Final Three: Free Tools and New Ideas from NTC 2017 (Part III of III)

As life moves forward and summer swings into full gear, it is time to wrap up our memories of a great conference filled with useful tools and new ideas. The first was an inspiring keynote by Alberto Cairo.  The second focused on emerging email strategies. The third zeros in on the necessary sharing of information and resources across marketing and development roles to achieve effective, efficient holistic communication.  

#1: Data Visualization



Albert Cairo is a journalist, professor, author and exceptional speaker.  He specifically shared his work on data visualization.  From his perspective, data visualization is the key to conversion — whether it is for a development campaign or a political argument.  As a gracious knowledge-maker, he shared his frameworks and recommended free tools -- all of which are easily pulled from his website.

#2: Email's New Rules



The email team from Charity Dynamics, who serve clients such as Save the Children, shared their strategies, experiences and successes. The lessons shared come down to:

1) If you don't already have one, use a marketing and email calendar 

2) While following the calendar, strictly adhering to it is not necessary-- you need to be able to break away when the need arises for your cause or in your local, state or national society. For example, post-election nonprofit marketing industry trends found that the 1/3 of organizations that referenced elections raised 103% more. Those who did not reference the election raised an average of only 12% increase from the previous year in the same period. 

3) Always A/B test, especially call to action buttons.  Do not simply use an untested "donate" button. Instead be more creative, active and impactful:  "change a life" or "make art the heart"

4)  Sameness is your enemy.  While an email template is necessary, breaking the rules garners attention.  The key is to establish a pattern and then break that pattern.  Think about layout and content.  Check out their info on the subject here

5) Real people are your audience, be real, be personal.  Feature their stories - not just yours. 

6) Use your data to inform the structure of your emails according to the recipients likes and dislikes.  Not sure what that means? Check out: Moveable Ink

Remember, keep it short, impactful and too the point.  Use a strong picture at the top (we know it speaks a thousand words) and remember to tell stories that involve how the community you serve is transformed from their experience with you. Put their stories at the center. 

#3: Breaking Down Silos: Integrating Marketing and Fundraising

Led by Sarah Durham, founder of CEO and founder of Big Duck, and Kivi Leroux Miller, the CEO of the Nonprofit Marketing Guide, this session described the increased effectiveness and efficiencies achieved through integrating these two functional areas. 



Why you might ask? Because quite often, both are communicating the brand of the institution to and seeking transactions from the same people.  Arts organizations sell tickets and then ask for donations from the same stakeholders - from Board Members to first time audience members.  Being on brand and on message helps cement deeper relationships with your constituents.

Sarah and Kivi provided 4 items that need to be discussed when your organization is ready to move toward a model of cooperative external relations.

  1. Who defines the goals? 
  2. Who creates the workload? 
  3. Is this purely a change in the organization chart, or a change in culture?  
  4. How are conflicts resolved? 

Click here for more for more information from Big Duck on this subject.

And if you’re curious about how you stack up to other nonprofits, read through the stats in the Nonprofit Marketing Guide.

Well, that wraps up just a few of the fabulous takeaways from what was a successful and transformative conference in Washington, DC.  We at AMT Lab hope to see you at NTC 2018!