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Last weekend, the Annual Report we created for the Mental Health Association of Central Oklahoma (MHACO) won a bronze ADDY award from the Oklahoma City Ad Club (AAF) for design. This is the third award for this project (AMA Marketini and IABC Bronze Quill in 2012) and our 12th ADDY award (there are others, long story). This will probably be the last ADDY awards we enter.


The ADDY awards are different than other communications awards. The full focus is on design, creativity and execution. We offer award winning design services, but it’s not the bulk of what we, as a company, do day in and day out.

Other awards are based on strategy and results. That’s were our work is focused, much more than design. ADDY awards are for ad agencies, web developers and graphic designers. The Golding Group is something different. We do the work behind the design.

Good luck to our ad agency and designer friends in next year’s ADDY awards.


The Golding Group is happy to announce our latest non-profit partnership: CASA of Oklahoma County. CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates, serving children in the Oklahoma County legal system. CASA is best interest advocacy for abused and neglected children by a trained community volunteer.


The Golding Group is excited to be working with the CASA staff to refine strategy and develop marketing tools to better tell their story.

We will also be facilitating board development, creating a long-term operational plan and helping the organization celebrate their 25th anniversary year.

Please, take a few moments and learn more about CASA of Oklahoma County.


The Golding Group starts 2013 right by adding two new awards from the American Advertising Federation. Projects we designed and executed with two of our favorite clients Samuel Gordon Jewelers and Mental Health Association of Central Oklahoma (MHACO) have won ADDY awards for 2012.

The first winner is the oversized 3-sided banner we designed in partnership with Tag Heuer Watches. The banners, printed and stitched together by Showtime Graphics, features Hollywood beauty Cameron Diaz and can be seen from blocks away in either direction. We also mounted them in a way to not do permanent damage to the SGJ building (client request).


The second winner is the Annual Report (2011) for the Mental Health Association of Central Oklahoma (MHACO) conceptualized by Cher Golding and designed by Kyle Golding in 2012. This annual report has also won awards from the American Marketing Association (AMA) and the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC).

We are proud to be recognized for our creative work on these two project, but even more proud to create highly functioning tools for great clients.


Filling a need in the Oklahoma visual arts community, [Inclusion In Art] is a newly formed 501c3 non-profit organization creating racial and cultural diversity opportunities in the Sooner state.

Inclusion In Art is dedicated to advancing racial and cultural diversity in Oklahoma’s visual arts community. We support artist of color with connectivity, betterment and information.
  • Promoting racial and cultural diversity through exhibitions, workshops, creative projects and lectures.
  • Supporting artists of color by finding resources available to assist them with their artistic endeavors.
  • Connecting communities through socially conscious presentations that challenge the mind and embrace progressive thought.

The Golding Group is happy to be working with this great group of people addressing creative and cultural gaps in Oklahoma. By creating opportunities, encouraging underserved art communities and educating everyone to the value of multicultural art experiences [Inclusion In Art] can and will make a positive impact.

The Golding Group has worked with [Inclusion In Art] from inception providing 501c3 incorporation services, strategic planning, board development and now branding for the organization. If you are interested in what The Golding Group can do for your business or non-profit, please contact us.


The Golding Group is happy to announce our latest non-profit partnership: The Fine Arts Institute of Edmond.


We will be providing daily marketing, networking and development advice to the Fine Arts Institute leadership and staff. We are look forward to working side-by-side with this wonderful organization and further increasing their impact in the Edmond area and beyond.

Read more about the work of FAI in The Daily Oklahoman story Art in the Schools Program is Welcomed in Edmond.


5. AFP-OK The Association of Fundraising Professionals presentation about “Don’t Market A Non-Profit Like a Business” was memorable to me for several reasons. Mostly the great response and new clients relationships we created there for the Golding Group.

Also, an extremely expressive member of the audience had me thinking my presentation was going horribly wrong the entire time. Don’t you hate it when that happens?

4. PRSA New Pros There is nothing better than influencing young professionals. The New Pros group asked me to speak in May about the “Entrepreneurial Spirit” of leaders and star employees titled: Everything You Need to Know About Starting Your Own Business (Or Not Starting Your Own Business). I was pleasantly surprised this group asked the most questions about upholding ethics in regard to career building.

KyleWithNewPRPros3. PRSA Arkansas It’s always fun to go to new markets, meet other professionals and expand the The Golding Group. The PRSA-ARK group asked me to speak about “Creativity in PR” at their October meeting. This presentation included the hottest trends in communications: social media, inbound and relationship-based marketing – and how they are all based in basic PR principles.

You can see video highlights here.

2. IABC-OKC Speaking in front of hometown professionals is always a great thrill. The IABC-OKC group asked me to speak in August about “Cause Marketing: Overcoming Stigma and Other Challenges” in reference to the award-winning campaign The Golding Group created for the Mental Health Association of Central Oklahoma in late 2011.

I actually changed my presentation about 2 minutes before starting, due to a poll of attendees about what they hoped to learn. In the end, it worked out great and the group was very engaged. A great question and answer session followed.

1. Oklahoma Arts Council State Arts Conference The longest presentation I have done so far, this 90 minute session kicked off the 2012 State Arts Conference in front of over 100 people. I presented a series tips for marketing non-profit organizations, events and campaigns. This presentation was based on a series of blog post from earlier in the year. The two-day conference was one of the best I have attended in a long time.

This was also the public debut of Inclusion In Art, a new arts non-profit we helped get started that create opportunity for racial and cultural diversity in the Oklahoma arts community. This is one of the biggest success stories for The Golding Group this year.

Bonus: IgniteOKC The unique nature of Ignite presentations is you only have 5 minutes and 20 slides. Once you start, the slides automatically advance and you have to keep up, stay focused and wrap up on time for it all to make sense. I had a lot of fun with my topic “Everything I know About Starting A Business I Learned From Riding a Motorcycle”.


2012 was as demanding as ever in emerging technologies, as clients searched for funding, strategic partnerships and solutions to business dilemmas that ran the gamut. From CES to CEO, 2012 was an amazing and unforgettable year of service for some incredible companies.

5. CES 2012 My first Consumer Electronics Show serving multiple clients made it my most challenging CES yet. One of the world’s largest trade shows, spanning not only the Las Vegas Convention Center, but also several hotels, CES is a challenge period. The only way to make standing in a booth for eight hours/four days look easy is to run across that convention center for back to back meetings in unreasonable shoes instead. But, hey I ran off literally every holiday pound I’d put on! Most importantly, we met with several Fortune 500 companies that are field testing our technologies today!

4. Saying No It’s heartbreaking to conduct a strategic analysis for a great team, on a great product, with a great business model and still tell them “No, this is not the space for you”. Doing so has also fostered one of my strongest professional relationships to date. Honesty in the face of enthusiasm, dedication and motivation is tough. Watching your client flounder underfunded in a “red ocean” of brutal competition racing to the bottom is worse.

3. Strategic Pivot One of my favorite tasks in business is teaching others to embrace change. This is especially important in emerging technologies, where it’s easy to have your nose to the grindstone just long enough to miss a competitor or market shift that leaves you unawares. When this occurs, the most capable companies plan and execute a strategic shift or pivot themselves. This can be a daily occurrence and nearly was for several clients in 2012! No one gets to ski straight down the tech mountain! We also add automated resource review so that the shifts don’t happen without our clients knowing.

2. BP4B I was honored this year with an appointment to BluePrint for Business. When the opportunity to mentor five start-ups in Oklahoma’s Premier Business and Technology Accelerator arose, I jumped at the chance to help these extremely dedicated, motivated, passionate and brilliant business people question EVERYTHING, then question EVERYTHING again. These are some of my best spent hours of 2012, undoubtedly.

1. CEO Sometimes simply developing a Strategic Plan is not enough. This year I accepted the appointment by BuLogics, Inc. to execute the most complex Strategic Plan of which I’ve been a part to date, as CEO, an honor for which I cannot express my appreciation in words. My appreciation can only be expressed by exemplary execution on that plan. Bring on 2013!

BONUS: Scott Klososky’s Business Intelligence and Big Data Workshop Grow! Grow! Grow! The world is changing faster than ever and the best way to stay on top is to remain diligent in your own professional growth. 2012 included a rare moment when my world gets turned phenomenally upside down. Scott Klososky’s Workshops do this for me EVERY TIME! My biggest challenge after unlearning everything I thought I knew about the topic is prioritizing all of the change I want to occur thereafter! This year it was Klososky’s Business Intelligence and Big Data. Mind blowing. As Klososky says, “The race to the future has no finish line”.


1.  Properly Thank Donors Unfortunately I’ve seen some real mistakes regarding this tip. Fundraising isn’t easy, just ask the leaders of the over 12,000 nonprofits in Oklahoma. Time and resources are often the largest challenges nonprofits face. But reducing your time by sending a carbon copy receipt from a receipt book to a donor who just wrote you a $100,000 check will only hurt you. Not all gifts require a phone call to say thank you or even a hand written thank you note, but I promise you will get back what you put in. Do it poorly, and you will most likely never get another large gift (or maybe even another gift at all) from this donor.

If you put forth some effort and properly say Thank You, you will build a relationship and ensure that this donor will be there for you again during your time of need or as part of their planned giving.

2.  Know Your Donors Fundraising has always been about relationships, but 2012 took a more personal approach. Simply submitting multiple grants to raise program and operational dollars is no longer the way to sustain your nonprofit. Individuals are the key. Get to know your donors including the individuals at the corporations and foundations that support your nonprofit. Learn their interests, why they support your cause and what will inspire them to increase or maintain their level of support.

If your donor only makes a contribution to nonprofits that take them to lunch and personally thank them, then take them to lunch. If your donor wants a thank you letter, send them a thank you letter. If your donor isn’t interested in your programs, but is interested in setting up an endowment to sustain your organization, than stop asking them for program support and meet with them to discuss an endowment.

Amy Braiterman, Principal Strategy Consultant for Blackbaud, recently published a great article about peer-to-peer fundraising. You can read it here.

3.  Learn the Meaning of the Word “Impact” As someone who reviews grant applications for individuals, family foundations and corporations, I have learned that many, many nonprofits do not truly understand the meaning of the word “impact”. If a funder wants to contribute to a program or cause that has a considerable “impact” do not send a request that outlines your general operations. These funders have a set budget of money that they can contribute. Only the nonprofits that clearly outline how those dollars would dramatically change the lives of clients or increase efficiency in operations will be granted these funds.

4.  Don’t Use Email or Social Media for Fundraising This will probably be a topic for the Golding Group well into 2013…and I almost want to say see tip number 2 – Know Your Donors when I give this tip. Before you send an impersonal email request or worse, a request via social media, to a donor for funding or an in-kind gift, please research your donor.

Retail, service and restaurant owners are very involved in social media and most probably like to see posts about how an in-kind contribution was used or a post thanking them for their support. However, most businesses do not like to be contacted this way for the funding request. Would you like someone to ask you for money in 140 characters or less? Probably not and neither do they.

In the long run, it’s all about relationships. Technology can have a negative impact on fundraising if you never actually talk to a donor. Hiding behind a computer is no way to get to know your donor, build a relationship and turn them into a long-term supporter of your nonprofit.

5.  Giving is UP in Oklahoma City This isn’t really a tip, but rather some encouragement. No one knows what will happen in 2013 and how the overall economy will be impacted. However one thing is for sure, we are doing what Oklahomans do best – taking care of our own.

A new study released by The Chronicle on Philanthropy ranks Oklahoma and the Oklahoma City Metro among the most charitable in the country. When it comes to the amount of discretionary income donated, Oklahomans gave 5.6% to charity. That’s the eleventh highest in the country. The Oklahoma City Metro gave $640.1 million in 2008, ranking it 45 of 366 metros in the country. Visit to read the full article.