Two Delray nonprofits to get marketing boost

Two Delray nonprofits to get marketing boost

14:16 01 August in Press Room

Spady Museum and Delray Beach Historical Society will hire marketing firm to help promote groups

February 14, 2014|By Marisa Gottesman, Sun Sentinel

Two Delray nonprofits that work to preserve the seaside’s town history have historically struggled to get people through their doors.

And Delray’s Community Redevelopment Agency, which financially supports several nonprofits, has agreed to step in and open its wallet to help, again.

This time, the focus for Spady Museum, which showcases Delray’s black history, and the Delray Beach Historical Society, which highlights how Delray became the city it is today, is on promotion.

The board agreed to hire a marketing firm for a year to help spread the word about what the groups are up to through email blasts, social media and newsletters. It is unknown how much the service will cost until the CRA receives proposals.

“This is our Hail Mary for these organizations to get them going,” said CRA board member Paul Zacks.

The idea for providing additional assistance came after CRA officials instructed both organizations to team up, so they could double up on resources while carrying out their missions.

With a positive report on their collaboration efforts so far, the board approved another pay out.

“These groups have really worked hard,” said CRA board member Reggie Cox. “They need a jump start.”

But CRA board member Annette Gray didn’t think having a marketing specialist swooping in was the way to go.

She felt Spady could have done a better job managing the $86,000 the CRA awarded the group in September to include more marketing.

“I do not support it,” Gray said. “Marketing is not something that happens within one year.”

Instead of paying an outside company to drum up whatever support it could for the groups during a year long stint, she said the CRA should put more pressure on Delray’s existing marketing teams to advocate for the nonprofits.

The CRA has dished out more than $315,000 this year for the Delray Beach Marketing Cooperative to promote all facets Delray.

“If we are truly interested in helping Spady and not putting a Band-Aid on it, we need stronger language to our marketing areas to focus on this cultural gem,” she said. “We hold that check book.”

But Cox said the museum needs one-on-one attention to make the community more aware of daily happenings.

Spady Museum Director Charlene Farrington Jones agreed the extra promotional push is something Spady needs to become a visible, historical staple in Delray. She said being featured on the city’s website isn’t enough to attract more visitors.

But the extra help comes with a warning to Spady.

If the museum doesn’t step up its membership and add more private sponsorships, the CRA board is going to reevaluate how much money it contributes to the organization in 2015.

“Work hard and make this work,” said CRA board member Bill Branning., 561-243-6544 or Twitter @marisag_ss