Survey Shows Non Profit Messaging Failing


A survey of over 900 nonprofit leaders revealed a sizable inadequacy in their ability to connect with their audience and portray their primary messages. According to the blog the survey showed that non profits are failing at motivating their donors, volunteers and advocacy – and had generally poorly targeted, difficult to remember and uninspiring messages.

Looking beyond the fact that the organization releasing the survey is the business of crafting messages for non profits, there are some takeaways from examining the effectiveness of non profit messaging. The survey revealed:

  • Most nonprofit messages don’t connect strongly with key audiences.
  • Behind the disconnect—86% of nonprofits characterize their messages as difficult to remember.
  • Inconsistency reigns, leaving confusion and annoyance in its path.

How Many

Non Profit slogans can you remember? Now compare that to corporations; “Just Do It” “Pepsi Generation” “Do the Dew”… We”ll never be able to compete with corporations ability to repeatedly push messages into our heads through every conceivable medium possible but we do have the ability to develop messages buy generic viagra online that have an impact. For a really really in-depth guide on non profit taglines checkout this report.

Also make sure to checkout our previous posts on Non Profit Branding here and generic cialis

Are all NonProfits the same?

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I wrote an article on FroogLoop which began to ask the question, “Are all nonprofits the same?” If nonprofits in general conduct similar work, why do some people feel more inclined to donate to one over another? It boils down to the experience that organizations can offer to their community. But what”s next?

Are NonProfits Differentiated?

I”d like to argue that by in large nonprofits have undifferentiated services within the same sector. Of course those within the sector know the subtle differences but to the lay person the National Wildlife Federation and the World Wildlife Fund are both just organizations trying to save the environment.

So what differentiates nonprofits? User experiences. Nonprofits are known for certain characteristics based on how they present themselves and interact with their community. You can see this differentiation easily when you go to an organization”s website. You can see clearly that the Oxfam website puts forth a different user experience than the American Cancer Society. Oxfam international is young, hip and edgy, while the American Cancer Society is far more institutional.

Ok so nothing innovative here, organizations have different branding. Things get more interesting when we look to the private sector to see how companies market undifferentiated products.

Experiential Marketing

Is there a tangible difference between Coke and Pepsi? Between Sprite and 7UP? Between Skyy Vodka or Absolute? Loyal consumers always think they can tell their favorite products apart but in most blind taste tests, they consistently fail. Carbonated soda and Vodka (in the same quality range) are examples of undifferentiated products. How how have companies with years of marketing experience deal with products that are exactly the same? They market the experience.

Companies spend millions to convince you they stand for something other than their undifferentiated product. Think about it. What does the Pepsi Generation have to do with soda? What does Skyy Vodka”s advertising have to do with the quality of the vodka? All of the advertising is designed to sell a lifestyle and experience rather than talking about the qualities of the product itself.

Ok Experiential Advertising Exists, now what?

What can we learn from the for profit sector? We need to first acknowledge that the general public doesn”t know the difference between most of our organizations. Our supporters potentially might, but to the potential donor, we are another organization doing “good” in the world.

Once we get past this we can look at what we can do to exploit the benefits of experiential marketing.

1. What do you represent? – The first step in this process is understand who you are as an organization. Are you dynamic and energetic, or stable and organized. Companies are able to boil their messages down to easily understandable slogans, can you?

2. What does your community represent? This is a little harder. Once you know who you are, you”ll need to understand what your audience gets out of being aligned with your organization. Does your community use your organization as a status symbol to show they are doing something? Are they hardcore activists? Or are they a little of everything? Are there any universals you can draw from your existing community that you could take advantage of?

3. Marketing the entire experience, not just a part of it. Understand that your members and potential donors need to feel the same about your organization from all aspects of their engagement. Your emails need to reflect the same tone as your website. Your contests need to reflect your rallies. Nonprofits need to learn to cialis generic be more disciplined with their messaging. Of course this doesn”t negate using different messages for different audiences, but the overarching message of your organization has to be consistent.

4. Developing programs to match your message. If you”re a respected AIDS research organization is a viral video right for you? Maybe not. Making programs and marketing that matches the experience you want to convey is easier than it seems. In a world of almost ultimate possible outlets for promotion, it takes discipline choosing those that are going to be right for your organization”s experiential goals.

Having a clear understanding of what your organization stand for and what your community wants to get out of their engagement with you is a powerful tool. You”ll be better able to serve your member”s needs, become more effective in communicating with them, and have the potential of reaching out to a broader audience.payday loans victorville ca, payday loans loanspayday loans thunder bay, calgary payday loan stores

Augmented Reality for Non Profits? (updated)

If there is one thing I”m more geeky about than Google Wave, it”s Augmented Reality. With the first few applications being launched this year, Augmented Reality

has picked up steam and will continue to become another outlet for both consumer and advertising applications. Is augmented reality something that non profits should get on board with? Is this our chance to finally jump ahead of the technology curve?

Augmented Reality is a system that allows you to overlay information in real time over live video. It”s essentially a way to place a digital layer of information over anything you hold your smart device up to. One practical application that has been already released overlays the closest metro/subway stop on your phone. There are many other creative uses you can take a look at to get a better idea of the technology as well.

Yesterday, reported that Brightkite launched what it calls the first augmented reality advertising program.

Brightkite has partnered with Best Buy to run augmented reality advertisements within the Brightkite app for Android and the iPhone through the end of December. -Mashable

Since augmented reality is still in it”s nascent stages does the technology represent an opportunity for non profits to jump ahead of the curve where to buy viagra for once? As any good viagra prices consultant would tell you, it depends.

Augmented reality technology right now is so new people don”t know exactly how to capitalize on it. This obviously represents both an opportunity as well as a huge risk for resource strapped non profits. The first thing that a non profit should look at is the their objective and audience. If your community isn”t tech savvy or doesn”t have a high proportion of smart phones, augmented reality probably isn”t your best bet. Then you should look at the benefits of augmented reality to see if it matches the need of your community. If you”re Planned Parenthood an application that shows you where the closest health center is. Or if you”re the NRDC you might want to overlay environmental information when people are taking a hike. Augmented reality isn”t a magic bullet for community engagement but it does offer a very unique way of providing information to your audience. Do you think augmented reality is right for your organization?

Update: Mashable just put out 10 amazing uses of augmented reality in marketing, Check them out!