Last month, Opinions 4 Good attended the 2017 American Marketing Association Nonprofit Marketing Conference in Washington, D.C., where we participated in various breakout sessions that were both insightful and inspirational. Each session taught a valuable lesson about marketing in relation to non-profits.
One session included John Vranas, Chief Strategy Officer from Make-A-Wish International. This session particularly resonated with Op4G based on John’s professional experience working with three of our non-profit partners - Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and Make-A-Wish. We strive to learn more about how we can build stronger partnerships with our current non-profits as well as educate them on continued marketing opportunities and trends.
Top 5 marketing tips gathered from the Make-A-Wish session included:
- Experience a cause for your organization
- Develop a strategy for a digital age not a digital strategy
- Tell fewer stories but make them better
- Happiness is the most universal language
- Create an experience of achieving the impossible
Experience a cause for your organization
Take your newly established cause and make it part of your organization’s mission. When principles are repeated over time and efforts remain steady, your cause will have potential to grow into a movement. It’s important to realize that with limited money and resources, your mission may not be successful. Be sure you’re supported by a strong foundation of people and your goals have the proper resources to withhold.
Develop a strategy for a digital age not a digital strategy
This generation needs to be provided with the right opportunities. You should understand your audience and what means of communication they’re most responsive to. The digital age is fast and constantly changing. You want to focus on being agile; moving away from old business models when necessary and rapidly building new ones. Strategies should be monitored frequently to sustain evolving technology, consumer behavior, and competitors.
Tell fewer stories but make them better
Produce the right content at the right time. It can be difficult to determine how you will decrease the content you produce, but keep in mind what your audience is looking for and what they respond well to. Take time to listen to your volunteers. Work with them to determine what content is effective because ultimately, they are the storytellers. Build a strong support system that will be there to share your content and distribute it beyond your reach.
Happiness is the most universal language
Whether you’re creating happiness or sharing a moment of happiness with someone, there’s nothing more satisfying than this connection. Happiness is more than an emotion. It’s a state of being that’s understood and received well by all. Happiness allows us to connect with people on a content level and have more understanding. Using anger or sadness in your content is not always an effective way to get a message across. Find the positive of each situation and relay information in an uplifting manner to connect with your supporters.
Create an experience of achieving the impossible
You have a mission and a need for change, you’ve designed a process to achieve this goal, and now it’s time to focus on the overall impact your organization is creating. What is happening after your mission is met? Are you proving your actions and efforts to be useful? Volunteers want to know they are making a difference and impacting those involved. Exceed your goals, share the results, and present what’s ahead.
Opinions 4 Good integrates these five tips into our 300+ non-profit partnerships. We aim to strengthen these relationships through educating each partner and providing them the necessary tools to reach their goals. Specifically, our Non-Profit Coordinators continuously use these tips to determine the mission of each organization, set goals for fundraising and promotional opportunities, and create effective marketing materials to relay their messages. Following these tips and partnering with Opinions 4 Good will ensure success for your non-profit!