Making the Money Come to You
You already know that “sales” and “marketing” are different things. Sales, or stewardship, is direct contact, and the point is to make a sale. Marketing is more about building awareness of your brand, your mission and your vision. And if you build irresistible marketing, the prospects will come. But how does it work?
Though it creates bonds in less personal ways than sales, marketing enables you to cast a wider net and create a sales funnel that directs revenue your way. It gives you the opportunity to create that planned giving funnel.
The Nuts and Bolts
Irresistible marketing requires a consistent, systematic approach to your audience through:
- Direct mail,
- Display ads in your publications,
- Planned giving columns and articles in your publications,
- A general awareness in all of your media (don’t forget voicemail, signature lines, and even planned giving billboards)
- Strategically-placed links in your organization’s email blasts, and
- Compelling links on your main website that “push” your prospects where you want them to go, such as to your planned giving pages.
The more you reach qualified prospects on an ongoing, consistent basis, the more money you are going to raise. And for maximum effectiveness, you need a marketing plan to guide your efforts. Otherwise, you’ll end up wasting time and money on pieces that never reach — or engage — your audience.
In short, marketing informs and attracts prospects and opportunities to your nonprofit and its mission. Think of it in terms of bees and flowers: Both the flower’s scent and color play a role in informing and creating an irresistible attraction for the bee. Flowers that are successful in their “marketing” efforts achieve pollination (sales).
Sales, on the other hand, works directly with prospects to reinforce the value of your mission to convert prospects into real donors. And if you create irresistible marketing, those real donors will eventually make you “part of their family” by leaving your organization in their estate plans.
Marketing creates the environment where money is attracted, not pursued. If you understand this paradigm, you’ll have a very lucrative career and make many donors happy.