We are just two weeks away from #GivingTuesday! Whether your campaign is in full-swing or you are just getting started, here are a few steps to take to assure day-of event (and post-event) success.

Update your profiles

Make sure you’ve changed all of your social media headers and profile images to reflect your #GivingTuesday branding. You may also want to create a Facebook event and calendar event for the event to share with supporters.

TIP: Use #GivingTuesday’s custom profile frames to easily change your Facebook profile image.

Go big on social media

Bump up the frequency of posts, and don’t be afraid to mention your call to action…


Most organizations have a mission statement, but do you have a social media mission statement?

According to HubSpot, 67% of nonprofits have no social media strategy, policies or goals documented (ouch — that’s higher than the 50% of companies without a documented social media strategy reported by Search Engine Journal). That means more than half of the organizations they polled are basically just “throwing it out there to see what sticks” — not a good use of time and money.

67% of nonprofits don‘t have a documented social media strategy

Why it’s important to have a social media mission

Considering 74% of people say they use Facebook for professional…


In my post about why I didn’t check email on vacation, I talked about the reasons why you should avoid email on vacation (spoiler alert: you will be more relaxed).

But for many of my colleagues and friends, the thought of taking a “digital detox”: is downright frightening. I totally get it: FOMO has been a part of my life since I was a teenager not wanting to miss a Friday night party. And since much of my social media usage is business-related, there’s the fear of missing out on a business opportunity.

Arianna Huffington—author of the book Thrive, which…


Social media can seem daunting when you’re working solo, or at a nonprofit organization or small business. Here are the social media blogs that I find most useful for staying up-to-date in the changing world of social media.

Many of these blogs also offer weekly email tips and/or how-to or beginner’s guides to social media topics, so if you are just diving in keep an eye out for those.

7 Useful Social Media Marketing Blogs to Follow

Buffer Blog

Buffer makes my favorite social media scheduler and shares the latest trends in social media marketing, as well as useful case studies from companies that are doing it well.


Updated July 10, 2019

When I present my branding and marketing workshops to nonprofits, I inevitably get asked the question: “Is there any way we can do some of this stuff on our own? (preferably for free or not a lot of money!)”

Well, with a little bit of digging, plus my own huge list of resources (I’m a research junkie), I put together this list of free or low-cost design resources for nonprofits and higher education.

Fonts

Fonts are intellectual property, so they must be licensed before you can use them, so I don’t recommend downloading free fonts unless it’s…


I recently went on vacation with my family and decided to do something I haven’t done in several years: completely unplug.

Cutting the (digital) cord isn’t easy

During the 17 years I’ve been in business, I’ve developed a habit of bringing my laptop on vacation-either to finish up a late or last-minute project or “just in case.” Even if I don’t have projects going on, I inevitably end up checking my work email-”just in case.”

As a small business owner, I know my clients are counting on me so it’s a little scary to completely step away from my work life: “What if something comes up…


I was recently designing packaging for a small business owner and when I requested her brand guidelines, she had never heard of the term. I’m guessing this is common for many small business owners. Or else, you have heard of brand guidelines, but don’t know where to start when it comes to creating them for your business.

What are brand guidelines?

Brand guidelines (also sometimes called brand standards, style or identity guidelines or graphic standards) provide a detailed overview of your business’ (or product’s) branding-from the graphic look and feel to the overall voice and tone. …


On June 1, 2018 the Association of Consultants to Nonprofits (ACN) held their annual meeting in Chicago. The event featured networking, breakout discussions on specific topics and a panel of consultants discussing how they are helping nonprofits grow and thrive.

The panel was moderated by Chicago broadcasting legend and philanthropist, Merri Dee, and included panelists Clara L. Carrier of Breaking Through Consulting, LLC, Gregg Mellinger of USI Insurance Services, Joyce Golbus Poll of J.G. Poll & Associates (and former ACN Board President) and Amy Schiffman of Giving Tree Associates.

1. Funding—and What is Working Now

A hybrid/diverse approach is best: corporate, foundations, individual giving. Think about…


I work with many nonprofits in Chicago, and one of the reasons they choose to work with me is because they need help bringing consistency to their branding and marketing materials.

For an established organization (or even a new one), branding can start to become diluted over time, with marketing materials using multiple versions of logos, colors and images that are not on-brand, and messaging that is not targeted or audience-focused. This is where brand guidelines can make a big impact.

What are brand guidelines?

Brand guidelines (also sometimes called brand standards, style guides, identity guides or graphic standards) provide a detailed overview of…


I’ve moved my branding and marketing design studio several times over the last 19 years and will admit: it never gets easier.

It can be unnerving not having easy access to what you need to get your work done—especially with deadlines looming. (Is it just me, or does work always get busy before a move?)

My last office move was a unique challenge as I ended up being in-between offices for a few weeks. So my iMac was temporarily located on my kitchen island—and the rest of my office was split between my storage unit and my car trunk.

I…

Lidia Varesco Design

Empowering organizations and entrepreneurs to make a change through branding and creative marketing | Work-life champion | Founder of @bizmamas #BizMama

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