Zodiac has been serving associations and non-profits for decades, and we are still learning: What We Do For Associations and Non-Profits in 2018:
Associations and Foundations in one form or the other, have been bringing people together for more than a century on missions to embolden, ennoble, engage, educate, empower and leverage the combined strength of the whole, to benefit all. The landscape continues to evolve in the new digital age, and our clients are working hard to change with it—to be relevant, to do the mission, to provide value and to grow. At The Zodiac Group, our hand-selected, experienced professionals guide association and foundation leadership through change moments, using leading technology tools to generate inclusive engagement, discovery, and analysis and to provide strategic recommendations and efficient implementation. There is no preset formula, we adapt our calendar and vision to our client’s needs, budgets and timetables. Our solutions are exactly as big and as fast as they need to be for our clients.
How We Do It — Differently:
As former clients ourselves, accustomed to accountability to generate results fast, our principals profoundly appreciate the process, but not as a rationalization for inaction. What we do differently is to put our best ideas on the table, based on experience and talent, and use those big ideas to generate excitement, engagement and ultimately powerful programs through the process. Ideas come first if you need to move fast. In the digital age, decisions aren’t made in your boardroom, they are made in the marketplace. Sometimes the hardest step is the first one, get an idea into action and see what works. We’ve done this many times, as clients and as consultants.
Some of our big stakes, big ideas that changed the rules of engagement:
The American Legacy Foundation: A New Approach. In addition to shifting the blame from the smoker, as the public health community had done for decades, rightfully to the tobacco industry, we then decided to team with the public health community, and the states tobacco-control programs in an unprecedented cooperative creative and media platform that drove youth smoking to a historic low.
The USO: A Renewed Commitment. Following the national disaster that was 9/11, many in the country and needed to find new meaning and personal purpose in the aftermath of a meaningless tragedy. The USO created a $100 million program that provided the outlet for those looking to be a part of solution.
Johns Hopkins University: A “New” Name. The University had no accessible sense of self and its “identity crisis” was exacerbated by a reputation of humorlessness and the challenge of its unusual name — Johns. We used April Fool’s day as a teaching platform and released a multimedia press release announcing the university would change its name to John Hopkins April 1. The story made the national evening news as a memorable April Fools prank, but also engaged 250,000 alumni and friends in a new and interesting way for Johns Hopkins.
The Naval Academy: A Bigger Audience. In launching its first-ever capital campaign, we recognized that the Academy did more than create officers for the Navy and Marine Corps, the Academy developed Leaders to Serve a Nation, whether in uniform or in the private or public sectors, which immensely expanded the prospective donor base.
The U.S. Naval Institute: Living History. The Institute need to fine energy and relevance in their mission of paying homage to the service of soldiers and sailors, without glorifying war. The Americans At War video series highlighted personal stories from luminaries such as George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole, Daniel Inouye and more. Americans At War was featured on PBS in association with Ken Burns series, War.
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers: Engineering Cool. ASME had identified the pipeline of engineers as one of its main goals; attracting a diverse and talented new generation of engineers. We introduced a contest with NASA for young people to participate that would result in one of them having their idea being 3D printed on the space station.