Getting (NPO) guests to buy the passion

“Hello? Arkansas? Yeah, It’s Facebook” by Mark Hrywna (The NonProfit Times, 15 June 2009). Great and inspiring article but for the moment try not to be distracted by the social network hype. Using social networks is a tool, not a panacea. It still takes time and resources to use that tool . What’s nice is that when the work is done well then the fruits of that labor can scale rather well (i.e., the pool of guests / donors is large).  It should be noted that Arkansas Children’s Hospital Foundation (ACHF) “recently hired someone to take over direct marketing efforts and social networking.” In other words, to reap the fruits an investment must be made, managed, maximized, etc.

In addition, Ben Tanzer, senior director of strategic communication at Prevent Child Abuse America (PCAA), makes an essential point when he says:

The goal is to create as many platforms and portals as possible, providing people with different opportunities that the organization eventually will cross-link, and as Tanzer describes it, cross-pollinate. PCAA is focused less on fundraising and more on “helping to refine the message so when people learn about the organization they get what we do,” he said.

Being available is half the battle. It is still important for the brand to clarify their message, a message that needs to resonate with their perspective guests. The NPO has to figure out what it is that their guests are willing to buy. Simply asking for money is probably not going to be enough.

Finally, with success stories such as this one the clutter factor is going to come into play fairly quick. Soc-nets are where the guests are so they are certainly not a channel to be ignored. On the other hand, that channels’ ability to deliver “get rich quick” results will in all likelihood diminish as the level of noise and competition increases.

As we at AU like to say, “The internet… You can figure it out now. Or you can figure it out later. But you will have to figure it out.” No pain, no gain, eh?

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1 comment to Getting (NPO) guests to buy the passion

  • I just wanted to thank you for the shout-out regarding the work we are trying to do here around telling a new story about prevention and our efforts to utilize social media as one means for doing so.

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