Affinity Marketing: Buy to Give
It's also important to evaluate the affinity-marketing company from the standpoint of its fiscal stability, corporate infrastructure and caliber of staff in key positions, including senior executives in marketing, customer service and information technology. The company should hold similar values and have a corporate mission that includes helping to advance the missions of nonprofit organizations. Checking references of existing nonprofit clients who can share what their experiences have been with the affinity-marketing company is another important assessment measure.
To effectively launch the affinity-marketing program and continually reinforce its importance with members/supporters, nonprofits should rely on multichannel, "piggyback" marketing campaigns. The affinity marketer should be expected to help develop these campaigns, from providing advice on how to position its products/services for appeals to the nonprofit's donor base to offering creative ideas and marketing materials, as well as promoting the organization on its Web site. When working with the affinity marketer in this area, a nonprofit should be candid in sharing its previous fundraising experiences and challenges, as well as offering a good overview of its donor base (e.g., demographics, sizes of gifts, seasonal shifts in contributions, etc.).
Affinity-marketing program campaigns should educate, inform and motivate members/supporters with respect to the program: how it works, its products/services and how their participation will help the nonprofit achieve its goals. When promoting the affinity-?marketing program, be sure to use all channels of media and communications, including your Web site, blogs, social-networking sites, newsletter, special events and networking opportunities, direct mail, and advertisements. And include regular updates on how funds generated from the affinity-marketing program were applied to fulfill various goals (e.g., to fund technology needs or a new program, toward the capital campaign to build a new wing, for an overseas mission to feed the hungry, to build homes or provide medical care, etc.).