Flex your multichannel muscles at the Nonprofit Blog Carnival
The Nonprofit Blog Carnival is back in town! Our topic this month: multichannel communications.
We’ve gathered some great posts from ’round the web into an invigorating Multichannel Communications Bootcamp for your reading and learning pleasure. (If a bootcamp at a carnival sounds like a contradiction in terms, don’t worry–I’m not a very tough task master, and you can eat all the cotton candy you want.)
Warm it up
What is multichannel anyway? For nonprofits, it’s a way to approach your marketing work, integrating all the different tools and channels you use to communicate (websites, direct mail, events, email, etc.). An effective multichannel program takes into account all of your many communications opportunities and makes sure that your donors, volunteers, supporters, and clients have a consistent experience of your organization wherever they look.
Integrated communications are extra important in our fast-paced world of information overload, where reaching someone in the right place at the right time with the right message is the key to making change and raising dollars.
Here are a few helpful posts to get you started:
- If you’re interested in learning more about what integrated marketing means for nonprofits and why it’s so important, these two studies released earlier this summer are worth a read: the Convio Integrated Multi-Channel Marketing Report and the 2011 donorCentrics Internet and MultiChannel Giving Benchmarking Report.
- Xico Arte Y Cultura shares their take on multichannel communications–also known as “getting the word out any way you can”–and how they’ve put integration to work for their organization.
- Here’s an interesting summary of the philosophy of integration, as presented by David DeBetta, from The Nonprofit Times. One of my favorite points: “Integration can involve as few as two channels.” It doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing proposition.
Raise, raise, raise those funds!
Multichannel fundraising is hot stuff these days, and we received a number of interesting posts about how integration can help bring in the dollars.
- On Inspring Generosity, Bridget Hankin shares her experiences using a multichannel approach to donor cultivation.
- Nowadays, no list of fundraising tips is complete without a mention of multichannel. Here are two handy lists of for fundraisers from Robert Wu on the CauseVox blog and Heather Fignar on eJewish Philanthropy that you might find interesting (pay special attention #4 and #2 respectively).
- As Jeff Brooks points out, an integrated approach to raising funds means more than just updating your materials–it has implications for your team, too, and for the way you work together to get your messages across clearly and consistently.
- Joanne Fritz reminds us that it’s not just about the ask–“multichannel thanking” can yield better results when it comes to retaining first-time donors.
Feel the burn
When you’re connecting with new audiences or exploring new tools, a multichannel strategy is important to help you reach your goals.
- Trying to reach millennials? Make it multichannel. Amy Sample Ward recaps some takeaways from the 2011 Millennial Donor Summit on the importance of using varied media to tell your story when you’re conneting with younger generations.
- If you’re communicating online, you’ll need to think outside the web to drive traffic and encourage visitors to interact. Evonne Heyning shares some slides with helpful tools for integrating communications in a social media strategy, and Ghazal Vaghedi on Frogloop offers tips for bringing a multichannel perspective to your online strategy.
- QR codes provide interesting opportunities to put multichannel tactics to work at your next event or in your next advertising campaign. Emily Goodstein on Connection Cafe provides some examples and strategies for weaving the codes into your materials.
See the results
Wondering what all of this looks like in the real world? Here are a few case studies to help you envision how an integrated approach takes shape.
- On Beth’s Blog, Paull Young of charity:water discusses integrated marketing and how it drives his organization’s fundraising strategy.
- Debra Askanase describes how Jolkona leveraged multiple communications channels to support a successful Groupon campaign for their organization.
Good work, everyone. Thanks to all who submitted posts and helped get the word out for the September Carnival. But the fun doesn’t stop here–Wild Apricot Blog is hosting the October edition of the Carnival on Tips, tools and tactics for improving the volunteer experience and effectiveness. See you there!
Any tips, ideas, or examples of integrated communications, or any great posts I’ve missed? Please share in the comments.