The Not-for-Profit Revolution was a one-day workshop held in Sydney and organised through the Not-for-Profit Network. The workshop aimed to enhance the sustainability of not-for-profit organisations through focusing on sponsorship, fundraising, membership, marketing and emerging technologies.
I was one of six speakers for the workshop and was the final speaker for the session. I covered the need for strategic marketing, consistent messaging and how tools such as the Internet and social media can reinforce this approach.
The presentation began by exploring the various marketing tools utilised by not-for-profit organisations, such as brochures, websites, newsletters, information sessions and correspondence. It is important to remember that marketing encompasses all areas of contact, including phone and email enquiries.
A marketing plan helps identify the priorities of an organisation, by establishing objectives and identifying the actions that are required to achieve this vision. Importantly, a marketing plan will assist in ensuring consistent communication, by emphasising the importance of branding and key messages.
Organisations need to ensure that technology is considered in the context of their marketing strategies. The Internet and social media can be an effective marketing tool, but only if it reinforces the branding and key messages of the organisation.
Internet websites and social media tools need to be designed with similar branding, colour schemes and content to other forms of communication. Fortunately Internet content can be easily replicated. For example, new content on a website can automatically generate updates on social media tools, such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google Plus.
This approach saves time and also ensures that content is consistent across these tools. This means that someone will be able to receive updates from your organisation regardless of how they choose to connect.
One of the key themes of the workshop was to highlight new revenue streams for not-for-profit organisations and a consistent marketing approach can achieve this aim.
The Internet and social media should be considered when developing sponsorship and partnership packages for businesses and other partners. Websites and social media tools, provide metrics that can assist in demonstrating value to partners.
Web based metrics include the number of times pages have been viewed, readership of e-mail based newsletters or the demographics of followers on Facebook or Twitter. This enables an organisation to extend its reach and provide additional value that can be measured by sponsors.
In addition, technology can often reduce the costs and time associated with marketing activities. For example, e-mail based newsletters reduces costs compared to posting content and online donations can generate automated receipts.
The Not-for-Profit Revolution will hopefully lead to more effective and consistent marketing for not-for-profit organisations.