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National Society of Black Engineers Social Justice Event Receives ASAE Gold Circle Merit Award


DJG partnered with client National Society of Black Engineers on the NSBE ALL IN Summit, a social justice-focused online event held in the fall of 2020. We assisted with NSBE’s branding, launch, and marketing for the Summit. For this event, ASAE presented NSBE with a Gold Circle Merit Award.

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The NSBE ALL IN Summit was conceived of in the wake of the reactions to the 2020 killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd. During this time, corporations were pledging tens of millions of dollars to support the fight for social justice. However, there were few details on how the funds would be spent and companies struggled with how to translate pledges to actionable, measurable initiatives.

NSBE saw an opportunity to help these companies invest in established NSBE programming that would allow NSBE to get to scale to increase the organization’s positive impact on the Black Community. It was also an opportunity to raise NSBE’s profile with a wider audience interested in addressing social justice and racial inequities.

Six Weeks From Social Justice Event Idea to Impact

NSBE approached DJG in October with the idea of a social justice virtual “summit” that would give the organization the opportunity to reach senior diversity decision-makers in Fortune 500 companies. NSBE wanted to invite these potential partners to have a meaningful conversation about NSBE’s mission and how their proven programs have worked for other corporations that are already working with NSBE and reaping the benefits of these programs and partnerships.

By partnering with NSBE, these companies can deliver on their promise and commitment to real change for the Black community and social justice. Why a summit? NSBE was unsuccessfully chasing each company announcement regarding racial equity funding. They didn’t have the resources to reach all of them, so the event brought them to NSBE.

To reach and engage this very targeted audience in advance of the actual summit, DJG came up with the name—the NSBE ALL IN Summit—a brand identity, and an integrated marketing communications plan. The marketing campaign targeted NSBE’s existing prospect list as well as companies not in their current database.

On Wednesday, November 18, 2020—just six weeks after initial conversations with us—NSBE hosted the ALL IN Summit via Zoom.

By most objective standards, the Summit was a success and NSBE saw better than a three-fold return on their investment. NSBE started many meaningful conversations with new corporate partners that have translated into an increase in pledges and programming.

“Prior to this Summit, many firms, of all sizes, did not think about NSBE when plotting their racial equity plans because they were unfamiliar with the Society,” says Charles Thompson III, NSBE’s Interim Chief Executive Officer, “this event is helping us overcome this.”

Thompson said that receiving Merit Award recognition from the ASAE Gold Circle program demonstrates that his peers see how important it is for associations to leverage our ability to affect social change where possible.

“We knew that a six-week timeframe to launch a new event was aggressive but we also understood the importance and timeliness of the event. NSBE was ready to go and we were right there with them,” said Drew Navolio, vice president of Client Services at DJG.

NSBE was encouraged about the potential for future investment and by how existing partners responded in positive ways they did not anticipate. NSBE views the NSBE ALL IN initiative as an ongoing opportunity to engage corporate America in supporting social justice and the Black community.

Go ALL IN to Bring Your Mission Creatively to Life

If you would like to learn more about the NSBE ALL IN social justice event and how to bring your mission to life in creative ways, contact Drew. You can visit the NSBE ALL IN Summit landing page here.

About the ASAE Gold Circle Awards

The ASAE Gold Circle Awards recognizes extraordinary marketing, membership, and communications efforts in 15 different categories that move member organizations forward.

Marketing, membership, and communications play a vital role in associations—whether to connect with members, keep them informed of important issues, or raise awareness of programs and initiatives.

The 2021 Gold Circle competition drew a record-breaking 300 submissions across 15 categories. Over 100 judges from a variety of associations, nonprofits and for-profit organizations evaluated this year’s entries.

ASAE is a membership organization of more than 48,000 association executives and industry partners representing 7,400 organizations.