Adam T. Sutton

Empower Brand Advocates to Speak for You

Most nonprofit organizations I’ve talked to have two core marketing missions: to solicit donations and get out the message. They need the funds to continue operating, and they need to get out the message to have an impact.

I’ve also noticed that many nonprofits have less-than-stellar marketing. This is not a slight to nonprofit marketers. I think they just lack time and resources, not ability. We have written case studies about nonprofit marketers doing very interesting things and finding success.

Seth Godin seems to have a soft spot for nonprofits and has some interesting marketing guidance for them in a free half-hour lecture at his blog. Seth says straight off that the lecture is not a list of tactics you can instantly put to work. His goal is to get you to turn your agenda upside down.

He notes that nonprofits usually spam people to get them to do something. The problem is that competition for people’s attention has surged in the past 10 years as the number of television channels, websites and other outlets has exploded. Nonprofits are having a harder time breaking through.

He also explains that nonprofits, strategically speaking, use a leaky funnel. They corral people and push them through the funnel. Most of them leak out. Hopefully enough make it through the other end and donate, or whatever.

He suggests taking the funnel and turning it upside-down, making it a megaphone, and handing it to your biggest supporters. The idea seems similar to what I’ve heard called empowering brand advocates. Basically, give people who love your organization the tools to tell others about how great you are.

Check out Seth’s free lecture. It’s useful for profits and non-profits.

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Non Profit Fundraising



  1. November 21st, 2008 at 08:34 | #1

    Seth Godin’s writings are amazing. He’s my favorite author. However, he has occasionally gotten some facts wrong. I wrote today that he made a little mistake about Google’s new feature this morning. Overall, I highly recommend his work to everyone I work with – profit and nonprofit.

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