Q&A: Sheila Kloefkorn, CEO/President Of KEO Marketing

By Nonprofit Marketing ArizonaJune 22, 2016
Sheila Kloefkorn
Sheila Kloefkorn

Sheila is one the leading marketers and nonprofit community supporters in Arizona. 

Q: Name a few of the boards and causes that you are involved in? 

A: I’m the president of Business Marketing Association, Phoenix Chapter. I’m also a board member of Big Brothers Big Sisters, Human Rights Campaign, ONE Community and Competitive Arizona.    

Q: What are the key value propositions that they have in common to market to current and new members or supporters?  

A: Each of these organizations is built to educate and involve members and supporters to improve the community. For the Business Marketing Association, it exists to improve the knowledge base and profession of business-to-business marketing, which helps companies innovate and help communities. For Big Brothers Big Sisters, it is to mentor young people to help them grow up to be successful adults and leaders in the community.  

Q: Name a few key results that you have been involved with that benefited Arizona? 

A: In 2014, I was instrumental in mobilizing the business community to successfully obtain a veto of the discriminatory Arizona SB1062 from Governor Jan Brewer. 

In addition, I co-chaired the Yes on Prop 475 ballot initiative to extend non-discrimination protections to Tempe citizens through their city charter. Tempe is the first city in the country to go further than an ordinance change and update its charter to be fully inclusive of LGBT people. Later that year, I founded Competitive Arizona a c3/c4 organization working for full legal inclusion of LGBT people. I have served on the National Board of Directors of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and volunteered for the local Steering Committee for over a decade. I also served on the ONE Community Multicultural Advisory Board and the Equality Arizona Board. I have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in support of equality causes nationally and locally. 

Q: What do you gain by networking and being on community boards? 

A: I’m deeply motivated to contribute in big and small ways to make my communities and my country a better place for everyone to live. These nonprofit experiences have allowed me to do that, whether it was helping to bring same-sex marriage to Arizona or helping my little sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters study for a test. I have a huge sense of satisfaction from being able to help and make change. I’m so grateful for the friends, colleagues and clients I’ve gained as a result. I have my dream life and it is largely because of being involved in these organizations. 

Q: What are the most important programs or tactics nonprofits should implement to enhance their awareness? 

A: My experience is that so often non-profits, just like businesses, forget to share the mission of the organization through stories. These stories are the reason that people get involved with their time, treasure or talents. Finding new ways to tell the stories about why they exist and how they help the community is essential. Then they have to share that and have a plan to deliver on that message. People follow the vision and need to know the plan for how to get involved. Also, they need to be thanked and they need to feel like they have made a great investment. That will keep them coming back year after year. 

Q:  What are the 3 best sponsor – donor attraction programs you have seen or been involved with? 

A: The Human Rights Campaign Red Facebook Logo was the largest viral campaign in history - more than 18 million people changed their Facebook profile picture to the red HRC logo. For more details and a list of all of the awards. On March 25, we posted a red-tinted version of HRC’s iconic blue and yellow logo to the HRC Facebook page. In the post, we urged our supporters to make the image their profile photo and to wear red clothing in support of loving gay and lesbian couples during the two days of oral arguments. 

That first post drew 19,000 likes and 71,000 shares, and it spawned a viral Internet phenomenon. 

By the time thousands were gathering outside the Supreme Court the next morning, the image had created upwards of 10 million impressions in all 50 states and around the world, and millions of Facebook users from Mississippi to Norway had changed their profile picture to HRC’s image. 

Facebook and Twitter feeds across the country were awash in red, and many Americans learned the name “Human Rights Campaign” for the very first time. 

Television news from MSNBC to CNN, and newspapers from the Wall Street Journal to USA Today, all covered the rapidly-spreading HRC image.

Everyone from Beyoncé to Senator Al Franken to Bud Light used the image or variations of it to show their support for equality. 

Also with HRC, when I was co-chair of national major donor fundraising we raised more than $6M in a year by hosting Gala fundraising dinners in 34 cities around the country. The most important aspect was soliciting donors far in advance of the Galas to serve as matches for donations given at the events. 

Q: As a marketing pro, what are the best things a nonprofit can do to enhance their brand? (SEO, video, SMedia, ads, PR etc) 

A: Tell their story (over and over and with emotion), and then leverage it with video, PR and social media. People donate to nonprofits for emotional reasons. They want to be a part of something great. 

Q: How does engaging in the community have a positive impact on your business? 

A: Our company loves being engaged in the community because we care about the people we live with in this great state. We care about creating jobs and making our community a better place. This is a core value of our company, KEO Marketing. It gives us a chance to give back, to be involved, and live with purpose. We donate marketing services to one nonprofit per quarter. We are deeply proud of those organizations and the amount of impact they have been able to make. 

Q: How should companies or nonprofits be using technology to enhance their brand? 

A: They should be thinking about how to communicate with the next generation of donors - the milliennials. This is a generation that is deeply involved in technology, particularly social media and mobile apps. They are predisposed to want to be involved in causes that matter. They want to be able to connect, share, amplify and be involved through their mobile devices. Nonprofits who haven’t changed their communication methods to reach them stand to be left behind. It is the reason we’ve been helping a start up here in Phoenix, called GiveRight, help non-profits connect with millennials who can make micro-donations through their smartphones as they shop. The video describing it, that we made for them, is on the GiveRight home page.