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Sneak Preview of “Marketing, Interrupted” Chapter 4: Non-Profit Organizations

You’ve seen the people in Santa costumes ringing bells for donations around the holidays, right? Digging through your pockets for some spare change to drop in the bucket doesn’t make you feel good necessarily, but it does make you feel slightly less guilty until you repeat the same guilt-give-forget process next year.

What’s wrong with this picture? Shouldn’t giving feel good?

How can non-profit marketing teams better align with fundraising teams to get more people to care, advocate and donate?

Most non-profit organizations (NPOs) have separate and distinct marketing and fundraising functions. Historically, this division of critical activities has been done with good intentions — focusing one group on building awareness for the mission and focusing another on fundraising.

Collaborating on insights and market data should be the rule, but unfortunately, it’s rare. Alignment of marketing and fundraising is critical to a nonprofit’s success in effectively engaging donors and driving growth. Creating a compelling donor experience relies heavily on your NPO’s ability to align goals, audience insights, and your compelling six-second story across marketing and fundraising departments.

In my newly released book, “Marketing, Interrupted,” I tackle these kinds of challenges and profile the organizations and businesses that are transforming their marketing to give people a reason to care, a reason to buy and a reason to stay. Below I’ve included an exclusive excerpt from the book that looks at how one German organization successfully tackled common non-profit challenges.

Excerpt from Chapter 4: Telling a Nonprofit Brand Story

The marketing team at German relief organization, Misereor tackled this challenge successfully. Their marketing and development teams started “thinking outside the collection box” when it comes to transforming their donor’s experience.

Marketing, Interrupted by Dave SuttonTo increase people’s willingness to give, the marketing team at Misereor transformed the donation process by developing digital media displays with built-in credit card swiping capabilities.  They then installed them in Germany’s busiest airports. One display simply reads “Feed them,” showing a video image of a loaf of bread from above. Users are asked to make a small, secure donation (only €2) to help end hunger.

When the credit card is swiped, it acts like a knife through the loaf. You know the donation transaction is complete when the slice falls to the counter and a hand reaches out to take it. The message is clear: this donation feeds hungry people, and you helped do that. The effect is a cohesive story that’s powerful, personal, and actionable. Doesn’t it feel good?

Misereor’s “Social Swipe” story engages its audience rather than incites and neatly overcomes barriers to donation in two key ways. First, the mechanism for donation is eye-catching: Cutting through bread to give a slice to a hungry person is a powerful visual representation that shows exactly how your money is helping people. The visual depiction identifies the recipients and direct benefits of aid, making the link between donation and relief much more tangible.

Secondly, the efficiency and ease of the mechanics only add to this campaign’s merit. By asking for a credit card donation, rather than cash, the charity overcomes those sheepish looks from potential donors who lack small change. By adapting to this consumer shift, this campaign neatly sidesteps a key stumbling block for many fundraisers.

There are many reasons why the Misereor story works better than passive, interruptive fundraising attempts like collection boxes or people in Santa suits ringing bells. The interactive element is creative and novel, enticing first-time donors and prompting them to share on social media. And the engagement doesn’t end after one swipe; participants are given the option to set up recurring donations to Misereor through their bank statements, allowing the charity to retarget a group of donors more likely to be engaged and stay engaged.

Want more? I don’t blame you. Click here to get a longer exclusive preview of my new book.


More About Dave Sutton

Dave Sutton HeadshotDave Sutton is the leading authority today on Transformational Marketing — enabling businesses to reach, connect and engage with customers in a way that gives them a reason to care, a reason to buy, a reason to advocate and, most important of all, a reason to stay. Named by MailMunch as one of the Top Marketing Influencers to Follow in 2018,  Dave has authored two books on the power of Transformational Marketing, most recently “Marketing, Interrupted” that features the businesses and organization that aren’t afraid to break the mold in order to find success. Dave is also the co-author of “Enterprise Marketing Management: The New Science of Marketing” — the ground-breaking book considered to be the definitive statement of a new business discipline designed to create sustained, profitable, organic growth.

Learn more from the experts on Transformational Marketing by ordering “Marketing, Interrupted” by Dave Sutton.

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