Yes you do, Ellie.
Are you as confident with your non-profit marketing campaigns? When you dress them up, do they make you look good? Here’s three tips to making sure your non-profit marketing campaigns make you look good:
1. Make a Personal Connection
One time, I sat on a plan next to a vice-president of marketing for a multi-billion dollar company. After some conversation about what he does, he asked me about my job. I told him about Food for the Hungry and my role there and he responded, “you know sometimes I think our job is tough, but I respect what you’re doing at a non-profit – its ten times harder to do what you do with a limited budget and resources.”
What we’re selling is uniquely different than a corporate product: we sell the intangible. The feeling you receive as a donor is different than when you buy a product and use it up or wear it out. Our marketing product is the experience our constituents receive – a better a life, an education, and training to create a sustainable source of food and income.
Our marketing campaigns need to help you make a personal connection with the people we serve. A non-profit organization needs to tell the story of the one – the story of the child who’s life was changed with your donation. A story the donor can connect to.
When you’re designing your marketing campaign, don’t focus on “1 billion children live in poverty” or “20,000 people die from cancer each day” – it’s too difficult for a donor to wrap her head around the big number and think her donation can make an impact on a billion people. Instead, create a personal story connecting the donor to the recipient.
Meet Ellie. Ellie is a vibrant 4 year old who loves to play with her dolls and her five siblings. Ellie’s like a lot of girls her age, dreaming of her prince and her life to come. For the last year, Ellie’s been wearing mismatched clothes.
2. Be Original – and Be Creative!
I don’t know who originally started the “donate your birthday” campaign – but Charity:Water is most well known for it (might be their keen use of celebrities). Now, there are quite a number of charities who have a “donate your birthday” campaign. Perhaps one of them did it first, but each time I see it, I think “it’s unfortunate they weren’t more original and creative with their fundraising campaign.
When you’re designing a marketing campaign, is the old and boring? Is it the same as hundreds of other charities or non-profits? When you design a marketing campaign – be original. Last year at Christmas, instead of running a “12 days of Christmas” campaign, we ran an 8 days of giving campaign during the festival of lights. Our goal was to raise 800 gifts in 8 days and it was a very successful campaign.
3. Know Your Target Audience
The old joke in the real estate industry is there are three important things about a property: location, location, location. In marketing, there are three important things you must do before executing a marketing campaign: research, research, research. Does this marketing campaign fit your target audience? When you see the marketing campaign, does it seek to educate and empower your donors to take action?
If you look at your marketing campaign and it fits these three criteria, you can look at it and say, I know this makes me look good.