Fundraising & Your Nonprofit Board
Fundraising is one of the primary responsibilities of your nonprofit Board. How is that going for your agency? Hopefully, fantastic! But if you are like most nonprofits, no matter where you are in organization size or life cycle, more than likely, as a nonprofit Executive Director or Development Officer, you feel challenged when it comes to getting your Board "on board" with fundraising.
Some Board members embrace fundraising and are natural askers. They feel comfortable sharing their work as a Board member, communicating the organization's mission, and the agency's progress with their network. And, they are comfortable asking friends and associates to financially support the cause. But, for many, this is not the case.
Often, Board members joined the Board because they are passionate about the mission. They want to help, share their expertise, and make a difference. What they are not comfortable with is asking for money, and sometimes they cringe at even talking about themselves and their work for the organization.
Six Very Simple Tips to Empower Your Board As Fundraisers
Morgan Taylor is the CEO & Founder of MTaylor Marketing, a branding and nonprofit fundraising firm. Morgan's passion is using her 30+ years of marketing experience to provide fresh, inspired, results driven branding, inbound marketing, and design services to power your growth. MTM brings an entrepreneurial spirit and the desire to create value and success through positive impact.
We are a visual society. We respond to graphics, movement, quick information and sound bytes. Movement, sound and graphics capture your customer's attention more effectively than any static image.
And the good news is that video creation is more cost effective to create and to use than ever before.
While videos are effective, you still need to be sure that your messaging is in alignment with your brand, and that you follow some basic, good marketing principles.
The Power of Video Marketing
- Video is growing rapidly and projections state that by 2019 80% of all web traffic will be video.
- Marketing emails that contain a video boost click through rates by 200-300%.
- Landing pages with videos have 80% more conversions.
- 90% of customers state that video was influential in their purchase decision.
- YouTube reports that mobile video consumption grows 100% every year.
- Customers that watch a video online are 64% more likely to purchase.
- 87% of online marketers are using video in their digital marketing strategy.
- 1/3 of an individual's online time is spent watching videos (told you so!).
- Almost 35% of online ad spending by marketers is for video ads.
- 59% of company decision makers would rather watch a video than read the content.
"A single minute of video content is the equivalent of 1.8 million words." -- James McQuivey, digital marketing expert.
Benefits of Video Marketing
Studies show video content is remembered longer. This makes it a powerful tool for presenting your brand and communicating your message. Hubspot states that 80% of customers remember a video they watched in the last month. How many will recall a static ad?
Video content draws in your customer. It captures their attention, and holds it longer. But it also is effective at driving potential customers to your website. Hubspot reports that 39% of decision makers contact a marketer after viewing their branded video.
Six Tips & Tools for Making Your Videos
- Keep your video relevant and on point with your brand image, voice and tone.
- Keep it short and succinct - get your point across clearly and quickly.
- Include a Call to Action. Make sure you let your customer know what you want their next step to be.
- Watch our short video where we share tips and some great free tools to create videos for your business.
Contact us for help creating effective videos as part of your branding and marketing strategy.
Morgan Taylor is the CEO & Founder of MTaylor Marketing, a branding and nonprofit fundraising firm. Morgan's passion is using her 30+ years of marketing experience to create successful marketing and branding solutions for enterprises of all sizes. She specializes in working with for profit and nonprofit enterprises with an entrepreneurial spirit and the desire to positively impact their customers.
What is a Buyer Persona & Do I Need to Create One for My Business?
It is important for every business to take the time to create Buyer Personas. We provide simple steps to create Buyer Personas, and at this end of this article we provide a free template to help you build your first Buyer Personas.
What Is a Buyer Persona?
This description should be as detailed as possible to describe your ideal target prospects. These descriptions guide your future marketing messages, marketing channels.
Does This Apply to My Business?
Creating Buyer Personas is a foundational tool used in every part of your marketing: branding, inbound marketing plan, blogs, social media, communications plans.
- Who are you talking to?
- Where do they live, work, and play?
- What are their demographics?
And, you can easily determine if you are you using the optimal communications channels to reach your ideal customer?
This process saves frustration, wasted effort, and possibly wasted money, when you take the time to create your Buyer Personas.
Additionally, sharing your enterprise’s Buyer Personas across your organization ensures alignment on priorities, targets, and even product and service development.
Ultimately, using Buyer Personas improves your ability to focus your organizational efforts in attracting and serving your optimal customers.
What Is Included in a Buyer Persona?
This information should be based on market research and your own inherent knowledge of your current and past best customers.
Include in this description demographics, behaviors, motivations, challenges, and goals of this fictional persona. Describe where this optimal buyer works, lives, what publications they probably read, where they socialize, who they report to, who reports to them, how they like to interact and communicate with vendors and their friends.
Select a photograph to represent this fictional optimal customer. And, give them a name. For example, you might have Mary the Marketer as one of your personas.
How many personas should you create? As many as you need. You may have different personas for different services or products, or even for the same service category.
An example of a Negative Persona is someone that meets most of your parameters for being a good fit, but lacks the budget, timing, staff, etc. or other specific limiting factors that prevents them from becoming a customer.
Lifecycle Stage of Your Prospect and How It Relates to Your Buyer Personas
The Buyer’s Journey Lifecycle Stages are: Awareness | Consideration | Decision.
The type of messaging you utilize differs for each stage. Knowing these two factors, the Buyer Persona and their Lifecycle Stage, lets you create very specific, effective, targeted content to your Buyer Persona.
This process matches your messages and Calls to Action to the Buyer Persona and Lifecycle Stage of your prospect.
Download our Buyer Persona Template as a guide in creating your personas. Have fun and let us know how it goes. MTaylor Marketing helps businesses of all sizes build branding and inbound marketing programs.
Morgan Taylor is the CEO & Founder of MTaylor Marketing, a branding and nonprofit fundraising firm. Morgan's passion is using her 30+ years of marketing experience to create successful marketing and branding solutions for enterprises of all sizes. She specializes in working with for profit and nonprofit enterprises with an entrepreneurial spirit.
Morgan Taylor is the CEO & Founder of MTaylor Marketing, a branding and nonprofit fundraising firm. Morgan's passion is using her 30+ years of marketing experience to create successful marketing and branding solutions for enterprises of all sizes. She specializes in working with for profit and nonprofit enterprises with an entrepreneurial spirit. www.mtaylormarketing.com
Marketing for the nonprofit is about story telling. Every story, communication, fundraising letter, website, social media platform is enhanced with professional looking graphics, designs, and images. These free tools will help you put together powerful, attractive messaging and each is very easy to use.
Consistent Branding across all your marketing channels from social media images, reports, marketing collateral, to communications pieces is an important component for your nonprofit. These tools keep your work looking tip top and brand consistent.
This is my personal, all-time favorite free design platform. It is easy to use, has many resources and elements, and automatically sizes your graphics to meet standard social media sizes along with templates for presentations, flyers, magazines, etc.
CANVA provides pre-made templates that you can customize or use for design ideas and inspiration.
The website offers an abundance of fonts, design elements, graphs, and very easy editing options, including a mobile app, so you can edit and create content on the go. They also have extremely affordable elements for purchase as well, if you can’t find what you want in the free category.
PicMonkey is a free online photo editor. There are paid versions and generous free trial periods. It allows you to add filters, frames, text, and effects to images.
Pixabay offers over 1,080,000 high quality photos, illustrations, and vector graphics, no attribution required, and all free. There is always new content being uploaded, and you can search by type of photograph or content.
Word Press offers free web hosting for nonprofits. They have many nonprofit themed web design templates. You can also drop other themes into the WordPress platform, but admittedly that can sometimes make it harder to navigate. It provides integrated features such as sponsor sections and donation buttons too. In it’s basic form it is easy to navigate and edit. And, there many, many plugins for use with WordPress to customize your website.
Yoast is a Search Engine Optimization plugin tool for Wordpress sites. This simple, easy to use tool provides immediate feedback with a ‘red, yellow, green’ button system to evaluate your content for keyword and search engine optimization. Yoast grades your content for SEO and Readability. For me it feels almost like having your teacher grade your paper, while you are writing it. And, it is very gratifying to turn all those buttons green! It helps you optimize each critical area while creating easy to read, SEO friendly blogs and content. This tool helps you increase your search engine results without being an SEO expert.
Every website should have Google Analytics, in my opinion. This free tool by Google provides content and feedback on who is visiting your website, how long they were there, what pages they went to, how many times each unique visitor was on the site.....as well as comprehensive demographic analytics.
If you are a data junkie like me, this is a gold mine of data for any marketer. Google Analytics is very easy to install on your website, and it works in companion with Google Adwords. More on that great tool for nonprofits in the free Advertising tools section.
SurveyMonkey is a free online survey software tool. There are paid versions that you can upgrade to as well. They offer survey templates written by experts that you can create in minutes, publish, and view results graphically in real time.
Nonprofits often need an easy survey tool, and this is one to get you started.
DATABASE & DONOR MANAGEMENT
SALESFORCE for Nonprofits
Salesforce is a very sophisticated, top of market CRM app that was originally designed for business and sales. They now have a free Nonprofit CRM version. What is a CRM? The definition of CRM is customer relationship management. This app lets you store and manage prospect and donor information, like contact info, companies, leads, and relationships, as well as donor information and giving history, in one central location. It also has an incredible relationship mapping tool – very useful for nonprofits.
The challenge with Salesforce is that it is an investment of time and effort to learn to properly use it. You must then train your staff to feel comfortable with it and to take the time to enter the necessary information to fully benefit from all the incredible components of this CRM. It is worth the effort, if you can get everyone on board.
MailChimp is a marketing automation platform and email marketing service. It is free and offers up to 12,000 email sends free. They have design templates, audience segmentation tools, and data analysis reports. This is great for sending professional e- newsletters, donor letters, e-invitations and announcements to your database and tracking the opens and clicks.
Hubspot offers a tremendous amount of free training and communication templates and tools that should be a part of your nonprofit marketing toolkit. They also offer a free CRM platform. If you have a question on best practices or need help producing specific communications pieces check into Hubspot’s tutorials, templates and guides. Your biggest challenge will be finding the time to enjoy and absorb all the information.
GOOGLE ADWORDS GRANTS
Did you know that Google provides Google Adwords Grants (read free Google advertising) of $10,000 per month to nonprofits? You must complete a very brief questionnaire to qualify. Let’s be honest, Google Adwords is not the simplest platform to work within. It can be challenging, but if you can persevere through the learning process, you can benefit with free monthly Google Adwords for your nonprofit, events, special campaigns, etc.
Of course, your nonprofit has established and is maintaining a well-developed, active presence on the primary social media platforms, right? Talk about free! You can reach thousands of people, engage your core communities, develop and attract new partners through your social media sites.
We are talking about Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest.
You now know about design tools, like CANVA, to create awesome, branded graphics, and empower your nonprofit with compelling stories and connections.
If you need help with best practices for robust social media marketing check out Social Media Examiner (www.socialmediaexaminer.com) and don’t forget Hubspot (www.hubspot.com) for great guides and templates.
These are just a few of the wonderful free tools I have discovered and use every day. I hope you find them useful. And, I wish you joyful, creative branding and marketing experiences, as you design your nonprofit’s brand awareness and community engagement.
Morgan Taylor is the CEO & Founder of MTaylor Marketing, a branding and nonprofit fundraising firm. Morgan's passion is using her 30+ years of marketing experience to create successful marketing and branding solutions for nonprofits. As a former nonprofit Development Director building a small agency, she understands the challenges nonprofits face in successfully marketing their organizations.
We are happy to share this with you as a pdf! MTM Color Infographic
Fundraising Fun... these are the events nonprofits produce to raise money. But peek behind the curtain and ask any nonprofit staff member, and more than likely they will say events are not so much fun to produce.
Events are an an age old component of fundraising for nonprofits ... we are all familiar with the galas and golf tournaments. Many an Executive Director and Board have questioned... is this even worth it? Maybe. Maybe not.
A poorly executed event can be a human resource and revenue drain. Or worse, portray a tired, awkward image of the organization. That will ripple forward into every area of your fundraising.
It's a fair question to evaluate an event's value relative to effort and actual revenues generated, especially for smaller nonprofits. Continuing the same old thing, the same old way, may not be the answer.
Should it Stay or Should it Go?
When making this evaluation, do so objectively, not based on the personal preference of one or two people on the staff or board.
Evaluate each event objectively:
- Is it profitable?
- What are the revenue trends?
- Are we attracting new audiences that become engaged with the organization?
- Does the event provide valuable media opportunities?
- Is it a unique platform for new, existing, or a specialized segment of supporters to engage with the charity?
- What is the drain on staff relative to rewards? Consider alternate solutions to minimize this.
- Are we utilizing the board and volunteers appropriately to support the event?
- Does the board support this event? Lack of support from the top will squelch an event's capacity for success.
Consider the Impact & Side Benefits
When strategically executed and well produced, fundraising events are valuable tools for a nonprofit. They are platforms to create benefits far beyond the revenues generated.
Events can create a dynamic, positive energy to increase engagement with existing and new supporters. Fundraisers are an opportunity for media exposure and coverage, reaching an expanded audience. The event provides a pathway to reach a unique demographic that otherwise wouldn't engage with the organization.
Reducing Your Event Anxiety
Events can pose a scary, strategic risk, especially new events or 'tired' events.
Look at the organization's bigger picture and consider these steps to reduce the risk and toll on staff:
- Invest in a professional event producer with a successful track record to help ensure the event's success. This frees key staff members and agency ambassadors to engage with the attendees. Yes, there is considerable expense here, but free doesn't always deliver the desired outcomes to attract the audience and generate revenues. And, no that doesn't alleviate the board and ambassadors from soliciting support or selling tickets. On the contrary...it allows them to focus only on that.
- Identify and tap those great "askers". Create volunteer, board, and key patron committees to secure underwriting and donations appropriate to the event. This minimizes the financial exposure and helps eliminate burnout and increases event sustainability.
- Plan ahead....give yourself a great runway to succeed. Yes, you are busy with not enough time, but you need to start the day after the last event with planning for next year.
There is a formula for increasing your success quotient!