Thu, December 11 2008

The magic three “i”s of nonprofit marketing

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Author, Robin Hood Marketing

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Filed under:   Marketing essentials •

1. INSPIRATION: to touch people, help them envision the amazing possibilities they can be part of.  It’s about what they can achieve, not what you need.

2. IMPACT: to compel people to action, show them the tangible difference they can make in the real world.

3. INTIMACY: to close the deal, make it personal.  Or get a messager they know and love.

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Wed, December 10 2008

Wisdom on fundraising during a downturn

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Author, Robin Hood Marketing

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Filed under:   Fundraising essentials •

We recently were lucky enough to have Kim Klein share with Network for Good her wisdom on fundraising.  The woman is an entertaining encyclopedia of fundraising smarts.  She is really, really good at what she does.

If you missed her talk, you can listen to it or read the transcript HERE.

Here are four immediate steps she says you can take this December:

1. Encourage your donors to give the gift of charity.  It’s the holidays.  People are buying gifts.  Have them make that the gift of charity.

2. Call all your major donors.  She says, “The tendency right now is to think, “Oh, these poor people. They lost so much money.” So you don’t call them. What you actually wind up saying to them, even though you don’t mean to, you wind up saying to them, “All we cared about was your money. Now that you don’t have so much money, I can’t be bothered to call you.” And that is really,
really, really not a message you want to give.  You want to welcome them. You want to write to them and use a follow-up phone call to say something like, “We thank you for all you’ve done for us over the years. We are determined to hang in there and continue to do our work as best we can. We hope you will support us at whatever level feels acceptable to you.”  Focus on the donor, not the donation!

3. Tell 70+ donors how to save on taxes!  She says, “You can transfer up to $100,000 in any given year directly from their IRA to a charitable organization and they pay no income tax on that. Normally if you withdraw money from your IRA you pay a tax, whatever tax bracket you’re in that year. And of course if you donate it, you claim that tax donation.  This is a very nice provision that allows you to avoid taxation and still claim the donation, so it’s kind of a double tax advantage.”

4. For smaller organizations especially, share a wish list!  She says, “Tell people, this is the stuff we need. We need four ergonomic chairs. We need 10 printer toner cartridges. We need 75 reams of paper. We need new filing cabinets.” And you just kind of list all the stuff, everything in your budget.”

Thanks Kim!

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Fri, December 05 2008

My gift to you: free fundraising eBook

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Author, Robin Hood Marketing

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Filed under:   Fundraising essentials •

Thanks for being a loyal reader this year!

By way of thanks, I wanted to give you a link to the eBook I just helped put together with my colleagues here at Network for Good.  It’s a downturn survival guide for online fundraising.

Here’s what it’s about:

During these uncertain economic times, having an online fundraising strategy is the perfect medicine for a bad economy. Download Network for Good’s free downturn survival guide to learn how to market and fundraise more effectively during a downturn. The guide features 12 real-life strategies nonprofits are using right now to succeed during the downturn, in addition to tons of great tactical advice, creative samples and other resources. And we’ll also include a coupon to save 50% on Network for Good’s online fundraising services.

GET IT HERE!

Enjoy!

Thanks everyone.

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Fri, December 05 2008

5 Ways to Get People to Sign Up for Your Email List

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Author, Robin Hood Marketing

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Filed under:   Fundraising essentials •

Courtesy of Emma, our wonderful new email partner here at Network for Good, these tips:

As with most things, the art of enticing new subscribers depends a lot on the kinds of emails you send and the kind of people you’re trying to attract. Realize that by offering tons of enticements to recruit subscribers, you’re likely to get more addresses but wind up with members who may be a bit fickle. Conversely, by understating the value of your emails, or not promoting the signup link enough, your list will likely be made up of very loyal readers, you just won’t have lots of them.

We call this the Inverse Loyalty Curve. Actually we just made the whole ‘Inverse Loyalty Curve’ thing up, but if we were to give it a name, Inverse Loyalty Curve would be it, and before you know it people would be blogging about ‘Inverse Loyalty Curve this’ and ‘Inverse Loyalty Curve that.’ Pretty soon there would be entire books and seminars devoted to it. But back to the matter at hand.

So you want to entice people to join your list? Here are five quick tips:

Why should someone sign up? Tell them. Ask yourself why someone should sign up to get your emails. Is it because they’ll get tips that can help them eat healthier or access to articles before they’re published? And then make your case clearly to prospective subscribers. Don’t just ask them to sign up for your emails; instead, ask them to sign up for your emails to get exclusive, email-only insider information (or whatever the reward might be).


Ask when they’re most likely to say yes. In life, timing is everything.* So make sure you ask people to join your list when they’re most likely to say yes: after they’ve just made a donation, just filled out a survey for you or when they’ve just read the most fascinating article on your website. So be sure to incorporate your ‘join now’ link and teaser into the parts of your website where people are most likely to jump at the chance. We call these open-minded moments.


Make it super easy. The people who love you will be perfectly content to fill out three screens of information and take a short survey to join your list. The people who like you may not. So keep your signup process short and sweet. Minimize the clicks, and ask only for the information you truly need (if you’re not planning on using people’s birthdate information later, don’t trouble people for it). And by all means don’t mislead people into thinking the process is short and sweet only to hit them with a 20-minute routine. (You’ve seen signups that ask only for your email address followed by a ‘join’ button - but instead of joining you’re greeted by 20 more fields and a citizenship test.) Make signing up a pleasant, fast experience, and you’ll lose fewer people along the way.


Offer something in return. It’s possible the content of your emails is reward enough. But you might also consider offering people a bit of instant gratification for joining. Remember that you can customize the thank-you screen that greets new subscribers. Get creative and make the thank-you screen itself a printable VIP ticket to your next event, or include a link to premium content (say, a download for 10 Ways to Manage Your Diabetes, if your organization is concerned with diabetes).


Above all, keep it simple. MarketingSherpa (a great resource, if you don’t already know them) published the results of a lengthy experiment conducted by the Motley Fool in which a financial content service tested all sorts of signup elements - short teaser text versus a longer list of subscriber benefits, calling it ‘membership’ rather than simply joining a list, offering lots of content choices rather than just one, and so on - to see how it affected their new-subscriber numbers. In the end, Motley Fool found that keeping things simple worked best.

Shameless plug by me as COO of Network for Good: If you don’t have an email campaign tool, we offer EmailNow powered by Emma at a great rate at Network for Good.

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Wed, December 03 2008

Cool nonprofit technology blogs

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Author, Robin Hood Marketing

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Find the best blogs at Blogs.com.

Thanks Beth Kanter, social media guru, for naming this blog to her top ten list!

Other esteemed blogs on the list (I blush, this is good company!)

Amy Sample Ward, NPTech
CauseWired
Have Fun Do Good
Laura’s Notebook
Qui Diaz
Social Actions
Social Citizens
SocialButterfly
ext337

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