Robin Bradford, CFRE
I am a professional nonprofit communications strategist who is constantly asking: How can I help great organizations tell stories that move people with resources to join them? I’m passionate about this work because it allows me to use my talent as a writer to raise money and inspire people to come together to solve social problems.
I bring experience with small, medium, and large nonprofits including Mothers’ Milk Bank, CASA of Travis County, the Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin, Foundation Communities, Austin Community Foundation, and many more groups. I have created mission-inspired event experiences for large audiences and intimate stewardship communication for a single donor. I know how to deliver the right message at the right time in just the right way--whether it's to a major donor, board member, elected official, the media, or potential new friends.
Since 1989, I’ve helped inspire donors to give more than $25 million to create homes for people who were homeless, help families thrive, preserve cultural treasures, and make Austin a better place. As a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE), I bring the highest ethical standards and best practices to my work, as well as the creativity and courage to forge a new path.
As a consultant, my approach is collaborative, budget-minded, and focused on actionable solutions. I understand the realities of nonprofit work—from the lure of shiny objects to the confines of “doing it the way we always have.” I excel at leading big-picture strategy as well as day-to-day project management.
Inspired by the legacy gifted to me by my father and grandmother, I am an active ally for racial justice. I seek learning opportunities such as Leadership Austin’s “Beyond Diversity: Courageous Conversations”and Race Forward’s “Building Racial Equity.”
As a long-time student of Zen meditation, I bring patience, humor, and compassion to my work. In short, I was born to tell stories that move.
What is strategic communication?
Strategic communication is expressing the right message to the right audience at the right time and place so that they take a specific action that furthers your nonprofit's mission-focused impact.
Why is communications strategy important?
“Communications is no longer an appendage to the work, but an integral part.” - Andrew Sherry, Knight Foundation
“Instead of abstract ideas, trends, or figures, stories introduce us to the people affected by the problem, those who caused the problem, and those with the power to create change.” - RJ Bee and Kyle Schnoebelen, “Stories Rule Your Brain”
"Sharks vs. Colons?" To sell themselves to donors, nonprofits turn to the pros. - New York Times
Why is communications strategy especially important now?
"Fact-based nonpartisan information drives social change."- Matt James, "Big Communications for Small Nonprofits"
"The current media environment creates an opportunity for nonprofits to provide objective sector-specific information that is viewed as a trusted source." - David Nassar, "The Definition of 'Media' Needs to Change"
"The truth is that philanthropy is strategic and opportunistic. . . . What catalyzed action here was our ability to visually tell a compelling story and get it into the hands of people motivated to do something about it." - Sandra Hernández and Steven Birenbaum, "A Map to Effective Communications"