Nancy Schwartz, publisher of Getting Attention, a blog and e-mail newsletter that provides advice on nonprofit marketing, has conducted interviews in recent months with scores of charity experts about the best ways to get results. The Chronicle asked her to share the highlights of her free new guide:
Try as we may to stay on plan, life as a nonprofit marketer or fundraiser (or both) makes it hard to stay on course.
With so much change—in the world around us, in the environment in which we work, in marketing and fundraising strategies and tools, and in our organizations themselves—there are times that we all need help, a little inspiration to let us know we are on the right track, or a new way to look at an old problem.
And what better way to find that inspiration than through your peers in the nonprofit world.
Here are some first-hand accounts of marketing techniques that work from some of the 219 people I asked for advice.
How to Issue Calls to Action
Be strategic. Think about what you really want to happen, who truly makes that happen, and how to motivate them to make it happen rather than simply telling people what you want them to know and expecting them to see it’s importance and relevance to them and thus take the desired action.
Too often we think something is important, so we assume that simply telling others about it will mean they’ll see it’s importance, too. That’s not always the case.
Andi Cooper, Communications Specialist
More Stories and Fewer Statistics
Instead of talking about the mass of people you serve, focus on one individual’s story. It makes it more personal and not seem so overwhelming. People can help one but feel that they cannot make a difference when talking about thousands that are served.
Jacque French, Development Director
Anna Marie’s Alliance
It’s a Team Effort
Don’t assume that staff will resist re-branding efforts. We had hesitated to change our outdated logo and look and to standardize our messaging because we knew that staff would resist. Nothing could be further from the truth. Staff love the new logo, and all seem to agree that the old way of messaging was not the best way to reach our various constituencies. There has been very little resistance and much positive feedback on our new brand and messaging.
Florence Tandy, Executive Director
Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission
Match the Person to the Task
Choose marketing volunteers on the basis of their passion and time available as much—maybe more than —their expertise in an area where you have need. It doesn’t make any difference how able someone is to do something on your behalf if they can’t follow through even with a very genuine desire to help. Also, be very specific with your needs and expectations in the very first meeting with any volunteer.
Neal Kunde, Director of Public & Donor Communications
Combat Blindness International