State of the Sector
Roger: Not only the Internet, but lots of stuff. Few groups are seriously marketing legacies using direct response …
Roger: … few are seriously experimenting with [text messaging] …
Roger: … few are seriously exploring cause-related marketing …
Roger: … few are, sadly, doing anything but copying over last year’s plans. Everyone talks about integration and multichannel marketing, but few understand or are willing to take the risks.
Polly: Our clients — over the past year — have been much more willing to test online marketing with direct mail — with great results. But this is “traditional” online marketing — e-mail, SEO, etc.
Margaret: What do you all suggest for, say, a smaller nonprofit on a limited budget when it comes to expanding its strategies?
Kurt: A profile on Facebook costs … ? Nada. Text message blasts cost … ? Little.
Jo: I have to say … I don’t get that!!! The risk part …
Jo: Most of this is NOT that expensive. I mean … setting up a MySpace page. What’s the cost of that?!?!?
Roger: The first thing is to change the financial mind-set. Change involves risks.
Roger: Most fundraisers have to hit their numbers and, in my experience, are unwilling to risk the bottom line when it comes to testing and other essential exploration.
Roger: If GE, for example, were to cut its [research and development] budget, investors would head for the exits.
Roger: But in our world there doesn’t seem to be much of a penalty for not pushing the envelope.
Margaret: So they need buy-in from the top. How do they convince their CEOs that the risk is worth taking?
Roger: And their boards.
Kurt: Let the board do the convincing. Every company is doing it, and the people on boards are pushing it for their companies. At Boys & Girls Clubs, we always got the board to push the envelope first.