3rd Annual Belardi/Ostroy Fundraising Summit Key Points

Belardi/Ostroy kicked off its 3rd annual fundraising summit with a record number of attendees at the historic Whittemore House in Washington D.C. on Thursday, September 21. With over 50 guests, the intimate event welcomed both agency and non-profit clients and contacts. The diverse audience created a unique opportunity for healthy, inspiring and innovative discussions.

Through speakers from both the non-profit and for-profit industries, attendees could draw parallels between the two sides of business and how – when looking through a marketing lens – they are not so different.

Here are some best practices for both non-profits and for-profits companies:

Focus on the customer (or donor’s) journey…because this is your story. Retail brands are avidly working to build their brand story, while non-profits have been focused on their individual stories for years.

Get on board with display ads as they are now more important than ever. Today, internet usage (engagement) is at +4% year-over-year growth; individuals spend more than three hours per day on just mobile devices. Non-profits have yet to whole-heartedly invest in display ads, but they have the power to reach donors and therefore, increase gifting.

Concentrate on videos; they can build awareness, help acquire customers and drive conversion. Today, 80% of Twitter users watch video content. Moreover, 50 billion videos are viewed daily by more than 30 million users. Those are eyeballs that you want to view your content.

Engagement is vital. In whatever manner you can engage your audience (donors or consumers), do it. Both digital and direct marketing can help in this space. Donor/ customer research and analysis is necessary. Today, you absolutely must know your audience.

Web browsing and retargeting. Exciting new opportunities have been created to leverage visitors’ browsing behavior in email, direct mail and even social medias. With cookie-based technology, specific companies now have the identification capabilities to allow you to retarget customers/donors and prospects who visited your site but did not buy or donate with personalized offers and messaging.

Partnerships are mutually beneficial. Partnerships developed quite some time ago when companies who embodied similar brand messaging, audiences or values, realized they could help drive each other’s causes in a mutually exclusive manner. In fact, once you can target your specific audience, research demonstrates that with a targeted donor or customer, there is a larger gift or purchase.

A one-off gift or purchase is great…but a lifetime advocate or shopper is much better.

Keeping this last statement in mind, it is deeply important to keep the momentum going once initial interest is expressed in your cause or brand. How do you do this? Hit all the stops: Direct mail, digital marketing – email campaigns, social media, video, display ads and pre-roll ads, user-generated content, influencer marketing, and… anything else that comes to mind! Once you have a prospect on the hook, it is absolutely the time to be direct, aggressive and original.

Fortunately for you, this is where the Belardi/Ostroy team comes in. Interested in chatting with us about either the commercial or non-profit space? Please reach out to Rob Santangelo, Belardi’s Director of New Business Development.

Bethany Christie