Background

Heading into its 30th year, ACN is challenging itself. Seeing that only a subset of member attended events, the ACN board wondered how they could more effectively engage members and ultimately boost ACN’s visibility and contribution to the sector.

Forming the team

CBWhite, a leading marketing research and strategy consultancy, formed a unique team to help ACN tackle this challenge with a full spectrum of services.

The Team includes:

teenyBIG to apply design thinking to capture the qualitative research and landscape analysis,
CBWhite to craft a survey and analyze results to shed light on ACN’s questions, and
Data Viz for Nonprofits to bring the results to life at the anniversary event.

The Journey

Over the next few months, we will take you along on the team’s journey as we work with ACN to build engagement. You will learn how each team member took on a specific part of the challenge and how the work will lead to actionable solutions.



  • March 15, 2019

    Understanding the Audience

    Who is teenyBIG?

    Emily Taylor, the Principal of teenyBIG, is a design thinking expert who brings a user-centered perspective to the table. She believes that the first step in any project should be listening to those you serve so that you may better understand how they perceive your message and what issues are important to address.

    Gathering insights through interviews and landscape analysis

    I kicked off this project by having one-on-one interviews with members at various levels of engagement with ACN. As I spoke to them, I was looking for not only what their impressions and behaviors were in interacting with ACN, but also for why they made these decisions. This work was paired with a landscape analysis that explored what other analogous organizations AND non-related, but inspirational, organizations were doing to build engagement, such as building a voice for their brand that connects with their audience.

Broad thinking and what that brings to the table in a project

As a design thinking practitioner, in these early stages I look at both the perception of an organization and its possibilities. By better understanding members’ perceptions through the interviews and seeing the possibilities through the landscape analysis, I was able to set up our team with a better understanding of where to dig deeper – for example, what motivates members to be a nonprofit consultant? - with the quantitative survey. This boarder thinking also sets up the ACN team with a focus on how to use the results.

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