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+

 

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.

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!

Do you really – really know your audience?

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 “Getting to know your supporters, volunteers, clients and other participants in your mission is easy, if you build that listening and learning into your everyday work.”  Kivi Leroux Miller

There’s no question that knowing your audience is the 1st rule of nonprofit marketing. The idea of building a beautiful marketing campaign that isn’t specific to your nonprofit’s audience just doesn’t cut it!

Just last week I joined a dynamic conversation on LinkedIn’s Nonprofit Marketing Group. It would have to be considering that two of the voices in the conversation were Dennis Fischman, chief communicator at Communicate! Consulting and Brian Brown, principal of Narrator, a social fundraising consultancy that helps nonprofits raise money with their online presence..

Brian started the conversation by posting “There are lots of tips about email technicalities, but I don’t see much literature that challenges nonprofits to think about the different psychological strategies involved in email vs. direct mail. Have you tried any of these strategies? Any best practices?”

And, that lead to his blog post 6 ways to improve your email numbers. I was intrigued, especially when I realized that although he was speaking about email vs. direct mail, he was really speaking about truly knowing your audiences (or at least I thought so!).

Brian identifies four stages to nonprofit and campaign communications:

  1. Stage 1 is about infrastructure (we have a Facebook page).
  2. Stage 2 is about developing content to send out via that infrastructure (posting regularly, sending emails).
  3. The third and fourth stages are about refining your content, refining your audience, getting more interactive, and building a two-way relationship that reinforces and empowers your audiences’ identity relative to you.

Unfortunately there appears to be consensus that most nonprofits do not get past the first two stages. As both Brian and Dennis noted, it takes commitment and work to really know your audience.

So here are my suggestions to gain that knowledge. If any of this sounds familiar to my readers, it’s because these are the foundation questions that I use when applying the POST MethodAs with all communications initiatives, people, your audiences come first.

  • Who must you reach to meet your communication objective?
  • Why this target group? Are they clients, volunteers, donors, sponsors and/or prospects?
  • What attracted people to your organization in the first place?
  •  Is this a target group identified in your organization’s communications plan?
  • What do they know or believe about your organization or issue?
  • What type of content is important to them?
  • What will resonate with them?
  • What key points do you want to make with your audience to develop conversations & actions?
  • What new & traditional media tools are they currently using?
  • What are they talking about in relation to your brand/goals/issues/competitors?
  • What additional research do you need to do to learn about your target audience’s behavior or understanding/perceptions about your organization or issues?

I like to think of gaining this knowledge as a journey. It won’t be completed in a day. You’ll discover new insights by looking, listening, and being sensitive to clues along your path.

I know it sounds overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to. It does, however, take commitment and work.

If you’re interested in getting a copy of my POST Template, just let me hear from you – deborah@creative-si.com.

Is your nonprofit taking advantage of #GeorgiaGivesDay Nov. 13th?

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“Whether you know it or not, you live your life in nonprofits.” Georgia Gives Day

Georgia Gives Day is an initiative created by GA’s nonprofit sector. The nonprofit sector pulls together and asks you to consider your life and your community without nonprofits. So, instead of supporting one cause or locale, Georgia Gives Day supports the state’s nonprofits. This year’s event happens on November 13th. You’ll have an opportunity to support the organizations and causes in your own community and across the state. Whether you have $10 or $10,000 to give, it all adds up to greater impact on the issues that support and enrich our lives and make our local communities thrive.

Georgia Gives Day is a collaboration of the the Georgia Center for Nonprofits (GCN) in partnership with participating nonprofits, state agencies, corporations and businesses, associations, foundations and public relations and advertising firms.

And, succeed they did! The inaugural Georgia Gives Day in December 2012 raised more than $900,000 from more than 7,700 individual donors. This year, organizers at the Georgia Center for Nonprofits hope to draw more than 10,000 individual donations in a “flash mob day of giving” during the Nov. 13 Georgia Gives Day. Thanks to GCN, finding a cause or charity and making a donation is easy at www.gagivesday.org.

Today I received an email from Girls Inc. of greater Atlanta. I love that they encourage supporters to become fundraisers for the organization and provide a link!

The organization reminds supporters to share on social media by using the hashtags #GIGA1113 and #GAGivesDay.

Do you have any suggestions on how to take advantage of this great opportunity? We’d love to hear!

Positioning your nonprofit for 2013

“The future ain’t what it used to be.” – Yogi Berra

Whew, 2012 is over! Before you get bogged down in your everyday business, take a few moments to explore trends that will impact your success.

Over the last month I’ve been consumed reading and analyzing articles and blogs about trends that will impact the nonprofit sector this year. I’m still digesting the excellent information. However it is time to ‘put pen to paper’ and share with you what I see as the most important trends so I can help ensure a good start to 2013.

Leveraging Technology

Leveraging Technology is number one on my list. However, you will need to distinguish the trendy from the useful. You also need to make a commitment to really know your supporters, so you can effectively take advantage of new technologies to ensure your nonprofit’s impact.

The Stanford Social Innovation Review posted Ten Technology Trends to Watch, an excellent article by Mark Tobias president of Pantheon, which provides online technology solutions for nonprofits, associations, and government.

Mark suggests you should consider these trends as you develop your technology strategy for 2013. Read more details and explore links in the post by clicking SSIR.

  1. Measurement and transparency. What gets measured gets improved.
  2. Consumer-oriented online engagement. People who interact with your organization online don’t want to have to work to make sense of it.
  3. Deploying data to answer burning questions. Think beyond your web analytics dashboard. Instead, what are the core questions your organization wants to answer? Research shows nonprofits are collecting tons of data but aren’t using it.
  4. Knowledge hub rising. To survive and thrive, nonprofits and associations must add value beyond membership and advocacy.
  5. Mobile plus. More and more organizations are creating mobile-friendly websites, but the future of mobile is finding ways for people to accomplish even more when they’re away from their desktops.
  6. The unfettered conference. Recognizing that the world and its travel budgets are changing, nonprofits and associations would be wise to rethink and retool conferences.
  7. New types of products. Nonprofits and associations are using a series of technology-propelled products to make a big difference for both their members and markets (such as health or education).
  8. Whole Foods-ification. It’s organic! Nonprofits are slowly learning not to treat their website and technology as they do their annual reports—projects that are perfected and completed.
  9. Digital learning is soft. The explosive growth in online courses proves how much America likes to learn. So, it’s important to keep in mind that the way people engage, learn, and behave online is changing.
  10. Proof and standards for digital learning are hard. As learning transcends time and place, colleges and employers are challenged to develop meaningful proof that a degree or certificate reflects the knowledge and skills necessary for job success.

 Anticipated Changes in the Nonprofit Sector

Change is pretty much assured for nonprofits in 2013. Nell Edgington, president Social Velocity provides 5 Trends to Watch in 2013. These are hot off the press! You can learn more detail and explore Nell’s links by clicking her post on HuffingtonPost.

  1. More demand for outcomes – nonprofits will need to articulate what results they hope their work with achieve and track whether those results are actually happening.
  2. Decreasing emphasis on nonprofit overhead – More and more people are coming to realize that you can’t just invest in programs without the staff, infrastructure and fundraising to make those programs happen.
  3. More advocacy for the sector as a whole – we will start to see the sector organize, mobilize and build the confidence necessary to claim its rightful place.
  4. Savvier donors – Because nonprofits are getting more savvy, donors are as well. In addition to an increasing demand for proof of outcomes, donors are slowly starting to that there is a difference between revenue and capital in the sector.
  5. Increased efforts to rate and compare nonprofits – As nonprofit outcomes are increasingly in demand, donors become savvier, and the “nonprofit overhead” distinction diminishes, we will increasingly evaluate nonprofits based on the results they achieve, not on how they spend their money. But that requires that a whole infrastructure for evaluating and rating nonprofits emerges, just as it has for the financial markets.

Please share this posting with your community. Create robust discussions. Explore how these trends will impact your nonprofit. Use these issues to help position your organization to take advantage of opportunities in 2013.

Do you have any more trends that you see impacting nonprofits this year? I’d love to hear from you!

PS my next post focuses on some user-friendly fundraising tips and strategies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On joining the NPO Connect Team

I was invited to join the NPO Connect Team. Another opportunity to empower nonprofits to do good!

NPO Connect is a brand new online platform designed to build the skills of nonprofit professionals and volunteers. NPO Connect offers a comprehensive approach to professional development and networking for the sector.  

How exciting to join such an incredible team. Now I can continue to learn and explore while participating in this new venture.

NPO Connect Content Experts:

So, please join us!  Take advantage of NPO Connect’s no-cost, 30-day trial membership!

While you’re on the site take a look at the Forums. We’re building community and sharing insights in fundraising, marketing & communications, and program planning & development.

Please let me hear from you. I’d love to know what you think!

 

 

 

 

Why branding is important for your nonprofit

What, you might ask, does Pascha’s eye have to do with branding?

Pascha is a Dutch Warmblood. The breed is known to be very versatile. They excel in top level completion – dressage, show-jumping, eventing and even carriage driving. Calm and even tempered they are always willing to give us as much as possible.

So, when I first met Pascha and saw his brand I had expectations of his brand promise. The brand helped differentiate him from the other horses I met at the same time.

Yes, I am a strong believer in branding, especially in nonprofits. A strong nonprofit brand is essential to raise awareness and cut through the ever- increasing noise.  

A brand means owning a position in a person’s mind. According to Marty Neumeier, author of The Brand Gap, a brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product service or organization.

A nonprofit’s brand is a source of a promise to the clients, donors, volunteers & other stakeholders. Everything the organization does should be focused on enhancing delivery against its brand’s promise.

Branding creates strong relationships, loyalty and an awareness of a nonprofit’s good works. A brand differentiates an organization from others, communicates commitments, establishes a distinct position in the mind’s eye of target audiences and builds equity.

What are the elements of a good nonprofit brand?

  • Uniqueness – what sets your organization apart from others in your niche?
  • Authenticity – does your organization stay true to its core values?
  • Consistency – is there consistency in your messaging and your visual elements?

What are the benefits of branding?

  • Connections to donors, sponsors and your community.
  • ‘Leg-up’ in securing your place in your niche
  • A sense of unity and strong morale within your organization

The branding process needs to be participatory with a cross selection of staff, board and consultants or volunteers versed in branding initiatives.

Want more information on conducting brand research? Please email deborah@creative-si.com. Request the CS&I branding template.

PS – Pascha fulfills his brand promise every day!

The importance of marketing your nonprofit

 

 

I was asked to write about the importance of nonprofit marketing for CharityChannel, a professional online home for nonprofit colleagues. This post grows from that article.

I am sure by now that we all agree that marketing is essential for your nonprofit’s survival.

A recent study Branding Forward: Navigating a Branding World in the Midst of Transition  found a significant number of marketers believe there is still a need to understand the fundamentals of marketing, even while embracing change.

After all, nonprofits are a business; they have customers. Marketing consists of the strategies and tactics used to identify, create and maintain satisfying relationships with “customers” – donors, members, volunteers, clients and other stakeholders.

These relationships result in value for your organization and its stakeholders. I will go so far as to say that without these customers your nonprofit could not fulfill its mission and make an impact in the community.

At the heart of marketing is positioning. As described by Philip Kotler, marketer extraordinaire, positioning designs an organization’s image and value offer so that its customers appreciate what the organization stands for in relationship to its competitors.

Marketing is known to “pull” the audience from where they are to the nonprofit to create a desired action. Communications “pushes” out messages. Positioning is the linchpin between the two. 

Positioning flows from your nonprofit’s mission. Positioning guides your organization into the future and works to build its reputation with your key audiences.

Positioning is strategic. Can you think of anything more valuable than your nonprofit’s reputation? And, in this changing landscape where nonprofit’s must be nimble and quick, positioning takes on even more importance in competition to be loved “or be out.”

You can find more details about The Power of Positioning in an earlier post.

Loud & Clear: Successfully Marketing Your Nonprofit is a PowerPoint presentation I developed for GCN’s Nonprofit University. If you’re interested in our Marketing Communications Template, please contact me at deborah@creative-si.com.

 

 

Keeping your story alive after your event

 

 

My friend Stacy sent me a link to a press release about an upcoming event – Dawgs for Mito presents Carson’s ClassicStacy’s son Carson has mitochondrial disease, which causes developmental issues.

A family babysitter, Hannah Bossie, was so taken by Carson, that she decided to hold an inaugural golf tournament to raise awareness about Carson’s condition. Hannah and a team of students at UGA launched the first collegiate chapter of UMDF, a nonprofit dedicated to finding a cure for mitochondrial disorders and to provide support to affected individuals and families.

Now the chapter is holding its first event, a golf classic named in Carson’s honor.

Stacy asked if I could make some suggestions on how to get the word out about Carson’s Classic and help keep Carson’s story alive.

No question that events are a great way to create and engage a community to support your cause.  I set the stage for converting event donors to program donors in my last blog post.

Social media is key for making your event a success and keeping your story alive.

Here are some details on using social media to keep the conversation going:

Event website

  • Your event website serves as the hub for your event and after-event activities
  • Post awards
  • Post photographs and a link to download and/or purchase
  • Embed YouTube presentations
  • Provide easy to find links to your social media sites.

Facebook

  • Launch a Facebook page for your event.
  • Start building your community by inviting people to Like your page
  • Feature your sponsors & post their comments on their event participation
  • Provide event recaps in photos and videos
  • Thank participants, sponsors, volunteers
  • Quote participants about their experiences on your event page
  • Post a recap e-newsletter
  • After the event turn your friends into activists for your cause. Make sure you focus on opportunities to be engaged.
  • Link to YouTube presentations from the event
  • Share your successes

Twitter

  • Create a Twitter hashtag for your event
  • Share relevant information/content about your organization
  • Put links to your event in your tweets
  • Build engaged community before and during your event
  • Invite people to retweet information on your cause
  • Say thank you to people who retweet your post
  • Set up twitter to post tweets directly onto your Facebook page
  • Tweet links to event videos, & testimonials
  • Keep up your presence with meaningful information on your cause
  • Continue to build an interested community
  • Link to YouTube presentations from the event

LinkedIn

  • Create a group for your organization.
  • Post information about your events in your group.
  • At the same time, foster robust discussion groups and encourage members of your group to join the discussion
  • Link to YouTube presentations from the event
  • Share your successes

Your  social media initiatives should live on, extending the life of your events. Social media makes it easier for you to reach out to attendees, volunteers and sponsors and keep them engaged.

Need help with your social media initiatives for your next event? Please contact me at deborah@creative-si.com.