Helping Nonprofit Organizations Rediscover Their Purpose So They Can Secure Their Futures.
- WRITTEN BY: Cory Rosenberg Chief CRee8tive Officer CRee8/Fivestar Advertising
According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS), more than 1.5 million nonproﬁt organizations are registered in the U.S. This number includes public charities, private foundations, and other types of nonproﬁt organizations, including chambers of commerce, fraternal organizations and civic leagues.
The reality is that all of these well-intentioned Nonproﬁt Organizations (NPOs) are out there relying on all the same government funds and/or third-party donors such as foundations, corporate sponsors, wealthy individuals and the general public to support them. Each year brings with it new challenges for Executive Directors, Finance Committees, and ultimately the Board of Directors, as they negotiate through the economic ebbs and ﬂows of our country. Like many industries, the pandemic has brought with it a whole new set of challenges and has even brought some historically stable organizations to their knees.
So what is a NPO to do to ensure it actually has a future?
The fact is, most of the answers lie within the organization’s original mission statement. What did the founder of the organization want to accomplish by creating the organization? What problem did he or she intend to solve? Is that problem still a problem, or does the organization need to pivot to address new issues?
At CRee8/Fivestar we have helped numerous NPOs reconnect their internal operations, and corporate cultures, to the intentions of their founders. We help remind everyone involved why they do what they do, and why their contributions are so critical. We help employees feel a sense of purpose as they embrace the responsibility of carrying the torch and protecting the legacy of their founder’s original mission.
“We all know that money doesn’t grow on trees, but we also know that cultivating great relationships is paramount for NPOs.”
By doing this, processes are reworked, products and services are improved. Everyone in the organization becomes synchronized and clear on the mission and message they need to convey each day. This uniﬁed brand voice helps the marketing team tell more concise stories. This helps attract more business and improves engagement with the donating public. Clearer stories also improve conversion ratios (e.g. turning a “follower” into a “donor”) – the key to success in today’s noisy digital world.
NPOs frequently struggle with marketing because they often rely on interns, volunteers, freelancers and less- experienced staﬀ to develop and orchestrate their marketing plans. As a result, the marketing plans themselves lack the necessary depth to ensure that budgets are robust enough and the right strategies and tactics are being properly implemented to ensure eﬀectiveness. The words “we can’t aﬀord to do that” are frequently heard in the conference rooms of many NPOs, and it is this “scarcity mentality” that ultimately impedes growth. You see marketing done eﬀectively is not an expense, but a revenue generator. The reality is that ﬁnding a media eﬃciency ratio (Media Spend vs ROI) that works for your organization takes some time (and money). However, if your marketing team has been at it for a while, has accumulated a lot of data, has eﬀectively tested diﬀerent creative executions and strategies, and is still spending more money than it makes, then there’s a problem, a real problem. Most likely, that problem is that your organization’s corporate culture is weak, your employees still don’t know why the founder felt a need to start the organization in the ﬁrst place and your marketing team doesn’t have a clear and focused story to tell.
We all know that money doesn’t grow on trees, but we also know that cultivating great relationships is paramount for NPOs. While building great donor relationships can take time, they can certainly be fertilized with clear and focused storytelling. If your marketing messaging can remind people why your organization exists, and why it matters, everyday, then you’ll succeed. Consistency of messaging, a constant ﬂow of success stories that demonstrate your organization’s
uniqueness, value, and authenticity will attract people and ensure your NPOs long-term success.
Again, what you do every day matters. Tell the world why!
If your NPO needs help reconnecting to its mission and/or telling its story, reach out to Cory Rosenberg or Noel Raab at 631-420-1112 or by email at Info@FivestarAdvertising.com.