NLT Partners with Voice of San Diego

San Diego Nonprofit News Organization Partners with NextLevel Thinking to Develop Self-Sustaining Business Strategy

Voice of San Diego, a San Diego based nonprofit news organization, is enlisting the help of NextLevel Thinking, a Houston based strategic marketing firm, to raise awareness and diversify its revenue streams. As one of the first nonprofit news organizations to bridge the gaps in hyperlocal reporting on government, education, economy and other critical quality of life issues, VOSD has been an award-winning trailblazer in the industry. Its status as a nonprofit means the organization depends on a blend of funding from national and local foundations, philanthropists, content syndication and individual donors.

While it has a loyal, cult-like following in San Diego, the organization has struggled to reach a wider audience and, as a result, has yet to produce a self-sustaining member base. Several other nonprofit news organizations have sprung up in other parts of the U.S. and are facing the same struggles.

“NextLevel Thinking has a long history of successfully helping nonprofits institute programs and strategies that increase their public awareness and their membership,” said Mary Walter-Brown, VOSD’s new vice president of advancement and engagement who was hired to spearhead these marketing efforts. “I had the first-hand experience of working with NLT while I was the marketing manager at another San Diego nonprofit. We were able to develop a strategy that helped us attract new donors, raise awareness and increase revenue.”

The focus for VOSD in 2012 will center around building a dynamic membership program that encourages San Diegans to take ownership of their local news. In addition, the organization will expand its corporate, community and media partnership programs to further diversify its revenue sources.

“Voice of San Diego is a pioneer in a dramatically shifting journalism environment where local investigative reporting often falls through the cracks,” said Eric Poerschke, NextLevel Thinking’s Managing Partner. “The public service they, and other models like them around the country, provide is integral to a healthy democracy. We are very excited to help them develop a business strategy that allows them to grow and flourish.”