Buzz4Good! Nonprofits + Marketing

40 Episodes

By: Michael Hemphill, Creator of Buzz

Nonprofit organizations do so much to enhance the quality of life in our communities, but they often lack the time, talent and budget to properly promote their missions and attract more donors, volunteers and clients to their cause. Here on Buzz4Good! we feature the great work that nonprofits do. And we provide them with marketing tips and tools so they can achieve more buzz!Buzz4Good! is hosted by Michael Hemphill, creator of the award-winning public television show "BUZZ," which features nonprofit organizations receiving pro bono "marketing makeovers" from teams of creative advertising professionals.

Fighting the Pipeline: Nonprofit activist finds power with POWHR
Last Friday at 8:00 PM

Here on Buzz4Good we often feature the nonprofit's mission.

But today we focus as much on the life story – and world view – of one particular person who works for a nonprofit, Crystal Mello, a community organizer for Protect Our Water, Heritage, Rights or POWHR, which has been one of the most influential opponents of the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP).

Buzz4Good creator Michael Hemphill's conversation with Crystal highlights POWHR's fight against MVP, which got national attention this week as a controversial addition to the federal debt-ceiling bill that got passed by Congress. But just as i...

Memorial Day Special: Nonprofits Caring for Veterans

Here on Memorial Day weekend Buzz4Good creator Michael Hemphill features four nonprofits that serve veterans: 

Healing Strides of VirginiaThe Least of These homeless ministryTotal Action for ProgressStop Soldier Suicide. 

Michael praises the missions of these organizations, which work  each day to help veterans with housing, food, transportation and healing and, in the extreme, from harming themselves.

Michael also explores why these nonprofits are needed in a country that claims to value the service of those sent overseas to fight our wars.

Are you a nonprofit with an event that we could help pro...

Ballet is Good Business: The Arts & Economic Development

Difference Makers & World Changers: Keeping the flame of idealism alive after graduating college

College can inspire in its students an idealism and desire to “make a difference in the world.“ But here in commencement season, as graduates prepare to walk the stage to receive their diplomas, BUZZ creator Michael Hemphill wonders if they will also take with them the passion and inspiration to serve and create and be a change for good?

And so  today we talk with nonprofit leader Ginny Ayers, whose nonprofit has benefited from college student volunteers, and entrepreneurial guru Mike Abbott for their advice to college graduates on keeping the flame of idealism alive.

Are y...

From Greed to Good: How Virginia Tech's unique NIL helps nonprofits

On today’s show  BUZZ creator Michael Hemphill talks Name, Image and Likeness or NIL, which allows college athletes to earn what is estimated to be more than $1 billion in 2023. NIL has transformed college athletics and created a new world rife with cynicism and greed.

But not at Virginia Tech … if The Hokie Way nonprofit has a say.

What is The Hokie Way? Listen as Virginia Tech alumnus and superfan Jim Petrine shares how The Hokie Way is transforming NILs into vehicles for positive change ... and helping VT fulfill its mission of Ut Prosim, Latin for T...

Painted Violins: Creative Nonprofit Fundraisers

Today’s show features the richness of diversity of nonprofits in action. BUZZ creator Michael Hemphill talks to the leaders behind a creative “Painted Violins” fundraiser for Roanoke Symphony’s youth programs: a child abuse prevention event;  and a rock-and-roll festival helping brain injury survivors. 

We also provide a sneak listen of our newest BUZZ television show starring Literacy Volunteers of the New River Valley!

Tips for Nonprofit Giving Days

We often relegate nonprofits and our charitable giving to the Christmas season when, perhaps, we ourselves feel more charitable. But the work of nonprofits isn’t confined to just the month of December. It’s year-round.

On today’s show, BUZZ creator Michael Hemphill features two upcoming days when you can learn about — and hopefully support — hundreds of nonprofit organizations that are working daily to enhance the quality of life in our community.

To talk up GIVE Roanoke on April 19 and Give Local NRV on June 28-29, we chat with the event organizers: Alison Jorgenson of Council...

Musical Women on a Mission: Alma Ensemble

We continue to celebrate Women’s History Month today by featuring the Alma Ensemble, a nonprofit musical group created by three women whose mission is to perform and promote music by women who have often been underrepresented in the arts. 

Are you a nonprofit with an event that we could help promote? Or a marketing problem we could help fix? Contact us and we’ll share on an upcoming episode.

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Are Women Better Nonprofit Leaders?

Our last Buzz4Good, “Why Women Lead Nonprofits,” was our most popular yet, garnering twice as many downloads as our previous high.

On today’s show, BUZZ creator Michael Hemphill digs deeper to explore not only what makes women good nonprofit leaders but, in some cases, what makes them more effective than men.

We feature conversations with:

Dawn Sandoval, executive director of The Least of These Ministry, which helps the homeless in Roanoke, and preview our 30th episode of our TV show BUZZ that airs March 29 on Blue Ridge PBS.Karen Pillis, executive director of the...

Why Women Lead Nonprofits

Last time on Buzz4Good we celebrated Women’s History Month by talking with leaders of two giving circles — the Roanoke Women’s Foundation and 100+ Women Who Care NRV — about “Why Women Give.”

Today we continue this conversation by talking to women who lead nonprofits to find out about the nature and nurture that inspired their work. BUZZ creator Michael Hemphill talks with:

Carol Young of Healing Strides of Virginia Ginny Ayers, Literacy Volunteers of the New River ValleyJodi Judge, Brain Injury Services of Southwest Virginia Lisa O’Neill, Angels of AssisiMelissa Woodson of Roanoke Area Ministry’s RAM H...

Women Who Give: Why nonprofit philanthropy is powered by women

March is Women’s History Month and so on today’s show Buzz4Good creator Michael Hemphill features the work of two women’s philanthropies in Southwest Virginia – the Roanoke Women’s Foundation  and 100+ Women Who Care New River Valley. Collectively, through what are known as giving circles, these two organizations are arguably having the biggest impact on nonprofits in the region.

One question in partcular we discuss: what is it about women that make them uniquely suited to creating and sustaining these funding organizations? Or put another way … men, where you at?

Are you a nonprofit w...

Black History Month: Celebrating nonprofits that promote African American heritage

Here in the midst of Black History Month, Buzz4Good creator Michael Hemphill revisits nonprofit conversations that highlight three distinct yet common experiences involving Black Americans that tells more than just Black history but the history of all Americans in our United States.

From the Christiansburg Institute founded in the aftermath of the Civil War to World War II and the famed Tuskegee Airmen to today's Black Father Family Initiative, our special Black History Month show features three moments in our nation’s history in which Black Americans have had to struggle against and overcome institutional racism an...

Corrections to Connections: Nonprofits helping inmate families

Deanna Cox learned too well the financial burden of our country’s correctional system out of her son’s anguished personal story. From $4/minute phone calls, pricey food, snacks and toiletries, the bills rack up quickly for families who want to stay connected, and help, their incarcerated relatives.

On today’s Buzz4Good, creator Michael Hemphill shares Deanna’s commitment to helping other families thorough her nonprofit, Inmate Family Assistance of the New River Valley.

We also share some of our newest BUZZ television show starring Roanoke City Public Schools arts program. And we look ahead to...

Blood Donations & Black American History

January is both National Blood Donor Month and when we honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. So on today’s Buzz4Good, creator Michael Hemphill features nonprofit organizations celebrating both causes.

He chats with the American Red Cross of Southwest Virginia in hopes you’ll be inspired to give the gift of life with the gift of blood. And he buzzes about an upcoming event in February celebrating the Christiansburg Institute as we kick off Black History Month. Learn why you should care about this incredibly important — yet still largely unknown — piece of Virginia history. 

Are you a...

Could you have helped a Damar Hamlin? Meet the nonprofit Compress & Shock Foundation

On the last Monday Night Football, millions across the country witnessed the horrifying spectacle of Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin suffer cardiac arrest. Saving his life was the quick response of medical professionals on the field who performed CPR and used a defibrillator to shock his heart back into rhythm.

On today's Buzz4Good, host Michael Hemphill reshares his conversation with Dr. Karen Perkins of the nonprofit Compress and Shock Foundation so that listeners are better aware and equipped to act as first responders to someone suffering a cardiac event.

We also share some audio...

The Legend of the Tuskegee Airmen + Happy New Year

A found $5 bill in an Iowa field paid for Luther Smith’s first plane ride in the 1930s – a life-changing moment for the Black American teenager that led him to joining the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II. His service inspired his son Gordon Smith to become an expert on the fighter group and speak around the U.S.

On today's Buzz4Good, host Michael Hemphill talks with Gordon Smith about his upcoming “Legend of the Tuskegee Airmen” presentation on January 6 at the Harrison Museum of African American Culture in Roanoke, Virginia.

Are you a nonprofi...

Christmas Special: Holiday music from Southwest Virginia nonprofits

Merry Christmas! On today’s show we are featuring the sounds of the season with recent – and a few vintage – holiday recordings by Southwest Virginia nonprofit organizations like:

Roanoke Valley Children’s ChoirBlacksburg Master ChoraleOpera RoanokeRoanoke College ChoirAnd a special treat from Soul Sessions Roanoke.

Sounds of the Season: Nonprofit holiday events - Part 2

On today’s show we’re still buzzing about the sounds of Christmas! Last week we previewed some holiday performances being produced on by various nonprofits throughout Southwest Virginia. Today we’re featuring Mill Mountain Theatre’s production, Holiday Inn, with an interview with MMT artistic director Ginger Poole!

We hope you'll be inspired to attend these events to enhance your holiday spirits … and provide some cheer to these life-giving organzations in return.

Sounds of the Season: Nonprofit holiday events

Not only is it beginning to look at lot like Christmas … it’s beginning to sound a lot like Christmas as well throughout Southwest Virginia. On today’s Buzz4Good, we highlight some of the nonprofits in our community that have been working hard on their upcoming holiday productions and performances in hopes you will be inspired to attend them to enhance your spirits … and provide some cheer in return to these life-giving organizations.

Such as:

CommUNITY Arts Reach's Kuzaliwa Nativity StoryBlacksburg Master Chorale's Appalachian Winter & Holiday Sing-AlongVirginia Children's Theatre's Beauty & the BeastRoanoke Valley Children's Choir's Songs of...

#GivingTuesday tips to maximize nonprofit year-end donations

On today’s show BUZZ creator Michael Hemphill learns from two marketing experts how nonprofits can get the most out of #GivingTuesday and year-end contributions. 

We also showcase the incredible variety of these life-giving and community-building organizations by featuring the likes of:

RAMP, a regional accelerator for tech and biotech startupsTheatricus Logos’ upcoming holiday production The Least of These Ministry which helps the homelessAnd a sneak audio peek into our newest BUZZ starring FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge, premiering Nov. 30 on Blue Ridge PBS. 

November 12, 2022 - Making the most of your nonprofit's corporate sponsor

On today's Buzz4Good, creator Michael Hemphill previews the new "Construction Zone" exhibit at downtown Roanoke's children's museum, Kids Square, and shares lessons learned about engaging corporate sponsors to help fulfill a nonprofit's mission.

Don't just ask local businesses for sponsorship dollars. Align your nonprofit's mission with theirs! In creating its newest exhibit, Kids Square relied on the talent and expertise – in addition to funding – of The Branch Group construction firm and Carter Machinery to build the incredible interactive attraction.

Are you a nonprofit with an event that we could help promote? Or a marketing prob...

October 29, 2022 - Hallowheels & Jamborees: Nonprofit fundraisers that highlight the mission

On today’s show, BUZZ creator Michael Hemphill highlights two incredible fundraising events that not only benefit two equally incredible nonprofits but perfectly showcase their respective missions: 

Children’s Assistive Technology Service, whose Hallowheels fundraising kicks off Oct. 29 and runs through Nov. 4. FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge, which on Nov. 5 is hosting its first ever Blue Ridge Jamboree with a “Doc Watson sat 100” tribute concert featuring guitar greats Wayne Henderson, Jack Hinshelwood, T. Michael Coleman and Jack Lawrence. 

Are you a nonprofit with an event that we could help promote? Or a marketing problem we could help fix? Contac...

October 7, 2022 - Compress & Shock: life-saving nonprofits you hope to never use

On today’s show BUZZ creator Michael Hemphill features a nonprofit whose services we hope you'll never have to use. But in the unfortunate event that you do, the Compress & Shock Foundation gives you the tools and skills to save a life.

Here on our first episode of Season 2 of Buzz4Good, listen now to Michael's conversation with Dr. Karen Perkins, Compress & Shock vice director.

Are you a nonprofit with an event that we could help promote? Or a marketing problem we could help fix? Contact us and we’ll share on an upcoming episode.

September 22, 2022 - How to start a nonprofit newspaper: Happy Birthday, Cardinal News!

Today's show takes BUZZ creator Michael Hemphill  back to his first job in Virginia when he was a cub reporter at The Roanoke Times. Michael chats and swaps some war stories with his former editor, Dwayne Yancey, who is now the executive editor of Cardinal News, the nonprofit news source for Southwest and Southside Virginia. 

On Tuesday, Sept. 27, Cardinal News celebrates its first birthday, so Michael reached out to Dwayne and Cardinal’s executive director Luanne Rife, to learn more about the challenges of launching a nonprofit news site, the impact that Cardinal News has had throughout Virg...

September 19, 2022 - Securing the Corporate Sponsor: A conversation with Freedom First Credit Union

So many nonprofit leaders who are passionate about their mission get frustrated when they’re unsuccessful attracting businesses to their cause.

In today's episode, BUZZ creator Michael Hemphill talks to Steve Hildebrand, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Product Development at Freedom First Credit Union, among the most philanthropic companies in the region. Steve shares the do's and don't's of pitching a corporation, and offers tips to help nonprofits better position themselves to approach potential sponsors.

Are you a nonprofit with an event that we could help promote? Or a marketing problem we could help fi...

September 15, 2022 - Nonprofits celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

We're celebrating the start of Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 to Oct. 15)  with an interview featuring the founders of Latinas Network, a nonprofit that provides entrepreneurial resources and support for Hispanic women.

BUZZ creator Michael Hemphill also chats with Kat Pascal and Iliana Sepulveda about public events happening throughout Southwest Virginia to celebrate Hispanic Heritage, and learns why the celebration spans half of two months.

Are you a nonprofit with an event that we could help promote? Or a marketing problem we could help fix? Contact us and we’ll share on an upcoming episode.

September 10, 2022 - Nonprofit Grant-Writing 101

On today’s show, BUZZ creator Michael Hemphill talks to his good friend and professional grant writer Lori McAnnally, owner of Write On, who provides invaluable grant writing tips and tools to help nonprofits secure vital foundation dollars. Lori recently secured a grant for Buzz4Good to produce two episodes of the TV show BUZZ featuring Saint Francis Service Dogs and West End Center.

Also Buzz4Good co-host Carrie Cousins, director of marketing at LeadPoint Digital, offers up a new installment of “No Budget Marketing Minute.”

September 3, 2022 - Saint Francis Service Dogs & Doc Watson revisited

On today's show, BUZZ creator Michael Hemphill previews the next new BUZZ television show starring Saint Francis Service Dogs.

And he revisits his recent radio show on the Blue Ridge Jamboree, a fundraising concert for the nonprofit FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge, featuring "Doc Watson at 100" as performed by Wayne Henderson, Jack Lawrence, T. Michael Coleman and Jack Hinshelwood.

About BUZZ and Saint Francis Service Dogs:

For more than 150 year, Virginians with disabilities, dogs are not only best friends, they literally make life meaningful and possible. Since 1996, Saint Francis Service Dogs has provided...

August 20, 2022 - Back to School Special: Nonprofits providing after-school programs

It’s that time of year when millions of children across the U.S. return to school. 

On today’s Buzz4Good Back to School special, we feature three nonprofits that provide incredible after school programs that help parents by providing a safe, enriching refuge for their kids while they finish their workdays … and  help children become better students, better leaders, even better filmmakers!

Listen to BUZZ creator Michael Hemphill's conversations with Karen Pillis, executive director of West End Center, and Michelle Davis, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Virginia.

And hear...

August 6, 2022 - "Doc Watson at 100" and the Blue Ridge Jamboree

On today’s show, BUZZ creator Michael Hemphill features the music and legend of Doc Watson as an all-star lineup of musicians – Wayne Henderson, Jack Lawrence, T. Michael Coleman and Jack Hinshelwood, joined by East Tennessee State University Appalachian Studies professor Ted Olson – prepare to perform at the first ever Blue Ridge Jamboree in Roanoke, Virginia, on November 5, and Asheville, North Carolina on March 25. 

We also introduce you to the nonprofit that has created the Blue Ridge Jamboree – FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge – whose mission is building better community throughout the Blue Ridge region of Virginia and North Carol...

July 30, 2022 - Arts Nonprofits that Heal

Today’s show features nonprofits that use the arts to help people suffering from psychological, spiritual and physical illnesses.

BUZZ creator Michael Hemphill shares portions of his newest PBS TV episode that focuses on “the healing arts” and connects with two of the leading voices involved who helped envision this show: Shaleen Powell, executive director of the Roanoke Cultural Endowment, and Douglas Jackson, Arts & Cultural Coordinator for Roanoke, Virginia.

July 23, 2022 - It's a Jungle Out There: Nonprofits Enhancing Entrepreneurial & Environmental Ecosystems

On today's show, BUZZ creator Michael Hemphill talks to the leaders of VERGE, the nonprofit that houses the Roanoke Blacksburg Technology Council and RAMP. These organizations help technology entrepreneurs accelerate their startups and grow their businesses. Interestingly, in a tech space traditionally dominated by men, VERGE's leadership is all women.

Co-host Carrie Cousins offers marketing tips for membership-based nonprofits like the technology council.

We also revisit Mill Mountain Zoo, the star of Episode 3 of BUZZ back in August 2020. At the time MMZ was experiencing an identity crisis because its leaders felt like the word "zoo"...

July 16, 2022 - Why marketing agencies give to nonprofits

On today's Buzz4Good, host Michael Hemphill talks with Greg Brock, CEO of Firefli digital marketing agency about the company's launch of Firefli Gives, a grant-based initiative aimed at helping nonprofits in Southwest Virginia thrive online.

And proof that nonprofits really do everything in our society, Michael previews these two new episodes of BUZZ television show:

Airing July 27 on PBS, BUZZ features arts organizations – including Carilion Clinic, Roanoke Symphony, Taubman Museum, 5 Points Music Sanctuary and Roanoke Cultural Endowment – working in "the healing arts." To kick off Season 3 on BUZZ, on August 10 we highlight the Emmy award-winning Grand...

Fourth of July Special: Boys & Girls Club & Brain Injury Services

On today's Buzz4Good, host Michael Hemphill celebrates Independence Day with a conversation with former Roanoke City Council member and Boys & Girls Club of Southwest Virginia CEO Michelle Davis. On July 4, the nonprofit hosts its annual fundraiser: Four on the 4th.

Michelle shares her reflections from her time on City Council and how it shaped her work today as a nonprofit leader. And she talks about the vital work being done to impact boys and girls for the rest of their lives.

Later in the episode we share portions of our newest BUZZ TV show...

June 19, 2022 - Father's Day Special features Black Father Family Initiative

For this Father's Day special, BUZZ creator Michael Hemphill talks to the leaders behind Black Father Family Initiative: founder Ryan Bell and United Way of the Roanoke Valley president Abby Hamilton. They talk fatherhood and in particular one question: why the initiative's emphasis on Black Fathers?

We also offer another sneak peek into our newest BUZZ television show featuring Brain Injury Services of Southwest Virginia, which debuts June 29 on Blue Ridge PBS.

Are you a nonprofit with an event that we could help promote? Or a marketing problem we could help fix? Contact us and...

June 11, 2022 - Gun Control Nonprofits: Stemming the flow of firearms fatalities

As a professor in Norris Hall, Catherine Koebel's father would have been a victim of Virginia Tech's 2007 mass shooting had his class started an hour earlier. Brenda Hale wasn't as lucky: when she was a little girl, her father fatally shot her mother.

Now both have teamed up to launch an aspiring nonprofit – Groceries Not Guns – that seeks to stem this cycle of death one household at a time. Groceries Not Guns, along with the Roanoke chapter of the NAACP and Roanoke Quaker Meeting, is coordinating a buyback on June 25. 

While mass shootings like the trage...

June 4, 2022 - Nonprofit's Public Healing Arts

It can be challenging enough for someone to create an artistic experience. It's something else entirely to secure the marketing and funding support to get the art in the public eye.

In today's show, BUZZ creator Michael Hemphill visits the Taubman Museum to learn about its "Healing Ceiling Tiles" project, which will be featured in an upcoming episode of BUZZ on PBS.

And he attends the Roanoke Arts Commission's announcement of the first ever ART MATTERS award recipients, which provide $3,000 grants to the following public art initiatives:

Charlie Brouwer | The Benediction Project<...

May 14, 2022 - Great Expectations: Nonprofit helps foster children graduate college

In honor of graduation season, we highlight an amazing college graduate ... and the nonprofit that helped her and thousands of other former Virginia foster care children achieve their college dreams.

In today's show, BUZZ creator Michael Hemphill interviews: 

Dr. Jennifer Gentry, executive director of the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education.Dr. Rachel Strawn, Great Expectations Program Director for the Virginia Community College System.And Andrea Laney, a 20-year-old Tazewell County former foster child who graduated Southwest Virginia Community College thanks to Great Expectations.

Are you a nonprofit with an event that we could help p...

May 7, 2022 - Mother's Day Special featuring Nonprofits Serving Moms

We celebrate Moms on this Mother's Day Special episode of Buzz4Good! BUZZ creator Michael Hemphill shares his conversations with:

Huddle Up Moms director of community outreach Kim Butterfield. Huddle Up Moms began in Southwest Virginia with the mission of empowering mothers through education, connection, and support.Blue Ridge Women's Center, which provides resources for women encountering an unexpected pregnancy. BUZZ featured BRWC in April 2021 on Blue Ridge PBS.

And accompanying today's show, we play selections from the Roanoke Valley Children's Choir Spring 2022 Concert.

Are you a nonprofit with an event that we could help...

April 30, 2022 - Celebrating Cinco de Mayo | Hispanic Nonprofits & 5Points Creative

Yes, we know Cinco de Mayo (May 5) is just a minor Mexican holiday that's become Americanized. But on today's show, Buzz4Good creator Michael Hemphill uses the day to:

Highlight a slice of Southwest Virginia's Hispanic community with a conversation featuring Kat Pascal and Illiana Sepulveda, co-founders of Latinas Network, which supports Latina Women with business development, professional development, and representation.Catch up with Bruce C. Bryan, president and owner of 5Points Creative. a full-service marketing agency that has helped several nonprofits on BUZZ ... and celebrates 5/5 like no other.And AAF Roanoke president Carrie Cousins offers a Cinco...