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10 more things you can learn from Obama

For many years I have been a big fan of e-mail. It is convenient, it’s fast, it’s cheap and, if used well, can raise funds for your charity. And, what you probably didn’t know it can also create involvement with your target audience, as I will show you in this blog.

But in my time as a marketer, for some undefined reason, I always had to fight on behalf of e-mail with programs people (it is too shallow to tell what we have to say), communications people (TV is better) and sometimes even the board (my wife doesn’t like it if you send her e-mails). What’s worse, I see many fundraisers still not using it as well as they could (or not at all!). (more…)

Shifting towards marketing in nonprofit, an opportunity or a threat?

It’s not an easy job for us fundraisers to realize increasing incomes year after year. It becomes increasingly difficult to grow in a competitive market that even is consolidating (for private donations  http://www.geveninnederland.nl/). A strong fundraising plan in itself is not sufficient anymore. We need to develop a more integrated approach. Strategic marketing planning should be added to your fundraising efforts and thereby considering the following questions:

  • How do you position yourselves against competition to be successful
  • What will you do to seduce the ever more demanding donors to support our goals with a gift
  • How do we get more grip on and understanding of our donors whose donation patterns change considerably

In order to address these issues we need focus and make clear strategic choices before we start making our yearly fundraising plans (the numbers in € ‘s). In other words, what will be  your marketing  strategy to win the ‘battle’ for the donor?

Marketing in the nonprofit, there are supporters and opponents of introducing marketing in charities, some see opportunities, others threats.  I strongly believe that marketing orientation is crucial in achieving your mission, in other words “no marketing, no mission”!

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Starten met marketing in de nonprofit; een kans of een bedreiging?

Autonoom stijgende inkomsten uit fondsenwerving realiseren is er niet meer bij anno 2011. Het wordt steeds moeilijker om te blijven groeien in een markt die al maar concurrerender wordt en bovendien consolideert (voor particuliere giften http://www.geveninnederland.nl/).
Een ijzersterk fondsenwervend plan op zichzelf is niet meer voldoende. We moeten integraler kijken, strategische marketingplanning eraan vooraf laten gaan en nadenken over vragen als:

  • Wat doet jouw organisatie om zich te onderscheiden;
  • Wat gaan jullie doen om de almaar mondiger donateur te verleiden een gift te (blijven) doen
  • Hoe krijg je meer grip en begrip voor onze donateurs, wiens geefgedrag sterk wijzigt

Dit dwingt onze sector om focus aan te brengen en duidelijke strategische keuzes te maken voordat we aan onze fondsenwervende jaarplannen (de cijfertjes in €’s) beginnen. Met andere woorden: wat wordt jouw marketingstrategie in de ‘slag’ om de donateur?

Marketing in de non-profit; een vak apart! Of toch niet? Er zijn voor- en tegenstanders van marketing in de goede doelen; sommigen zien kansen, anderen bedreigingen. Mijn overtuiging is dat marketingoriëntatie van levensbelang is in het realiseren van je Missie, “zonder Marketing geen Missie”.

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Fundraising is bad for your image

It all started so enthousiastic. Our management wrote us an assignement that said:

Go out there and explore our possibillities to raise single payments for cordaid Mensen in Nood from new groups of donors through the internet. Be innovative and different. It’s a pilotproject, so be aware of the learning aspect!

Streetview Southern Sudan

Streetview Southern Sudan

And that we did! We learned. We learned a lot and than again the whole project left me with a little hangover. A hangover called Fundraising and Image. A hangover from dealing with your management in case of small or bigger crisis.

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Sofa cushion forts and fundraising

When I was a kid, I used to spend hours building forts: in the living room (generally of sofa cushion construction), outdoors (up a tree or in a bush), my bedroom, even once under the sideboard in the dining room. My setting never really changed – my sphere was limited to my family home and our backyard – and yet I spent years of my childhood doing this, always trying to build a better fort, or adapting the imaginary story that involved me seeking refuge in said fort. My most imaginative was probably pretending to be a cow escaping the slaughterhouse – you’ll be relieved to know I escaped thanks to a hiding place built in my closet that functioned as a railway car.

(You’re probably wondering how this relates to fundraising. I swear, I’m getting there.)

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Ongoing support is needed

As individuals, when disaster strikes we dig deep and give to a relief fund, often having to reduce or put a hold our regular giving.

For an organisation, there is likely to be an occasion when you’re income reduces as supporters divert their giving to a disaster relief fund.

How can this be managed, can it be managed?

Some organisations will have a contingency plan in place, others will have to fly by the seat of their pants; and just hope they can ride it out. (more…)

Communication and Fundraising, the never ending story…

The past 2 ½ years I travelled to different countries and met lots of people engaged in a wide range of fundraising activities and campaigns. Despite the obvious differences in ‘couleur locale’, it always struck me that fundraisers are struggling with the same questions and problems, if it is in Japan, Italy or Brazil.

One of these issues coming up over and over again is the cooperation between Fundraising and Communications. More specific digital communication as communication through the website, webvertising, Twitter, social networking, crowdfunding, etc. The digital area offers great new fundraising opportunities with yet unknown potential. If you visit a doctor, buy a new car or want to know what’s happening in the Middle East, the first thing you do is surfing the web. What do you think a potential donor will do…?

Knowing this, it would seem obvious that every communication department is fully prepared to receive these donor prospects. An effective digital communication strategy is in place aimed at attracting and informing prospects in such a way that they are guided to the appropriate webpage where they are one mouse click away from their so-much-wanted donation. (more…)