marketing planning

Thanks to New York Times  writer Jane Levere, I was pointed to this print ad campaign from Action Against Hunger (AAH). The first ad features a line-up of paper dolls, with one figure much thinner than the others — but no clear call to action. The second ad features this pizza box with mini pizza inside (much less than you and I are used to eating), highlighting that the 3.5 million children under 5 worldwide who die from hunger on annual basis don’t have enough to eat. Readers are asked to visit AAH’s website (for what?) or text in a small donation.


Nancy Schwartz in Advertising | 5 comments
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Call it what you will — integrated, holistic, multi-channel fundraising and marketing — but there’s no variance in my recommendation that you take this approach right now, if you’re not already.

Without multi-channel marketing and fundraising, your target audiences are confused by the inconsistency of what they’re hearing from you via various “channels” (your emails vs. Facebook page vs. in-person events). No one likes to be confused and in many cases, the response is to flee your call to action. This doesn’t mean you have to use every channel. It does mean that when you focus on the channels where your target audiences already are, strive for consistency.


Nancy Schwartz in Strategy | 2 comments
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Join Kivi Leroux Miller ( and me for this rapid fire learning experience – get your answers here.

Kivi and I recorded this half-hour webinar on July 21, 2011 to answer the questions you submitted via email, Facebook and Twitter. When you listen in here, you’ll get answers to a broad range of questions, including:

Nancy Schwartz in planning | 0 comments
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I dug into VolunteerMatch’s recent annual report in video format the minute it reached my inbox. READ MORE

Nancy Schwartz in Annual Reports | 0 comments
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Welcome to our newest guest blogger, Rebecca Leaman. Rebecca (@rjleaman) is a writer and editor who helps small community-based nonprofits and individuals tell their stories.  Her driving passions are technology, local history and dogs.

Running a small nonprofit has never been easy, but there used to be few challenges that a larger marketing budget couldn’t solve.

Now, however, with all the possibilities offered by low-cost, fast-changing technology tools and social media,  “overwhelm” can be as big a roadblock as budget constraints. Where do you even start?

Guest Blogger in Planning and Evaluation | 4 comments
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Think it’s possible to learn what you need to know now about nonprofit marketing planning in just 30 minutes?  Well, Kivi Leroux Miller and I are going to give it a try with our next free webinar, 30 Nonprofit Marketing Questions in 30 Minutes!

Please join us on Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern (Noon Pacific). We will answer 30 questions about nonprofit marketing planning in 30 minutes!

All questions will be submitted by participants in advance, and we’ll select the top 30 to answer during this rapid-fire, intensive learning experience. We’ll review all of the questions submitted by July 15 and cull them down to the top 30, which we will answer live during the webinar.

1) There’s no faster way to learn about nonprofit marketing planning. Register Now.

2) Have a burning nonprofit marketing question you’d like us to answer during the webinar? Email it to us right now ([email protected])

Your investment of 40 minutes (10 to craft and submit your question, 30 to join us on the webinar) will generate huge returns. Promise!


P.S. Learn how to strengthen your nonprofit’s marketing impact with the 2011 Guide to Nonprofit Marketing Wisdom.

Nancy Schwartz in Strategy | 0 comments
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Every marketing task your organization tackles should incorporate a frequent analysis of ROI (return on investment).

It’s the only valid, vital framework for running an effective marketing program especially when resources are limited, as they are for most nonprofit organizations.

I encourage you to apply an ROI analysis to all that you do. Consider this…

  • Take my recommendation and strengthen (or shape) your organization’s messaging by enrolling in the Tagline Focus Project (TFP).
  • Follow the proven 11-step message development process as you work closely with your target audiences, your colleagues and with me. Work with me one-to-one to fine tune your final tagline draft and then roll it out.
  • And then, six months to a year later, look at your ROI in terms of what you learned and produced in the Tagline Focus Project.

For your investment of tuition and effort, you’ll learn how to shape messages that connect. The Tagline Focus Project process and product will lead to:

  1. New supporters: As you take your place among the only 18% of organizations with taglines that work to engage the supporters you depend on. And it’s always hardest to build new supporters.
  2. Increased loyalty: Your current network will understand your organization’s unique value and impact more clearly than ever, which will strengthen their sense of appreciation and connection. Everyone likes being a part of a winning organization.
  3. A team of powerful messengers: As your network of supporters more clearly understands what’s so special about your organization (they always knew it—that’s why they support you—but they couldn’t easily articulate it) and has a recognizable, memorable tagline to work with, it’s far easier for them to spread the word to family and friends. Especially when you ask them to do so.
  4. Stronger skills for all messaging components: Learning how to craft a tagline equips you with the skills to write high-power taglines for your organization’s programs, services and campaigns, so those marketing agendas are equally successful; and gives you a great base to work from in writing the other key components of your organization’s (and programs/services/campaigns) message platform—the positioning statement and talking points or key messages.
  5. Less stress and better marketing outcomes: When you have to start from scratch writing content for your organization, trying to get it right time and time again, it’s a huge drain. It’s just plain hard to crank it out, and then to revise content through the countless rounds of review and approval.

With a well-researched and tested tagline in hand, you’re ready to go with the essence of your messaging, and can build from that proven foundation each and every time.

We’re starting on July 6 and have just a few seats still open.
So if you’re interested in using this summer to vastly improve your organization’s messaging, I encourage you to go ahead and register today for the Tagline Focus Project.

It would be great to work together!

Nancy Schwartz in Branding and Messages | 0 comments
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Does your organization have a distinctive voice?

Months and months ago, my husband Sean and I snagged tickets to a Rosanne Cash (singer/songwriter and Johnny’s daughter) concert.

We bought the tickets six months pre-show and, as we waited, I started to follow Rosanne on Twitter.

She’s a Twitter natural, conveying a deep sense of her perspective and personality. For example, one March afternoon, she tweeted that her bus broke down en route to play at Folsom prison (where her Dad had so famously played). Through the tweets that followed, I got a clear sense of how she thinks, feels and speaks as she shared what the experience meant to her. I felt I got to know her a bit.

That kind of connection is what nonprofit communications is all about. Rosanne on Twitter reinforces what I advise but seldom see–the critical importance of finding your real voice as an individual speaking for an organization (incorporating elements of both personalities) and using it on the channels that fit it (only those your target audiences prefer, of course). And doing it in a full way, so that you are putting yourself (and the organization) out there to be known. That’s what gives your target audiences something they can relate to.

What’s your organization’s voice and how did you find it? How do you use it? Please share your stories here.

P.S. Rosanne was gracious enough to meet with me after her fantastic show and told me about the three charities she is actively committed to.

Nancy Schwartz in Branding and Messages | 7 comments
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Join Kivi and Me for this Free Webinar
Today-Monday May 2-at 3pm ET (Noon PT)
Learn How to
Set the Big-Picture Marketing Goals that
Take You Where You Want to Go!

My friend and colleague Kivi Leroux Miller and I have heard so many of you say that your marketing isn’t all it could be. And worse, you don’t know where to start to fix it.

You’re frustrated by how hard you’re working without generating the results you expect, and that your organization needs. Aargh!

So we’ve decided to show you exactly where to start, with setting your goals, in today’s free 30-minute webinar.
Register Now – Seats are Limited
Today, Monday, May 2, 2011
3:00 – 3:30 pm ET (12:00 – 12:30 pm PT)

When Kivi and I first put our heads together on how to team up to help nonprofits strengthen their marketing impact, marketing planning was at the top of our list.

Join us for this free 30-minute webinar to learn how to set clear marketing goals for your organization. They are the first crucial step towards an ambitious but fully-doable nonprofit marketing plan.

Register now for this free webinar today, Monday, May 2, 2011, at 3:00 pm Eastern (Noon Pacific).

We’re really looking forward to discussing this critical step to nonprofit marketing success with you! Join us.

Nancy Schwartz in Planning and Evaluation | 0 comments
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Nothing is more important than communicating the right message to your network at the right place and time! And  leveraging a news item or special day by connecting your organization’s issues to it (when relevant!) is a tried-and-true nonprofit marketing strategy with a strong ROI (return on investment).

That’s why I was looking forward to the emails I expected to receive on Earth Day last week, from the environmental organizations I support and others. Earth Day 2010 had delivered so many effective nonprofit marketing models, that I anticipated some great outreach.

Not that Earth Day has been a global success in any way in mobilizing us all to treat the environment more respectfully, but it is a marker heralded broadly in the media (mainstream and not) and leveraged by many advertisers in the New York Times last week. When an issue is addressed like this, it becomes embedded in our heads. Those advertisers knew that Earth Day presented an ideal opportunity of environmental issues being as front-and-center in the news as they get and piggybacked on the day with relevant advertising. An open-minded moment.

How basic then, you’d think, that environmental organizations – tasked solely on the issues at the core of Earth day – would reach out to the network of current and recent supporters. But most organizations I expected to hear from — e.g. Environmental Working Group (marketing geniuses, in a totally genuine way), Sierra Club, Appalachian Mountain Club — didn’t come through. I was poised to re-up our Sierra Club membership that day, but wasn’t invited to do so. Lost opportunity!

Kudos to Catalog Choice – which sent me this email, so-so in headline but spot-on on tying its campaign to Earth Day and my open-minded moment.

Here’s how to ensure you’re poised to capitalize on notable days (holidays and other days) and headlines.

  • Develop a editorial calendar around known notable days (anything from Mother’s Day, to the anniversary of the signing of the Constitution — any day that’s notable in relation to your issue. Those days that generate mainstream and other media coverage are the priority – as they position your outreach for success by getting folks thinking about the day. Your outreach just plugs right into that open-minded moment.
  • Brainstorm around the likely news events that are worthwhile triggers for your outreach.Be prepared, before the moment of, so you can use that moment asap, when your network is open mind.

How does your organization connect its marketing to stories, news and events that are top of mind for your target audiences? Please share your experiences and recommendations here.

Nancy Schwartz in Content Marketing | 18 comments
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