Tactics To Improve Nonprofit Marketing – Your Anniversary And A Marketing Communications Audit

With revenues at nonprofit organizations increasing by only 0.9 percent, to $298 billion in 2011, according to Giving USA, it is no secret how difficult fundraising has become in today’s environment. Add to that the possibilities of an upcoming fiscal cliff and the loss of tax deductions for charitable contributions and you wind up with a very daunting picture.

Your advisory board, committee members and staff all want to help, and look to organization leadership for direction. Now, more than ever, is the time to focus on the development of a meaningful marketing communications plan to profitably improve your fundraising efforts.

As you develop your plan, and evaluate various directions and opportunities, I suggest you consider two tactics that have proven successful for improving marketing ROI.

Market Your Anniversary
Your anniversary offers a unique opportunity to rekindle enthusiasm and galvanize all of your constituents to the relevance, importance and needs of the organization. It gives you the chance to tell your story, not just about your past, but more importantly, about your plans and goals for the future. And don’t think that an anniversary has to be only in multiples of 25 years. Your 33rd, properly marketed, can be as meaningful as your 50th.

Some communications tactics to consider in marketing your anniversary include creating:

An event or events to provide the maximum amount of interaction among existing and potential donors, volunteers, staff, foundations and the local community. But make sure your event doesn’t isolate your various constituencies. They want to talk to one another, not be lectured. Interaction leads to engagement.

A special theme and logo. But also consider a historical book and CD, or a one of a kind commemorative piece of artwork (that can also be used on your website). And employ a meaningful mix of both traditional and new media to create excitement.

A corporate – nonprofit partnership. Your anniversary can provide the trigger point for new collaborations with business partners, bringing in real rewards for both organizations. And these new relationships can last for many years.
These examples are just a start. But we encourage you to start thinking of your anniversary as a 12 to 18 month marketing communications program and branding tool to improve your ROI.

Conduct A Marketing Communications Audit
As was recently pointed out by Tom Buday, head of marketing and communications at Nestle, the best source of marketing communications leverage in the for profit world is the quality of the messaging. It’s not the media vehicle that does or does not deliver, rather it’s the quality of the messaging.

Applying this to nonprofits means that it is imperative for you to evaluate your program and its elements. Invariably, nonprofits employ a media mix of direct mail, events, newsletters, public relations, social media, emailing and advertising in some combination. A marketing communications audit can help you determine how your program is working as a whole, while also evaluating how each message is performing against your established objectives.

This type of audit will help you determine whether the elements of your creative approach – graphics, tone and manner, and subject manner – are working together with one clear and meaningful message. Ultimately, the results of an audit will not only improve the quality and integration of your messaging but also help you determine how your media mix and budgets should be tailored.

Whether or not you take advantage of marketing your anniversary, a marketing communications audit can make a significant difference to your programs and ROI. Doesn’t it make a lot of sense to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your programs before your commit significant dollars and time behind them?

Marketing Consultants Can Help
If you’re like most nonprofits, the majority of your time, talent and treasury is devoted to your passion for the people, programs and services you provide. The same is probably true of many of your most committed volunteers.

Given that, does your organization have the marketing and marketing communications talent and experience to develop the strategies, plans and tactics that are necessary to help you succeed in today’s environment? Trying to find this among your already overworked and underfunded staff or your volunteers doesn’t make much sense.

Your budgets are tight but can you really afford not to bring in outside help? Look for marketing communications consulting partners to help you and your team develop and execute these programs. Above all, select consultants with broad scope and extensive senior level experience across industries and brands, in both the for profit and nonprofit arenas.

Importantly, they should be media neutral, not selling one particular marketing solution, and willing to “tell it like it is” so candor will flourish. Their fresh eyes will go a long way when it comes to improving your ROI.

Marketing: Cost VS Value

We all default at looking at things from a cost perspective. Regardless of what we are buying cost is always an overriding issue for most of us, think about it when was the last time the cost of something didn’t enter your mind as a major initial consideration. When considering your marketing efforts it helps to move away from the cost and consider the actual value of the proposed efforts to see if it is worth doing.

Cost is relatively simple to calculate you consider the resource demands (time, money personal, etc.) and estimate what the project’s demand will be. So if your considering a direct mail campaign and you will be designing the project in house you would add the cost of the campaign and the cost of your personal’s time who has to handle the design and reach a cost factor.

Value is harder to calculate. The value of a campaign considers the return on the investment, how much new revenue you will generate for your resource expenditure. You should be able to estimate the return on any marketing effort before you do it, better said if you can’t estimate the return don’t do it. Marketing is part art part science and if you want to build your business more focus has to be on the science, your not making art for art’s sake you’re trying to make money.

So how do you estimate revenue from your marketing efforts? Start with some industry standard numbers. For instance:

Email Marketing- click through rates average from 2% for B2C unfiltered list, to 20% for B2B highly filtered list. If this is your first time sending to your list figuring a 5% click through rate is reasonable, if you bought a list figure on 2%. You use click through rates because that is really the point of the email blast. Clicks are all you can ask from your marketing whether or not they contact you is determined by the landing page engagement not the email marketing effort.

Direct Mail – generally direct mail will get a 1 – 5% response. If you can get a consistent 3% response rate you have either an outstandingly executed campaign or a very well scrubbed and responsive list. If this is your first contact with this list figure on 1%.

Radio & TV advertising – both are very difficult to track from an ROI perspective but using a special promotional code or message can help you track people who contact you because of these ads. Both of these types of campaign require significant budgets to be effective since you need to repeat the messages over and over to get any results.

Print Media advertising – again difficult to gauge return and again promotional codes help. Print media also requires a larger budget to make an impact since your buying access to eyeballs and the more valuable and targeted those eyeballs are the more you can expect to pay.

Online Ads – online ads are easy to track (most platforms like Google have great dashboards to monitor your results) and are very flexible to your budget. The average conversion rate (sales from click through) tends to be in the 2.5 -3% range however you want to work to getting up to the 10% range which is practical since you have control over every aspect, the audience your ad is appearing in front of the ad itself and the landing page the prospect ends up on. One of the most attractive aspects of online ads is the ability to make changes that can immediately improve your conversion rate. When we changed our contact from to an easier more modern one our conversion rate almost doubled & has maintained that rate ever since.

Intentionally I skipped a couple marketing vehicles: social media, trade shows, and networking events. I love social media, use it, in fact there is a good chance you are reading this because of our social media efforts, and I still wouldn’t pay for advertising on social media. I consider it being the guy who shows up at a house warming party trying to sell everyone tires, while you may have the best tires in town, and sure everyone needs tires nobody wants to hear about tires at the party. Tradeshows can be great or they can be giant wastes of resources depending on how they are done, who does them, how they manage the booth, etc., way to many variables to consider. Networking events, like trade shows have way to many variables to calculate.

Once you can estimate your return you can see which marketing efforts should generate you the most bang for you bucks. Obviously your budget will greatly dictate what avenues you attack. But regardless of the budget make sure you can estimate and track the performance of all your marketing efforts tracking is key to identifying what is working and what needs changing and if you cant track it you really have to consider whether its worth the efforts.

Pros and Cons of Living in Spain and Buying a Villa Via an Agent or Dealing Direct With the Owners

Buying Through an Agent or Buying Direct from the Seller.

The boom and bust of the Spanish property market is fast drawing to a close with ever diminishing supplies of ‘bargain basement’ properties on offer. Savvy owners who know the real value of their properties refuse to be swept along by the sheer panic being installed into the others by ruthless property agents and fortune seekers alike.

Some of these agents have little or no interest in their clients who are trying to sell and they willfully drive the sellers prices down to ensure that they continue to achieve their margins – come what may. These agents make little or no effort beyond, listing the property on the internet and a quick showing in their shop window for a few days. Ashamedly, most of these Agents are British.

Over recent years, there has been a significant increase in the number of sellers listing their properties themselves. This means that they can offer a real discount to prospective buyers of around 5% of the sale price by not having to pay an agent this money!

Agents will tell prospective buyers that they are able to protect them against unscrupulous sellers but who protects the buyers from unscrupulous agents?

Just 5 or 6 years ago, some Agents in Spain were charging up to 10% of the sale price in fees whilst in the UK the charges were often less than 1%

What can an Agent offer that a Private Seller Cannot?

*Most offer free transport from your hotel to the viewing and back

*They have a selection of properties in a variety of areas to show you

*They can negotiate on your behalf with the seller over price

*They can point you in the direction of their favorite lawyer

*They will sometimes collect and return you to the airport for free

*They will email you frequently to update you about properties and prices**

*They can sometimes Speak a Language that Some Sellers Cannot

What are the Advantages of Dealing Direct with the Seller?

*The Seller strips the Agent’s fees out of the price – The Buyer gets 5% discount

*Most Sellers know instinctively how far they can go on price reductions

*Sellers know their way around their own home, Agents seldom do

*The Buyer can ask any questions directly without fear of later contradiction

*The Seller can explain exactly how the Buyer can get the best out of the property

*The Buyer can agree all the arrangements with the Seller without complications

*The Seller can be just as helpful in directing you to a number of lawyers

*The Buyer can generally communicate 24/7 with the Seller but not with an Agent

*Some Sellers do speak more than one European language

*With the Seller you have as much time as you want to inspect and re-inspect

There is now an abundance of websites advertising Direct Sales by Owners, why give 5% to the Agents for their mediocre efforts?

This situation is much the same whether you are buying in Spain, France, Italy, Greece or anywhere else on the Mediterranean.

Living in Spain.

Spain continues to be the favorite hunting ground for property and the English in particular have had a long love affair with Spain. The German people love it here too and thousands have made their home here accompanied by the French, Dutch, Belgians, Swiss and more recently the Russians.

Broadly speaking there are few coastal places in Europe as beautiful as the Costa Blanca region and in particular around Moraira. This area of Spain is considered by the World Health Organisation to be one of the top places to live a long life.

Despite the hard time that Europe in general and Spain, Italy and Greece in particular are going through, there are many valid reasons for living here.


Spain enjoys long hot periods throughout the summer months and mostly bright sunny days throughout the winter months. When it rains it pours but when that is over and done with – the sun shines again!

The Rain in Spain does not fall mainly on the plain. It falls along the coastal regions too and sometimes there are disasters as occur in all of Europe and elsewhere.

The winter nights are cool and often very cold since Spain is a cold country with a lot of sunshine. Those retiring here will need their Winter Fuel Allowance just as they did in the UK but over a shorter period of time.

Sometimes high winds develop out of the blue and then die down to a mere whisper. A gentle breeze in the hottest months is a joy to behold!


It is clean and the air smells sweet! There are not many factories belching out obnoxious fumes if any. The ‘ITV’ test, which is the equivalent of the UK MOT, ensures that Motor Vehicles do not pollute the atmosphere.


Altogether, the scenery in this area is breathtaking. Whether you are travelling along a coastal road or passing through the mountains and valleys there is always a wow factor about what is there for you to see. Places like Guadalest and various waterfalls like Fonts D’Algar are major tourist attractions. When you live here you can visit them as often as you like.


Spain like any other country has its crime and crime statistics but the police here are far less tolerant of thugs, hooligans and general misconduct. Generally people can go about their business without being molested.

However, people driving from airports in rental cars should ensure that they are not being followed by carrying out simple checks.

Occasionally there are small gangs of non-Spanish origination that do follow rental cars around suspecting that the occupants might be unsure of their directions and a little gullible. Never stop on a motorway unless there is a serious accident or the road is blocked or you are directed to do so by police.

The writer has found the situation here to be vastly better than in the UK.


Fresh vegetables, meat, fish and poultry are readily available in all shopping areas and the range of products is extremely wide. There are outdoor markets during all weekdays in differing towns and a profusion of very modern Supermarkets are dotted about throughout the area.

Supermarkets have improved significantly during the period that the writer has lived in the area (9 years). A number of large Supermarket groups could now easily match and ofttimes better the likes of Tesco and Sainsburys.

Eight or nine years ago it was almost impossible to find a food shop open on Saturday afternoons and Sundays. now most Supermarkets are open all day on Saturdays and until lunchtime on Sundays.

Food Price

Spain`s entry into the Euro brought with it increased pricing in just about everything as the country struggled to match the expectations of their senior partners in Central and Northern Europe. however, food prices are still lower than most of these countries and the quality is absolutely fine.


Alcohol is still cheaper in Spain than most Northern European countries but be warned – there is a growing intolerance to drink-driving here and the legal limit is lower than the UK. There are moves afoot to move to a Zero Tolerance situation.

The cost of a taxi pales into insignificance when compared to the loss of an innocent victims life or the lives of passengers travelling with a drunk driver.

Eating Out.

One of the most enjoyable activities here is to take your lunch or dinner at one of the multitude of restaurants around. There are innumerable choices with just about every dish generally available throughout the world – on offer here.

Eating In.

Eating at home can be just as pleasurable as eating out! most people have a terrace with a view and sufficient shade to enjoy eating outside for most of the year. It is a lot cheaper and you can have a drink without worrying about getting home. You can even light the BBQ and sizzle a few sausages, steaks and the like!


There are numerous beautiful sandy beaches where one can swim or bathe or sunbathe along the road from Moraira to Calpe, or around Javea and Denia and most people have their own private pool to swim whenever they want in the day and into the night! If you budget can stand it, have a pool heating system installed and be able to swim all year round. Be warned, the air temperatures reach very high levels in Summer.


for those with young families, there are both public and private schools available according to their means. Education standards are pretty much on par with Europe in general with all subjects delivered in the national language and or a regional language like Valenciano or Catalunian, depending upon where you choose to settle.

The Spanish people absolutely dote on children and always put them first.


For retired people there is the option to go private or use the public health services having at first applied for a SIPP card. For Pensioners and their dependents, the British Government has a reciprocal arrangement with Spain and other countries but not all have the same. This means that your government picks up the bill for your medical costs including hospital treatment.

Hospitals are excellent and very clean despite swinging cuts taking place right now and medical staff are both skillful and in many cases do speak some English. Generally speaking however, one is advised to use the services of an economic translator if your Spanish language skills are poor.


There are a lot of ex-pats from the UK in this area and English is widely spoken as too is German. Many of the local communities and Town Halls hold low-cost Spanish language classes for adults of all nationalities. The writer often has conversations in French and German with peoples from those countries living here.


Public transport is available in some areas and is generally cheap and comfortable but most people will need their own car if only to do the weekly shop and explore the countryside.

Taxis are quite widely available but there are very strict laws against anyone using their private vehicle for hire or reward. Collecting family or friends from airports like Alicante or Valencia can sometimes be challenged by the police who might mistake you as trying to operate on a hire basis. Providing you can reassure them that your passengers are family or friends they will make their farewells and leave you to get on.

Fuel Costs.

for a long time, the cost of petrol and diesel was considerably cheaper than the rest of Europe but Spain has all but caught up. At today’s date unleaded 95 is 1.52 Euros a Litre. With the pound Sterling fetching just over 1.20 Euros at the time of this article, that equates to 1.27GBP.


House Tax or ‘IBI’ as it is called here, is around €500 p.a. for a 3 bed, 3 bath detached villa with private pool, considerable less than it would be in the UK. It is collected from your bank by the local office.

‘Suma’, is the equivalent of car tax and also rubbish collection from the various bins you are invited to take your waste to. It works out at about 250 Euros in total and along with the ‘IBI’ it can if you apply in time, be collected over 6 months.

Income tax has a top rate of around 45 % which is similar to the UK and is payable on a P.A.Y.E basis or Self-Employment along with Social Security charges if you work here.

Under a reciprocal arrangement with the UK government you should avoid UK tax if you register to pay tax in Spain on your income from the UK – typically pensions.

Spain is altogether an amazing place to live providing that you don’t live in an isolated or insular way. Interact with the people and you will enjoy living here.

The Euro will surely survive but if it doesn’t there will always be the good old Peseta! Spain is working hard like Britain to clear its debts and better times will return. Property prices will rise again and investments will be sound.

Come and join us and find your home in the sun!

Whenever you decide to start looking for your home in Spain, why not consider the properties that people themselves are advertising at discount prices? There are always some real bargains to be had. Dealing with a vendor directly cannot harm you health or wealth and you will have no less legal protection than you would have by using an Agent! The laws applying to the Sales and Purchase arrangements are exactly the same. Both sides choose their own lawyer and as with a sale through an Agent, the final agreement is always completed before the Notary or Notaire. When you deal face to face you can be more sure of the state of play than with a third party involved and it can be a pleasant experience.

Some of the questions racing through your mind can be asked and answered in one day not through a series of disjointed telephone calls or emails over days or weeks. Invariably all the answers to your questions are rooted in the person you are negotiating with and you are looking at! My young family and I are moving to France to pursue some business activity there and our fabulous villa is for sale. We will miss this wonderful scenery around us.

Internet Affiliate Marketing

Based on the number of surveys conducted online, one of the commonly used methods to earn on the internet is through affiliate marketing. A lot of people who run personal websites or blogs have turned to internet affiliate marketing to convert their online spaces into a money making machine. If you are someone who spends time online and wants to create a lucrative opportunity for yourself, this might be of an advantage for you. But, just like every business venture whether online or on the real world, it is important that you understand the complexity of how it works. One way to weigh your options is to understand the pros and cons of internet affiliate marketing.


With internet affiliate marketing you can earn money, and the best thing about this is you do not have any overhead expenses like paying the store rent or employing people. It does not need any investment from you but simply direct a client to the merchant and you get paid.

If you’re not the type of person who has a lot of marketing skills, there’s no need to fret. Play on your strengths and skills by focusing on what you need to do to better your website; like content, layout and other areas you can improve on.

You are not limited to one program; you can apply to many different affiliate programs as you wish. Choose the best among those in the market, like Empower Network that offers commissions ranging from $25 to $4,625 per sale and known to be one of the best among affiliate programs.

Generate income whenever or wherever you are. If you’ve done all the homework and completely set-up yourself for the program to begin then it’s time to let the cash flow in.

An issue of high traffic should be considered, you can’t just set-up a website then leave it as it is. You still have to work on driving traffic to your website for you to get your commissions, after all affiliate marketing is definitely performance-based.

Sometimes as an affiliate site you are not directly dealing with merchants but with a middle man. This means that your cake is delivered to you after a piece of it is eaten. But, there are affiliate programs that do may give you 100% commissions on sales directly to your bank account, like Empower Network, so choose wisely where to sign up.

Because of affiliate marketing getting more popular there is a tendency that you will have a lot of competitors in the market. There are a lot of publishers online promoting through the same affiliate program. So, heighten your standards and create a benchmark for yourself that will set you aside from others.
Although with its cons, affiliate marketing is still one of the best money making schemes on the internet. These are all easily overcome by just putting extra effort and time in perfecting your site. As long as you are willing to push through the boundaries that may limit your affiliate marketing potential then there is no stopping you from earning good money.

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