People of Masterworks | Mark Neigh, VP of Digital

People of Masterworks is a series highlighting talented folks who contribute to the success of our ministry partners on a daily basis. Our hope is that, by getting to know some of our team members, you’ll also learn more about Masterworks and our mission to move hearts and minds to action.

What is your biggest contribution to our ministry partners’ success?

What? No softball opening question about what three books I’d bring to a desert island?

Helping organizations navigate their digital transformation—whether in their donor experience or data or culture—is the biggest contribution I endeavor to make. Our society has shifted in such a way, accelerated by quarantines and figuring out how to buy toilet paper online, that a fragmented and sporadic approach to digital will no longer cut it for organizations that want to grow. You have to become a full citizen of this digital world and I love partnering with ministries to help them through that process.

What motivates you in your work?

I’m motivated by that little moment when someone connects the way they use technology to interact with brands in their own life back to the work they’re doing for their ministry. I think that moment is the key to unlocking a Digital Transformation and it’s fun to be a part of in some small way.

How would you describe the path that led you to the work you do now?

In my previous career, I had the opportunity to support fun brands like LEGO and Nintendo. But a pro bono opportunity with Feeding America completely changed my perspective and I wanted to use my skills to help change the world in a different sort of way. That—plus family—brought me to the beautiful Pacific Northwest and Masterworks. I’m excited that it’s come full circle to where I started with Digital Media.

In your professional opinion, what do you see as the biggest challenge facing nonprofits today?

Staying relevant. Digital transformation is such a drum for me because I watch how quickly the culture is changing and many ministries aren’t updating their messaging and products and engagement opportunities to keep up with consumers expectations.

What are you learning by working with ministries?

I’m consistently moved by the great burden our clients feel to ensure that every dollar donors contribute is being put to the best possible use to change the world. It drives me to think differently about things like media efficiency and ad waste, and to keep coming up with ways to measure the effect of digital media to open hearts and minds (and wallets) to this great work.

Tell me about your most recent “Ah-ha” moment or breakthrough.

Most recently I’ve been excited by seeing how lo-fi our creative can get and still move people. In fact we’re seeing that simple, from the heart, cell phone videos that feel real and in the moment connect to donors the most. That’s so exciting because it means you don’t have to have a huge production budget to be successful. 

What’s one thing you want ministries to know about digital media?

Among the most overused quotes in marketing is that one form Field of Dreams, “if you build it, they will come.” In this context it’s used ironically. Just because you have a website doesn’t mean anyone’s going to come to it. No one is going to know who you are or how awesome what you’re doing to change the world is until you tell them. And one of the most effective and efficient ways to tell people is through digital media.

What in your personal life equips you to serve our clients every day/motivates you to serve?

My motivation to serve comes from a commitment to leaving this world better than I found it, which means keeping my decisions under an intense microscope. My partner and I bought a farm because we felt so strongly about knowing the source and treatment of the food we eat. That passion drives me in my day job too. I want to make sure I’m doing it to support something that matters in the long run.