Content Marketing for Nonprofits
FS: Why is this something that fundraising marketers need to know about now?
KLM: Donor retention is a huge problem because nonprofits are failing to keep the love alive. Donors give once and don’t give again. This isn’t an “awareness” problem. It’s a failure to keep donors engaged. Content marketing is an approach that is very focused on donors and other readers of your communications.
By talking about your work in ways that are highly relevant to your readers, you keep them more connected to your cause, and therefore more likely to give again and to give more generously.
FS: How are marketing and communications changing for fundraising marketers?
KLM: We all know that there are major media shifts taking place because of social media and mobile technology. When you combine those with the major demographic shifts taking place at the same time, it’s a massive upheaval in how people get information and decide what’s relevant to them. We used to all watch the same TV stations and read the same newspapers, and that’s not true anymore. That means nonprofits have to be much more sophisticated and see themselves as publishers and broadcasters.
FS: What is it that keeps fundraisers from doing truly effective marketing?
KLM: I think the biggest problem is fear. Fear of trying something new. Fear of failure. Fear of offending someone. But to stand out and to really grab donors’ hearts and minds and keep them engaged, you have to put yourself and your organization out there and experiment. If you aren’t trying new things and learning, your organization is in trouble.
FS: What are the top takeaways for fundraisers from your book?
KLM: Donor retention is largely about good donor communications, and good donor communications is largely about content marketing. Figure out what excites and energizes your donors, what’s really relevant in their own lives, and deliver that to them in your communications. That’s just as important to fundraising long term as a well-crafted ask.