Organizing a Media Fundraising Event That Sizzles!
Every nonprofit organization needs elements of marketing and branding to promote the organization.
According to James Heaton, president and creative director of marketing firm the Tronvig Group, marketing is actively promoting a product or service. It is, in effect, a push tactic — pushing out a message to get sales results. It is not branding.
Branding is not push, but pull — the expression of the essential truth or value of an organization, product or service.
It is, in effect, the act of communicating characteristics, values and attributes that clarify what a particular brand is and is not. The brand doesn't say buy me. It is says, "This is what I am and why I exist. If you agree, and if you like me, you can buy me, support me and recommend me to your friends."
Marketing discovers and engages buyers while branding makes loyal customers. The Salvation Army Indiana Division recently sponsored a special event with both concepts in mind.
The 2014 Red Kettle Cook-Off was created to secure sales from the public by selling hamburgers from various Indianapolis media participants. An additional goal was to educate the public and media on the mission of the Salvation Army and what programs it supports in the central Indiana community. The 2014 Cook-Off was improved with new event leadership and greater flexibility to think out of the box. Communication and education were major event goals.
The 2013 event was relatively small and held in the center of the city with few media participants. The event generated some visibility, and the net income was approximately $7,000 from the sale of hamburgers, hot dogs and other miscellaneous items. This event had one primary sponsor. After a 2013 event critique meeting, additional improvements were targeted for 2014.
With respect to marketing and sales, the event date was focused on early May, when everything happens in Indianapolis, culminating with the Indianapolis 500 race in late May. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway provided free rides in a race car on the city streets to promote a checkered flag concept. The location of the event was moved from Monument Circle, the center of the city, to the Georgia St. location, famous for the 2012 Super Bowl in Indy.
Duke has extensive experience as a nonprofit practitioner, author, lecturer and consultant. He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO for the last 11 years. He has been a long-standing member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals where he was previously named the AFP Indiana Chapter Fundraising Executive of the Year and has held the CFRE designation for many years.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis in education administration, master's degree from Marshall University with an emphasis in public administration and a bachelor's degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis in marketing/management. He has also completed post graduate work at the University of Louisville.
He is currently executive director of development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis, Indiana. Contact Duke at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-224-1029.