The Iceberg Effect
"Simple" is a very important word. Keep your marketing and branding simple with a reinforcing message. What is your 30-second elevator speech? Be prepared to have success stories ready to go. If you have the opportunity, go beyond the tip of the iceberg with the ultimate goal of having your public understand your total iceberg.
Teach your administration, staff, board, volunteers and supporters what to say to others about your organization. Reinforce your message throughout each fiscal year. Make sure your marketing materials have a consistent message. I suggest from time to time to test your theme and what you want others to think about you with various focus groups. You want to know if you are hitting or missing the mark. Feedback from others is very important. Perception is reality, and you have little opportunity for a second chance with many individuals and constituencies.
If the community is truly not aware of your organization and doesn't have a positive perception of you, how can you raise significant future dollars and recruit quality, passionate people who can bring continuous time, talent and treasure to your door?
Tell many stories around a general theme, and keep it simple. Remember the iceberg and the iceberg effect. Ten percent of an iceberg is a start, but it should not be where you finish! Always engage someone with the belief he doesn't know anything about your charity. I don't like the word "assumption," because assumptions are usually wrong with respect to someone's knowledge about your organization. Make sure people know what you want them to know about you. Try to control the message before it controls you.
Duke Haddad, Ed.D., CFRE, is currently associate director of development, director of capital campaigns and director of corporate development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis. He also serves as president of Duke Haddad and Associates LLC and is a freelance instructor for Nonprofit Web Advisor.
He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO since 2008.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis on education administration plus a dissertation on donor characteristics. He received a master’s degree from Marshall University with an emphasis on public administration plus a thesis on annual fund analysis. He secured a bachelor’s degree (cum laude) with an emphasis on marketing/management. He has done post graduate work at the University of Louisville.
Duke has received the Fundraising Executive of the Year Award, from the Association of Fundraising Professionals Indiana Chapter. He also was given the Outstanding West Virginian Award, Kentucky Colonel Award and Sagamore of the Wabash Award from the governors of West Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana, respectively, for his many career contributions in the field of philanthropy. He has maintained a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation for three decades.