2016 Nonprofit Marketing TrendsI relish the roll out of trends at the end of each year, digesting them in the context of what’s working for our clients and passing on what matters most to nonprofit marketers. I’ve seen typically broad-ranging predictions for 2016, but these two constants central to our work have been heralded by multiple sources:

  • Data, drawn from all channels, will continue to grow exponentially in volume
  • Marketers like us will continue to struggle to share it, interpret it, and put it to work in a productive way.

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Nancy Schwartz on December 15, 2015 in Trends | 1 comment
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connectWelcome back to our new Do-It-Differently series, featuring fresh ideas from the field. Thanks to today’s idea generator—Todd McPherson, development director, IFCS.

We revised our tone and content to be more direct, frank and engaging—like a one-to-one conversation: For example, we’re showing results of donor generosity (rather than talking about them) and sharing organizational changes in progress. 

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Nancy Schwartz on December 8, 2015 in Branding and Messages | 0 comments
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Giving Tuesday: Barth Syndrome FoundationToday’s the day: #GivingTuesday 2015. “We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. [Today], we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back.”

Whether your organization is full into Giving Tuesday, or you’re watching from the sidelines to determine whether it’s right for you, there’s lots to learn by noting what participating organizations are doing. Even if you ultimately decide to maintain 100% focus on year-end, it’s important to know what else your prospects are seeing each December. Take these three steps now:

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Nancy Schwartz on December 1, 2015 in Fundraising: Innovations & Research | 0 comments

2016-take-survey-nowKivi Leroux Miller’s Nonprofit Communications Trends Survey has become the “go to” source for what’s REALLY happening in the world of nonprofit communications and fundraising. The annual results report provides concrete benchmarks for your marketing approach and the proof points you need to lobby for the resources you need to do marketing right.

So please, take 10-15 minutes now to take this year’s Survey. Your input is vital to generating the benchmarks and proof points we all need to do marketing even better. BONUS: As a survey respondent, you’ll be among the first to get the results (via a preview webinar on December 16). Give 10—take the survey today.

 

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Nancy Schwartz on November 18, 2015 in Trends | 0 comments
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Our first post in the new Do-It-Differently series, featuring fresh ideas from the field. Thanks to Renee Thompson, director of philanthropy, Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee

Nonprofit StorytellingTested Turnaround! Introducing a new fundraising spokesperson—one of our clients (an individual who’s benefited from our donors’ support).

Keeping It All about Our Donors, Not Our Organization
Traditionally, our ED produced all year-end content, reviewing the past year’s work and impact. That’s how most organizations do it, after all.

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Guest Blogger on November 17, 2015 in All-Org Marketing Team | 2 comments
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Connect to convert: Nonprofit communications

Let’s be real: Your organization is one of the many that can’t use kitty or puppy photos to raise money or recruit volunteers.

In Part One of this mini-guide, I shared my take on why such emotional candy works so well to raise money or recruit volunteers. And cited a reliable litmus test for photo-story impact—1) If you’d share them with your family and friends; 2) would they “like” or share them.

But you can make emotional connections with your target audiences, even WITHOUT kittens and puppies.

In fact—if your organization is not an animal rescue or another organization directly related to puppies, kitties or babies—these alternatives are far more effective in helping your forge connections and motivate your audiences to give, register or volunteer. Most importantly, they are authentic, relevant messages, rather than manipulative click-bait.

Here are two tested methods, with examples:

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Nancy Schwartz on November 3, 2015 in storytelling | 1 comment
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RedRover

Part Two

Adorable! Few of us can resist photos like this one, which is why you see so many organizations communicating cute.

But if your organization doesn’t have piglet or puppy photos to share, what can you do? Assess what makes these photos so magnetic, then share some of that.

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Nancy Schwartz on October 20, 2015 in storytelling | 0 comments
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Rob Wu, CauseVoxGuest blogger Rob Wu is CEO of CauseVox, a crowdfunding and peer-to-peer fundraising platform used by nonprofits to create fundraising websites.

Today, fundraising extends far beyond motivating people to donate. We want engagement, we want other actions, and we want to build a relationship! We also want as many people as possible rallying for our cause.

Here’s where peer-to-peer (P-to-P) fundraising comes in, as a reliable method of leveraging your existing audience to raise money on your behalf. It’s a great way to reach a broader audience, activate new donors, and re-engage current supporters.

You tell us that your biggest challenge is getting your peer-to-peer fundraisers prepared, informed, and engaged. This five-part fundraising toolkit will be a great help:  READ MORE

Guest Blogger on October 14, 2015 in Fundraising: Innovations & Research | 0 comments
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Nonprofit Message Magic: Surprise

Shaping messages to be relevant to the people we want to to engage and spur to action is the most reliable path to productive marketing. Relevance rules!

But there’s more you can do, once you get to relevance. Over the last few months, my passion to find, analyze and guide you to the most effective messaging possible has uncovered a few additional secret ingredients that are absolute magic. Today, let’s talk surprise…

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Nancy Schwartz on October 13, 2015 in Messaging | 0 comments
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Guy Arceneaux

Guest blogger Guy Arceneaux is Director of Marketing and Communications for Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland

Here’s my top takeaway from my first three months on the job at Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland: Smaller, more nimble nonprofits like ours typically know their audiences better—so are far more connected with them—than do most large, complex organizations.

That Was Then
In 2013, I was the Director of Marketing for an international humanitarian development nonprofit. The annual budget was nearly one billion dollars, with our $2.3 million marketing budget funding the work of three departments and 13 staff members. Sounds like a lot, right?

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Guest Blogger on October 7, 2015 in Relationship Building | 3 comments
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