There are more than 1 million public charities in the United States, according to the National Center for Charitable Statistics and just about every one of them is completing for the same donor dollars, grants, and contracts. Organizational marketers and fundraisers often rely on creativity in an effort to try to stand apart from the pack. With that comes pressure to constantly be the shiny and new competitor in the field.
- Andrew Magnuson, national director of digital fundraising for the American Heart Association; Bethany Maki, vice president of nonprofit strategy for PMX Agency; and Kevin Limongelli, senior director of creative and design for PMX Agency embraced these pressures during their session “Put Your Creative to Work” at a ANA Nonprofit Federation conference. During the program, the presenters discussed the five primary elements of a creative strategy:
- Identify main objectives. These objectives shouldn’t be based on design or text, but rather fundraising and marketing. Ensure that your mission is always in the foreground. Web traffic, conversion, average gift amount, and revenue are objectives to consider;
- Figure out who your target audience is. Separate yourself from the organization and place yourself in the perspective of those audiences. Consider how their needs are being met by competing organizations as compared to your own;
- Push content and context. Evaluate what assets are available and look to express similar messaging over a variety of formats and channels. Understand the subtle differences between each channel;
- Focus on the brand. Creative 101 is to avoid harming or compromising the brand for a short-term gain. Messaging should tie back in with established brand values and communicate a value proposition. Cross-channel content should have a unified brand voice; and,
- Measure your progress. Discuss what key-performance indicators will be used to measure success and, further, show how those indicators refer back to established goals. Follow up with results and provide baseline and historical context.