Lift Your Head and Collaborate to Power Up Your Nonprofit’s Marketing

Lift Your Head and Collaborate to Power Up Your Nonprofit's MarketingLet me introduce you to David J. Neff, nonprofit marketer extraordinary, who kicks off a periodic series of posts from guest bloggers.

I believe strongly in the value of multiple perspectives and weaving in guest writers into the Getting Attention blog and e-update is the best way to do it. Welcome, David…

“Hello! Today I want to introduce you to the #1 focus for nonprofits in 2010, getting to know other organizations and collaborating with them.

So what does that mean? Am I talking about the “kids who need coats” organization teaming up with the “kids who need bikes” non profit so that kids can ride bikes when it’s cold? Not exactly (although that would be nice).

What I am talking about is stopping your daily grind from time to time to lift your head. For you to climb out of your silo to have coffee with the communications director of the organization down the street who has no idea what your organization does; to discuss how you can co-promote, share mailing lists or plan a joint event. Or to schedule a call with the marketing consultant for that organization so much like yours but serving a different county.

Unsure where to start? Take 10 minutes a create an online survey and ask your email list what organizations you should be talking to (asking where else they give or volunteer is a great way to generate ideas). Or post a blog entry or Facebook page request. I think you’ll be amazed by the direction you get.

As the co-founder of the nonprofit Lights. Camera. Help., I know I was thrilled with the feedback we got from our network. They named film festivals all over the country that we’re now sharing ideas and experiences with.

At the very least, get to know colleague organizations in your region. Explore local meetups, 501 Tech Club, video camp or tech camp. Or simply google local “nonprofit meetings.” I can almost guarantee something is going on in your area and urge you to get there.

So press pause on that campaign and look around for a chance to say “hello”. Doing so is a wonderful source of enrichment and inspiration. Enjoy it.”

About David: David works with nonprofit organizations via Ridgewood Communications and Lights.Camera.Help. As long-time director of Web and interactive strategies at the American Cancer Society, he was named as 2009 Nonprofit Social Media Marketer by the American Marketing Association.

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Guest Blogger on February 25, 2010 in Nonprofit Communications, Unique Approaches | 3 comments
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  • David has shared very sage advice, in my opinion. It’s worthwhile for all of us to check-in with peers for help and reassurance.
    Charities can help each other as David recommends. And charities can also turn to associations. Nonprofit associations and charities have a lot in common. And sometimes they can even team up for special events.
    One other thought: It’s also beneficial to venture into totally unrelated markets and industries. You never know where you’ll find a nugget of wisdom or a fresh approach to a problem. Consider keeping an eye on the for-profit sector, and a variety of industries within the sector.

  • Karen, great point about looking beyond the nonprofit community for ideas and collaboration. Why limit ourselves?

  • Collaboration! It’s SO important! Not just to get better at networking, not just to get to know others in the struggle, and not just to leverage power in the nonprofit sector to put pressure on governing bodies for advocacy, but ALSO to share best practices, and hopefully, save money through collaboration on events and programs.
    Nonprofits often shy away from collaboration, but with the vast amount of replication of tasks that goes on between nonprofits in the same city, the reasons NOT to collaborate are flimsy at best, and most often have to do with the directors EGOS than anything substantial.
    Good post! Get collaborating!
    http://wildwomanfundraising.com

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