Non profits

This ONE Thing Transforms Your Marketing & Fundraising

Flickr: Robyn Anderson

The opportunity you have in front of you today is SO big, that it’ can seem overwhelming. …
You’ve decided to take another look at your engagement practices (Yea, yea, yea!), rather than just doing it. Breathe deep—the changes you make will have a huge impact on results.

What are YOU going to change? What will stay the same? PRIORITY NOW is the proven path forward.

You know that marketing and fundraising have to be more on target than ever, with messages based on right-now data and stories from across your channels, campaigns, and programs. That’s the path to Priority Now—the relevant, memorable and unified supporter or participant experience you must provide, an experience that builds on each person’s till-now engagement with your organization and is most likely to spur her next action.

Here’s how to produce a relevant, memorable, and unified supporter experience: 1) Center supporters and participants at the heart of your organization, now and forever.

This isn’t bright-and-shiny new, but it’s more important than ever. Let me put it this way: If you don’t shape program and services, marketing and fundraising around your supporters’ and participants’ actions, wants, habits, and values, you’ll alienate folks who are close now and fail miserably in making new friends.

Volunteers, donors, activists, program participants, and other supporters are vital to achieving your mission. You can’t do it without them so keep your eye on the prize.

To Do

  • Focus on no more than three groups of individuals—those most likely to take the actions you need or who represent the greatest risk to achieving your marketing goals (how you use marketing to achieve your organizational goals) if not engaged within the next six months.
  • Break these groups into segments by special interest, wants, previous actions, location, or any other combination of characteristics
  • Get to know them.

Practically speaking, there’s just ONE path to that kind of unified experience: Right-Things, Right-Now Marketing. Get there with this Right-Things, Right-Now Nonprofit Marketing Plan Template

2) Listen to and learn from your people in a way that’s radically different from what you’re doing right now.

To Do

  • Set an end goal of treating (and communicating with) your supporters and participants as individuals, rather than one-size-fits-all, as much as possible. That means you shape engagement to each person’s experience (more realistically, each segment of folks who share similar perspectives and experiences).
  • To get there, learn everything you can about your people every way you can, on an ongoing basis:
    • Develop personas or profiles that typify a member of each audience or segment and surround yourself and your colleagues with persona headshots—it’s hokey, but it keeps the people who count at the top of everyone’s mind
    • Ask and listen to input to learn more about your people’s habits, preferences, wants, and dislike. People want to get what’s relevant; this is how you make it happen
    • Listen to what’s being said about your organization and team online, and engage with the speakers human-to-human
    • Compile information on interests and more via every single conversation (make it easy for your team to share the insights they gather) and active transaction (giving, volunteer sign up, event registration) pages, e-mail, and social.
3) Set up systems, roles, and responsibilities to harvest, share, and analyze data, feedback, anecdotes plus other insights

To Do

  • Assess where supporter information to date—preferences, habits, relationships, and interactions— lives across all departments and databases in your organization
  • Implement a robust database tool that enables you to integrate all data and anecdotes on a single supporter, prospect, or participant (now fragmented in multiple departments and records) into a single, in-depth profile. That’s the key to the rich insights (a true 360-degree perspective) necessary for truly integrated marketing that reflects your peoples’ interactions with your organization over time and is delivered consistently—across marketing channels and strategies—for a more relevant, resonant experience.
  • Log, share, and analyze what you learn about your people across your organization—instead of limiting your analysis to actions within a single program, campaign or channel—in a way that’s easy to access for all.

The more coordinated and robust your insight is into each person you’re hoping to engage, the higher the probability you’ll motivate him or her to take the next action (or realize that he/she’s not a likely prospect).

4) Shape rewarding and connected relationships with your people OVER TIME—a cumulative supporter or participant experience.

Your prospects and supporters are just like you—Individuals want content and programs to be customized to their preferences, habits, and history of action.

The Altimeter Research Group has deemed this the “me-cosystem: The ecosystem that revolves around “me,” an organization’s data and technologies to deliver more relevant, useful, and engaging experiences. Supporters will benefit from contextualized experiences (digitally and otherwise), in exchange for giving up personal data.”

To Do

  • Apply your learnings and analysis, and those of your colleagues, to shape marketing and fundraising outreach, and hone programs and services on the fly; and
  • Ensure that one experience links to the next for each one of them (within reason, of course).

The days of the one-off marketing project or fundraising campaign are over. Now it’s about insights, profiles and personas, and [a series] of connected experiences.

5) Get agile to satisfy supporter expectations that your nonprofit is continually adapting to fit their schedules and lives

And that has to include how they interact (or not) with your marketing and fundraising outreach, and your programs and services.

Beware! There’s still way too much talking about data and stories among nonprofits, and way too little action on these insights. Priority Now means changing that. In fact, “[supporters and participants] are insisting that [nonprofits] sew together all of the micro-interactions (between organizations and individuals) in an intelligent way. And when [organizations] disappoint, their people often let them have it, and very publicly,” says Wilkins.

To Do

  • Replace traditional campaigns—based on pre-determined start and stop dates and series of messages—with real-time marketing, based on supporters and participants’ actions and schedules
  • Kill the e-mail blasts: Sending the same e-mail to everyone at the same time is the loudest “who cares” I know
  • Segment your lists as precisely as time, expertise and tools allow, grouping prospects by shared wants, values, or engagement history to produce more relevant content
  • Start to tear down the age-old barrier between program and marketing/fundraising efforts (and views of the people you want to engage or engage more).
6) Shift toward “all for one and one for all” teamwork

Priority? Throw down the gauntlet and tear down your marketing and fundraising ivory tower to excite and empower your colleagues!

In fact, that’s the only way you’ll build the all-organization relationships, sense of adventure, and satisfaction necessary to drive speeded-up marketing, delivery, and revision cycles on both program/service and marketing/fundraising fronts.

To Do

  • Join your colleagues across your organization in shaping ambitious but realistic roles and responsibilities for data and story gathering, sharing, analysis, and action.
  • Dedicate yourself, no matter your role, to making your donor experience as relevant and resonant as possible.

I urge you to forget whether you staff a program, run the teen volunteer program, do back-end accounting, or have the word “marketing” in your title. Instead, focus on joining forces to produce a satisfying, memorable, and unified engagement experience for your people. It’s the ONE thing that will move your mission forward.

Bonus: Reduces your workload, increases your confidence that you’re doing the right thing, and sends your professional happiness sky high.

Kick start your ONE thing now, with the Right-Things, Right-Now Nonprofit Marketing Plan Template

P.S. Get more nonprofit engagement tools, tips, templates & case studies delivered to your inbox!
Subscribe to Getting Attention email updates.

P.P.S. Thanks to Gary Keller for inspiring me to focus on the ONE thing, as “Success demands singleness of purpose.” I recommend you read Keller’s The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results

Categories: Non profits

This ONE Thing Transforms Your Marketing & Fundraising

Flickr: Robyn Anderson

The opportunity you have in front of you today is SO big, that it’ can seem overwhelming. …
You’ve decided to take another look at your engagement practices (Yea, yea, yea!), rather than just doing it. Breathe deep—the changes you make will have a huge impact on results.

So, what are you going to change? And what should stay the same? 

You know that marketing and fundraising have to be more on target than ever, with messages based on right-now data and stories from across your channels, campaigns, and programs. That’s the path to Priority Now—the relevant, memorable and unified supporter or participant experience you must provide, an experience that builds on each person’s till-now engagement with your organization and is most likely to spur her next action.

Here’s how to produce a relevant, memorable, and unified supporter experience: 

1) Center supporters and participants at the heart of your organization, now and forever.

This isn’t bright-and-shiny new, but it’s more important than ever. Let me put it this way: If you don’t shape program and services, marketing and fundraising around your supporters’ and participants’ actions, wants, habits, and values, you’ll alienate folks who are close now and fail miserably in making new friends.

Volunteers, donors, activists, program participants, and other supporters are vital to achieving your mission. You can’t do it without them so keep your eye on the prize.

To Do

  • Focus on no more than three groups of individuals—those most likely to take the actions you need or who represent the greatest risk to achieving your marketing goals (how you use marketing to acheive your organizational goals) if not engaged within the next six months.
  • Break these groups into segments by special interest, wants, previous actions, location, or any other combination of characteristics
  • Get to know them.

Practically speaking, there’s just ONE path to that kind of unified experience: Right-Things, Right-Now Marketing.  Get there with this Right-Things, Right-Now Nonprofit Marketing Plan Template

2) Listen to and learn from your people in a way that’s radically different from what you’re doing right now.

To Do

  • Set an end goal of treating (and communicating with) your supporters and participants as individuals, rather than one-size-fits-all, as much as possible. That means you shape engagement to each person’s experience (more realistically, each segment of folks who share similar perspectives and experiences).
  • To get there, learn everything you can about your people every way you can, on an ongoing basis:
    • Develop personas or profiles that typify a member of each audience or segment and surround yourself and your colleagues with persona headshots—it’s hokey, but it keeps the people who count at the top of everyone’s mind
    • Ask and listen to input to learn more about your people’s habits, preferences, wants, and dislike. People want to get what’s relevant; this is how you make it happen
    • Listen to what’s being said about your organization and team online, and engage with the speakers human-to-human
    • Compile information on interests and more via every single conversation (make it easy for your team to share the insights they gather) and active transaction (giving, volunteer sign up, event registration) pages, e-mail, and social.
3) Set up systems, roles, and responsibilities to harvest, share, and analyze data, feedback, anecdotes plus  other insights

To Do

  • Assess where supporter information to date—preferences, habits, relationships, and interactions— lives across all departments and databases in your organization
  • Implement a robust database tool that enables you to integrate all data and anecdotes on a single supporter, prospect, or participant (now fragmented in multiple departments and records) into a single, in-depth profile. That’s the key to the rich insights (a true 360-degree perspective) necessary for truly integrated marketing that reflects your peoples’ interactions with your organization over time and is delivered consistently—across marketing channels and strategies—for a more relevant, resonant experience.
  • Log, share, and analyze what you learn about your people across your organization—instead of limiting your analysis to actions within a single program, campaign or channel—in a way that’s easy to access for all.

The more coordinated and robust your insight is into each person you’re hoping to engage, the greater the probability you’ll motivate him or her to take the next action (or realize that he/she’s not a likely prospect).

4) Shape rewarding and connected relationships with your people OVER TIME—a cumulative supporter or participant experience.

Your prospects and supporters are just like you—Individuals want, and in many cases, expect, content and programs to be customized to their preferences, habits, and history of action.

The Altimeter Research Group has deemed this the “me-cosystem: The ecosystem that revolves around “me,” an organization’s data and technologies to deliver more relevant, useful, and engaging experiences. Supporters will benefit from contextualized experiences (digitally and otherwise), in exchange for giving up personal data.”

To Do

  • Apply your learnings and analysis, and those of your colleagues, to shape marketing and fundraising outreach, and hone programs and services on the fly; and
  • Ensure that one experience links to the next for each one of them (within reason, of course).

The days of the one-off marketing project or fundraising campaign are over. Now it’s about insights, profiles and personas, and [a series] of connected experiences.

5) Get agile to satisfy supporter expectations that your nonprofit is constantly adapting to fit their schedules and lives

And that has to include how they interact (or not) with your marketing and fundraising outreach, and your programs and services.

Beware! There’s still way too much talking about data and stories among nonprofits, and way too little action on these insights. Priority Now means changing that. In fact, “[supporters and participants] are insisting that [nonprofits] sew together all of the micro-interactions (between organizations and individuals) in an intelligent way. And when [organizations] disappoint, their people often let them have it, and very publicly,” says Wilkins.

To Do

  • Replace traditional campaigns—based on pre-determined start and stop dates and series of messages—with real-time marketing, based on supporters and participants’ actions and schedules
  • Kill the e-mail blasts—sending the same e-mail to everyone at the same time—(they’re the loudest “who cares” I know; who wants to be blasted?)
  • Segment your lists as precisely as time, expertise and tools allow, grouping prospects by shared wants, values, or engagement history to produce more relevant content
  • Start to tear down the age-old barrier between program and marketing/fundraising efforts (and views of the people you want to engage or engage more).
6) Shift toward “all for one and one for all” teamwork

Priority? Throw down the gauntlet and tear down your marketing and fundraising ivory tower to excite and empower your colleagues!

In fact, that’s the only way you’ll build the all-organization relationships, sense of adventure, and satisfaction necessary to drive a speeded-up marketing, delivery, and revision cycle on both program/service and marketing/fundraising fronts.

To Do

  • Join your colleagues across your organization in shaping ambitious but realistic roles and responsibilities for data and story gathering, sharing, analysis, and action.
  • Dedicate yourself, no matter your role, to making your donor experience as relevant and resonant as possible.

I urge you to forget whether you staff a program, run the teen volunteer program, do back-end accounting, or have the word “marketing” in your title. Instead, focus on joining forces to produce a satisfying, memorable, and unified engagement experience for your people. It’s the ONE thing that will move your mission forward.

Bonus: Reduces your workload, increases your confidence that you’re doing the right thing, and sends your professional happiness sky high.

Kick start your ONE thing now, with the Right-Things, Right-Now Nonprofit Marketing Plan Template

P.S. Get more nonprofit engagement tools, tips, templates & case studies delivered to your inbox!
Subscribe to Getting Attention email updates.

P.P.S. Thanks to Gary Keller for inspiring me to focus on the ONE thing, as “Success demands singleness of purpose.”  I strongly recommend you read Keller’s The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results

Categories: Non profits

3 Facebook Engagement Wins – Part 1: Straight from the horses mouth

Thanks to guest blogger Rachel Carnegliaa, a nonprofit marketer and graphic designer promoting parks, trails, and green spaces at the Austin Parks Foundation. 

Hey, I have the inside scoop on Facebook, from Facebook (take it with a grain of salt, I guess), and I want to share it with you. You see, I was lucky enough to get some first-hand answers on effective engagement strategies for nonprofits, directly from Facebook employees, at a recent panel here in Austin. During the Q&A portion of the afternoon, the question on everyone’s mind finally came bubbling up to the surface—the new algorithm, a.k.a. the elephant in the room.

It was pretty clear from the disgruntled mumbles of agreement rippling around the room that everyone was feeling a little anguished about the subject. Most of us rely on Facebook for low-cost, if not free, interaction with our donors, volunteers, and supporters. What to do? If you’re like me, you’re concerned about what these changes (plus the recent privacy breaches) mean for your organization’s reach, engagement and, ultimately, your impact to some extent.

Dive into these strategies, advice, and options straight from the horses mouth:

1) Keep advertising on Facebook: The new algorithm won’t affect your ad reach
Phew! The new people-first approach won’t penalize those of us who are fortunate enough to have a budget for social advertising (meager as it may be), and that’s a load off. On the other hand, use this fact as your rally cry if your organization isn’t yet able to set aside funds for Facebook advertising.

Even a tiny budget goes a long way to make your work visible beyond your most dedicated followers. By design, Facebook’s advertising platform gives you tremendous power to target your audiences (more than we thought, as we now know), and the ROI is unparalleled by other platforms. If you aren’t yet advertising on Facebook (and sister platform Instagram), now is the time to reconsider that decision.

2) Community management is more critical than ever
Many social media and communications professionals in the corporate world are called Community Managers, and there’s a reason for that.

Creating online communities with robust strategies for driving likes, comments, and conversations—both on and off a page—is part and parcel of the job. If these methods weren’t already a priority for your social strategy, they should be now.

Facebook’s shift of focus to individuals and their interactions with each other means they’ll prioritize posts with more engagement. Facebook has prioritized such posts to some extent, but it’s now asking admins of pages and brands to try a little harder.

Best tactic: Reply to people’s comments, and start conversations to increase organic reach. It’s the best way to turn up the volume without paying for ads and boosted posts.

3) Marry content strategy with native posting
Facebook has always given preference to natively posted content (posts created within Facebook rather than shared from other platforms like Twitter or scheduling apps like Hootsuite). However, engaging content (see #2) is the first step within the new algorithm.

Keep Facebook’s self-interest in mind as you create new posts:

  • Instead of linking out to a blog post explaining an in-depth topic, make a quick video on your phone and post it directly to Facebook.
  • Announce news on Facebook Live (oh, how they want us to use Facebook Live).
  • Run donation campaigns through Facebook Fundraisers.

Keep in mind that Facebook’s goal is to keep people in the app. Help Facebook meet that goal, and it’s likely to reward you with more organic reach.

Keep posted for Part 2, coming early next week!

P.S. Get more nonprofit engagement tools, tips, templates & case studies delivered to your inbox!
Subscribe to Getting Attention email updates.

Categories: Non profits

Fun-Learning-Me! CAUSE CAMP 3/26-27

Listen! I’m booked to speak at Cause Camp 2018 and I’d love you to join me.  There are still some seats left for this intimate, lively, and FUN learning experience coming up March 26-27.  So please.. Register today, for either the in-person (in Lincoln, NE) or online conference. Use the promo code NANCY for $50 off!

Here’s why I’m speaking at Cause Camp this year. Dig in—I think you’ll see why you should join me there:

  • Heard how great CC is from so many colleagues and client organizations. These recommendations are solid as most of these folks participate in a lot of nonprofit learning opportunities and have years of expertise in the field. A.K.A., they know what they’re talking about!
  • They say Cause Camp’s:
    • Intimate learning opportunity is unequaled. You get to know co-participants over the course of the gathering and leave with a slew of powerful brainstorming relationships.
    • Unique single-track-design (all participants go through the conference sessions together, as a single group) ensures you get to learn from EVERY best-of-the-best session and benefit from the cross-pollination of points of view across functions, from EDs, to grant managers, program staff, and fundraisers..
    • Modest registration fees (under $100 for online participation, and under $300 for in-person, with meals, and entertainment included; even less with the $50 off NANCY promo code) makes the conference community super inclusive. As a result, you’ll meet many more folks (and learn from their varied perspectives and experiences) than at a “traditional” conference.
    • Sassy, innovative, all-about-the-participants spirit means lots of super fun together time. You’ll return to work rejuvenated, refueled, and full of doable, make-a-difference tactics that you CAN start putting into action that same day to generate real results. 

Register for Cause Camp today; in-person or online, it’s up to you!
Use the promo code NANCY for $50 off!

Take a look at this recent participant’s feedback:

  • Cause Camp is an introvert’s dream. There aren’t thousands of participants running around, nor multiple tracks to choose from every hour. You’re in a single comfortable room, with 300 of your closest nonprofit friends, face-to-face with the best speakers in Nonprofit Management. And you can even <gulp> talk with the speakers throughout the conference!

    The curriculum itself covers topics more deeply and more practically than any webinar or article you’ll find online. Come for the relaxed and engaging vibe, and stay for the superb knowledge sharing and relationship building!” — Carrie Rice, Membership Director, Congregation Sherith Israel

And this glowing review from the 2018 Best Nonprofit Conferences Calendar

Cause Camp isn’t just another nonprofit conference …it’s an experience. The Cause Camp equation is simple and foolproof: It’s designed to spark inspiration and learning from some of the biggest names in the nonprofit and for-profit sectors, enabling participants to…truly change the sector and evolve the way they organization run. Attendees will leave with more than just field notes; they’ll leave the relationships and tools needed to create change – immediately.

It’s now or never.  Register for Cause Camp today; for the in-person or online experience! You’ll make my day.
Use the promo code NANCY for $50 off!

P.S. Get more nonprofit engagement tools, tips, templates & case studies delivered to your inbox!
Subscribe to Getting Attention email updates.

Categories: Non profits

Last-Minute Valentines: Still time!

From soulful to silly, heartfelt to heavy, no matter the approach, organizations like yours are using Valentine’s Day to get attention and motivate the actions they need this week and beyond. You still have time to leverage Valentine’s Day TODAY if you act now.

The secret sauce here is piggybacking on what’s top of mind. Your people are already thinking about this stuff, so are far more likely to connect with your Valentine’s mini-campaign right now. They’ve been helping their kids write out cards for the entire class, buying that last-minute box of chocolates for their partner, or grabbing a bunch of roses on the way home from work. 

They couldn’t forget Valentine’s Day even if they wanted to. So use St. Valentine as a springboard to engagement. That’s Relevance Rules Messaging! Here’s how:

1) Find your cause’s genuine connection to love. It’s crystal clear for causes/issues like heart health, blood and organ donation and human services. The link may be less evident for other causes but is often findable with a bit of probing. Brainstorm with your colleagues over coffee asap.

CAUTION: If you can’t find a natural-ish connection, or just don’t have the time to dig deep, skip Valentine’s Day based-messaging this year. Otherwise, you’ll risk losing credibility and distracting your people from what’s important to them (and to you).

2) Make your Valentine’s campaign (both graphic and narrative elements) short, punchy, and to the point, without minimizing your cause and community. This is a minor holiday; not a solemn day of remembrance or a religious marker. It’s a launchpad for your message, nothing else.
See below (#3).

3) Go micro this year via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or maybe a super short email. That’s all you have time for at this point. Sharing donor love is a perennial winner. Here are three other inspirations I’ve seen this week:

Cupid or Stupid? This Valentine’s Day, designate a sober driver.  #DriveSober pic.twitter.com/z9LLcQwA5I

— WRAP.org (@WRAP_org) February 13, 2018

 

A cheeky reminder to our supporters that Valentine’s Day is around the corner and @project.meow is one of the charities you can choose for #AmazonSmile! Click smile.amazon.com/ch/36-4835126 and Amazon donates to Project Meow. ? #projectmeow #shopforacause #dontforgetthechocolate #penniesforthekitties

A post shared by Project MEOW (@project.meow) on Feb 12, 2018 at 5:02am PST

4) Make a to-do entry to develop a richer campaign for next year, IF it makes sense.

Start by reviewing National Domestic Workers Alliance‘s (NWDA) #GiveWithLove campaign. The messaging is thoughtful, meaningful, and memorable, yet a complement to NWDA’s core campaigns. Here’s an excerpt from a recent NWDA email I received:

Love can be transformational. The kind of love that can change the world. It’s this deep commitment that fuels us at NDWA. We know that with love, a whole lot of strategic work, people power and elbow grease, anything is possible.

This Valentine’s Day, will you make a donation to NDWA to keep our movement growing?

As an organizer, I work in NYC with local house cleaners, nannies, and care workers to make sure they are treated fairly and with dignity. The women I talk to are deeply connected to the work that they do – caring for other families and households. I am inspired by them every day, by the care and love with which they approach their work and their lives.

It’s this love that can move mountains, and it’s this love we celebrate today.

I love it! Let’s see what you can do with love.

P.S. Get more nonprofit marketing tools, tips, templates & case studies delivered to your inbox!
Subscribe to Getting Attention email updates.

P.P.S. This total-win technique isn’t limited to Valentine’s Day. Get brainstorming now to connect your cause with upcoming holidays—Mother’s Day, Earth Day (priceless relevance for environmental organizations), Father’s Day—and other-top-of-mind moments. Relevance Rules Messaging is a proven way to connect with supporters and move them to give, donate, volunteer or spread the word.

Categories: Non profits