Redefining Impact: A New Playbook for Social Change with Eric Ressler

As a guest on the Untapped Philanthropy Podcast, Eric Ressler joins Fluxx's Co-founder Kerrin Mitchell and Neon One's Tim Sarrantonio for a conversation about the limitations of the term "nonprofit".

Untapped Philanthropy Podcast Website

Cosmic is committed to guiding social impact organizations through the digital connection that forge the pathways to social change. As a guest on the Untapped Philanthropy Podcast, Eric Ressler joins Fluxx's Co-founder Kerrin Mitchell and Neon One's Tim Sarrantonio for a conversation about the limitations of the term "nonprofit".  Together they discuss tactics for creating a more positive, impact-focused narrative that emphasizes the inherent value and rewarding nature of social impact work.  Eric underscores the shifting language within the social impact space, highlights companies that are skillfully and authentically competing in the attention economy, and offers practical advice regarding effective digital efforts surrounding social impact branding. 

The majority of our communication and our decision-making and our impact is funneled through digital channels to some degree or another. And used skillfully, they are amazing." [15:20]

Episode Highlights:

  • Redefining ‘nonprofits’ to an impact-focused narrative can completely change how people view and value their contributions. [1:34] 
  • The dangers of using misleading terminology surrounding social change. [6:23] 
  • Cosmic’s journey from creative, tech-savvy individual to a thought leader in the social impact design space. [9:35]
  • Balancing social impact while navigating the dynamics of competing in the attention economy. [14:41] 
  • The importance of brand building as what an organization is promising to their community, and then following through on that promise. [17:00] 
  • Tactics for overcoming common failure points when brand building from a long-game approach. [19:11] 
  • Cosmic’s innovative approach to prioritizing brand building work that is rooted in authenticity and storytelling. [22:06]
  • Evolving trends that are informing and changing the way people interact with designs and brands. [24:53] 
  • Brands who are succeeding at authentic engagement and harnessing the power of digital engagement for greater community building and impact. [26:45] 
  • Insights from Cosmic’s new video podcast Designing Tomorrow. [28:10] 
  • Addressing the tension at the intersection of the generosity experience and design. [29:25] 


“The term nonprofit is essentially a pretty big branding mistake around how we describe nonprofit organizations, and even just the misnomer about the social impact space in general and the nonprofit space being one and the same.” [3:30] 

“I see a future for this social impact sector that is significantly healthier for everyone.” [4:45]

“We help clients in the social impact space with strategic brand building out, best-in-class digital experiences to power that brand and to activate it, and then content and campaign consulting to actually capture attention and turn that attention into sustained action and then ultimately into community.” [16:20] 

“What are you promising your community and are you coming through on that promise? If you can answer that, then you have a brand.” [17:40] 

“We want to make sure we're not losing sight of the larger view of brand building, of creating a reputation of building community these things that really today stand out because so few people are actually executing on them authentically.” [20:02] 

“At the end of the day, design should be delivering results. If it's not delivering results, it's art, it's not design.” [23:32] 

“There's this shift happening that I'm personally excited about because it will enable us to become better creators, to be more authentic creators, and hopefully be able to produce content and experiences and stories and engagements with our community in a more meaningful, authentic way instead of what's going to actually get attention on the algorithms.” [26:32]



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