Well, I am embarrased that it's been nearly a months since my last post. Honestly, I've been sooooo busy doing the work that it's been difficult to find time to write about the work. That's good, I suppose, but I still want to fulfill my mission for this blog and increase your ability to market for good.
I have a backlog of things to write about but one thing that recently came across my radar screen was a podcastCurrence and Associates. The podcast is an early glimpse into the AMA's Non Profit Marketing Conference.
As someone who has been marketing non profits for decades, I find Cynthia's comments spot on. Not only does she understand the history of where non profits have been, and what's worked, but she is savvy enough to know that things have changed and new rules are in play. The podcast is a worthy use of 18-minutes of your time.
Something that specifically caught my attention was what Cynthia said, that we need "a new speak to get peoples' attention." In my own work recently, we've been hit by a deluge of sponsorship requests by very worthy organizations. And many of these organizations, unfortunately, have approached us for funding with the message that, "You've been a loyal sponsor for many years and we continue to rely upon your support." While that may be true for the past, it does not take into account the realities of today's market demands.
No longer can non profits rely on the "it's the right thing to do" approach when seeking support. In my position I am responsible for top line revenue generation and bottom-line impact. I have to show a return on all my marketing investments (ROMI), and those organizations that get my attention are the ones that use a new speak -- not relying on the old approach but DEMONSTRATE to me how sponsoring them will improve my business.
This is a new skill -- this new speak -- that must be learned by non profits. And the risk, according to Currence, is not just financial, "but that the penalty is going to be a loss in trust, a loss in brand credibility, and that will have an impact in volunteerism, money, and advocacy -- it is the most far reaching damage that can occur."
If you want to learn more about the AMA Foundation Non Profit Marketing Conference in Chicago, IL, click here.
-- David Kinard, PCM