The Why Behind the Disconnect -- Supporters Embrace Orgs Online, but Don't Give There

A new research report just released by cause branding pros at Cone shows that 79% of those online are behind orgs harnessing email, Web sites and social media to build awareness, grow giving and motivate action. Better yet, 60% of this group has engaged with one or more cause — from forwarding an email to a friend to purchasing a cause-branded product.

That’s all rosy, but here’s the disconnect. Despite this high level of interest and awareness of causes online, action lags far behind. Only 18% of users have donated via online media and/or done more to help the cause in another way.

Evidently, it’s fear that’s keeping them from giving online. That’s what the research tells us. But I think the disconnect is much greater than that.

My take is that online media (especially via social media tools like Facebook and Twitter) is more about friendraising than fundraising at this point. Dollar and gift counts are low now but are growing and will continue to do.

If you buy my take, then focus on building communities, not dollars. If you hit too hard on giving, you’ll alientate some of your org’s friends, and they are hot prospects for future giving. You don’t want to lose them.

Nancy Schwartz in Fundraising: Innovations & Research, Nonprofit Communications, Social Media, Web 2.0 | 10 comments
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YMCA Brand Valued at $6.4 Million -- What This Means for Your OrgThe YMCA of the USA’s brand is worth almost $6.4 million, making it the nation’s most valuable nonprofit brand, according to The Cone Nonprofit Power Brand 100.  This first-of-its-kind research report explores the unique relationship between nonprofit brand image and financial performance.

The survey uses brand image, 2007 revenue and potential for future growth to calculate brand value, a formulation similar to many for-profit valuations of brand, an intangible asset. Cone's goal, states the report, is to help orgs "understand how to protect and evolve their brands to generate as much revenue as possible," and "demonstrate to companies and other partners that there is an established and justified value and cost to working with them."

The top 10 are: YMCA, the Salvation Army, United Way of America, American Red Cross, Goodwill Industries, Catholic Charities USA, Habitat for Humanity International, American Cancer Society, The Arc of the United States, and Boys & Girls Clubs of America. What's surprising is that both Catholic Charities USA and The Arc of the United States are under most consumers' radar despite top 10 rankings for Power Brand and revenue.

What's crucial to know is that nonprofits that clearly identified their mission in their name performed best. For example, the National Cancer Coalition scores higher among consumers than City of Hope.

But if your organization name is not descriptive (and even if it is), add clarification with an 8-word-or-less tagline. Remember, the name and tagline always work together — a sum far greater than its individual parts. Learn more on taglines here

P. S. Don't forget to enter the 2009 Nonprofit Tagline Awards today. Over 850 entries already in!

Nancy Schwartz in Branding and Messages, Nonprofit Marketing News, Recommended Resources | 1 comment
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