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Online Marketing, Techniques, Traditional Marketing

Marketing and Donor Requests

According to the American Marketing Association, marketing is defined as “…the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion, and distribution of ideas, goods, and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organizational objectives.”

Nearly all nonprofit organizations have a goal or objective they want to attain. In the process of reaching that goal, they need “donors” who hear the message and want to be part of that journey. Organizations then apply traditional marketing methods to reach those targeted donors. Sound familiar?

Most plans seek traditional promotional venues to solve their immediate dilemma. If the goal is to increase donor gifts by 10%, most managers rush to mainstream media (radio, billboard, newsletters, and telemarketing) as a solution. This unidirectional approach delivers a stream of messages from the organization to the targeted audience with little regard for their current circumstances. Without this understanding, the channel proposed may not be suitable for the intended audience.

Try starting with your donor base and work your way back to the organization. This exercise will unveil the most direct and meaningful approach to achieving your objective. You might save yourself time, energy, and valuable resources in the process! How do you approach your donor base? If they are truly integral to your cause, understanding what’s important to them will help shape your marketing plan.

Value Proposition defines what your organization can do better than anyone else and secondly, why that’s important to the donor. If your mission/vision statement is not clear on that point, how can the rest of your organization and donor base feel the same way?

Does your collateral material mirror what you do?  Is your organization’s message compelling and meaningful? Most nonprofits utilize volunteers or “friends” who can acquire an occasional story in the local paper or regional magazine. If scarce monetary resources are one of nonprofit’s toughest dilemmas, let marketing public relations provide a venue to achieve your goal at minimal expense.

Every aspect of your messaging, both visual and intangible, should specifically point to that mantra. Although a brand represents a culmination of all attributes, we really only remember one distinct thing. Let’s start with your logo and tagline. A tagline should be both emotional and descriptive. Does your tagline capture the essence of your value proposition? Does it instantly tell the potential donor who you are and what your purpose is? The by-product of your messaging should generate passion and action.

Most messages are directed at attributes and correlate cause to effect. This approach lacks inspiration and polarizes the recipient. Does your message invoke passion and action? Every message you produce (business cards, newsletters, website, etc.) culminates into a single, brand position. Each additional layer of messages you generate are either acknowledged or disregarded by the donor based on your original pronouncement. Be mindful of the context and character your organization delivers.

Need help?  Give us a call: 707.745.3738.

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