Lisa Bowman · Chief Mojo Officer, MarketingMojo | Lisa Bowman, Chief Mojo Officer of MarketingMojo, has vast experience in both the for-profit and nonprofit worlds, marketing and developing big companies and organizations that are making enormous impact... but her advice in this conversation is actionable for young, small, and growing nonprofits alike.
Lisa Bowman has taken both The UPS Foundation and United Way Worldwide to new heights of sustainability and brand awareness during her two decades marketing the two, utilizing her professional superpower: marketing the sweet spot where profit meets purpose.
Her deep commitment to evangelizing new technology and investing in nonprofit infrastructure goes way back; Lisa was marketing tech before "tech" was a thing, accidentally selling a million-dollar tech consultancy to UPS, then turning it into a VP position with UPS developing new markets.
Aside from laying down new and old-school marketing strategies, in this conversation, Lisa reveals how her focus on purpose has guided her, why she modernized United Way's brand to appeal to multiple generations, how you're competing with for-profits, and steps you can take to use your superpower for good.
Hello, I'm Justin Wheeler, and welcome to this episode of Nonstop Nonprofit!
Justin Wheeler Hey everyone. Thank you so much for joining the podcast. I'm excited for our guest, Lisa Bowman joining us. She has a plethora of marketing experience which we're going to get into. Lisa, thank you for joining today's podcast.
Lisa Bowman Justin. Thanks for having me. This is gonna be fun.
Justin Wheeler It is. I'm really looking forward to digging into some of the things we've already discussed prior to today's conversation. But before we get into that, I'd love to get a little bit more on your background. Tell us your story and how you got into marketing.
Lisa Bowman Sure. Thanks. So the funny thing is, is that I wasn't supposed to be a marketer. I was actually supposed to be an attorney. Life doesn't always go as you planned, but undergrad I started off as a communications major, journalism major. And the plan was to go to law school. I wanted to be a lawyer and a journalist and be capable of reporting on really big scale cases. If you think back to things like the O.J. Simpson trial, I wanted to be a journalist with a legal background that would be able to cover that. But life works in mysterious ways. And so that plan changed along the way. And my first job actually out of school was selling printed circuit boards to the automotive industry. I didn't even know what a printed circuit board was when I got the job. But they are what makes everything running in an electronic device or at least what I did back then. I did that and then I moved to Atlanta. Took a job working as the director of marketing for a women's apparel company. Did that for many years. I'm a huge fashion fan, so that was a ton of fun for me and got recruited from them by an organization that was a tech startup. This was back in the early days of dot com and their model was to do an online B2B auction for finished goods in the apparel and textiles industry. That was before eBay had even gone public. So we were probably just a little ahead of our time. Worked for them and then got recruited by our technology partner who tasked me with one of my first ever business development activities. And before I share this, I'll tell you all day long, I'm not a salesperson. I don't like sales. I don't do sales. But one of the things that they test me with was they pointed across the highway from where our building was to another building and said, do you see that building over there? That building is U.P.S. and we want some business from U.P.S. So we'd like you to see if you can network and go meet somebody over there and see if you can get us in the door. I'm not a salesperson. I am a good networker. So I did manage to get in the door at U.P.S. and I accidentally sold U.P.S. a million-dollar consulting engagement, pulled out the early generation of their web...
Justin Wheeler That's a nice accident.
Lisa Bowman It was a good accident. Accidents are generally not good. That one was good. But suffice it to say, U.P.S., at that point, they had just started up a dot com incubator and we're looking for somebody that understood that space, knew the venture capital community and offered me an opportunity to come join them as vice president of market development for the incubator. I caught a lot of grief from my dot.com colleagues who said, oh, you know what? That's an old economy company. We can't believe you're going there. I said we just feel like it might be something stable. Not sure you guys are going to have a job in the next five years. And so I went to U.P.S. about a year after I got there. Dot com really imploded. Then I started getting all the phone calls from my former coworkers wanting to know if they, too, could come to an old economy company. But I spent 15 years at U.P.S. I worked as a vice president of market development in the incubator. When we did away with that, I took one of the products that we'd been working on and integrated it into the portfolio of another business unit for U.P.S. In process of doing that, U.P.S. had just acquired Mailboxes, Etc. And I had a really interesting idea for how to leverage this new retail footprint for this product I was working on. So I went and talked to the acquisition team. And within 24 hours, I had been reassigned to the new retail strategy team.
Justin Wheeler Wow.
Lisa Bowman Helped figure out what we were going to do with this franchise network? So it was a great opportunity. I led all of the testing to substantiate the rebranding from mailboxes, et cetera, to the U.P.S. store. Did all of the rebranding work, launched that new brand, managed it as a channel with our other retail channels for about seven years? And then one of the things culturally about U.P.S. is you never want to say out loud that you love your job, because the minute you do that, they tell you, hey, you know why? We have a great opportunity for you. It's a developmental rotation. We're going to give you a new job. And that's exactly what happened. I made the mistake of breathing into the air that I love what I do. But my new role was to go over to product development and work on some products. So I did that for about a year. It was fun. But then got asked by our head of H.R. to take a role in the U.P.S. Foundation. The foundation sat in the H.R. function. They never had a marketer in the H.R. function before. And he really felt that there was an opportunity to tell the story of the good work that U.P.S. did in the community, which they hadn't previously done. So fast forward I went to the U.P.S. Foundation. I had a social impact portfolio of all the diversity organizations that we supported. I had all the communications and marketing for the foundation and I was also given a gift with purchase my first day on the job, which was the company's annual United Way campaign. I got to be honest, Justin, I was not happy about it. I did not want to be that one person that when I went to the corporate cafeteria and everybody ran away from me because they were like, oh here she comes with their hand out for United Way. I'm not having coffee with her. Be that as it may, it wasn't something I was asked if I wanted to do. Like I said, gift with purchase, here you go. Just by looking at it through a marketing lens. I'd love to say that it was some magical formula, but really, by looking at it through a marketing lens, during my tenure, the campaign grew from $48 million to $65 million. While I headed over a four year period and once again I had made the mistake of articulating that I was really enjoying my job.
Justin Wheeler Ugh oh. Here comes another job change!
Lisa Bowman Another job change, right. So in early 2015, I was asked to take on a role developing the inaugural human rights strategy for U.P.S. I was about nine months into it and received a phone call from the CEO of United Way who was calling to let me know that they were going to begin a search for a new CMO. And before he did that, he was wondering if I might by chance be interested. So I had a little bit of soul searching there. Right. I'd spent fifteen years U.P.S. and this role was in D.C. I live in Atlanta. It gave a whole nother perspective on my commute, quite frankly, to work. But I really felt like it was the universe speaking to me and that that's what I was meant to go do with my skills. So in 2015, I joined United Way as a global chief marketing officer.
Justin Wheeler And what, when you decided to take the job, what were the things that you were looking forward to as the CMO, whether it was changing or enhancing or growing? Were there any specific projects or sort of like within the first 90 days, things you wanted to tackle as the new CMO?
Lisa Bowman The challenges with United Way that I was brought on board to solve. United Way is a 130+-year-old organization. It's the world's largest privately-funded nonprofit. A lot of people don't realize it. It's nearly a $5 billion-dollar entity that operates in 40 countries. But while they had really high brand awareness for it, if you say the words United Way, everybody nods, right? Oh, yeah. Yeah. United Way. Nobody actually knew what United Way did. And so my initial task was to reframe the narrative of United Way, to make it easier for people to understand the impact areas in which they work and be motivated to lean in and engage. Whether that was donating or volunteering, United Way really grew up with the corporate campaigns and the workplace and the generational shift that was occurring with the transition from Baby Boomers and Gen Xers starting to age out. Millennials, GenZ coming into the workplace was presenting an interesting challenge for United Way because the next gen hadn't grown up knowing who United Way was. Nor did they necessarily want to be told by their employer that we support United Way. And our expectation is that you should as well.
Justin Wheeler When you took on the role of CMO, what were your long term goals? I mean, because I think I often think of marketing as like the end goal being the ultimate, like brand awareness. How do we get, you know, Company X to become a household name? Some of those things were already established when you took on the job. So what was your sort of internal goal? What were you hoping to accomplish during your time as the CMO?
Lisa Bowman I really wanted to modernize the brand and to help bring the business forward so that it would be relevant and appealing to the next gen of donors. There were a lot of things that we weren't doing at the time. Not for any reason other than we just weren't doing them. But I think we were a little behind on digital transformation. And quite frankly, the business model, the annual campaign model wasn't really resonating with people anymore. You know, the old days, the core donors said if you well, the Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, as I mentioned, grew up in a corporate environment where the companies said, we're going to run a United Way campaign during X time frame, and our expectation is that you will give and nobody questioned it. Right. This is what I'm going to do. Therefore, I do it. Millennials had a different expectation. GenZ certainly has a different expectation. And the notion of only being able to give during a constrained campaign period isn't how people want to behave. It's not, I don't want to say it's not normal, but it's not the normal reaction. Right. If you are let's say you're in a major metropolitan area. You're in Chicago where I grew up, and you take the L to work and you get off the L and you're walking down the street to your office building, you pass three homeless people. You don't want to say, oh, wait a minute, I have to remember that I just saw three homeless people because the United Way campaign takes place in four months and I should give to something in four months. Right. You want to be able to whip out your phone and either make a donation to a homeless shelter that is in close proximity that can help these folks right then and there. Or maybe it's a cause that's kind of passionate to you. And you say, well, I can't really give any money, but I have some time on Saturday. Let me see if there's a homeless shelter here. Maybe I can volunteer to work there. You should be enabled to do that 24/7, making that giving experience really personal and really relevant to you.
Justin Wheeler One of the things that you've talked a lot about and I really appreciate is this idea of utilizing marketing for a purpose instead of selling something, create purpose. Show purpose, you know, value and so forth. So is that something that you learned along the way in your career of marketing, or is that something that once you started working in the nonprofit industry, that started to become more of a prevalent theme that you developed? At what point was this idea of purpose and profit something that entered your stratosphere?
Lisa Bowman So there was actually a catalytic moment for that, or as I like to call it, a mojo moment. And that happened in 2005 when I was at U.P.S. U.P.S. had this really cool program that they offered to a very small group of executives. They usually took about 40 people in pods of 10. And they sent you to one of four communities across the country to complete a program that was called Community Internship. During that time, it was a month-long program. You were relieved of all of your work duties and sent into this community to do work in the community and really work on empathy and an understanding of segments of society that may be very different to what you had been exposed to growing up. The intent was, is that you is a company of people and not everybody there comes from the same background that you do. So each of the communities had a specific twist to it. I was actually sent to McAllen, Texas, which is right on the Mexican border. It was that cathartic experience for me where I came to understand what it was like for people to live in conditions that, quite frankly, I wouldn't let my dog live in. But it was better then where they came from and they were happy because they had opportunity. And it's, you know, without getting into the politics and some of what's happening at the border today. It really opened my eyes back then, 15 years ago, to what was happening and opportunity for people. And essentially, what they did was they put you in touch with various community organizations. You had a chance to sort of find your passion. Did you want to work with drug and alcohol rehabilitation? Did you want to work to ensure that kids got meals? Did you want to build a house? We got exposed to all of that. And then you sort of got to pick and choose things that you wanted to work on. And for me, I had this amazing experience with meeting one family that had five very young girls. The mom had been killed in a car accident. The dad was struggling to raise the girls, definitely living way below the poverty level. The dad was a migrant worker picking vegetables. This was during spring break. The girls were not getting meals because their meals were coming primarily from their school. So they had been sent home with backpack lunches. And I'd occasionally say, I'm hungry. I'm not ever really hungry, right? And I know that if I am, I can pretty easily grab a snack or access food. This was like that big wolf moment for me on what's happening. There's a whole nother story there that we don't have time for today. But I came back from that recognizing that U.P.S. had given me this amazing opportunity. I started digging around and understanding about the work that U.P.S. did in the community in the U.P.S. Foundation. And candidly started lobbying just a little bit for that role that I eventually got in the foundation, because for me as a marketer, it was a great opportunity to leverage my skills and what I do every day for a higher purpose, the end of the day, Justin, U.P.S. was going to generate another billion dollars of revenue successfully, with or without one little Lisa Bowman working on it. It was going to happen. And I just saw this opportunity to be able to do what I do to impact people's lives and feel good about what I was doing.
Justin Wheeler I love that. A lot of times I feel like when people have those moments, a lot of times they forget about their skills and go do the thing they feel like is going to have the most impact. What you did is you took your superpower marketing and decided that I'm going to use this. You know, initially at U.P.S. Foundation and then later on, obviously at United. And so I'm curious working at two large organizations and specifically on the nonprofit side at U.P.S. and then later at United. What was the role that marketing or what was the value that nonprofits put on marketing? Something that I've seen working with a ton of nonprofits is that often marketing isn't given the resources or is it necessarily, when looking at the bottom line, is a lot of times executives look at it more as a cost center than something that actually is enhancing the experience, enhancing donor loyalty and trust. For some reason, marketing is by many executives not treated that way. Has that been your experience or are large nonprofits different?
Lisa Bowman If you look at what's happening right now with the economy and the cuts that people are making, I do believe that marketing is often seen as an undervalued asset and a cost center. The two things that generally get cut when there's a financial constriction are marketing and investment people, right? Training programs seem to get cut, development programs get cut. And I think that for the nonprofit sector marketing, at least from my experience and my purview, was always one of the areas that was definitely underresourced, looked at as a cost center because there's nothing that you can do necessarily for free. It all costs money, right? Whether you're doing PSA is and putting out media, whether you're working with influencers or celebrity ambassadors. There's a cost to all that. And so I do think that the perception sometimes is that marketing is a cost center. Marketing is actually the most critical thing that I think you need when you're trying to raise funds. Right. You have to keep that brand front and center in front of people. You have to make sure that it's relevant. And more than anything, marketing has the responsibility of knowing the customer through customer insight, but answering for the customer the why. The why is this nonprofit my why? Why is this who I'm going to give to? Right. Because it's making investment in a nonprofit is just like buying candidly any other product or service. You do your research on it. You need to make sure that there's a value proposition and you want to ensure that you're going to get a return on that investment. It's just that with nonprofit, you're getting a social return on the investment, not always that tangible return on investment that you would get necessarily with a product or service.
Justin Wheeler I appreciate that sentiment so much because a lot of times nonprofits, you know, they believe that they're not always... they believe they're not competing with for-profits. And, you know, to some extent, depending on like the donor demographic, that could be true for the younger donor, you're absolutely competing for the dollar against other brands and products and things. And so being able to tell your story, being able to share your why, being able to compel someone to give is that person saying no to something different. And marketing is the storytelling behind that. The reach that marketing can have is absolutely critical. A lot of nonprofits ask, what should we do on the marketing side tactically that will actually lift the needle. Is it huge investment in ads? Is it PR? Is it influencers? And so from your perspective, leading marketing at that huge organizations, what are the tactics that you would lean to towards or what would you advise nonprofits should really make investments and to be successful marketing?
Lisa Bowman Yeah, that's a great question. And I think for particularly because I heard you reference some of the smaller and mid-sized nonprofits. Right. Their budgets are going to be a little more constrained. One of the things that essentially doesn't cost much, but it's a great tool for reach and storytelling and authenticity, is social media. Super effective. Right. You can build the reach, you can story tell. You can engage your constituents in creating user-generated content from volunteer events, from beneficiary perspectives, you can really efficiently tell that story. You can have influencers. They don't have to be paid, celebrity influencers. Nano and micro-influencers that are influential within their community, a great opportunity. That's a program that we actually leveraged. And finding somebody that aligns with your mission and is willing to advocate to their network on your behalf is a great tactic because it's somebody else who's endorsing you without you saying, hey, look at me, I'm great. We do this. We do that. This is somebody else who's who's vouching for you and also has reach. So if you find I don't know, let's say a series of three to five nano or micro-influencers, you could potentially reach an additional hundred thousand people very quickly and easily. But it's the old adage, right. Again, I'll qualify this with another salesperson, but sales 101, the more you throw at the wall, the more is likely to stick. So you get the messaging out there and there are really good cost-effective ways to do that. But then also use tactics that are really considered old school, quite frankly, and that people have raised an eyebrow and looked at me and said, you're doing what? About a year ago with the announcement of the Business Roundtable statement on purpose. I actually placed an ad in USA Today, an inside spread ad that congratulated those 181 CEOs on adopting that. Newspapers are old school, right? Who uses a newspaper? Who gets a newspaper? I'll tell you what, every single one of those CEOs who we called out that, they get a newspaper on their desk. They've got a subscription to it. We got phone calls from CEOs, from board members saying, hey, this was really cool. I'll tell you. Cool is not a word I would usually associate with the newspaper.
Justin Wheeler Yeah.
Lisa Bowman So sometimes, the old is new again, because it's so unexpected.
Justin Wheeler It's... there's a lot less noise and so it gets noticed and obviously, you gotta be thoughtful about it. Sounds like it had... I mean, to get calls from CEOs that saw and recognized it, but obviously had an impact. Actually, go back to that roundtable real quick, because that's actually super interesting and I think is also a part of the way nonprofits can think about their own businesses. So correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding of that roundtable was, the CEOs can be either and said, hey, we need to stop putting profit ahead of people and we want more purpose to be a part of our bottom line. So what were they actually pledging and what was sort of the outcome of that event?
Lisa Bowman So it's really interesting that you ask about the outcome because just yesterday I bookmarked an article that explored the outcomes of a one year later. I have to be candid, I haven't read the article yet. But it will tell you is that what they committed was to recognize that profit was not the only thrust of their efforts that they needed to work on employees community, their supply chain. So it was a four-pronged approach, essentially vowing to be more holistic, better purpose intentioned, organizations. And I think that's really important because there's long been this perception that you're either a profit-driven company, right? Your private sector or a profit-driven company or you're a nonprofit. When you're a nonprofit, you're not a business. Right. That kind of crunchy, squishy do-gooder organization. And those two things couldn't live together. I would say that's absolutely false. Right. There is definitely an intersection and an intersection that's getting more and more busy with traffic every day, with purpose and profit. Join each other. They have to work together. And I think that in the environment that we're in moving forward, I think purpose is going to be an inherent need for every single organization, regardless of size.
Justin Wheeler Especially for companies that have a younger demographic. There's a lot of interesting research that shows that just is as important as the paycheck is the purpose and mission behind the company, right? If you're gonna if you're going to work eight, 10, 12 hours a day for a company. It's got to be meaningful. Not just, you know, pay for the bills. And so a lot of that sort of thought processes is relatively new in the last decade where it is forcing companies to, you know, to have more of that CSR arm of the business. And it seems like U.P.S. was the head of that, though. I mean, you talked about the foundation being involved with United Way, would you say that in some ways that U.P.S. played a role in bringing CSR more to the forefront? Or are there other events that I'm not aware of that made this more of a cultural norm?
Lisa Bowman So for U.P.S.? I think it was really culturally ingrained at U.P.S. going all the way back to the founder. There are books called Legacy Series, books that were written by the founder and the initial executives of U.P.S. that if you look back at those from as far back as like the early 1900s when U.P.S. was founded, they talk about the need to give back and to have purpose, and CSR just wasn't referred to in those specific terms. And so the U.P.S. Foundation was actually created, and I may get this wrong. I think in the late 1950s. So it was just culturally ingrained there. The United Way campaign was formalized in the 80s. I think 1984 was when UBS galvanized all their employees to say we are going to support this organization annually and made a pledge to do that. And when I left U.P.S., the total investment in community from the foundation, I think was around $105 million. And it's grown since then, but very significant investments and also very tied to the business. So I think when you think about purpose, right, the purpose can't be so random that it's not tied to a business or it's not credible. From a U.P.S. perspective, the things that we invested in were diversity and equity, knowing that we had five hundred thousand employees across the globe that looked like and came from every community that we served. Right. So this huge perspective of backgrounds and experiences and race and ethnicity and everything else that was important to us, we needed to make sure that we invested in that. Community safety was really important. One of the ways that we manifested that was through leveraging the safe driving that we taught to our drivers, knowing how many miles a year they logged in, that they were among the safest drivers on the road. We actually formed a program called Road Code that was executed through the Boys and Girls clubs and taught kids in underserved neighborhoods safe driving tactics. So it was everything from making sure that when they got in a car, they put their seatbelt on to teaching them actual driving skills with the simulator and a customized program, certainly with the business. Right. Planes, vehicles. Know all of that has an impact on the environment. So environmental sustainability was really important to the business to kind of goes back to if we're going to have that impact, we need to reinvest to minimize and mitigate the impact that we have on the environment and then volunteerism, knowing that we had five hundred thousand people across the globe that had skills, that had desire and passion. We really encourage to piasters to give back to their communities. And one of the things that happened during my tenure, I didn't work on this, but they made a pledge in 2014, I believe, to have 20 million volunteer hours by 2020. And I believe that they achieved that prior to the 2020 goal. Just a real testament to what can happen when that purpose is aligned to the business. Your employees understand what it is and why it is, and they are the biggest ambassadors for you of helping achieve it, live it and bring it forward.
Justin Wheeler So another question we hear a lot from nonprofits is how do we work with corporations? And so, you know, something that came to mind as you were sharing that is like, wow, like, you know, the headcount of U.P.S and all the resources that kind of come with that. Nonprofits are constant, trying to tap into corporate, whether it's sponsorship or just partnerships. What advice do you have for them? I mean, you probably worked on this as part of the foundation, but how can nonprofits be better at finding corporate sponsors and tapping into that, you know, that resource. Because obviously there's so much of it. Is it something that nonprofits should be focusing on or is it something that more just happens naturally?
Lisa Bowman I think it is something they should be focusing on. But I think it's also important to understand that a lot of the bigger companies have got legacy relationships with their organizations and sometimes there just isn't room candidly in the portfolio to take on new things. The biggest piece of advice I could give is to make sure that before you approach a corporate foundation, you really understand what their focus is. What their impact areas are, and go to them with a very specific impact program that is aligned with what they do. You have to make sure that you are able to show outcomes and outputs from that program. Right. What is the impact that is going to get created? So if you are approaching a corporate foundation and asking for an investment, we'll call a $25,000 into a specific program. You need to make sure that you can justify what is that $25,000 going to accomplish. And here's the reporting that we'll bring back to you post-investment to show you how your money moved the needle. I think that there has long been a perception in the nonprofit sector that we're not a business and so we don't have to report back on results. We don't worry about our ROI on investments. We just take. This money and invested into impact, I would say that's patently false, you do need to worry about impact. You do need to show ROI and you really are not that different than a business other than the fact that you have some tax advantages. I need to think and operate like a business. You need to be constantly acquiring new customers, retaining the customers that you have. Building your brand. Providing transparency and ensuring that your donors, your customers understand what the ROI is on their investments, the same as any private sector company that has shareholders and reports out to them.
Justin Wheeler Totally. And I think you know that on the other side of a perfect purpose and profit, you know, we have like the for-profit sector who needs to work more on purpose. And then we have the for the nonprofit sector. So many organizations, because they are called nonprofit, they think that you know, profit isn't something they should be concerned about and worried about. And I think this creates a stigma in nonprofits where it says, oh, those are the fundraisers, those the people who raised the money. And where were the rest of the people at the organization, just needing to do our jobs. I actually believe that when you work in a nonprofit, everyone is a fundraiser. And what I mean by that is everyone has a story to tell that will inspire or encourage others to get involved and to care about the mission. How do you think or what's your opinion on that? Do you think nonprofits, I agree. They need to care more about ROI they need to care more about the results. Right. And the better the results, the better the ROI. Do you think that also within that they need to care about scale and growth? And you're looking at that sort of bottom-line metric as something to consider as well?
Lisa Bowman I do. I think it needs to be rationalized growth, though. And the reason that I say that is because obviously there's this balancing act that you have to do. Right? You're taking in money. You're operating like a business. You have operating expenses. You get your primary reason for raising money is to invest it into your impact programs. So you have to make sure that you're striking the right balance, that you have the right ratio. Obviously, the more scaled you are, the more efficient you are. And those operating costs should start to go down. I think it's when you see nonprofits really starting to talk about we're investing all of this money in growth. The donors start to get a little uncomfortable because they start to question, am I doing good with my money or am I funding your business? And what people need to understand, we would face this every year when we released our 990, obviously, in the nonprofit world, as you well know, the 990 documents, executive salaries, and we would always get pushback from somebody when the 990 was released. Right. We'd either get a reporter or some person calling us or posting something on social media barking about the salaries of nonprofit executives. What I would say to that is that at least in our case at United Way, I do believe that the CEO not only made a salary that was extremely reasonable but candidly, for a $5 billion dollar multinational organization, he was probably underpaid. He's not a volunteer, right? This is his job and he carries with him the same responsibilities as the CEO of any comparable sized private sector organization. Right.
Justin Wheeler So, you know, you can but with no upside. I mean, there's no upside in it. You know, executives, any employees in nonprofit space, even if compensation is is balanced, where it's reflective of the market and a lot of cases, you're not getting any upside in the business's performance. Right. So it's as a CEO of a large company, there would also be all of those rewards as well. Totally agree. Nonprofits and salaries, that and nonprofit, whether it's executives all the way down, it needs to be market, whether you work in nonprofit or for-profit, really shouldn't be a discrepancy in the compensation. And I'm a big believer in that.
Lisa Bowman Yeah, I agree. And, you know, we did go through a process where there was a market valuation and market equalization study that was done every year for our executive team. But I will say that the perception coming from either the media or the public around salaries was something that I think people need to have a readjustment of how they look at that, because, again, you've got a CEO of a $5 billion-dollar organization that operates in 40 countries they deserve to be paid.
Justin Wheeler Yeah, totally. You need top talent working at an operation like that.
Lisa Bowman Exactly. And I do think that that's another issue. Right, is that when you're not paying it market, you may not be attracting top talent. And so often I would interview somebody and I would ask them, why do you want to come work here? And the response I would get is I'd love to be out in the community and volunteer. This isn't a volunteer gig. This is a job. And it's a job or were traditionally under-resourced, which means that you are going to work and you're going to work really hard and you'll be fulfilled by that because your work will help some person somewhere have a better tomorrow. But if you think you're going to show up and pack backpacks for five hours a week, that's not what we do here.
Justin Wheeler This is such an important topic because I spent twelve years in the nonprofit space and constantly got. Oh, so what do you do to get paid or what's what's your day job. The nonprofit workforce is enormous, in the United States. And it needs to be normalized and people need to look at it, you know, not as a passion, I think passion is important. That's another thing that really bothered me when I was working at a nonprofit it's a lot of times we hired based on someone's passion, right/? But not actually what's the actual skills they bring to the table, the value that being the table to actually take this organization, to help it achieve its goals? That's very,very important topic. We have a few minutes left. Want to move into what you're up to today. Spent the last decade or so working in huge organizations, leading marketing teams, and you now you are out on your own doing your own thing. Tell us more about what you're up to today and how individuals can really leverage your expertise in the domain authored that you've built over the last decade.
Lisa Bowman Thanks, Justin. It's kind of nice when you get a chance to do a paid political announcement. So I appreciate that. But to your point, you're right. I have gone out on my own. So my organization is called Marketing Mojo and we were mark attacks. We build at the intersection of purpose and profit, and we do everything from brand work, to communications, consulting in terms of helping you find in a line and pull through your purpose. Because purpose is not a marketing play. Purpose is an operational play. When you do it and you do it right, it touches every aspect of your business. It touches your people from an H.R. perspective with recruiting and retention. It touches your operations with how you behave, how you're treating your supply chain. It touches operations in terms of how you act and engage with your community. So it really transcends beyond marketing. And this is the space where I love. I think companies, absolutely, you should be out there. You should be turning a profit, but you should be doing it with purpose. And the other thing is to that thing that we talked about, between nonprofits and private sector, we've got a lot of change going on in our country right now. And some of the traditional institutions that we would have counted on in the past to do things are falling a little short. And so what you're seeing is the private sector stepping up and stepping in to fill some of those gaps. There's certainly a very, very critical role for nonprofits right now, right? We've got 30 million people, unemployed people that never would have dreamed of visiting a food bank, struggling to put food on the table. With the current situation. So it's important. It's an important thing for all of us to lean in together and be there for each other.
Justin Wheeler Absolutely. Well, Lisa, thank you so much for coming on and sharing about your experience as relates to marketing and building brands. We really appreciate the time. And look forward to future conversations with you. Thank you so much for joining the podcast.
Lisa Bowman Thanks. Justin.
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