tangible benefits Archives - Syneka Marketing

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.

Successfully Planning and Promoting Events – Training Workshop

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

Eastern Volunteers is a volunteer resource centre located in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, which assists community organisations in recruiting and training volunteers.

This month I conducted a training session on planning and promoting events; following the success of a similar workshop that I held last year. The half-day workshop covered the following topics:

Developing a marketing approach

Events are a marketing activity and as such they need to align with organisational goals. All forms of interaction, such as attending an event, receiving promotional materials or customer service, results in an impression being formed. It is imperative that these impressions reinforce the key messages that an organisation wishes to communicate.

Events need a clearly defined purpose so that the organisation and participants are aware of the outcomes they wish to be achieve. Clear expectations also assist when evaluating the effectiveness of an event.

Do you wish to raise funds, or are you planning to raise awareness for your organisation? While there may be a crossover between purposes, there will typically be an overriding priority that defines the aim of the event.

Like any form of marketing, there is a need to understand the target market for your event. Who do you wish to attract to the event and why is it is important to reach this target market? Knowing the target market will assist in understanding the best communication tools that can be used to reach these attendees.

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Ensure that there is sufficient time to consider media releases and promotion for your event.

Training Workshop: Marketing for Media and Events

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

Many not-for-profit organisations conduct events to raise awareness or as fundraisers to provide support to their core services. We conducted a half-day workshop on events and media in conjunction with Eastern Volunteers.

There are considerable challenges in managing events, particularly in ensuring that the activities support the aims of the organisation and provide a positive return. Many not-for-profit organisations do not have the resources available for a dedicated events team. Subcommittees can be useful in overcoming these constraints by encouraging staff and volunteer participation, while also enabling a range of people and skills to become involved in planning and conducting an event.

Events should be evaluated against objectives to justify the commitment and resources. For example, it may be useful to evaluate the effectiveness of an event in regard to fundraising, staff resources, financial return and awareness.

Ensure that there is sufficient time to consider media releases and promotion for your event.

Ensure that there is sufficient time to consider media releases and promotion for your event.

Business Sponsorship is often required to support community events and it is critical that an organisation is able to demonstrate tangible benefits for this support. Not-for-profit organisations should prepare information packages that outline the benefits of sponsorship, including the audience reach and ongoing coverage. It is often useful to determine whether an event attracts a particular demographic and to target businesses who wish to reach a similar target market.

Several levels of sponsorship should be provided, with clear differences in value between each package. Providing a range of sponsorship packages, enables several businesses to become involved and encourages the potential to upgrade support in future years.

Businesses should be encouraged to be present during the event and to see first-hand the results of their investment. Providing photographs and videos also enables businesses with ongoing materials from the event and can support discussions for support in future years.

Events also need to be sufficiently promoted and it is often useful to plan backwards when organising an event. This approach will help ensure that invitations, media releases and other promotional tools are dispatched in time.

Media releases should be relevant to the audience of the media outlet to assist in coverage. Often it useful to speak to a journalist directly to reiterate key points from the media release. Journalists will not be able to cover every aspect of an event so ensure that the essential information is conveyed in the media release and during conversation.

The Workshop received extremely positive feedback and will hopefully assist organisations in planning and conducting their events.

Alex delivered the presentation the value of consistent marketing messages in creating innovative partnerships at the 2011 National Conference on Volunteering

Presentation: The value of consistent marketing messages in creating innovative partnerships

By News, Presentations, Resources One Comment
Alex delivered the presentation the value of consistent marketing messages in creating innovative partnerships at the 2011 National Conference on Volunteering

Alex delivered the presentation the value of consistent marketing messages in creating innovative partnerships at the 2011 National Conference on Volunteering

I was one of the presenters at the National Conference on Volunteering, speaking at a session during the afternoon on Tuesday. My presentation, the value of consistent marketing messages in creating innovative partnerships, utilised Eastern Volunteers as a case study in guiding the development of marketing messages and the formation of partnerships.

I began the presentation by discussing the services and structure of Eastern Volunteers. This helped provide context for the presentation and introduced the organisational areas of transport, volunteer recruitment and marketing, which form the core services delivered by Eastern Volunteers.

After providing this context I was able to discuss the steps required for utilising marketing in creating partnerships.

Firstly, there is a need to identify the strengths of the organisation. Strengths can be identified through a traditional SWOT analysis, which should highlight the areas of high performance within an organisation. These strengths can often be delivered as potential value when forming partnerships.

Once strengths have been identified, there is a need to determine the target market that the organisation wishes to reach. The identified target market should respond favourably to the identified strengths. For example, businesses identified as potential partners for Eastern Volunteers are those that have regional autonomy and an active customer base in the areas serviced by Eastern Volunteers.

It is imperative that value can be demonstrated to potential partners and where possible this should be quantified to demonstrate tangible benefits. While many organisations cite the readership of their newsletters, it is often useful to identify the demographics of your readers and their relationship to your organisation. Likewise, it is useful to include statistics from your organisation’s social media presence and website to further demonstrate reach. Website statistics can demonstrate how long someone spends on your website and how they engage with this content. This can be useful information to highlight how people connect with your organisation.

In the instance of Eastern Volunteers, the organisation reaches approximately 400 community organisations who are listed for volunteer vacancies and over 1000 volunteers who are interviewed on an annual basis.

One form of partnerships is a traditional sponsorship approach to supporting community organisations. Sponsorship is often used to support events and it is beneficial to clearly define sponsorship categories so that sponsors are clearly aware of the benefits and expectations.

Depending on the event there are often opportunities to create multiple categories of sponsorship, such as primary and secondary sponsors. It is imperative that there is tangible value to distinguish each sponsorship category and to make the additional cost difference beneficial to the sponsor. Try to make sure that there are opportunities for sponsors to participate in the event, as this increases the likelihood of future sponsorship and provides opportunities to upgrade the level of support.

Eastern Volunteers has been able to form ongoing partnerships utilising the approach of identifying strengths. In regard to Eastern Volunteers, the longevity, stability and networking ability of the organisation are definite strengths. This means that a partner can reach other community organisations and businesses through Eastern Volunteers knowing that the organisation is trusted and reputable.

This approach assisted Eastern Volunteers in forming an ongoing partnership with the Bendigo Community Bank Branches of Heathmont, Mooroolbark, Mt Evelyn and Ringwood East to provide an ongoing series of Business Breakfasts for the local community. The breakfasts assist Eastern Volunteers in networking with businesses and community organisations and assist the participating branches in meeting prospective clients.

Likewise, a similar partnership was formed with the Maroondah Leader providing a monthly feature on volunteering by profiling volunteers in the community. Eastern Volunteers utilises its networks in finding potential volunteers and articles for the Leader, while the newspaper demonstrates its interest in the community by including volunteer opportunities and editorial from Eastern Volunteers.

These partnerships were formed through an understanding of the organisational strengths of Eastern Volunteers and how they offered value to potential partners. While strengths differ between organisations, there is an opportunity to utilise these strengths to create mutually beneficial partnerships with businesses.
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