How Mobile Marketing is Changing the Way We Raise Funds

How Mobile Marketing is Changing the Way We Raise Funds

How Mobile Marketing is Changing the Way We Raise Funds

A guest post by Sophorn Chhay 

We now live in a world where social rules and smartphones have changed access across the globe. What a pleasure to host this guest post by Sophorn Chhay. Sophorn shows us how mobile marketing is changing the way we raise funds!

It’s hard to believe that some charitable organizations still depend on cans by grocery store cash registers and bell-ringing volunteers to reach their fundraising goals.

While it’s true that every penny counts, no one carries pennies anymore.

See the problem?!

These old-school strategies worked because they hinged on one central, rather smart, idea: go where the people are. The problem is that those people don’t keep their money with them anymore, and they don’t have time to search their pockets on street corners or sit in front of the television waiting for the 800 number to flash on the screen.

We’ve gone digital, and nonprofits need to keep pace or risk losing the funding they need to help the cause nearest and dearest to their hearts.

Enter mobile marketing, perfect for finding people where they already are (even if that’s always changing), and find their spare change – or thousands ear-marked for groups just like yours – at the same time.

How Mobile Marketing is Changing the Way We Raise Funds

  • The Mobile Web

Some 80 percent of internet users now own a smartphone, so it’s no surprise that almost as many (72 percent, to be exact) say that they want mobile-friendly websites. These websites are designed to be viewed on mobile devices and feature responsive design so that the website adapts to whatever device it’s viewed on.

You can create a mobile-dedicated site at a separate URL (such as m.yournonprofit.org in addition to www.yournonprofit.org) or update/create your primary site to suit both audiences.

As you develop your online presence, a slick and fast-loading mobile website becomes more and more important. When people are in the mood to give, you want them to be able to do so without stress or interruption.

  • Text-Based Donations

A lot of nonprofits have already launched email campaigns, but did you know that email only has a 20 percent open rate? Contrast that with text messages, which have an almost unbelievable open rate of 98 percent. Send a text to potential donors and it’s almost guaranteed that they’ll read it. What better what to get your message out? You can also use automated messaging to streamline the process. Enlist the considerable talents of a company like Textpedite and you can:

  • Launch a text-to-join campaign that allows potential donors to subscribe to your text-based newsletter simply by texting a keyword to a unique short code
  • Remind subscribers about an upcoming fundraising gala or promote the needs of other non-profits
  • Send bulk messages that let your entire network know when you’re ready to launch your app or when you need ASAP donations to combat a funding crisis
  • Set up an auto-responder to welcome new subscribers or thank donors for their contributions

And that’s just for starters!

  • Mobile Apps

Creating a mobile app is one of the best ways you can jumpstart your mobile strategy. Of the three hours the average smartphone user spends on their device each day, 89 percent of that time is spent on mobile apps. The key is to create an app that serves your purposes while also somehow captivating the interest of your audience.

The Red Cross’s Blood Donor app doesn’t just ask for blood donations, it helps the user find a blood, schedule an appointment, and even hooks them up with rewards from popular retailers. Charity Miles appeals to people who love to walk, run, and bike; every mile they log through the app turns into money that can be applied to the charity of their choice.

If you want your nonprofit to succeed, you have to incorporate marketing into your overall strategic planning, and mobile marketing needs to be at the forefront of your game plan. What’s your take on mobile marketing for nonprofits?

What’s Next?

How do you ensure that your donors are getting the best mobile experience possible when interacting with your organization? Make sure to share them with us in the comments below. I would love to read them.

Author Biography

Sophorn Chhay is the marketing guy at  Trumpia, a mobile content delivery service that allows users to customize their one-to-one marketing efforts by interconnecting and optimizing all digital platforms. As an innovator in two-way SMS/MMS marketing, Trumpia’s mission is to empower brands and public figures with interactive access to their audiences, reaching targeted affinity groups in a personal way. Trumpia delivers world-class content such as video, ticketing, polling, products sales, contests, and giveaways.

Follow Sophorn on Twitter(@Trumpia), LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+

 

Lessons learned honoring First Lady Nancy Reagan

Honoring First Lady Nancy Reagan - photo credit Reis Birdwhistell

Lessons Learned honoring First Lady Nancy Reagan – photo credit Reis Birdwhistell

I had the news on in the background while I was reading. My pups Kiwi and Keno were asleep on the sofa.

Then I heard a news report about First Lady Nancy Reagan’s links to Atlanta. Ms. Reagan was honored at a PRIDE (National Parents’ Resource Institute for Drug Education) conference.

I sat straight up and yelled “Wow, that was my event!”

The conference had programs for young people and adults. Highlights included workshops with internationally recognized drug abuse experts, community leaders and law enforcement officers. Celebrity participants included wives of world leaders and well-known actors committed to Nancy Reagan’s ‘Just Say No project.’

Included within the 2-day conference was a fundraising luncheon featuring Mrs. Reagan hosted by then Coca-Cola CEO Roberto Goizueta. How fortunate I was to learn how to manage the luncheon from Ms. Be Haas, a founding partner, Haas, Cox, Alexander.

I want to share event management lessons learned from honoring First Lady Nancy Reagan:

Event management is like a high wire act without a net!

Plan ahead:

  1. Start with robust brainstormingBring your board members, volunteers and new voices to the table.
  2. Set clear objectivesYou’ll know what is important during the event and you’ll be prepared to gauge your effectiveness.
  3. Create a timeline A comprehensive timeline will guide you from start to finish!

Promote, promote, promote. Although there are a lot more channels to use to create buzz, the fundamentals of matching your choices with your target audience preferences and goals still stands. Now you want to create a Digital Ripple to promote your event.

Brand Your event – Special event branding creates an experience and/or memory that participants will not forget. And, done properly, the event will carry the brand promise of an organization and add to the public knowledge of its mission, vision and values.

Don’t forget to evaluate your event – Evaluation is critical to your success.

Protocol is of utmost importance! – The lessons I learned working with First Lady Nancy Reagan and the wives of world leaders continue to position my success when managing special events.

Most importantly, I always learn as much as I can about an honoree or guest speaker, from their favorite foods to their favorite color.

I discovered Nancy Regean’s favorite color was red.

Can you see the red streaks in my hair?!

Do you have any event management tips you’d like to share?

As always would love to hear from you!

Learning 5 Indicators of Social Change

Learning the Importance of Social Change Indicators

Learning 5 Indicators of Social Change

Social change is more than a buzz word! Social change alters the social order of a society through changes in the nature of its social institutions, social behaviors and social relations.

Proponents of social change focus on underlying causes of critical social problems such as homelessness, discrimination and poverty. Organizations develop processes to address the causes of these issues to foster justice and equality.

Social justice initiatives take place on a local community level or become social movements on a grander scale such as Women’s suffrage and the Civil Rights Movement. A specific social movement is usually composed of many social movement organizations – formal organizations that share movement’s goals.

Social change philanthropy focuses on the root causes of problems, working to improve conditions that lead to inequality. This approach is unlike traditional charity, which works to ameliorate the symptoms of societal problems.

Social indicators  provide evidence that helps us assess whether or not an organization is focused on social change. These indicators may be material, such as numbers related to economic growth and/or immaterial, such as values or goals. They are forms of evidence that help us assess a present position and future directions.

I am a trustee with the Jewish Women’s Fund of AtlantaWe expand opportunities in the lives of Jewish women and girls via effective grant-making, advocacy, and education through a gender lens. Our grants provide sustainable benefits to those we serve. We look to our grantees to focus on solutions to underlying critical social problems that effect Jewish women and girls.

We were introduced to the importance of five indicators for Social Change, developed by the Women’s Funding Network. They help us discern if our grants are going toward social change. In turn these five social change indicators help organizations substantiate their efforts to create awareness and transform community through social change.

Learning 5 Indicators of Social Change:

  1. Make New Meaning
  • Shift definitions – An issue or idea is given new meaning. A community or society sees the issue differently. For example, rape is understood as an act of violence with legal and civil consequences, not as an act of sexual transgression.
  1. Empower Different Behavior
  • Shift behavior – An individual and/or community does things differently and for the better. This creates empowerment. For example, women seek appropriate healthcare for themselves and their families.
  1. Life Up Collective Power
  • Shift engagement – More people are engaged in an idea of action. When enough people get involved they are noticed, their voices are heard and they create impact.
  1. Ensure Just Policy
  • Shift policy – Policies and practices change to better serve social change ideas.
  1. Hold the Line
  • Maintain gains – Work to not lose ground from previous endeavors. For example, funding for breast cancer research is saved from budget cuts.

Learning 5 indicators of social change guide donors as they work to create significant changes in social order. And, they provide guidelines for organizations to identify and explain their significant social change work.

I would love to hear your thoughts!

 

 

 

Add Twitter to your Nonprofit MarComm Toolbox!

Add #Twitter to your #NPO MarComm Toolbox!

Add #Twitter to your #NPO MarComm Toolbox!

“Of all the social channels, for a nonprofit, Twitter may be the most effective in terms of the biggest return for limited time and resources. Through consistent tweets that inspire and inform you reinforce your mission to your network of followers. The bonus is if you get it right your followers will share to their followers’, amplifying and extending your work.”  Toby Bloomberg @TobyDiva

Add Twitter to your Nonprofit MarComm Toolbox! Twitter is a must have tool for listening and monitoring. It successfully engages others in your stories, inspires action and builds effective awareness and fundraising campaigns.

Here’re my favorite ways to add Twitter to your Nonprofit MarComm Toolbox:

  • Fundraising via Twitter:

Fundraising Coach Marc A. Pitman @marcapitman suggests Twitter is an amazing way to engage donors and potential donors. Maintaining relationships is one of the hardest things that a fundraiser must do. And, Twitter helps us do that!

  1. You get to meet people all over the world that might be interested in your cause.
  2. You get to hear what people are really thinking about a wide variety of issues.
  3. You can follow other fundraisers and get great real-time advice.
  4. You can even promote traffic to your website or those of your friends.
  • Twitter and #GivingTuesday:

New York’s 92 Street Y (@92Y) in partnerships including the United Nations Foundation (@unfoundation) incorporated Twitter into its 2013 #GivingTuesday (@GivingTues). The Dec. 13th event produced a 90% increase in online giving compared to 2012. There were 269,000 Tweets with the #GivingTuesday hashtag on December 3, an average of 186 times per minute!

  • Matching Fund Drive with Promoted Tweets:

The Red Cross (@RedCross) partnered with Craigslist founder Craig Newmark (@craignewmark) to launch a Promoted Tweets matching fund drive for the holiday season. Both organizations used Promoted Tweets to ask Twitter users to respond with their idea of the “perfect gift,” & used the hashtag #PerfectGift with a link to the donation website. Newmark matched each @reply or Retweet with a $1 donation, up to $10,000.

  • Micro-funding via Twitter:

Janet Fouts (@jfouts) saw a post on Twitter that drew her to click on the link and then follow through with a donation almost immediately. It was from Small Can be Big, a group which works with local shelters to identify people in need and then posts their stories on-line seeking donations to help. The Tweet was a day old and by the time she got to the site they had raised the needed capital. She browsed around to learn more and made a couple of small donations right then and there.

  • Crisis Management with Twitter:

The power of Twitter’s real-time platform to inform and connect is never more evident than in the face of a natural disaster or humanitarian crisis. Over the past few years, organizations, government agencies, news outlets and individuals use Twitter to provide information and relief in times of need.

  1. On the ground
  2. Be an eyewitness
  3. Be a lifeline
  4. Become a conduit for critical information
  • Twitter and Media Relations

According to the 2015 Cision Social Journalism Study only 6% of PR pros only post press releases on the wires.

Journalists are very active on Twitter. Most journalists see Twitter as an extension of their own reporting these days and 75% say that they use Twitter to build their own brand. So Twitter is a marvelous opportunity to connect and discover what they’re writing about or looking for. How do journalists use twitter?

  1. Story Creation
  2. Finding Sources
  3. Self promotion

 Add Twitter to your nonprofit MarComm toolbox extra resources:

  1. 10 Twitter Tips for Nonprofits
  2. 6 Creative Ways to Use Twitter for your nonprofit marketing campaigns 
  3. How to get more people to your events with social media
  4. 10 Twitter Best Practices for Nonprofits 
  5. Top 10 nonprofit hastags to spark social good 
  6. Best Twitter Practices for Media
  7.  Twitter Nonprofits (@Nonprofits) highlights great uses of Twitter in the nonprofit community.
  8. Create a Digital Ripple to Promote Your Special Events

We’d love to hear from you! Do you have any Twitter favorites to add to your nonprofit MarComm toolbox?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strategic Communications is the key to Advocacy

Strategic Communications is the key to Advocacy

“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world…would do this, it would change the earth.” ― William Faulkner

I am a passionate, committed and motivated advocate to issues in which I believe. Advocacy means to speak up, to plead the case of another or to fight for a cause.

What ensures successful advocacy?

Strategic communications is the key to advocacy.

And, advocacy includes most of the work that is done by nonprofits!

When your nonprofits advocates you are seeking to affect some aspect of society, whether to appeal to individuals about their behavior, employers about their rules, or the government about its laws.

Good advocates are passionate, committed and motivated. Who are your advocates?

  • You
  • Your staff
  • Your board
  • Your volunteers
  • Your constituents
  • Others with like interests (a coalition)

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Advocates (with apologies to Stephen Covey):

  • Be Proactive – Change starts from within and highly effective people chose to improve their lives through things they can influence.
  • Begin with the End in Mind – Develop a principle-centered personal mission statement and extend into long term goals.
  • Put First Things First – Identify key roles you take on in life and make time for each
  • Think Win/Win – Seek agreements and relationships that are mutually beneficial
  • Seek First to Understand the other person and then seek to be understood
  • Synergize – Through trustful communications find ways to leverage individual differences to make a whole greater than the sum of the parts
  • Sharpen the Saw – Take time to build capacity through personal renewal of your physical, mental, social/emotional and spiritual dimensions.

Reduced to its most basic level, effective nonprofit advocacy is about communication and relationships.

Creating & Implementing Advocacy Communications

Communications Matters created a model designed to help communication practitioners and their colleagues working in other disciplines (program, evaluation, and executive leaders) build a common language and shared understanding for the role that strategic communication plays in advancing lasting social change.

This communications model is built around four central pillars: brand, culture, strategy, and action.

  • Brand – Every social change organization, no matter its size or purpose, has three key assets that shape its identity: resources, reputation and relationships.
  • Culture – Communicating organizations cultivate certain qualities that make their work compelling to others. You may not have all in equal measure, but you need a minimum supply of each to succeed.
  • Strategy – Successful organizations are consistently strategic (deliberate and intentional) about their communication choices, weighing several distinct, yet related, variables before they act.
  • Action – Communicating should never be a one way activity. Success demands a continuous, virtuous, self-correcting cycle of sending and receiving, plus the ability to cede control.

Strategic communications is the key to advocacy – just honor the process. Your campaigns will be stronger. And your nonprofit will create and run incredibly successful social change campaigns!

9 steps to advocacy strategic communications:

  1. Create clear goals
  2. Target audiences
  3. Utilize concise messages that resonate
  4. Develop good planning skills
  5. Tell people what to do
  6. Make a case for why action is needed now
  7. Match strategies and tactics with audience
  8. Budget for success
  9. Rely on experts when needed

6 steps to social media for advocacy:

  1. Set your goals. Is your goal narrow (publicizing an event) or broad (building and engaging with a community or coalition)?
  2. Identify your target audiences.
  3. Select the social media platforms you plan to use. Make your choice based on your goals and target audiences. The most well-known are Facebook and Twitter.
  4. Gather resources and materials to create content and share.
  5. Find volunteers to help manage social platforms.
  6. Be sure and integrate into your marketing communications plan.

For a more in-depth understanding of advocacy and strategic communications

 Enjoy these extra resources on strategic communications!

We’d love to hear how your nonprofit uses strategic communications and advocacy!

 

 

P2P fundraising empowers others to ask on your behalf!

The peer-to-peer family tree breaks down the different kinds of P2P fundraising and shows how big the P2P family is becoming.

The P2P family tree breaks down the different kinds of P2P fundraising and shows how big the P2P family is becoming.

P2P fundraising empowers others to ask on your behalf! Also known as Peer-to-peer fundraising, P2P uses the power of your constituents to engage their friends and family.

It’s one of the major driving forces in successful nonprofit fundraising. The peer-to-peer family tree breaks down the different kinds of P2P fundraising and shows how big the P2P family is becoming.

So imagine my delight when Tate Handy at Digital Third Coast  asked if I would be interested in sharing the P2P family tree developed with Plenty Consulting.

Then Tate offered an introduction by Plenty Consulting CEO Jeff Shuck. I was thrilled!

I’ve been a big fan of Jeff Shuck since 2007 when I first learned of his new paradigm incorporating special events to the classic development pyramid. For me it was a gateway to P2P fundraising and empowering others to ask on your behalf!

Jeff Shuck introduction to the P2P family tree:

  • Did you buy Girl Scout cookies this year?
  • Did you participate in a Tough Mudder as a fundraiser for the Wounded Warrior Project?
  • Did you attend Penn State’s annual Dance Marathon, or purchase lemonade from one of Alex’s Lemonade Stand?

If you did any one of these things, I’ve got news for you- you were participating in an act of peer-to-peer fundraising, whether or not you knew it at the time.

Peer-to-peer fundraising, also known as P2P, is one of the most thrilling nonprofit fundraising channels being used today, and it’s growing at a fast pace. Yet despite its growing fan base, many people aren’t quite sure how to explain P2P to others. Here’s what you need to know.

First of all, in traditional fundraising, organizations reach out to their network to donate. In P2P, meanwhile, organizations ask their constituents to reach out to people connected to them on behalf of your cause. Instead of only having access to their donors, organizations can connect with their constituents plus their constituents’ networks, creating an unending collection of potential new donors. Your audience expands exponentially, and with it, so does your ability to do more to fulfill your mission.

Abundance is out there and peer-to-peer fundraising helps you unlock that abundance to be distributed to those who need it. What can your network do for your cause?

Deborah’s Comments –

P2P fundraising empowers others to ask on your behalf! P2P engages your network in a number of ways:

  1. Ensures successful events
  2. Integral part of cause marketing initiatives
  3. Fuels the engine for digital campaigns

We’d love to hear examples of how your nonprofit engages and empowers your network by involving constituents in P2P initiatives.

Keys to building film festival audiences!

Film festivals need a lot of promotions & marketing to be successful!

Keys to building film festival audiences!

Keys to building film festival audiences! Film festivals need a lot of promotions & marketing to be successful!

Here are my favorite keys to building film festival audiences:

  • Email: Email is one of the most important marketing tools you have to promote your film festival. According to a recent McKinsey & Company study, email is still 40 times more effective at acquiring customers than Facebook and Twitter combined.The Austin Film Festival uses email for direct communication to their audience. They see most of their returns from dedicated email subscribers, and use an email marketing platform to compare and report email performance.
  • Social Media: Visual storytelling comes to us naturally. Humans process visuals faster than they process text. Considering our attention span is about 3.9 seconds long, presenting information as visuals just makes sense.
  1. Facebook and Twitter are the two most useful social media channels for growing your audience. Facebook is more conducive to marketing with information, whereas Twitter is best for shoutouts, retweets and community engagement.
  2. Instagram is good for brand building and photo sharing, but it’s still a relatively small platform.
  3. YouTube is great to post behind-the-scenes video content on festival events throughout the year to keep people engaged.
  4. Pinterest drives more traffic than Google+, YouTube & LinkedIn combined. Mainly, the site now attracts women in the age range 25-44 who love fashion, home decorating and family related products. As it gains more of a following, this is bound to change.
  • Sponsorships and Partnerships: Sponsorships can be a huge gateway to growing recognition and audience. Partnerships with institutions, brands, and businesses can bring additional value to your festival through in-kind donations and exposure. Getting businesses and influencers to back your festival where there’s a mutual exchange will build the momentum and your reputation. Use this social currency to expand your reach.
  • One-on-one promotions: We’re bombarded by messages every day. Community Engagement Committees are a great way to engage with people directly, and bring your value to them.
  • Press-kits: I’m a big fan of press-kits. They ensure that reporters, bloggers your audience and sponsors have what they need. Key to success is an easy-to-find contact link and phone number.
  • Off-line promotions: Don’t forget newspapers, flyers, flags, posters, presentations at community meetings and events, cross-promotions with other festivals, etc.

I’d love to hear your suggestions for building film festival audiences! If you’re interested in our CS&I Film Festival PR/Marketing Template? Contact deborah@creative-si.com.

 

Want donors to stay engaged? Thank them!

Show your appreciation with a timely, sincere thank you letter

Want donors to stay engaged? Thank them with a timely, sincere thank you letter.

Want donors to stay engaged? Thank them!

Sounds like a no-brainer, doesn’t it?

Well, it’s unfortunate how many nonprofits don’t thank their donors.

Of course we thank them. After all, many of our donations are done online and we have our system send a receipt/thank you note.

Is this really thanking your donor? Does this create engagement?

I suggest not. Want donors to stay engaged? Thank them!

I don’t believe that the lapse is intentional. But, those thank you notes are extremely important. Here are some meaningful ways to rectify the situation and ensure that your donors stay engaged:

Donor acquisition is extremely important. Yet 3 of 4 donors leave and never come back. Frank Barry, director of digital marketing at Blackbaud and blogger at npENGAGE, wrote a very interesting blog post One thing most nonprofits stink at (donor retention) and how you can change it interviewed fundraising experts from across the industry to share 12 super simple (but effective) ways to engage and retain donors. I was thrilled when I saw how many spoke to the importance of heartfelt thank you notes.

These 12 Ways to Thank Donors will keep them from saying goodbye offer a good guide for using thank you notes to keep your donors engaged:

  1. Offer donors a next step in your thank you note.
  2. Thank your donors for being them.
  3. Send a handwritten note.
  4. Treat each donation as the beginning of a meaningful friendship.
  5. Don’t ask for more money — yet.
  6. Keep it simple and emotional, not filled with jargon.
  7. Make your donor feel something positive in your thank you letter.
  8. Avoid careless errors – double check your grammar and spelling.
  9. Send your thank you letter as fast as possible.
  10. Make the letter relevant.
  11. Give the donor credit, not you.
  12. Follow up later.

Writing thoughtful timely thank you letters is hard work. But, it’s worth it!

Thank you for all you do for your community. And, thank you for following my blog.

I’d love to hear from you with suggestions for keeping donors engaged!

 

Fight Prejudice with art, a website and Facebook

Share The Vision Through Art

“Diversity should enrich our lives. When we accept others, it elevates the human experience.” Embracing Differences Founder Charlotte Wilen

 

Embracing Differences is a nonprofit that engages metro Atlanta in a dialogue about ending prejudice and discrimination. The organization uses art to educate and promote a community where all people share a mutual respect for others without prejudice, hate or fear.

Their signature project “Students Draw The Line…Against Prejudice” was created to serve as a powerful weapon to help fight the battle against intolerance. The event, which takes place this November, involves students through high school submitting works of art, which are exhibited and displayed to the general public.

Using Art, a website and Facebook to Fight Prejudice

My team and I were tasked with finding a way to reach the community with Embracing Differences message and to encourage metro Atlanta to view an outdoor exhibit of the winning art.

First step was to update the Embracing Differences website

  • Start with a complete analysis of the website’s look, feel and content
  • The website was basic and was not very appealing. But, the organization was not in a position to develop a new website
  • Since Embracing Differences is focused on artwork, it was important to create visual integrity that resonated with their message
  • Visible link to donate was added to the navigation bar
  • Used 24Fundraiser for electronic fundraising. The fundraising header uses the logo for the signature event.
  • When we discovered that the site did not have the bandwidth to hold a lot of hi-res photos, we created a Press Center off-site that is linked to the Press Center icon.
  • An Application form to formally register for the competition along with an Application Packet gave teachers a chance to register for the competition and a teacher’s webinar without leaving the site.

Embracing Differences Facebook page –

  • Design Facebook page so it resonates with the same look and feel and theme of the website
  • Create hash-tags and use throughout posts
  • Post teacher training webinar Share the Vision through art
  • Update Facebook with relevant visuals and content daily
  • Encourage people to share posts with their networks
  • Create a People’s Choice contest to drive likes and interest in signature event
  • Used an app that allowed posting all 55 entries in categories.
  • Created a graphic in the Facebook header that leads people to Vote

Be sure and Like the Embracing Differences Facebook page and vote on your choice in Elementary, Middle and High School! Not going to the opening event? Come back to the Embracing Differences Facebook page after November 1st and see the judges and People’s Choice winners.

After the opening event, Students Draw the Line Against Prejudice hosts an outdoor exhibit of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners in each school category. The banner-sized art pieces will tell a story.

Some of the work will show struggles in the face of prejudice. And some will focus on positive experiences that diversity can create.

Would love to hear what you think after you view the artwork on Facebook!

 

 

Add marketing strategy into your nonprofit strategic planning

“Which road do I take, she asked?” “Where do you want to go?” responded the Cheshire Cat. “I don’t know,” Alice answered. “Then,” said the cat, “it doesn't matter!”

“Which road do I take, she asked?”
“Where do you want to go?” responded the Cheshire Cat.
“I don’t know,” Alice answered.
“Then,” said the cat, “it doesn’t matter!”

“Okay,” the executive director said. “We really need to do some nonprofit strategic planning.”

“Why,” said the board members. “We’ll spend a lot of time and money and the plan will sit somewhere on a shelf.”

This isn’t an atypical refrain. There are, however, important reasons for your nonprofit to do strategic planning. Nonprofit strategic planning answers the 4 big questions:

  1. Where are we?
  2. Where do we want to be in the future?
  3. What part of the status quo do we need to change to get us where we want to be in the future?
  4. How do we make it happen?

But, the planning process doesn’t need to be a chore. Nor does the plan need to sit on a shelf.

I had the distinct honor of working with Bridging The Gap Foundation. I was a consultant for their Strategic Planning, Board Development and Fundraising Grant. This opportunity was made possible through the generosity of The David and Lucile Packard Foundation’s Organizational Effectiveness and Philanthropy Program.

The main lesson I learned is that there isn’t one perfect strategic planning model that works for every nonprofit. There are a number of variables that must be considered, including:

  • the culture of the nonprofit
  • whether or not the organization has had success in strategic planning
  • the volatility of their environment
  • the main reason for doing the strategic planning at this time

My most recent engagement was with a small nonprofit with a hard working and committed board. After some preliminary discussions, we decided on a planning process that integrated vision-based and marketing strategy.

Vision-based strategic planning model:

  1. Identify your purpose (mission statement)
  2. Establish a vision statement
  3. Select the goals your organization must reach if it is to effectively work toward your mission and achieve your vision
  4. Identify specific approaches (or strategies) that must be implemented to reach each goal
  5. Identify specific action plans to implement each strategy (or objectives to achieve each goal)
  6. Compile the mission, vision, strategies and action plans into a Strategic Plan document.
  7. Monitor implementation of the Plan and update the Plan as Needed

Add marketing strategy into your nonprofit strategic planning:

Strategy is not planning. Strategy is about making smart strategic choices. Strategy helps create strategic planning and action into real-time.

La Piana Consulting identifies 5 principles for strategy development that I weave into the strategic planning process:

  1. Know Yourself
  2. Know your market
  3. Build on Your strengths
  4. Make decision-making criteria explicit
  5. Identify Your Big Question, e.g., your greatest challenge

Do you have any thoughts about strategic planning or weaving marketing strategy into the strategic planning process?

We’d love to hear from you!