This piece demonstrates multiple development scenarios in the Bulls Bay Corridor, located in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. Through the use of data-based maps, scientific data and charts, this brochure demonstrates how land use choices can impact the Corridor in a variety of ways. The cover uses a combination of letterpress and silk-screen techniques, and includes a CD that contains all maps, data, and PowerPoint presentations.
How can that be? Doesn’t everyone know the only way nonprofits can survive is by doing more with less?
Operational productivity + resource efficiency is a fundamental part of the equation, but not necessarily the catalyst for success in a nonprofit organization.
Consider instead a nonprofit that is driven by a clearly defined strategic plan, one that is used as the rudder for judicious decision-making by staff and board members.
Many nonprofits believe they have a strategic plan. The truth is they don't really have a strategy; they have mission and vision statements, and a long list of programs and services. While we’ve all been warned against “mission creep” for years, this dynamic has taken on new relevancy given the new economy: nonprofits truly cannot afford to spend the resources on anything that is not directly aligned with a strategy for sustained growth.
Deciding which strategic planning model to use can often be the most overwhelming part of the whole process. A model that is gaining momentum in the nonprofit world — and my recommended choice — is the Balanced Scorecard, a model that originated from Drs. Robert Kaplan (Harvard Business School) and David Norton. It has been used effectively in the for-profit world for years.
What’s so smart about this tool is that you can visually map out three to five key initiatives (no nonprofit needs more than that) and supporting deliverables all on one page: not in a three-ring binder with 10 tabs and 200 pages. It’s a great tool for boards and staff members as they work toward strategic success instead of tactical chaos.
What do I mean by that? Here’s a quick demonstration of two formulas for Nonprofit X, an organization committed to the cause of curbing binge drinking among young adults in Southeastern colleges.
1. “Let’s do some social media”: Nonprofit X starts a Facebook page targeted to young adults 17-21 in targeted colleges. They do some Facebook ads to try and pull people into the Facebook page, where content consists of stats about binge drinking, news reports of horrific tragedies, academic studies, and occasional rah-rahs from a few students.
2. “Let’s engage students in developing a strategy”: Nonprofit X invites marketing and advertising students in targeted colleges to research the causes behind binge drinking, then develop a strategy to combat the behavior. Students respond with a cross-channel marketing program consisting of online and offline tactics (including social media), driven by an audience insight they gleaned from peer-to-peer research.
This nonprofit could save a lot of time and money by diving into social media with Option One. But which approach is more likely to advance its mission of changing a dangerous behavior among young people?
I’m the first to admit that market research can sometimes mislead us. When polled, people are routinely more eco-friendly, more philanthropic, more tolerant of diversity and frankly, more the way they wish to be than the way they actually are. Still, I was struck by Cone’s newly released 2010 Cause Evolution Study. Consumers are giving more than mere lip service to cause-conscious products and companies, they are breaking out their wallets for them.
There has been a two-fold increase in products purchased that benefit a cause since 1993. That this behavioral shift is occurring, and at an ever increasing pace, despite persistently high unemployment lends credence to the following indicators:
- 83% of consumers want more products, services retailers that benefit causes.
- 80% said cause marketing would make them likely to switch brands.
While this is no doubt great news for the Ethos Water's of the world, it’s a trend that is clearly underleveraged by most marketers.
Take healthcare organizations’ messaging for example. Such and such hospital ranked in the top 10% nationally, compared to its cross-town rival with a four-star rating from Healthgrades. Our hospital has an affiliation with a national flagship hospital. I’d argue that it is time for a dialogue shift.
Few hospitals have ever shone a light on the level of charity care they provide. I understand that no organization wants to be synonymous with indigent care. Still, a history of care, regardless of one’s ability to pay, may well go a long way when healthcare reform enables more universal insurance coverage.
At the same time, you don’t have to be saving lives to stand for something meaningful. Our clients at Moe’s Southwest Grill have seen double-digit growth in same store sales at many of their locations this year. A major difference between this and last year has been continual reporting on Facebook and Twitter about the tremendous number of children’s charities and schools supported by the franchisee group. In this case, customer loyalty is a welcome byproduct of giving back.
Community service feels great, and you might not do it for the recognition. That’s admirable, but recognize your customers do care, and they are watching.
Was the collective cry from the audience to Megan last night at the Mad Men Finale Party. A host of 60s souls came out to the Nickelodeon, and the wardrobe selections did not disappoint. We were all channeling the outer power and confidence of Don and Joan until he turned into a giggling Ricky Nelson (did we even know he had that many teeth?) and Joan let us in on her baby conspiracy. While some of us expected more business, we were reminded of the writers’ tendencies to leave us wondering about character foibles rather than agency prowess at the end of the season.
So best wishes to the bride (as Pete Campbell aptly reminded us) and congratulations to Don for entering his own personal Sound of Music. But when he starts whipping out the guitar, we're outta here.
Before you hang me by my toes for treason, hear me out.
Virtually every nonprofit in the world has some form of social media in place. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn , Flickr, etc. Use is skyrocketing. So it must be a good thing.
Precisely. Social media is a good thing—a tactic—that is part of the contemporary marketing mix. But just because a nonprofit “has it” doesn’t mean it’s working.
What works is strategy, powered by social media.
To understand the difference, ask yourself which is more effective:
A. Using Facebook and Twitter to push out stats, tips, case studies, and all of the good information you want all of your many target audiences to know and understand about your cause.
B. Developing a central engagement strategy targeted to your top audience that can be deployed in full synchronicity across off and online channels (including social media).
Ponder on this, and stay tuned for examples.
We all know social media in health care is only as good as the strategy behind it. But it’s very tempting to skip over this important work in favor of saving time and money. After all, it’s just not that hard to put up a Facebook page, is it?
Consider this instead: compare the time, money and return on investment you will likely have with social media activity that pushes out a mixed bag of promotional messages to general Facebook followers VERSUS a focused conversion campaign that pulls a specific audience to a specific product line by inviting followers to access content or participate in activities that are relevant to them in their everyday lives.
What’s the difference here? I’m betting the latter approach is one that:
- Has articulated a specific marketing objective that can directly support a business issue within the organization’s strategic plan
- Has developed a core engagement strategy that positively aligns targeted customers with the product line in a dynamic, insightful way
- Has made the decision to use social media as but one element of a cross-channel marketing program to address this marketing objective.
Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with informing your followers about the many good things your healthcare organization offers. But there’s something powerful about connecting with them. That’s the difference in strategy and tactics. That’s why strategy is worth your time, every time.
Channel your inner (or outer) Don, Betty, Roger, Pete, Peggy, Joanie, Bertram, Midge, (etc.) and join us at the Nickelodeon Theatre for the Mad Men Season Finale Party! Creatives, account-types, clients, friends and family (of legal drinking age) are welcome and there's no charge for admission. It all takes place DURING the Mad Men finale this Sunday, October 17th. RSVP on Facebook via Nickelodeon. Spread the word!