first_imgOn my way to my daughter’s school, every morning, I pass a house that has a creche in its front yard. It’s been there since early December. Baby Jesus has been lingering there for the entire winter and Spring, and at this rate he may be slumbering into the summer. He is covered with pollen these days.Every morning, my daughter takes note of his long, post-seasonal stay in the manger.“It’s STILL there!” she notes.Then she asks why.You could attribute all kinds of interesting reasons for this never-ending nativity scene. Maybe it’s a family that practices a particular kind of christianity. Maybe they like the way the creche looks amid the Spring flowers and overgrown grass. Maybe they have the Christmas spirit all year long.Or maybe they are just lazy. Maybe they still have their tree up inside too, because they haven’t summoned the energy to pack it up either. My fave marketer, Seth Godin, says you can be sure of two things about all people: they are lazy, and they are in a hurry.We marketers like to spend a lot of time analyzing why people do some things or don’t do some things. We think of religion, attitudes, mindsets. But we should also be thinking of lazy. And in a hurry. Maybe we’re just making it too darn hard for people to take action.Maybe if taking action was really easy, more people would do it.Never underestimate the importance of ease and convenience. Try vastly simplifying your call to action and the level of effort it requires. See what happens. You might get Christmas in April.last_img read more

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first_imgThe email portion of your online fundraising plan should contain two main points:Getting organizedRemembering that content is (still/again) kingWork these initiatives into the part of your online fundraising plan dedicated to email marketing:Planning Tips:Plan, plan, plan… Develop an email messaging program for communicating regularly with donors and prospects. Think about e-newsletters, action alerts and/or event alerts. Make your newsletters worth reading!Build your list. Don’t buy a list–learn how to build one yourself. Aside from newsletter sign-ups, give prospects reasons to join your list–give them useful information (think value!), consider offering an incentive like a raffle for a gift certificate, and be sure to snag sign-ups at your events.Strategize and set goals. Determine what you hope to gain and what you’re shooting for with your email communications. Do you want to increase the size of your supporter pool? Do you want to increase your subscribers by a certain amount? Do you have a current email plan that you’d like to improve? Set some metrics for yourself (clickthough rate, etc.).Ask for direction. How often should you email your list? What types of messages do your donors want to hear? Ask them! Conduct a survey. Call a few top donors. Make communications a topic during your next volunteer meeting.Content and Campaign Tips:Get creative. Think about targeted messages for people who have expressed interests in certain subjects. Consider the roles of your various supporters (donors, volunteers, prospects) and what you want to communicate to/with them.Avoid gloom and doom. People like to feel hopeful, not helpless. Allow your messaging to cater to this tendency: Include attainable goals (“Every $30 donation gives a dog its shots!” “We’re already 80 percent of the way to our goal!”). People are not ATMs, and they’re involved with your organization for a number of personal reasons–sadness and hopelessness not among them.Mix it up. When considering your email strategy for the months ahead, think outside the fundraising-appeal box. And, when you are using email as a fundraising tool, keep your messages varied.…Test, test, test. You’re not a mind-reader. (No, I can’t prove it, but I can assume not.) With that in mind, test your email communications. Send one version of your newsletter to half of your subscribers and a different format to the other half. Which would have better clickthrough results? If you plop down a pair of fresh eyes in front of the versions, which one does your friend think is more readable?last_img read more

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first_imgContinuing with haiku week (don’t forget to submit yours!), today is dedicated to marketers.Marketer HaikuThe truth is betterThreaded through the target’s eyeA web of beautylast_img

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first_imgTimes are tough. How do you get people’s attention right now? How do you get them to act?The answer, of course, is the benefit exchange. That’s marketing jargon for what you need to offer to get someone to act. It is how you get someone to want to pay the price for what you’re selling, whether you’re selling membership, the act of making a donation, or a change in a behavior. It provides a reward in exchange for action. It answers the question, “What’s in it for me?”This week, I’m going to post on how to craft a great benefit exchange, pulling some content from my chapter on the topic in Robin Hood Marketing. Why? Because I’m seeing too few compelling benefit exchanges in nonprofit marketing these days.The first attribute of a great benefit exchange is IMMEDIACY. What will people get right away in exchange for doing what you ask, whether you want them to give money, volunteer or quit smoking?Here’s what I’m talking about:When I was a journalist in Cambodia in the mid-1990s, I interviewed young people for a story on HIV and AIDS. Teen boys and young men in the Southeast Asian country rarely used condoms despite one of the fastest growing epidemics of HIV and AIDS in the region. When I asked them why, young men told me they knew which girlfriends or prostitutes had HIV by the temperature of their skin. The prostitutes I met in shed-like brothels said they felt powerless to insist on condoms, and anyway, many believed douching with toothpaste would kill HIV. These misconceptions were clearly a challenge for organizations battling HIV and AIDS, but the real problem became clear when I spoke to a teen boy in Phnom Penh. He was wearing a red checked sarong and sucking on a hand-rolled cigarette when I approached him, and he regarded me with withering skepticism when I asked him about AIDS. “Why would I care about something that might kill me in ten years?” he asked. “I will die from something else before then.” In a country plagued by landmines, poor water, infectious disease and (at the time) a guerrilla army, he may have been right. A cultural and religious sense of fatalism only reinforced the view. Where was the sense of immediacy?Across town, in a pagoda surrounded by banana trees, people sick with AIDS had a different sense of immediacy. A monk clad in saffron robes was mixing a medicinal drink made of bark chips and served in old Sprite bottles. The monk said the elixir cured AIDS, and ill people from throughout the country traveled to Phnom Penh for the drink and his blessing. I spent an afternoon watching him receive visitors on a straw mat in the temple, and some of them spoke with me. In our conversations, it became clear what they wanted. They were there because they needed hope, and the monk had that reward ready for them in a green plastic bottle. Since a sense of immediacy is essential to a good reward, we have to create it if we don’t have it. It doesn’t work to tell a fatalistic young man in Cambodia that using a condom will prevent a disease far down the road. The nonprofit PSI brought a sense of immediacy to condom use in Cambodia by putting a desirable brand – the alluringly English-named Number One Condom – in the hands of people right at one moment they might use the product – in a brothel. The audience wasn’t told to think of a deadly disease while seeking physical gratification (which surely would have led them to dismiss thoughts of the disease), but rather asked to do use an appealing product that provided an instant boost to the ego. Some good causes deal with the immediacy challenge with a gift like a t-shirt, hat or wristband. These offerings provide the person that donated money or took some action with an instant benefit, for example, recognition. Or the cause might offer rewards before the audience takes action. Have you ever received address labels in the mail from a good cause? They create a sense of obligation in the recipient, and so you probably felt some pressure to send money. Other options? Show how someone can save a life RIGHT NOW. Demonstrate they can feel good by making a difference THIS SECOND. And above all, make it incredibly EASY to act, so people will believe they will get the benefit exchange pronto.last_img read more

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first_imgAt one of Network for Good’s recent Nonprofit 911 calls, Alia McKee of Sea Change Strategies and I were asked, how do you convert one-time donors to habitual givers. Thanks Alia for helping me answer this one!Here’s what we said:•Make sure your donation form asks what type of gift the donor wants to make (“Do you want to give us a monthly gift?”). Whenever you’re asking for money, ask for the monthly pledge, not just a one-time gift.•Revisit the language you’re using in your appeals. Frame your ask in such a way that it’s a win-win situation—monthly donations for you, convenience and budgeting for your donors.•Package the appeal in an exciting way. For example, some organizations have an ambassador program or a sponsor-a-child every month program. Put a face on that sustainable gift. This way you’re creating some tangible tie to the idea of giving every month.•Don’t be afraid to ask for a monthly gift of support after someone completes a one-time transaction. It can be ingrained as a nice thank-you message: “Thank you so much for making a one-time gift. This is how you can put your support to work for us each and every month. Would you consider becoming a monthly supporter?” We’ve seen great success in converting first-time online donors into monthly donors by doing that within the first three days of them making their first online gift.last_img read more

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first_imgI wanted to share this great set of tips from my colleague Rebecca Ruby Higman here at Network for Good (pictured). Enjoy!A myth surrounding raising funds online is simply that “if you build it, they will come.”Where are these ghoulish, baseball-bat-swinging donors who are wildly impressed by your donate button? (No offense: I’m sure it’s lovely, easy-to-find, big and above the fold, right?)Unfortunately, you’re going to be hard-pressed to find those die-hards. The ability to donate online is becoming commoditized. Donors are no longer impressed by it; they expect it. But, how do you appeal to those potential supporters? How do you encourage click after click?How can you jazz up your button and generate excitement around it?Unlike our friends in “Field of Dreams,” we in the nonprofit sector need to do just a bit more than wait for our supporters to show up. We need to be interesting and engaging. Most importantly: We need to be proactive.One of the best ways to do that? An online fundraising campaign.What constitutes a fundraising campaign?-A specific goal(s)-A set of actions you need people to take in order to reach that goal(s)-A timeline – start and end datesRead on to learn why an online campaign may just be the ticket to greater online fundraising success:Campaign messaging gives you fresh content for your email marketing. There’s no question that we all get into a rut… er, rhythm… when it comes to our e-newsletters and online communications. Event announcement here. Volunteer story here. Perhaps a small ask for money here. Spell-check and send. By creating a campaign with specific goals and deadlines, you’ll have lots of fresh fodder for your emails: results updates, deadline reminders and ongoing contest opportunities.This messaging also applies to offline communications. See point number 1 and consider how you can integrate all of your communications. Perhaps you can include a campaign-specific buckslip in your next direct-mail package. Maybe you have fliers or a banner at your next event. All of these activities bring us to point number 3…It drives traffic to your website. When you get your supporters in the habit of visiting your site often (to check for fresh content, campaign updates, etc.), it will deepen the connection they feel with your organization. Folks who have already donated may share your URL with their friends. Potential donors will have the opportunity to get more context about your organization’s work. A campaign with communications that always lead back to your website is smart marketing.The call-to-action carries a lot of weight. As much as we aim to create urgency in our fundraising appeals, our messaging may not seem quite as timely to our potential donors. Part of the anxiety associated with donating is the inherent, “Can’t I do this later?” argument. Campaigns have built-in urgency; your potential supporter has to complete an action by a certain date for it “to count.”You can incorporate personal fundraising. Here’s one of our favorite fundraising mantras: People give to people. And which people do they trust? Their friends, family and network of acquaintances. While you may be dabbling with Facebook and Twitter, you can use a campaign as an opportunity to dust of your person-to-person fundraising techniques: incorporate forward-to-a-friend links on your website and in your emails; encourage supporters to spread the word on their own social networks; and, provide some starter text they can copy and paste. (Note: Be prepared for a slew of “one-hit wonders” who you will need to cultivate and follow-up with directly. These are the folks who donate to a friend’s cause without considering building a relationship with your organization on their own.)Incentives could be the tipping point. If you’ve engaged someone to the point that they’re considering supporting your organization’s cause, a campaign and its associated incentives could entice a potential donor to pull out his or her handy credit card. A campaigns fits the bill because it’s already got the deadlines and timeline built in; you just need to associate a giveaway (coupons or gift cards you’ve had donated) or offer to be featured (on your website, social networks, emails, etc.). People love to see their name in lights-or bold-face type in this case.Not sure where to start? How do you go about running an online fundraising campaign? More specifically, a successful online fundraising campaign?Download Network for Good’s new e-book “Fundraising Campaign in a Box” below “Related Articles” to get your campaign off the ground.last_img read more

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first_imgDownload the transcript, audio and accompanying sample press releases below Related Documents!As your organization works to stay top of mind for supporters and the media, you may stare at your blinking cursor wondering how to create the most effective bang for your public relations buck:“What makes a nonprofit press release pop?”“How can I stay consistent across different media-both online and offline?”“What’s the most effective way to tell my organization’s story? What are the dos and don’ts?Zan Dubin Scott, Paul West and Scott Martelle (our journalism and communications experts) offer their expertise in this archived presentation: “Public Relations 101” training where our panel addressed the following areas:PR writing basicsCrafting a story that encourage media pick-upTips for writing for certain online media, including social networks like Twitter and FacebookYOUR questions – Our panel will spend much of the call answer your public relations writing questionsAbout our speakersZan Dubin Scott developed her public relations expertise largely as a staff writer for The Los Angeles Times. After her time as a journalist, she founded ZDS Communications, a national public relations, marketing and writing firm specializing in energy and the environment, education, the arts and healthcare.Paul West has offered on-the-ground communications services and support to progressive clients and causes throughout the United States, Europe and Africa since the 1990s. His Ashland-based communications consultancy represents clients ranging from biodynamic farms to evolutionary authors whose products and practices promote personal and planetary healing.Scott Martelle, a veteran journalist including 12 years as a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, has covered an array of stories, from local government to presidential campaigns, author profiles and book reviews. He also has taught journalism and narrative storytelling at UC Irvine and Chapman University.last_img read more

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