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Nonprofit Marketing Wisdom Guide

Lori Halley 02 March 2012 1 comments

Are you curious about what your non-profit colleagues and friends are saying about their experiences with branding, email marketing, media relations, websites and more? 

Nancy Schwartz’s recently released Nonprofit Marketing Wisdom Guide 2012 offers “engaging first-hand accounts of marketing techniques that work”  from 219 non-profit colleagues who face the same challenges you do.

Each year Nancy (GettingAttention.org) creates this guide – offering “easy-to-scan content, indexed by topic or tactic, with each wisdom element attributed to its contributor.”

After browsing this year's guide, here are some of my favourite quotes: 


I learned that to stay even in a sagging economy you only have to turn up the volume on one thing---the amount of donor love you pour without restraint into your direct mail. And you know what? Never turn that volume down. Tom Ahern, Ahern Communications, Ink.

Biggest lesson: That telling a compelling, personal story and linking it to how a donor can make a difference with a gift is a much better strategy than quoting all of the statistics in the world. That, and making sure your thank-you is prompt and restates the impact of the donation cited in your original request letter. Claudia Place, Development Manager, Grand Rapids Children’s Museum

Message Development

Authenticity Rules
It may seem obvious but be genuine in all of your communications with people. Tell your story with warmth and a bit of humor and you will connect with more people. I don’t know if that means you will sell more, but I do believe that it means people will care more about what you do. Jean Colvin, Communications Director, Wisconsin Youth Company 

Social Media: 

Relationships Are the Heart of Good Marketing
A social media “presence” is nothing without dialogue. Work harder to launch and nurture client, donor and stakeholder conversations on your Facebook page, in your Twitter feeds, and on your site. Nina Rubin, Director of Parent Advocacy, GA Charter Schools Association

Staff and Leadership

Build Skills at Every Level
Make professional development for managerial and professional staff a priority of the organization and set aside funding and time for same. This helps build a strong, welltrained and supportive team that makes the organization stronger. The best marketing strategy for any successful organization is to do a great job at what the organization is supposed to be doing. Cathy Spackman, Board Chair, Youville Recovery Residence for Women

If you’d like to (in Nancy’s words) “capitalize on [the] smarts, effort and experiences" of other non-profit colleaugues, you can download the Nonprofit Marketing Wisdom Guide 2012here.

And if you're creating a marketing plan, check out ElevationWeb's marketing plan for nonprofits.

Do you have any non-profit or membership marketing wisdom to share?  Let us know in the comments below.

Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Posted by Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Published Friday, 02 March 2012 at 9:35 AM


  • Nancy Schwartz said:

    Monday, 05 March 2012 at 10:13 AM

    Thanks much for spreading the word on this rich peer-to-peer resource!

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