When Nisi Bennett moved to San Antonio in 2014 as a civilian nurse for the Army, she brought her five children and a deep commitment to philanthropy. She was a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, a national speaker and entrepreneur. After moving to San Antonio, she furthered her career as a local public health nurse, teaching parents, educators and college students about the fundamentals and importance of mental wellness.
Although a serial entrepreneur, two businesses capture her whole heart: All Heart Initiative, a mental wellness training company, and the So Me Digital Bloom agency, which specializes in providing bite-sized digital marketing training for nonprofits. As a Partner with Social Venture Partners San Antonio, Nisi shares this vast experience and digital marketing savvy with local nonprofit leaders. She also chairs the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council for SVPSA.
“What I appreciate most about SVPSA is the willingness of the partners to help nonprofits on the front line with skills instead of just money,” Bennett said. “It’s fairly easy to come across money, but it’s much harder to come across help that will make a difference long term.”
Nisi Bennett’s nonprofit work has almost always centered around digital marketing. She supported the American Heart Association in Washington, D.C. and worked locally with the Association for Fundraising Professionals, where she met SVPSA Executive Director Becky Dinnin. Her digital marketing work helps get nonprofit leaders on the right track by setting up annual marketing plans, crisis communication plans, and by helping shape responses to urgent issues such as the Covid pandemic and the George Floyd murder and national protests.
“I find that nonprofits don’t typically have a trained digital marketer, they just have someone else doing that work,” said Bennett. “My advice to nonprofits is to overshare and overtell your story. Most people are conservative when it comes to bragging about themselves and their work. But people won’t see you. It’s important to create a digital marketing plan that matches the organization’s plan. For example, if your goal is to increase participation in outreach events, then make sure the majority of your social posts say that. You should always highlight your goal in your posts.”
Bennett is inspired by mental health awareness and training and says although it’s getting more attention now because of Covid, there is still a lot more work to be done. She is also pleased to see a greater awareness for DEI – or Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion – in nonprofit work.
“DEI is more common now,” said Bennett. “Many funders are only funding diverse organizations. It used to be that you could simply employ the population you serve, but now you must have people in leadership positions on your board and executive team that resemble the population you serve. Things are slowly changing, but a lot of people are still stuck when it comes to DEI. If it’s not done right, it can bring a lot of shame to an organization. All of our work at SVP has a DEI filter to make sure we’re being appropriate and supporting nonprofits in this effort.”