As nonprofit marketers, we are often tasked with increasing support for a cause. Whether a nonprofit is looking for more donors or to better engage its volunteers, talking to the right people, in the right place, at the right time, and delivering the right message are all paramount to one’s success.
This morning’s PRSA-CVC workshop, Growing Support for Your Nonprofit, explored how to leverage branding, grassroots marketing and strategic communications to enhance the effectiveness of nonprofit outreach and community-building efforts. Panelists Bernard Kavaler of Express Strategies, Rich Hollant of co:lab and Greg Latz of The Village Ride shared first-hand experiences helping nonprofits raise awareness and move the needle. Among the presenters’ tips for successful nonprofit marketing and community-building campaigns:
- Stand out in unexpected places. To quote Bernard, “people who drive also eat”, suggesting that an auto dealer may get more attention for an ad in the food section than the automotive section where readers would expect to find it.
- Put a few things on your menu and cook them well. A lesson from Greg, a la chef Gordon Ramsey, focus on a few well-executed marketing tactics and guiding strategies rather than trying to be everywhere and talk to everyone.
- Embrace repackaging. The proliferation of communication channels has increased the need for content. Turn a great piece of media coverage into an e-blast and extract some highlights to share on your social media channels.
- Connect with funders year-round. It is a lot easier to ask for a donation, be it in-kind or funds, when you have maintained a relationship with the contact between asks. Form and sustain a reciprocal relationship for the best results.
- Address the mess. If your nonprofit’s brand is outdated or your messaging is disjointed, acknowledge the disconnect and take steps to correct it. Without a strong brand foundation and consistent messaging, it is difficult to build support for a cause.
- Differentiate between what your organization is working on and what it is working towards. While the things an organization is doing may help bring it closer to achieving its end goal(s), what a nonprofit does and what a nonprofit is working towards are not the same things. Each warrants a dedicated strategy and focused attention.
With limited budgets and diverse audiences to reach, nonprofits need to be strategic in their allocation of resources and realistic about their bandwidth for the execution of tactics. Visit our blog next Wednesday for more highlights from Growing Support for Your Nonprofit.