Once there was a man who considered himself a pretty good golfer. He showed up at the golfcourse one day to find a stranger standing at the first tee next to a gorilla dressed in golf clothes, holding a driver. The stranger challenged the golfer to nine rounds of golf against the gorilla—with the winner taking home $500.
The golfer agreed and the gorilla handler asked if the gorilla could hit first. The first hole was 450 yards to the pin. The gorilla took one swing and put the ball 12 inches from the cup. The golfer capitualted—knowing he could never compete. “You win,” he told the handler as he handed him $500. “You want to keep playing anyway,” asked the handler, “just for fun?” Having already lost his money, the golfer figured he had nothing else to lose so he agreed. Two shots later, he also was on the green, closer to the pin than the gorilla. The gorilla took his club—and hit his ball another 450 yards!
“That’s his problem,” lamented the handler. “He only has one shot he hits well!”
Marketing for nonprofits can be a little bit like that. Sometimes nonprofit marketers only hit one shot well. They may be really good at direct mail and at telling a compelling story about what their organization does. It’s kind of like the gorilla’s long drive. It’s impressive—but it’s not enough.
Marketing today needs to be multi-faceted. In addition to a big push, there needs to be mutliple touches. Sometimes they need to be subtle, with a gentle touch. Just because you’ve made your case with an impressive presentation (via direct mail, or maybe a live event) doesn’t mean your work is done. You probably need to follow up with emails, web content, maybe social media efforts on Facebook or Twitter. You need to keep the conversation going—and you need to provide your constituents with a variety of ways to respond.
Marketing for nonprofits today isn’t a one-shot game. It requires skill and planning on a lot of different levels. If you’re tasked with raising funds for your nonprofit, we’d like to offer you a free webinar on Cross Channel Marketing for Nonprofits. It’s a great way to learn to leverage the numerous marketing channels available to you and to see where you may need to work on your game. You don’t have to be a one-shot wonder when it comes to marketing!