bxw_mexico2Who is Dawn Nicole Baldwin?
Dawn is the Founder and Lead Strategist of Aspire One
, which is a firm that works with churches and nonprofits on their creative and strategic branding. You can read more about their approach and background.

I had heard a lot about Dawn through various circles, and I think the first time I remember having a conversation about her and the work she does was with Cynthia Ware. I then had the opportunity to meet Dawn briefly at Innovation3 Gathering in Dallas this last January. Though it was a brief introduction, I since then I have had the opportunity to find out more about the work that Dawn does with Aspire One, and I’m excited to see all that she does to help churches and nonprofits become more effective in their messaging.

One of the things that I tend to note about people is the company they keep and what is said about them. And Dawn keeps great company, and she is thought very highly of by her peers.  Those are good things to have.

You can find Dawn blogging here, twittering here, and her company here.

In Her Own Words

What are you really passionate about?

The thought of helping churches reach people more effectively is something that makes my heart beat fast. I grew up in a family where the Church is seen as irrelevant, legalistic and unnecessary. As a teenager, I tried going back to the little church we had attended occasionally but felt like a complete outsider. So helping churches who have a passion for reaching people who aren’t connected to God is something I’m trying to pour all of my energies into.

How does what you are doing vocationally or volunteer wise serve that passion?

Almost 14 yrs ago we founded AspireOne, a brand strategy firm that coaches and consults with ministry leaders to help them reach people more effectively. It starts with understanding the unique calling God has for their church, who they’re serving and what is the best way to connect with those people. We do a lot of rebranding efforts as well as web design and development for churches like Granger, Willow Creek and Seacoast.

Helping leaders understand how to leverage marketplace best practices in marketing and communications is another passion of mine, so I’ve been speaking at conferences and facilitating private workshops for ministries and nonprofits for the past 8 years. I also write a blog that focuses on this topic and am currently working on my first book, Beyond the Brand. [working title]

Last year we also launched a sister company, Jarbyco, that helps faith-based and social cause organizations connect with people through mobile communications like texting and live Q&A. It’s based on the same principles of helping ministries reach people more effectively but leveraging new methods. Understanding where people are at and speaking with them in a language they understand is at the core of everything we do.

How can those around you (friends, online community, etc.) best support you?

Managing two growing companies can be challenging and it seems like God is opening up a lot of new doors for us. I’m an entrepreneur at heart and love starting new things—sometimes it can be easy to get consumed with that instead of focusing on how I can be a better mom, wife and the tasks at hand. So if you guys can pray for a few things specifically, it’d mean a lot:

  • Discernment about what’s really important so I don’t get distracted
  • Endurance to stay the course
  • Wisdom to know where I should be investing my time, energy and how to best raise our kids

Anything else we should know about this passion?

I truly believe Bill Hybel’s mantra that the local church is the hope of the world. It’s through this establishment that people can either be pushed away or drawn closer to God. It’s where lives are changed and people can make a difference that truly matters. The Church [capital C] has the greatest story ever told but too often things get lost in translation. We need to focus on meeting people where they’re at and helping each person take their next step instead of trying to shove a bunch of rules and regulations down their throat or judging them. If we invested as much time caring for people instead of condemning them, I can only imagine the influence the Church could have on our world.

Previous Interviews in the ‘What Are You Passionate About?’ Series

Dawn Carter

Jason Taylor

Wess Daniels

Matt Knisely

Tony Steward