Audience Research

Audience Research 4 nonprofitsThere’s a proven way for your organization to start and strengthen vital relationships with the people whose support, loyalty, and actions you want—donors, volunteers, and even staff (too often overlooked here).

This approach is easy to learn and execute. And it’s something you do on a personal level all the time: Getting to know and understand others with whom you want to build a friendship—learning what’s important to them and how their days go. These insights enable you to focus in on what’s important or interesting to both of you, and how best to keep in touch via a commonly-used channel (social, mobile, text, mail) at a receptive time.

Here are four proven methods of harvesting these priceless insights:

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Nancy Schwartz on April 19, 2017 in Audience Research | 0 comments
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via GIPHY

Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring this morning, and I’m thrilled we’re not going to get stuck in the snow. In fact, it’s melting fast in the 50-degree sun right outside my New Jersey window.

Your marketing doesn’t have to stay stuck either. Instead, turn to comic genius Bill Murray for guidance on breaking out of your same old, same old marketing approach. He’ll help you take the rest of the year by storm.

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Nancy Schwartz on February 2, 2016 in Branding and Messages | 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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Missing Middle DonorsTry this fundraising mash-up to close the yawning giving gap you might not even know you have!

Mix these insights on giving patterns of rich vs. middle- and lower-income donors with Sea Change Strategies’ take—The Missing Middle: Neglecting Middle Donors is Costing You Millions—and you get a clear call to action for every fundraiser.

Although these two middles are differently defined—the first based on income level, whereas the Sea Change study probes donors who give from $250 to $900 annually to a single org—there’s just one conclusion: There’s more value in middle donors than we imagined.

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Nancy Schwartz on February 3, 2015 in Fundraising: Innovations & Research | 4 comments
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Nonprofit Relationship BuildingThanks to guest blogger Allison Fine, who authored this new guide to nonprofit relationship building, Matterness: What Fearless Leaders Know About the Power and Promise of Social Media.

One of the most amazing things about social media is that they allow people to talk directly with one another. This is also one of the things that make social media so terrifying for organizations used to broadcasting at people rather than speaking with them.

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Guest Blogger on December 11, 2014 in Relationship Building | 0 comments
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Keep Relationship CurrentI’m a huge fan of the charity clearinghouse GlobalGiving, and have donated through them several times to causes I wouldn’t have been able to connect with otherwise.

That’s GlobalGiving’s sweet spot—connecting donors like yours (and you, and me) with causes that we may not find, know of and/or be able to easily donate to. They do a fantastic job of it: Since 2002, GlobalGiving has raised $151,783,082 from 407,034 donors who have supported 10,812 projects.

So I was surprised to receive this could-be-better email from them, updating me on the work they’ve done with my donation 3 1/2 years ago to the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund.

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Nancy Schwartz on November 5, 2014 in Branding and Messages | 1 comment
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RobOur newest guest blogger, Rob Wu is CEO of CauseVox, a nonprofit crowdfunding and peer-to-peer fundraising platform  for nonprofits. 

You know it, and I know it. Connecting with your audience is harder than ever. And that means more of your org’s messages than ever before are ignored or deleted.

So how do we cut through the noise? And how do we motivate donors to donate and supporters to take action? We have to make our messages relevant.

That’s right-things, right-now marketing and I’m thrilled to introduce you to our Empathy Map tool to help you get there!

Note from Nancy: This Empathy Mapping technique is the perfect complement to developing personas—learn how to do that here. Then put your results together and you’ll have a 360-dgree profile of the folks you want to engage. That’s right-things, right-now marketing, and that makes you a  5-star messenger!
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Guest Blogger on March 6, 2014 in Right-Things Right-Now Marketing | 15 comments
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Big Data

Big Data is like teenage sex: everyone talks about it, nobody really knows how to do it, everyone thinks everyone else is doing it, so everyone claims they are doing it,” reports Marketoonist Tom Fishburne.

Remember when your leadership and board members were scared stiff about social media? And when, in many organizations, that was followed by intense pressure to get on social media pronto to achieve perhaps-impossible goals, WITHOUT additional resources?

Based on what I hear from many of you, we’re in the same boat with big data right now.

Nancy Schwartz on January 15, 2014 in Right-Things Right-Now Marketing | 4 comments
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Change, Change, ChangeThe always wonderful Seth Godin published the original of this post today, and I was so struck by his (always) right on the money take that I had to share it with you, adapted nonprofit style. My changes and additions in italics.

Marketing is about change—changing people’s actions, perceptions or the conversation.

Successful change is usually specific. It’s hard to get someone to support your cause, help a devastated region or volunteer for good. But when you ask her to give $5 to provide a reader for Eldana in Addis Ababa or sign up now to staff the domestic violence hotline for a 60-minute shift next Sunday afternoon, that usually work, if you’re talking in the right way to the right person at the right time.

You don’t have a chance to make mass change, but you can make focused change, when you do it right.
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Nancy Schwartz on February 28, 2013 in Audience Research | 0 comments
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