As much as we wish warm weather would stick around, summer is winding down, vacations have been taken, and a new school year is about to begin. If you’re involved in fundraising for a nonprofit, you’re probably looking ahead to the next few months as you prepare fundraising campaigns to meet end of the year deadlines. Nearly 1/3 of annual giving happens in the holiday month of December. A year-end appeal is critical for achieving fundraising goals. It’s never too early to plan your holiday fundraising strategy. One of the most basic questions to ask is, what format should I be using?
Fundraising at its core is like any other marketing effort, in that it relies upon making a connection with your donors. Since 70% of Americans find direct mail communication more personal than digital forms of communication, a personalized mailer is an obvious choice for achieving maximum donor impact. Millennials like direct mail too, with over 90% considering it a reliable source of information. You can be sure a direct mail appeal will allow you to reach a wide audience.
As a business owner, staying in touch with your customers is the key to solidifying vital relationships and growing your business. You want to be able to have a conversation and convey your brand so they’ll return to you for their needs, rather than go to your competitors. But penning a personal message to a customer (and being able to anticipate when you might need to) can consume a lot of time.
Marketing is a core function of any business or nonprofit organization. It should be high on the list of your resource investments. But that doesn’t mean it has to consume all of your work time. An effective way to keep communication open while consuming less time is through the use of marketing automation.
Working for a nonprofit, you want to do as much good as possible. One of the most effective ways for nonprofits to achieve larger development goals is with a capital campaign. A capital campaign is a period of heavy fundraising efforts. Nonprofit organizations work to raise a significant amount of money within a specified period of time. Often this kind of campaign is used in order to raise funds to acquire, build, or expand a facility, or to set up an endowment. A large-scale campaign like this can be the only way for an organization to achieve goals that are vital to its efforts.
Targeting your efforts is essential to ensure you meet your goals within the time period specified. Unlike more general fundraising efforts, capital campaigns are specific. They require defined target benchmarks as you move through the campaign timeline. Capital campaigns give your supporters a specific, concrete goal that their dollars will go directly towards funding.
As I waited in line at an event this weekend, my gaze settled on the back of a man standing a bit ahead of me. His black shirt featured the intriguing name and logo of a brewing company I hadn’t heard of before. I was instantly curious—what’s the story here?
I lost track of this individual in the crowd. But his shirt stuck with me. I did a search for the brand on Google, and decided to bring along some of this beer next time I get together with friends. Without any commercials, traditional advertisements, or over-the-top marketing campaigns, this brewery earned itself a customer.
If you look around your desk right now, it’s likely you’ll find a promotional product or two. Any item printed with the logo of an organization you support or company you do business with falls into this category. These promotional products may be a part of your daily routine. Consider the coffee mug you carry to work, the pen you write notes with, or the shirt you wear to the gym.
Incorporating Brand Awareness in Your Business Strategy
As a business owner or manager, you have a lot on your plate. Every day, you have multiple people and projects competing for your attention. You have to ensure customer and employee satisfaction, generate new business, fulfill client needs, and consider potential business and marketing ventures. From the small details to the major decisions, you have a hand in each and every part of what makes your company run smoothly.
An essential piece of marketing your business that you’ll want to consider is creating brand awareness. In addition to ensuring customers know your company exists and the kinds of services and products you offer, brand awareness also includes consciousness about who your company is beyond the basics. The image your business portrays includes the quality of your services, the way you handle customer inquiries, and your company’s personality. Are you a start-up technology company focused on youth and innovation? An established construction business proud of time-tested methods and your connection to the community? Or something in between? Continue reading “Wearing Your Brand Awareness”