Saturday, November 8, 2014

Nonprofit Marketers: Cause Marketing is here to stay!

With online fundraising not reaching the targets nonprofits expect, cause marketing can help make the difference. From an Integrated Marketing Communications perspective, cause marketing is a  two way street. People and businesses are not expected only to donate and not get anything in return,  but with cause marketing, they get an unlimited access to an entirely new database and audience. As graduate students in Northwestern University's Medill Integrated Marketing Communications [IMC] program, here are two articles which address Cause Marketing and its importance to nonprofit marketers today. 

Nonprofits get an F for online fundraising. 
The article written by John Godfrey accurately covers some of the very basic but grave mistakes made by nonprofit marketers which drive donors away and leave them feeling unappreciated. Donors are inundated with a slew of presentations from different nonprofit organizations. 

Another fact for nonprofit marketers to consider: Consultants Dunham and Company looked at 151 nonprofit websites and found most were not optimized for mobile and many expected would-be donors to click through at least three links to make a donation and finally, when it comes to thanking donors, the majority could not be bothered thanking the donor by name. 

This article written by reporter Sarah Gantz of Baltimore Business Journal highlights how cause marketing should be considered more frequently by nonprofit marketers because of the various benefits both the businesses and nonprofits can receive from it. Cake Fundraiser, a startup is developing a virtual marketplace where businesses and nonprofits can connect for cause marketing campaigns. 

From my review of these two articles and my work as a graduate student at Northwestern University, here are three important takeaways for Nonprofit marketers:
  • Give to Get: Give your donors, stakeholders, supporters a valuable return and you will have their consistent support. It is key that what the stakeholders receive is of value to them and not solely the nonprofit.
  • Focused Targeting: Selecting your right partner and business is key if this needs to be a long term relationship. Common aspirations, goals and wants should be discussed and prioritized.
  • Engage: Tell stories, show the difference donations have made. Very often (like article one points out), donors receive only a thank you, a late thank you note, or no thank you at all. Nonprofits need to add value and engage with the donors. How has the donation made a significant difference?
Nonprofits often focus all their efforts solely on fundraising and asking donors directly for donations, it is sometimes easy for the organization to get lost in the clutter of people ‘needing money.’ Set yourself apart. Identify your brand, identify what your stakeholders desire and how your brand/nonprofit can fulfill that desire.

Karishma Gundewadi: Marketing communications professional with five years of international experience, primarily in public relations, corporate communications, crisis management and recruitment. Specializing in social media and content marketing and a great passion for helping nonprofits find their one voice. I am currently pursuing a master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University’s Medill School. Connect with me  on Twitter (@Kari_gundewadi) and LinkedIn


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