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board members Archives - Syneka Marketing

Complimentary Consultations to help the not-for-profit sector re-define marketing

By | Advice, Advice for Businesses, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, Presentations | No Comments

We offered complimentary marketing consultations during the conference and it was great to see the overwhelming response, with our sessions being oversubscribed. While each organisation has its own unique challenges, common areas of focus included:

  • The need to segment stakeholders and to understand their outcomes. Many not-for-profit organisations view their end-clients as a target market, but omit the need to reach prospective volunteers, board members, government, funding organisations and others.
  • Consideration of intermediaries and partner organisations. Many not-for-profit organisations have limited budgets, meaning broadcast communications are often beyond their reach. Instead, there is a need to form partnerships and explore intermediary organisations to reach relevant stakeholders.
  • Marketing metrics are not defined, leading to lack of measurability and confusion over inputs, outputs and outcomes. Website visitations, or attendance at information sessions are inputs, donation enquiries are an output and the actual donation is the outcome. Organisations need to understand the decision making journey (customer journey) and the sequence that is required to generate action.
  • Lack of marketing governance. Roles between board, management, staff and external parties are ill-defined, hampering the ability to measure performance and establish strategic direction.

These challenges are shared by both businesses and not-for-profit organisations, demonstrating the ongoing need to re-define marketing so it returns to its core of being led by strategic insights and not by execution.

Thank you to the participants of these sessions and for the fantastic feedback we received. We hope that the attendees at the National Volunteering Conference are able to build their marketing capacity and demonstrate the value they provide.

The 2013 National Conference on Volunteering

By | Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, News, Presentations, Resources | No Comments

The National Conference on Volunteering is a peak annual event for volunteer involving organisations across Australia. The event was organised by Volunteering Australia and hosted by Volunteering SA&NT.

Our Managing Director Alex prepares for his presentation at the 2013 National Conference on Volunteering

Our Managing Director Alex prepares for his presentation at the 2013 National Conference on Volunteering

The Conference had four key themes:

  • Lead – to encourage inspirational leadership
  • Partner – collaboration to achieve results
  • Build – creating innovation
  • Sustain – strengthening foundations

During the conference I co-presented a presentation with Julie Pettett, the CEO Of Volunteering Western Victoria. Putting Research into Practice – the Marketing and Rebranding of Wimmera Volunteers. The presentation discussed the importance of marketing and the experiences of Volunteering Western Victoria in re-engaging with its communities.

Volunteering Western Victoria, was formerly known as Wimmera Volunteers and had remained a static organisation, despite the changing nature of volunteering. There was a need to re-engage the community and to broaden its presence outside of Horsham in Western Victoria.

Alex co-presented with Julie Pettett the CEO of Volunteering Western Victoria

Alex co-presented with Julie Pettett the CEO of Volunteering Western Victoria

Syneka Marketing assisted Volunteering Western Victoria by developing a marketing plan that identified a future direction for the organisation. The marketing plan identified four goals supported in the businesses plan:

  • Be an effective peak organisation
  • Grow access to resources
  • Build capacity in the volunteer and community sector
  • Organisation development

These goals were supported by two further priorities identified in the marketing plan:

  • Diversify and Sustain Funding Support
  • Rebrand Wimmera Volunteers

A business plan identifies what an organisation wants to achieve and a marketing plan looks how to achieve this vision.  A marketing plan then considers the key messages and marketing tools that can reach the required stakeholders.

Diversifying income became a priority, due to the need to decrease dependence on government revenue.  The marketing plan identified business partnerships, the introduction of membership, fundraising and philanthropic programs that could add new income sources. These strategies supported the business plan, with membership complementing the desire to be a peak organisation and partnerships, enabling the development of new programs.

The rebranding of Wimmera Volunteers arose due to the need to position the organisation as a peak body and to re-engage with its community.  A new name, visual identity, logo and marketing materials were developed in six weeks, to launch the new brand at the 2012 Annual General Meeting.

Volunteering Western Victoria

Volunteering Western Victoria

The name Volunteering Western Victoria was selected, since it clearly defined the purpose of the organisation and the role it has in supporting volunteering across Western Victoria.  The tagline  Empowering Communities, Supporting Volunteers, reinforced the impact that the organisation has a local and individual level.

Not-for-profit organisations have limited marketing budgets and a result names should be clearly identifiable to avoid the need to explain the purpose of the organisation.

The new visual identity and brand for Volunteering Western Victoria

The new visual identity and brand for Volunteering Western Victoria

Marketing within not-for-profit organisations requires the ability to reach numerous stakeholders. There is a need for marketing messages that provide a consistent narrative, while being tailored to the needs of individual stakeholders. A not-for-profit organisation needs to not only reach its clients, but also government, business partners, volunteers, other organisations, board members and internal staff.

The aim of the rebrand was to utilise the new name and tagline, as well as modernising the image of the organisation. The rebranding was accompanied by the design of new marketing materials, including brochures, factsheets, posters and website.

The presentation was extremely well received and I would like to thank the many attendees for their interest in the journey undertaken by Volunteering Western Victoria.

Alex and Julie answering questions during the presentation

Alex and Julie answering questions during the presentation

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Third Sector Magazine: Activate your community through social media

By | Advice, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, News | No Comments

Third Sector Magazine has published our advice on engaging communities through social media. Alex will be discussing social media as a speaker at the Third Sector Expo on Monday the 15th of April, for details please visit www.thirdsectorevents.com.au.

The website Humanities 21 which is integrated with Facebook, Twitter and other social media tools

The website Humanities 21 which is integrated with Facebook, Twitter and other social media tools

Activate your community through social media

Is your organisation considering social media, but not sure where to start? Or has it recently created a Facebook page and Twitter feed only to be underwhelmed by the results? Syneka Marketing provides seven tips to help your organisation strengthen its social media presence and re-engage its communities online.

Know where to start

Social media is the collective name for a range of tools that enhance interactivity and discussion, such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest. Each of these tools has a slightly different purpose and audience, but they are all designed to encourage participation.

Know what you want to achieve

Success begins with strategy and this is no different for social media. Decide the specific outcomes you want to achieve from your social media efforts, such as:

  • Raising awareness
  • Encouraging volunteers
  • Increasing donations.

Once you know what you want to achieve, you can consider the messages and tools that can be used to promote these objectives.

Develop a social media policy

Social media policies help to identify the people who will have access to social media accounts and will be authorised to provide official announcements. Other individuals can respond to comments and interact, as well as support the authorised spokespeople.

Policies should enable board members, staff and volunteers to support the organisation’s social media presence.

Each social media tool has its own audience and key strengths.

Each social media tool has its own audience and key strengths.

Engage and interact

When creating a new social media account, encourage your members or supporters to follow your organisation. In addition, promote your social media presence through your website, newsletter and other communication tools. Undertaking initial promotion will ensure that you can build a network of followers that will assist in promoting your organisation. Follow similar organisations and encourage them to follow you.

Handle negativity

Negative comments should hopefully be kept to a minimum, but it’s important to have clear guidelines to manage any adverse commentary.

Make a clear distinction between negative and offensive comments and respond accordingly. Aim to engage directly with someone that has written a negative comment and suggest that you would like to follow up further. Try and engage the person through offline forms of contact, such as the telephone, so that you can discuss their concerns directly. Attempting to resolve the issue outside of the public realm will enable a more in-depth discussion.

If a comment is deemed to be offensive, it should be removed immediately as per your media and communications policy.

Integrate online tools

One of the great aspects of the web and social media is that messages can be integrated. You can automatically post updates from your website through to Facebook, Twitter and other social media tools. Integration ensures a consistent message while saving time by replicating content across your networks.

Integrating social media means you’ll have more time to foster and develop your community by providing a base level of communications.

Share content

Re-tweeting or sharing posts on Facebook indicates that the person supports your organisation and messages. The sharing of content is the online equivalent of word of mouth advertising and is a great way to extend your organisation’s networks.

Social media, like a website, needs to be kept up-to-date. An inactive presence is worse than having no presence, as the first question someone will ask is whether the organisation still exists.

The Membership Growth Toolkit is the ultimate resource for successful Member Recruitment, Retention, Renewals/Reactivation and Revenue earning, designed specifically for anyone in the not-for-profit sector.

Membership Mastery Melbourne 2013 Workshop

By | Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, Presentations, Resources | No Comments

Membership Mastery is a joint workshop organised by Kevin Cahalane from Membership Growth and Syneka Marketing. Kevin outlined processes for membership retention and recruitment, including the need for comprehensive database membership and customer service.

Kevin Cahalane presenting at the Membership Mastery Workshop

Kevin Cahalane presenting at the Membership Mastery Workshop

I discussed membership marketing and the need to adopt a consistent approach that is reinforced through key messages:

The recruitment and retention of members should be considered an important marketing goal for any membership based organisation. Membership provides an independent revenue stream and opportunities for ongoing growth.

A marketing plan should articulate the strengths of your organisation and the key messages that will appeal to potential members. An organisation’s strengths provides a competitive advantage and should be adapted as tangible membership benefits.

Every organisation competitors, whether through competing causes or other alternatives to the expense or time required for membership. Understanding tangible benefits creates a value proposition to prospective members.

The value proposition should be articulated as key messages that are reflected across all communication tools. Prospective and current members need consistent messages to reinforce the value of their membership. The importance of membership should be conveyed to existing members to encourage renewals. Prospective members should be encouraged to realise the value and benefits they would receive from membership.

Alex Makin discussing marketing and membership at the Membership Mastery 2013 Workshop

Alex Makin discussing marketing and membership at the Membership Mastery 2013 Workshop

Websites provide the potential for a comprehensive and instantaneous membership resource, but need to be updated to demonstrate their importance. If access to a membership section is considered a benefit, then it needs to include ongoing value added content.

Websites are often the first point of entry for prospective members and someone will question whether the organisation still exists if there is only outdated content. Similarly, social media needs to be maintained to foster online communities. Content can be integrated between and a website and social media, providing a base level of communications and freeing up time to engage communities.

Social media can be an effective tool in membership engagement, but there is a need for policies and clear guidelines. Social media guidelines should be published on your website and in areas such as the about section on Facebook to ensure that members are clear on acceptable usage.

You should designate spokespeople who make official announcements, but board members, staff, members and volunteers should be encouraged to interact and respond to conversations. The authorised spokespeople should be empowered to manage difficult situations and encourage offline discussions to manage negativity.

Online engagement enables the ability to strengthen membership retention. Stronger levels of engagement increases the likelihood of word of mouth recommendations and extend the organisation’s reach.

Ongoing communication with consistent messages will reinforce the organisation’s value proposition and the ability to appeal to current and prospective members.

Case Study: Turn challenges into opportunities with a marketing plan

By | Advice, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, News | No Comments

Third Sector Magazine is a quarterly publication designed for not-for-profit organisations. The February edition featured content relevant to marketing and communications and we included our recent case study on the rebranding of Wimmera Volunteers into Volunteering Western Victoria.

Syneka Marketing explains how it helped Wimmera Volunteers to identify new opportunities by developing a marketing plan that better positioned the organisation as a regional peak body.

Successful marketing begins with finding the right strategy. A marketing plan sets your organisation up for ongoing success by considering the context of the organisation, identifying goals and suggesting actions to achieve these outcomes.

The former logo of Wimmera Volunteers

The former logo and identity of Wimmera Volunteers

Case Study: Wimmera Volunteers

Wimmera Volunteers is a volunteer resource centre that works with other organisations to promote and recruit volunteers, creating opportunities and social inclusion. Wimmera Volunteers also offers transport services, including programs for learner drivers and mobility for older residents, promoting social inclusion across a diverse region.

The problem

The organisation was at the crossroads. The Federal Government was proposing significant funding changes, which was making the future of volunteer resource centres uncertain.

The organisation aimed to service the entire Wimmera region but its services were heavily concentrated within the town of Horsham and its slogan of ‘helping communities help themselves’ was seen as patronising despite its good intent.

The opportunity

Wimmera Volunteers was rebranded into Volunteering Western Victoria, supported by the tagline Empowering Communities, Supporting Volunteers

Wimmera Volunteers was rebranded into Volunteering Western Victoria, supported by the tagline Empowering Communities, Supporting Volunteers

Rather than cave to challenges, Wimmera Volunteers commissioned Syneka Marketing to work with board members, staff, volunteers and other stakeholders to develop a marketing plan that reflected the needs of the organisation.

One new opportunity related to the region’s distance from Melbourne. Many of the organisations serviced by Wimmera Volunteers indicated that they wanted professional development but were unable to devote the time required for travelling or lacked the resources to deliver their own internal training.

It was important to align the marketing plan with the Government’s national volunteering strategy and ensure that Wimmera Volunteers could demonstrate the ability to implement the priorities outlined by the Federal Government.

There was also the need to better connect across the Wimmera and Mallee regions and to foster relationships with the business community.

The marketing plan identified the need to rebrand Wimmera Volunteers to better position the organisation as a regional peak body and to reflect its commitment across a diverse region. Rebranding workshops identified that Wimmera Volunteers wanted a new name that was functional and retained its commitment to volunteering.

Outcomes

Syneka Marketing successfully rebranded Wimmera Volunteers in just six weeks, coordinating new style guides, logos, design templates, websites and social media. The new brand was successfully unveiled at the organisation’s annual general meeting, resulting in strong attendance from stakeholders and the wider community.

The new name, Volunteering Western Victoria, enabled the organisation to develop comprehensive membership packages, including training and mentoring to other organisations. In addition, the organisation is no longer bound by geography and is able to work with a number of councils and organisations within the Wimmera and Mallee regions.

The new tagline ‘Empowering Communities, Supporting Volunteers’ identifies the purpose of Volunteering Western Victoria through a positive and forward-looking statement, reinforcing its role within communities and encouraging volunteering.

The organisation is now positioned to become a regional peak body, complementing its traditional services with new offerings. In addition, the new name enables Volunteering Western Victoria to implement further actions from the marketing plan, including regional offices, workplace volunteering and the development of comprehensive community advocacy and training services.

Many sectors are experiencing uncertainty over government funding and a marketing plan can provide the vision and actions required to turn these challenges into opportunities.

Third Sector Magazine is released on a quarterly basis. Our article can be seen at www.thirdsectormagazine.com.au.

Volunteering Western Victoria - Empowering Communities, Supporting Volunteers - the new logo and brand

Rebranding Wimmera Volunteers to Volunteering Western Victoria

By | Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, News, Resources | No Comments

Syneka Marketing has been working with Wimmera Volunteers to deliver a marketing plan that created a future vision for the organisation, supported by actionable goals to support its new direction.

Volunteering Western Victoria - Empowering Communities, Supporting Volunteers - the new logo and brand

Volunteering Western Victoria – Empowering Communities, Supporting Volunteers – the new logo and brand

The marketing plan was developed through workshops that ensured input from key stakeholders, including board members, staff, volunteers and other key members of the community.  Syneka Marketing undertook research to consider the future context for Wimmera Volunteers and to assist in preparing objectives for Wimmera Volunteers.

One of the outcomes from the marketing plan was the need to rebrand the organisation, given that there is a considerable service gap in western Victoria for volunteer resource centres.

In addition, the new brand would enable the organisation to clarify its focus by incorporating the word volunteering, rather than volunteers.  The new brands focuses the organisation by showing its commitment to encouraging volunteering and the role in promoting community participation.

Not-for-profit organisations often have limited marketing budgets and it is therefore advisable to consider a functional name that reinforces the purpose of the organisation.

As a result the name Volunteering Western Victoria was recommended and subsequently accepted by the board of management.  The name is supported by the tagline ‘Empowering Communities, Supporting Volunteers’.  The tagline reinforces the work of individual volunteers and how this contributes to strong and robust communities.

This afternoon I was invited to attend the Annual General Meeting of Wimmera Volunteers, where the new brand and name was unveiled to members and the wider community.  The new name was well received by members who supported the clear vision that has been articulated for the organisation.

Over the past six weeks we have been working with Volunteering Western Victoria to develop a new logo and new marketing tools, including website, social media and brochures.

Each of these tools reflect the branding developed through the logo, supported by a style guide that ensures a consistent layout and appearance.  The consistent approach will ensure that Volunteering Western Victoria is able to reinforce its role in the community and promote the aims of the organisation.

The upcoming year will be an exciting time for Volunteering Western Victoria as it expands its reach in the community, including connecting with business communities and other councils within Western Victoria.

For further details on Volunteering Western Victoria please visit www.vwv.org.au.