By Joe Waters, Guest Contributor, Selfish Giving
I’m busy planning for next year. There are new projects, new speaking gigs and always lots and lots of writing and content creation. I love it! I hope your plans for the new year are also energizing.
What isn’t so energizing is helping my nonprofit friends plan for the new year. Seriously, these folks need a visit from the Ghost of Christmas Future. There are some things nonprofit cause marketers have to STOP doing and other things they have to START doing.
I could write a book on the subject–and write a whole other book for corporate cause marketers–but here are the three things that top my “must do” list for nonprofit cause marketers in 2016.
1. Build a Better Mousetrap
Stop: Expecting cause marketing to build your brand and to attract new corporate partners. Cause marketing doesn’t build brand, it reflects it. You need a better way to attract new partners.
Start: Using inbound and content marketing to create a magnet that attracts all types of funding, including corporate giving. I’m not talking about advertising–one-way communication that people ignore. I’m talking about producing blog posts, video, email newsletters, e-books, white papers, Slideshares, free reports, infographics and other types of content.
For savvy nonprofits, this strategy isn’t new and it builds the brand power that attracts new partners.
For example, fundraising powerhouse Charity: Water isn’t your traditional nonprofit organization. Among other things, it doesn’t do direct mail. Instead, it relies on content and word-of-mouth marketing to share its mission with the world and to raise money.
The results have been impressive. Dozens of companies support the nonprofit. Last year, heavy equipment maker Caterpillar donated $5 million, and the nonprofit boasts many in-kind and cause marketing partnerships.
2. Go Where the Money Is
Stop: Targeting the minimal dollars that companies have to donate to causes. This includes the money from percentage-of-sales programs that are company funded.
For example, the sale of a product from which a percentage benefits your nonprofit will raise only a modest sum. Yes, there are exceptions. But those exceptions are large, national programs and not the everyday programs most nonprofits and businesses execute.
Start: Focusing on programs that target the company’s consumers and employees. You’ll raise more money!
This can be done offline or online. For example, the quick-serve chain Wendy’s has raised millions of dollars at the register by selling coupon books to diners. Via email and social media, Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt sold 500 t-shirts to consumers and raised an additional $2,500 for No Kid Hungry. (Full disclosure: No Kid Hungry is a For Momentum client).
I’m not suggesting that you ignore the dozens of other cause marketing tactics I’ve written about for years. But you should begin with the most lucrative tactic and build a strategy around it. That’s my next point.
3. Focus on Cause Marketing That Is Integrated and Multifaceted
Stop: Pitching, creating, executing and touting one-dimensional cause marketing campaigns. JUST doing charity pinups. JUST doing a hashtag fundraiser. Or JUST doing a cause product doesn’t cut it anymore.
Start: Pitching, creating, executing and touting integrated programs that businesses want and that will raise more money for your cause.
Take the example of Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt, which supported No Kid Hungry in September. To reach its goal of raising $100,000 to fund one million meals for hungry kids, Orange Leaf launched a three-pronged effort at its 300+ locations. The campaign included two in-store cause promotions and an online fundraiser. The combination of offline and online fundraising paid off! Orange Leaf customers raised $132,911 to feed hungry children.
Looking for more cause marketing success in 2016? Work on becoming a stronger magnet for corporate support, focus on the most lucrative cause marketing tactics and incorporate secondary tactics that surround the donor and maximize fundraising.