Lynn Deckinger is an award-winning non-profit marketer whose career spans 20 years in a number of subsectors; she has worked in a number of progressive marketing and communications roles at the Sedgwick County Zoo, Exploration Place, The Sedgwick County Science Center & Discovery Center, Greater Wichita Convention and Visitors Bureau and Youthville. Lynn’s achievements have been formally recognized through a number of awards, including the American Marketing Association’s Marketer of the Year for the non-profit division and Wichita Business Journal’s 40 under 40.

Lynn’s current role is Director of Marketing and Sales at Youthville: a non-profit faith-based agency specializing in permanency, foster care, adoption, psychiatric residential treatment and counseling. She is responsible for the operation and leadership of the Marketing & Sales department, which includes managing staff, agency branding, advertising, public relations, crisis management, market research, video production, media buying, social media, sales and serving as the agency spokesperson.

“As a director working in non-profit, I not only manage but also carry a workload of projects. I focus on agency marketing projects whereas the marketing team works on product/program marketing,” explains Lynn. “I enjoy being able to review the analytical side of metrics and market research, while also working on creative such as print ads, TV commercials or agency videos.”

In many of Lynn’s roles to date, she has either developed the marketing capacity of the organization, or built it from the ground up. At Exploration Place, Lynn was hired one year before the museum opened and was given the opportunity of fully creating each job description for the marketing team as well as developing and launching the marketing plan.

After 20 years of building marketing teams, Lynn has a process: “If there is an existing team, I assess the skills and abilities of the members. I learn as much as I can about the organization’s products and services to develop the marketing mix and align the staff positions based on the need. If the existing staff are skilled but just don’t have the training, then I provide them with professional development to get them to where they need to be – this includes helping them to build their professional networks.”

“Non-profits should continue to push themselves to function as if they were for profit: for profit organizations are always looking at efficiency, revenue and measurements,” say Lynn. “In every position I have held, a big part of my job is educating the management team on the importance of marketing and making sure there is enough budget to make an impact. It is not a one-time sell: every year it is important to provide your executive team with metrics and keep them apprised of the trends in marketing so they see value in your department.”

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Marlene Oliveira

Marlene Oliveira

Communications advisor and copywriter at moflow
Marlene Oliveira is communications consultant and copywriter at moflow and founder of the Nonprofit MarCommunity blog. Having worked in the nonprofit sector since 1999, Marlene specializes in working with capacity building and grant-making organizations, advising on communications strategy, and writing stories and other content.
Marlene Oliveira