- Wed, May 19 2010
- Filed under: Marketing essentials
The Foundation Center has released Philanthropy Annual: 2009 Review, the third edition of its yearly compendium highlighting the news, issues, people, organizations, and giving trends shaping the field of philanthropy.
It includes an interview with me from last year. Philanthropy News Digest spoke to me about how nonprofit marketing has evolved in an era of social media and ubiquitous connectivity and what organizations can do to better market their causes and raise funds in these uncertain economic times.I was asked what’s new and not under the sun in the world of nonprofit marketing and here’s what I said. I still think it holds true. Do you?
PND: Your book was published in 2006. Has nonprofit marketing changed over the past few years?
KA : In some ways nothing has changed, and in some ways everything has changed. The fundamentals of how you motivate people to take action are timeless, so in that regard nothing has changed. Human beings
still want to feel good, still want a measure of psychic satisfaction when they support a nonprofit or a charitable cause. They want to feel that they are seen and heard in the world. They want to connect to causes they care about. And they want to feel they can trust the organizations they support. Those basic things are never going to change. What has changed significantly, however, are the technologies we now have at our disposal to connect us to audiences and spur people to take action. For instance, online fundraising — though still a relatively small percentage of total giving — is gaining in popularity. That’s great because people tend to give for deeply personal and emotional reasons, so if you can tap into someone’s emotions and make it easy for them to act on the impulse to give, that’s a powerful combination. Social media sites are also great tools because they take word-of-mouth marketing — one of the great drivers of charitable giving — and put it on steroids. It is now possible through sites like Facebook and Twitter to reach a huge number of people very efficiently. And those sites also function like a big focus group, in that they enable you to listen to lots of conversations and collect a lot of information about how people perceive your organization and your issue. Social media is a wonderful research tool and a wonderful
tool for connecting with others who care about your issue or cause.