How Low-Hanging Fruit Boosts Nonprofit Marketing Results

I’m on a personal campaign to decipher  nonprofit marketing jargon  so you’re able to make these strategies and tools useful. And low-hanging fruit is at the top of my list because it’s such a vital concept, but so often misunderstood.

I frequently use the phrase myself, particularly to emphasize the necessity of prioritizing low-hanging fruit in your nonprofit marketing plan. But only last month when a training participant told me she had no idea what I was talking about did I realize I’ve never been specific enough in my definition to make the concept useful. So here it is:

Definition: Low-hanging fruit for nonprofit marketers

  1. The marketing activities that will make the greatest impact with the least investment (of time and/or budget).  Example: fundraising campaign to current volunteers.
  2. The marketing activities that represent the highest risk if you don’t implement them.  Example: volunteer retention campaign.

Low-hanging fruit comes first, always! Please let me know what your  low-hanging fruit is and whether it’s at the top of your to-do list in the Comments box.

Tip of the hat to Kivi Leroux Miller.

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Nancy Schwartz on October 27, 2010 in Strategy | 3 comments
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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Gloria October 27, 2010 at 4:49 pm

Funny, ‘low-hanging fruit’ just received a high number of votes for the most detested fundraising jargon. Personally, I’m tired of ‘best practices’ myself…

2 Nancy Schwartz October 27, 2010 at 4:53 pm

Funny, Gloria!

My gut is that its human nature to hate jargon–it’s comprised of overused and frequently meaningless phrases that are barriers, rather than doors, to effective communication.

But in cases like this, where the phrase represents a valuable strategy for nonprofit marketers and fundraisers, I bet that hatred is focused solely on the phrase and not the essence it represents. The inclination to turn away is the very reason I dug into the phrase in this post.

Not a fan of “best practices” myself!

3 Laurie October 28, 2010 at 2:10 am

The comment about volunteer retention hit close to home for me. My question is how do I get the leadership of my non-profit to recognized the value of a Volunteer Management Program. The leadership is all volunteer but discuss “volunteers” as if they are another group, separate and unrelated to them. They pay lip service to the idea of volunteer management but do nothing.

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