I was sitting in a marketing committee meeting the other day and it started my mind thinking about how fundraising and marketing mix. I started to wonder what kind of connection there is between marketing and fundraising. I think there is an obvious connection between sales and fundraising and being able to confidently and concisely talk about your nonprofit. But does running radio spots or television spots make a difference?
Fundraising is more about word-of-mouth and keeping & upgrading existing relationships. From what I have seen providing your donors with a good experience and talking with them about how their gift makes a difference is better for your organization than always trying to find new donors. The idea that keeping them is easier than finding them.
What about using marketing with a new annual fundraising plan? If you are trying to build community support, maybe there is a place for marketing. I don’t think that a solid marketing program is going to get very far in finding new major donors or upgrading existing donors. But, I think marketing could be a huge help in getting your message out there into the community. Helping build your image to a community that does not know you exist or change your perceived image to a community that has hear about you but doesn’t know what you do.
Do you use marketing campaigns at your nonprofit? Have you found marketing to be an important piece of your annual plan?