ways For Church Leaders To Avoid Burnout

Posted by James Thiessen on Mar 30, 2016 8:00:00 AM

As a church leader, finding your church-life balance is a major key to having longevity in your ministry. When life gets busy, there needs to be some sort of structure in place that allows you to take the time to get your own needs met. If you spend all of your time doing ministry and pouring yourself out for other people while neglecting your own needs, you will start to see the signs of leadership burn out. This article gives you 4 practical ways to avoid burnout and find church-life balance.


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Topics: ministry

Why Marketing Isn't Anti-Biblical

Posted by James Thiessen on Mar 14, 2016 8:00:00 AM

The word marketing is a broad term that means a lot of different things to different people. It is defined in lots of different ways too. In the economic world, a traditional definition of marketing goes something like this. “Marketing is the means by which an organization engages its target audience to convey the value of their product with the goal of selling it to them.” Traditional marketing is very focused on the business or the product that is being sold and attempts to reach as many people as possible, with the hope that it will get a few people to buy.

More recently, there has been a shift in the marketing world from just talking about your product and business to actually building long-lasting relationships with people. The emergence of inbound marketing is proof of that. Marketers have realized that building relationship is actually more powerful than just talking about how great their product or service is and shouting their message to as many people as possible. This is the difference between traditional marketing and inbound marketing.

Churches and ministries often think of marketing based upon traditional methods and have examples of how businesses have used it to be manipulative, selfish, and greedy. While those methods do exist, they do not define what marketing is and how it can be benefit the church. A better and more current definition of marketing might be that it is the methods used to create long-lasting relationship and communicate your message to your audience.

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Topics: ministry, marketing

Why Non-Profits Need To Invest In Marketing

Posted by James Thiessen on Mar 9, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Non-profit organizations spending money to hire a marketing agency is a bit of a touchy subject for some. It is often frowned upon because the people that donate want to see their donation go straight to the cause they are supporting and not to things like marketing. Unfortunately, this way of thinking can actually undermine the causes that we are trying to support.

Spending money on marketing is often viewed as a negative thing that non-profits should limit as much as possible. In fact, when people hear that only 85% percent of their donation goes to straight to the cause and the other 15% goes to overhead, they start to question the ethics of an organization. Money spent on marketing is often seen as a waste in the non-profit world. When you compare this thinking to the for-profit sector there is a disconnect. The success of a for-profit business is often in its ability to market itself well. They spend a ton of money to generate leads and turn them into sales. By not allowing non-profits to do the same we are limiting potential growth of that organization by not allowing them to invest in growing the organization. Now don’t get me wrong, you still want to do your research to know that your donation money is being used ethically, but we need to stop limiting the growth of non-profit organization and understand that marketing is a good thing.


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Topics: non-profit, Inbound Marketing

Why You Need A Church Website

Posted by James Thiessen on Mar 2, 2016 8:00:00 AM

It used to be that the first impression people would get from a church would be when they walked through the front doors. Somebody with a big smile and a name badge would excitedly want to look newcomers in the eye, shake their hand, and in a very sincere voice say “good morning’. While that still is the case sometimes, it is becoming more common that your church website is the place where people get their first impression of your church. Web design has a huge impact on what people think of your church. If your website is old and outdated, that will be the first impression people get about your church from your website. It’s time for churches to get serious about creating a great website with a great user experience.

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Topics: Web Design, Responsive Web Design