Thu, September 20 2007

Dreamforce III: Know your audience

Katya Andresen's avatar

Author, Robin Hood Marketing

Filed under:   Marketing essentials •

Katya's note: My colleague Jono, who guest-starred here at the blog earlier this year when I was on a tropical island, is at Salesforce's Dreamforce meeting out in San Fran. He's sharing reports hot from the center of relationship management nirvana. Network for Good has been working with Salesforce.com to adapt its database tools to nonprofits. Here's what he's heard today.

By Jono Smith

Dreamforce is a huge event, and it's full of some great examples of good marketing. Here is one:

Yesterday afternoon, during a break between sessions, I snuck outside to get some sun. A Salesforce employee walked up to me and asked me how I was enjoying the conference, and if there was anything they could be doing better. I kind of laughed to myself at this eager employee, until I looked at his name tag and saw the words "Conference Chair." Tom Wong, Salesforce's Senior Director of Customer Marketing Programs was in the middle of hosting a conference for 7,000 people, and yet he found the time to walk around, introduce himself to the attendees, and ask if there was anything they could be doing better.

What I saw over the next three days of Dreamforce really struck me: every experience I had as an attendee was designed from my perspective, not Salesforce's.  From the little things, like name badges you can actually read from 3 feet away and incredible signage throughout the convention center, to the big things like running a green conference and giving 30 minutes of free consulting to any customer that wanted it. They even had a technique for Powerpoint fatigue: every presenter had 1-3 personal photos on their title page. It made the presentations personal & memorable from the start.

The whole experience reminded me of how many events and conferences I've been to over the years where the focus was more on the host organization than the attendee. I'll never forget being at one conference presentation last year which started 20 minutes late because they were more concerned with recording the audio than whether anyone in the room could hear ok.

So how can you capture some of Salesforce's corporate marketing savvy and apply it to your next nonprofit event: audience, audience, audience. It doesn't take a big budget to let your audience preferences and needs guide your event planning.

Last night, the Salesforce Foundation took all of their nonprofit guests across the bay on a ferry to dinner.  If that event had been tonight, Salesforce would have had a problem: today's wind conditions on the SF bay have grounded all ferries.  What do you want to bet Tom Wong had a backup plan to get everyone to dinner last night in the event of inclement weather?

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Thu, September 20 2007

Dreamforce II: Search Engine Marketing for Nonprofits

Katya Andresen's avatar

Author, Robin Hood Marketing

Filed under:   Marketing essentials •

Katya’s note: My colleague Jono is at Salesforce’s Dreamforce meeting out in San Fran. He’s sharing reports hot from the center of relationship management nirvana. Network for Good has been working with Salesforce.com to adapt its database tools to nonprofits. Here’s what he’s heard that can help us! I’m especially fond of this post - read carefully, it can help you.

By Jono Smith

There’s been some great discussion about Internet marketing taking place here at Dreamforce, and particularly about search engine marketing (SEM). In a nutshell, SEM is a way to promote your website by increasing its visibility in search engine results.  Now, I will let you in on a little secret: before coming to this conference, I knew next to nothing about SEM.  And to make matters worse, every time I heard the phrase it made me break out into a sweat—it sounded like the domain of a bunch of Internet whiz kids. Here’s the good news:

1) SEM is common sense
2) If you are a nonprofit, SEM is free, thanks to Google.
3) Getting started with SEM is as easy as 7 steps.

So why should you care about SEM?  Let’s say you are a small AIDS prevention nonprofit in Boise, Idaho.  It’s December 30, and several Boise residents have logged onto Google to search for a charity to donate to so they can get a last minute tax deduction.  These potential donors might do a Google search for “boise aids charity.”  If your nonprofit doesn’t pop-up near the top of the search results, these donors may never find you. So, how can you make sure your organization DOES get to the top?  There are two ways: either organically by designing a website that is search engine friendly, or by paying a search engine to place your ads prominently in their search results.  I am going to focus on paid search in this blog entry, since Google Grants provides free paid placement to 501(c)(3) nonprofits.

Here’s how to get started in 7 steps:

1) Signup for Google Grants: www.google.com/grants
2) Advertise your nonprofit on Google Adwords: Take five minutes to write your first ad. Not sure what to say? CRAM!
3) Develop your keywords: A keyword is the search word or phrase that you “buy” from Google (i.e., boise aids charity). Ask yourself which keywords–word combinations and phrases–you would type into the Google search box to find your organization’s programs and services. Select as many keywords as you like.
4) Still not sure which keywords to select? Go to www.google.com/keywords for suggestions. You can type in the address of your website and Google will even make recommendations on what keywords to use.
5) Target your audience: Through Google AdWords, you can create a variety of groups of ads for different audiences, as well as target your ads to different geographic locations (i.e. Boise) and even languages.
6) Test, test, test: Create two versions of the same ad: one that points to your website, and one that points directly to your donation page. See which does better.
7) Track your results: When people search on Google, your ad is displayed and traffic is driven to your website. But how do you know if anyone is clicking? Google’s dashboards provide an easy way for you to proactively monitor the status of your keywords and their associated ads.

UPDATE 9/24:

Jane Lytel from a wonderful organization called Zero to Three wrote in to suggest two points of clarification about Google Grants. 1) The Google Grants website faq indicates they process all applications within 6 months, although many organizations have waited much longer than this. 2) In addition, Google will only pay for keywords in a grant for up to $1.00. If you want to supplement this, it comes out of your own budget.

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Wed, September 19 2007

More free marketing calls!

Katya Andresen's avatar

Author, Robin Hood Marketing

Filed under:   Marketing essentials •

We have another free Nonprofit 911 call coming up in October here at Network for Good.

The topic is Email Fundraising on a Tight Budget and it’s Tuesday, October 2 at 1pm (eastern)
Speaker: Marc Lee, Affinity Resources

Sign up here.
 
On this page, you can also download free transcripts of our last three calls, including:

September Nonprofit 911: Crafting Your Call to Action
 
August Nonprofit 911:Website 101 for Fundraisers

July Nonprofit 911: Cultivating Donors Online

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Tue, September 18 2007

Live Blogging from Dreamforce

Katya Andresen's avatar

Author, Robin Hood Marketing

Filed under:   Marketing essentials •

Katya’s note:  My colleague Jono, who guest-starred here at the blog earlier this year when I was on a tropical island, is at Salesforce’s Dreamforce meeting out in San Fran.  He’s going to share some reports hot from the center of relationship management nirvana.  Network for Good has been working with Salesforce.com to adapt its database tools to nonprofits.  Here’s what he’s heard so far—more to follow!

By Jono Smith

Hundreds of nonprofit marketers and fundraisers are among the 7,000 attendees from 42 countries gathering this week in San Francisco at Dreamforce 2007, Salesforce.com's annual users' conference. I will be blogging from Dreamforce this week with examples and tips for using technology to improve the effectiveness of nonprofit marketing.

In the meantime, I am currently live blogging from the opening keynote, where salesforce CEO Marc Benioff is speaking about how community-driven models—arising from the Internet—create new possibilities for organizations to innovate without huge investments in software and technology infrastructure. Marc just introduced another Marc—Marc Sternberg is the principal of Bronx Lab School, a nonprofit, public college preparatory school funded in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The vision for Bronx Lab School is uncomplicated: with the right support, work ethic and attitude, its students can succeed. Through small class and school size, a passionate and cohesive staff committed to innovative and dynamic project-based instruction, and a non-negotiable culture of excellence, Bronx Lab's students excel.

School Principal Marc Sternberg is speaking about how his Bronx Lab School is managing accountability by using salesforce to measure and track behavior, attendance and homework.

"One of the important metrics we must report to the Department of Education is our student attendance. With accurate attendance benchmarks, we can retain control of the way we run our school, and stay up-to-date on our teaching staff needs. Salesforce has allowed us to create a detailed student database that does much more than generate the reports we need for the city, it helps us identify students who may need extra help to stay in school."

If you are interested in examples of how technology is helping nonprofits improve their marketing and online fundraising results, stay tuned this week for more updates from Dreamforce. If you are attending Dreamforce, stop by and visit Network for Good in the nonprofit pavilion on Tuesday between 11am-12:30pm.

Dreamforce 2007 Keynote

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Fri, September 14 2007

What is good: being relentlessly generous

Katya Andresen's avatar

Author, Robin Hood Marketing

Filed under:   Fundraising essentials •

What is good fundraising and what is bad fundraising?  What is the difference between good outreach and bad outreach?

I think the difference between good and bad has a lot to do with generosity.

If you’re focused on fundraising, you’re probably focused on inspiring generosity in other people.  But how generous are you?  I’ve found in life, in fundraising and in blogging, the more generous I am, the more successful my efforts.  Scrooges in terms of sharing information, credit and or time get little.

Be a good fundraiser (and person) by:

1. BEING GENEROUS WITH OUR THANKS: Thank people before they give, after they give and every chance you get.  All of us have many options for spending the precious time we have in our short lives.  If someone chooses to spend a few moments on you - by reading your message or taking your call, not just by giving - you should be honored.  Thank people for even bothering to pay attention.  Be generous in thanking - and in listening.

2. BEING GENEROUS WITH OUR INFORMATION:  If you have really useful information, share it first and ask for support after.  You could require money and registration to get valuable information from your organization, but increasingly online users will just go elsewhere if you present that barrier.  Give it away and people will give.  I truly believe this.  Just look at public radio.  How many listeners would they have if you had to pay to tune in, like cable TV?  We give away loads of free trainings and information here at Network for Good—and wouldn’t you know it, a lot of the people who get things for free decide to become paying customers of our other services.

3. BEING GENEROUS WITH GIVING CREDIT:  Blog reader Zan of the Pride Foundation’s annual report is called the Gratitude Report.  What an amazing display of generosity - instead of grandstanding about how great their organization is, they put the spotlight on their supporters.  That is generosity at its finest.  Give credit freely and lavishly - it feels good and it all comes back to you, really.

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