Flickr: Two Ladies & Two Cats The hands-down, most hated and most frequently-avoided marketing task is budgeting. I hear that from you and your peers time and time again.

But I urge you to get past this bias and take the time to absorb this four-part series on budgeting guidelines. You’ll learn the value a budget brings to your work as it translates the actions outlined in your marketing plan into expense. You’ll discover is a completely different way of looking at your marketing work, serving as both a clear framework for your decision-making on wants vs. “nice-to-haves” and a powerful tool for getting the marketing dollars you need to meet agreed-upon goals. READ MORE

Nancy Schwartz in Budgeting | 3 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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Marketing your way through times like these is gritty, sweaty, get-your-hands-dirty work. Your challenge right now is to step-up with a sense of adventure, a bolt of courage and persistent innovation. It’s the only choice. And those are the attributes Tracy Mitchell, Executive Director of Sag Harbor, NY’s nonprofit Bay Street Theatre, brings to her marketing responsibilities every day. (Note: Full case study here)

The Challenge: Diverse Audiences Hard to Reach and Engage, Much Less Build into a Loyal Community of Supporters
Even with a successful 18-year run under its belt, Bay Street Theatre was threatened by the challenge of serving its diverse base as well as by cuts in funding and in patrons’ expendable income. Mitchell knew she had to find a “way beyond traditional marketing and programming to expand the theater’s role in residents’ lives.”


Nancy Schwartz in Strategy | 0 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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Reserve Your Spot by Sunday July 31 to Save $100 — Join us at the Total Focus Marketing Plan WorkshopOctober 12 in NYC.

This is the time to propel your organization’s marketing forward with a smart plan. My partner, Nonprofit Marketing Guide’s Kivi Leroux Miller and I can help you do that in a single day.

We’ll walk you through the creation of a focused, doable marketing plan — one that clarifies what you should be doing marketing wise and maps how to get there.

You’ll end the day with your draft of a clear and practical marketing plan that will work for your organization—one you are fully capable of implementing.

Register Now to Save $100


Nancy Schwartz in planning, Planning and Evaluation | 0 comments
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A huge part of what I love about guiding nonprofit communicators to greater impact is seeing the “aha moment.” I witnessed a great one last week while presenting the Total Focus Marketing Plan Workshop in Seattle last week, with Kivi Leroux Miller.

DD Coutts, Vice President of Development at Glenbow Ranch Park Foundation was among the terrific group of energized workshop participants. During the segment on getting to know your target audiences, DD had an “aha moment” that will make all the difference in her ability to connect effectively with the very folks who can help move the Foundation’s mission forward.

She had been identifying the Park’s visitor base — the ideal source for volunteers now and donors later — as families but realized, with our guidance, that this broad category didn’t give her the insight she needed to connect with them. There are just to many kinds of families, varying in size, interests, available time, motivation for using the park and other dimensions.

Here’s how DD moved forward to group (a.k.a. segment) her target audiences into three distinct groups that use the park:

  1. Families with young children
  2. Families with older children
  3. Immigrant families

This segmentation led to DD’s next insight — that each group uses the park in different ways. She named and described the segments as follows:

  1. Nibblers: Families with young children. Tend to stay on the periphery of the park and visit for brief periods.
  2. Explorers: Families with older children. Explore the complete park, spend more time there.
  3. Celebrators — Extended families, usually immigrants. Use the park as a gathering spot.

You see how much more useful these segments are, enabling DD to take the next step to profile a persona within each segment — an individual or two who epitomize the segment. Your personas show you what your primary audiences’ wants and habits are, so you know how to pinpoint where your organization’s wants overlap with them. That’s the sweet spot for marketing success!

Kudos to DD for going beyond the obvious!

P.S. Learn more on how to strengthen your nonprofit’s marketing impact with the Getting Attention Guide to Nonprofit Marketing Wisdom.

Nancy Schwartz in Audience Research | 0 comments
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Please join me and Tara Collins, Communications Director at the Watershed Agricultural Council for this first-time webinar, produced by the Chronicle of Philanthropy. The folks at the Chronicle have been generous enough to extend a 15% discount to the Getting Attention community — just enter coupon code “Schwartz” at the bottom of the registration form.

Tara and I will guide you through the smartest ways your nonprofit can engage your target audiences on a tight budget—and how to convince others in your organizations how and why they should invest in marketing. We’ll introduce a bit of theory — to connect what you’ll be doing here to organizational and marketing planning — but focus mainly on practical techniques and case studies. Participants will learn to:

  • Demonstrate how good marketing makes it easier to raise money, attract news coverage, win grants, and build your online community.
  • Tell a better story—highlight your results, use data more effectively, and make it clear that your organization makes a difference in the lives of those you serve.
  • Convince your chief executives and board members of the critical role marketing plays in your organization’s success and ensure they invest in your marketing goals.

Don’t miss this chance to learn about vital but often overlooked techniques and tools vital to maximizing your impact without blowing your budget. Join Tara, me and Peter Panepento, Assistant Managing Editor, for this fast-paced, immersion learning experience on Thursday, June 23. Register now and enter the coupon code “Schwartz” to get your discount.

P.S. Get more in-depth case studies, templates and tools, and guidance for nonprofit marketing success — all featured in the twice-monthly Getting Attention e-update. Subscribe today.

Nancy Schwartz in Professional Development | 0 comments
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I’m partnering with one of the best nonprofit marketers I know, Kivi Leroux Miller of, to offer you a way to transform your tangle of marketing to-do lists and conflicting priorities into a clear, practical and doable plan. Join us for the Total Focus Marketing Plan Workshop, June 16 in Seattle.

Plan with Us for a Day—Get a Blueprint Forever
Please join us for this intensive, limited-enrollment planning seminar. It’s a special opportunity to find the solutions to your 2011-2012 marketing challenges, as we guide you to set realistic goals, craft your messages, build the support and partnerships you need, prioritize your strategies and inventory the time, treasure and talent required.

Register TodayJust a few seats for Seattle are left.

P.S. Even if can’t join us for the workshop, please join us for a no-host nonprofit happy hour in Seattle on June 15. No RSVP is necessary.

Date & Time: Wednesday June 15, 5- 7 pm
Where: Boka Kitchen & Bar – 1010 First Avenue at Madison, Seattle
We’ll have a section of the bar set aside for us. Look for the happy, nonprofit types by the high tables near the bar.

Thanks much to our good friends Peter Drury, Erica Mills and Zan McColloch-Lussier for organizing.

Nancy Schwartz in planning | 0 comments
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I’m thrilled to launch the Tagline Focus Project, designed to demolish a major barrier to your organization’s marketing success — a weak tagline, or the lack of one altogether.

Now you can fix this too-common problem in less than two months, with hands-on guidance from me as I lead you through an 11-step tagline development process — with guaranteed results. I’ve helped organizations like yours to solve this problem dozens of times.

You’ll finish the Tagline Focus Project with a polished, relevant tagline for your organization, plus key insights into your target audiences’ wants and values–so you can connect with them more effectively — and the messaging skills you need to create more strong messages for your organization and programs.

Learn more now. Seats are limited to a maximum of 10, and the program starts July 6.

Nancy Schwartz in Taglines | 0 comments
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Join Kivi and Me for this Free Webinar
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 this free 30-minute webinar.
Register Now – Seats are Limited
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 on Monday, May 2, 2011, at 3:00 pm Eastern (Noon Pacific).

Seats are limited so register today.

Nancy Schwartz in Planning and Evaluation | 0 comments
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