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Archive for the ‘Non Profit Fundraising’ Category

How to Market Your Nonprofit like a Space Program

January 13th, 2015
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When I was young, my father worked at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., as a technician. One day, he brought my brother and I back into his lab, which was filled with guys in white lab coats looking very important, whirling around equally important-looking machines that permeated the room with an orchestra of electronic sounds and blinking red light bulb eyes.

From that moment on, I was enthralled with NASA, space and the very concept of putting something on a rocket and shooting it into the void. It was only till a lot later in life that I realized the rest of the world was not as interested in the space program as I was.

Example 1Two of the world’s greatest space programs were born in the late 1950s when the Soviet space program and NASA competed against each other in a variety of missions.

The intent was to project military power and to facilitate national pride.

But it was expensive.

In the 1960s, during the Apollo program, America at one point spent up to 4% of the national budget on NASA.

Fast forward to today and NASA, to many, is seen as a luxury program — unpopular with most people and overfunded for its results.

It’s lost some of the grandeur of the past and is disconnected from the people. Government agencies that aren’t vital to the survival of a nation are irrevocably linked to their popularity.

The more popular a program, the less likely it is that budget makers will cut its budget. Because of this, space agencies all over the world have started a major marketing media campaign to renew the 1960s passion of space exploration.

 

What space agencies can teach about improving your marketing

To re-inspire interest they have used a variety of techniques that the every marketer can use, especially those marketing single events or nonprofit organizations.

The ESA (European Space Agency) recently landed an unmanned lander on a comet. They used this event to gain brand awareness with a calculated marketing effort in traditional media and social media. To do so, they released data from the lander as it came in and held a live video conference as the lander landed.

This entailed flooding social media with updates on the landers progress and holding a video Q-and-A. They targeted potential “customers” — such as taxpayers and youth interested in space — with a strategic individualized marketing plan that began years before the event.

This was the fruit of years of effort of getting people involved and building a social web of interested individuals who would spread the awareness of ESA into nontraditional social circles. The greatest success comes through a detailed plan and the ESA’s plan has its roots in a 1998 paper written about how space organizations can market like nonprofits by Ph. Willekens and W.A. Peeters.

They conclude their paper with a very important message for marketers:

For nonprofit organisations, as for commercial companies, ‘marketing’ involves a mixture of elements, analogous to the ingredients for a cooking recipe. The marketing ‘strategy’ forms the key for the preparation of a set of actions directed towards a clearly defined customer or target group. The various target groups as far as the ESA is concerned are: the taxpayers (general public) as ESA’s main ‘end customer’, the youngsters as ESA’s future ‘end-customers’ …

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Nonprofit Marketing: 3 tips to increase year-end revenue

November 14th, 2014
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With the end of the year approaching fast, it’s not only retail industry marketers who have campaigns to implement. It’s also a busy season for nonprofit marketers – a time of the year for holiday giving and year-end contributions.

What can nonprofit marketers do to increase their fourth quarter revenue? We’re sharing three tips for you that have proven effective for others, and might prove useful for you, too.

 

Tip #1. Coordinate your offline and online marketing efforts

It can be hard to stand out in a crowded mailbox – both your physical mail box and email inbox. That’s why HealthConnect One wanted use both channels in its year-end campaign. The team had previously sent out direct mail including an appeal letter to its supporters, but they decided email might be a great way to reinforce the message.

By creating a four-email campaign around the direct mail piece, the nonprofit saw a 50% increase in revenue compared to the prior year. To see the emails and learn more about the campaign, check out the MarketingSherpa case study, “Email Marketing: Four short emails boost year-end revenue 50% for nonprofit organization.”

 

Tip #2. Provide “quick donate” links for previous donors

The Obama for America campaign wanted to enable repeat donors to effortlessly give again. This required a few steps.

First, they encouraged donors to save their payment information during checkout. Second, they sent out emails with multiple calls-to-action (CTA) for different contribution levels. Third, with one click of the CTA, donors could donate again without visiting a landing page or filling out a form.

obama-email

 

The result? Conversion rates increased 300% on average when using the links.

To learn more about this tip and other tactics the campaign used, read the MarketingSherpa case study, “Email Testing: How the Obama campaign generated approximately $500 million in donations from email marketing.”

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Random Apps of Kindness: Using mobile for nonprofit and cause-based marketing

July 10th, 2012
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According to Web.com, 84% of small and medium businesses saw an increase in business activity due to their mobile marketing efforts.

This got me thinking … how could mobile marketing help another segment that, much like SMBs, often has limited budgets and time to invest in new marketing tactics – non-profit and cause-based marketers.

So, I asked a few experts in the industry, and they shared a few basic considerations to help you with your mobile marketing efforts …

 

Consideration #1: Determine if you need a mobile app

Apps have gotten a lot of buzz lately, but they are not the only way to reach a mobile audience.

“Building a mobile app, a good one at least, isn’t cheap,” said Amy Sample Ward, Digital Advisor, Good360.

You might want to start by optimizing your website and email marketing for mobile first.

“Be sure to update form pages for signing up or donating so that people aren’t turned off when they can’t even make out the fields and complete the page,” Amy said.

Once you’ve optimized your current presence for a mobile audience, how can you decide if an app is a logical next step?

“See if mobile views and navigation, opens and clickthroughs on emails, etc. go up as you mobile-ize those areas of content,” Amy remarked.

“The second indicator is the unique content or service an app would provide,” she added. “Unless you have information or data that people will want to access regularly and will actually help them in their day-to-day life, an app probably isn’t a fit.”

“For example, if you are an organization working on clean water access and conservation, an app that shares facts about water is not interesting, nor is it helpful. An app that helps people geo-locate and navigate to places where they can refill their water bottle for free is very helpful and reinforces an organization’s mission.”

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Nonprofit Marketing: What you can learn from B2B and consumer marketing

November 4th, 2011
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At B2B Summit in Boston, I was having dinner with MarketingSherpa Research Analyst Jeff Rice, and I asked him, “What question did you receive most often on the LEAPS Certification Email Workshop tour?” I was expecting it would be about relevance or deliverability, list building or list segmentation. What he said really caught me off guard. …

“Our biggest question is from nonprofit marketers. They want to know what B2B and B2C tactics are effective for them.”

Excellent question. Here are a few tactics that B2B and consumer marketers use regularly that can work especially well for nonprofits. …

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Let Purpose Drive Social Media Efforts

April 17th, 2009
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Think of all the organizations that have a single, powerful purpose that drives them. Google aims to help people find what they’re looking for online. AARP aims to enhance the aging population’s quality of life. Kohler aims to transform everyday commodities into art.

Purpose should drive social media efforts as well. It worked for the Brooklyn Museum, which won the 2008 Forrester Groundswell Award for “Social Impact.” The museum created a Facebook application called ArtShare, hosted a crowd-curated exhibit online, and put its entire collection online.

ArtShare allowed any museum or artist to share artwork on the social networking site. It allowed any Facebook user to display selected artworks on their profiles. The application attracted 3,007 active monthly users. The crowd-curated exhibit got 400,000 votes from the public.

And it was all driven by the museum’s purpose “to serve its diverse public as a dynamic, innovative, and welcoming center for learning through the visual arts.”

This might be a small example, but it’s one worth noting because these efforts raised awareness about the museum while perpetuating the museum’s mission.

Twitter Impacts Web Traffic

March 4th, 2009
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Is there a way to measure the ROI of social media?

I ask this question all the time and rarely get a concrete answer because it’s just one of those tactics that’s difficult to measure.

Research from MarketingSherpa’s new Social Media Marketing & PR Benchmark Guide suggests that 43% of marketers rank the inability to measure ROI the most significant barrier to social media adoption.

I still don’t have the answer, but here’s one example of a way social media can impact an Internet marketing campaign:

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Post-election Email: Both Candidates Drop the Ball

November 7th, 2008
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I have been signed up for Barack Obama and John McCain’s email messages for well over a year. And my fellow Americans (sorry, I couldn’t resist, ‘Mac’ fans), I was let down by what I did NOT see on Wednesday or Thursday.

Neither candidate had sent out an email to their subscriber list since the election results were in thanking them for their support. Obama’s Internet strategy has been pretty brilliant, so this glaring blind spot in ‘customer care’ was nearly shocking from his camp.

I first recognized this yesterday, a day after Election Tuesday. At that time, I was willing to cut campaign managers David Axelrod and Rick Davis some slack. A Tuesday night or Wednesday morning email would have been best. But they and their teams had to be unbelievably tired and distracted. The last thing they were probably thinking about was another email send.

But I thought: They really should be sending a ‘Thank You’ message on Thursday…any point after that would be kind of an embarrassment. I mean, both campaigns wisely used email to gather support. Whether it was donations, volunteering, soliciting help with phone banks, etc., each candidate was acquiring the resources of hard-working people via those messages.

By not sending their lists ‘Thank Yous’ in a timely fashion, they sent an altogether different kind of message: “We don’t need you anymore.”

That’s unfortunate for both the Democratic and Republican brands. While the bad marketing on both parties’ watch will not matter in 2012, why take the risk of turning off your best supporters? It makes zero sense.

Especially when you consider that both camps constantly sent emails this year. Several a week.

One more. That’s all they had left to do.

 

Nonprofits Need to Embrace Email Channel

October 22nd, 2008
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I got a call this week from a charitable organization. Their cause sounded very, very worthy.

But this is what happened. I asked them: If I made a donation, would they email me a receipt? I made it clear that that would be the only way I would contribute. I have had the experience in the past, where if you donate, the organization will email you a receipt. Read more…

Empower Brand Advocates to Speak for You

October 1st, 2008
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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.

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Social Networks Make It Easier Being Green

August 3rd, 2008
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One of the newer ways of marketing to consumers lies in the idea of being green. It’s pretty simple: If you can convince environmentally conscious folks that you care about running your operations responsibly, that sizable group becomes much more inclined to spend money on your products or services. Read more…