Nonprofit News from 4imprint
The recent introduction of the Fundraising Preference Service (FPS) has redefined the nature of third sector marketing. Under the new system, charities who receive a one-off donation can no longer assume that the donor is opting to receive further marketing communications. On the one hand, that could be seen to make it more difficult for charities to build relationships with people who give money and raise funds in the future. But on the other, it should be all the motivation they need to adopt more creative and engaging marketing content in cost-effective ways.

Use internal talent
Charities are aware that marketing campaigns can be costly, so they are under pressure to use donated funds effectively and get a good return on this investment. With this in mind, it makes sense to tap into the skills and expertise you already have within your organisation.

For instance, Mike South of Parkinson’s UK points out that making videos for social media can actually be very inexpensive, as many charity employees will already have the tools and knowledge they need to produce an engaging clip. ‘Even if you’re a small charity, you will already have someone on staff, or a supporter, who is already making films for fun. Give them the time and support to make something clean and simple.’

Mr South pointed out that while the video they produce may not be as good as one made by a professional, it doesn’t necessarily need to be. This, he said, is why Parkinson’s UK has trained other staff members to make films on their phones, so they can create videos for its website and social media every week. ‘Regularly going from client brief to finished video is way more efficient if it’s done in-house. Take proper ownership of your charity’s stories and make your own films.’

The same philosophy could be applied to many other aspects of charity marketing. For instance, if you have colleagues who are skilled in art or graphic design, get them involved in producing marketing collateral and have an input in creating posters, leaflets and designs for promotional products whether that’s a display banner for your reception, branded notepaper or t-shirts for fundraisers. As your staff understand your overall communications content strategy they could make a valuable contribution to connecting with prospective donors.

Don’t be afraid of being creative
According to Chris Arnold, Co-Founder of the ethical marketing agency Creative Orchestra, the FPS should serve as a motivation to charities to ‘re-engage the public through positive campaigning,’

He noted that investing in advertising is always a good option, as it works, reaches the masses quickly, and ‘if done well, sells,’ However, he said that in order to deliver the best results, they need to be willing to move beyond ‘bland’ campaigns and go for a more creative approach.

Mr Arnold noted that charities used to be some of the most creative clients about, which means agencies were often happy to work with them on a pro-bono basis as ‘they knew they could both win awards and make a difference.’ Returning to this approach could therefore yield the rewards charitable bodies are keen to achieve.

Re-engage at a community level
Since charities rely on public goodwill it’s well worth trying to encourage word-of-mouth marketing. For instance, a third sector body could take part in a local event and use the opportunity to raise awareness (and funds) by selling on their logo branded items such as trolley coin keyrings, badges or wristbands.

Mr Arnold also added community engagement needs to be done ‘well and responsibly.’ As ‘with a more diverse population, they need to better understand the complex make-up of communities, from identity to ethics, from culture to faiths,’ he said. ‘They also need to connect not just with the older generation but the younger too – Gen Z, millennials and students.’

By harnessing the talent you have within your organisation and understanding the people you are trying to connect with, your team should be ideally placed to produce a creative and cost-effective promotional drive that generates tangible results.


Sources / Further Reading

Kirsty Marrins: It’s time to start investing in video Third Sector
Why charities need to stop the bland marketing and rediscover their creative purpose CampaignLive