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If your board is feeling a bit resistant to putting together a marketing calendar, then this is the story to share! Giving campaigns and ongoing marketing can feel hectic at the best of times. Then add in the holiday season and you have a recipe for total overwhelm. Loretta saw the warning signs and took matters into her own hands, encouraging her board to participate in a pre-planned marketing calendar for the season. And you know what? They loved the experience so much, now they want to roll out a plan for the entire year. Learn how Loretta did it, how the campaign went and how she plans to move forward in this episode!

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Hosted By
Monica Maye Pitts
Monica Maye Pitts Chief Creative Officer

Getting Your Board on Board with a Marketing Calendar

If your board is feeling a bit resistant to putting together a marketing calendar, then this is the story to share!

Giving campaigns and ongoing marketing can feel hectic at the best of times. Then add in the holiday season and you have a recipe for total overwhelm.  

Loretta saw the warning signs and took matters into her own hands, encouraging her board to participate in a pre-planned marketing calendar for the season.  And you know what?  They loved the experience so much, now they want to roll out a plan for the entire year.  

Learn how Loretta did it, how the campaign went and how she plans to move forward in this episode!

Getting Your Board on Board with a Marketing Calendar Cliff Notes

One of the big things Loretta at the Stop Human Trafficking Coalition did was making a marketing calendar which produced $11,020.50 in one month for CoMoGives, and sold her board on continuing to do a pre-planned marketing calendar. The success of a  year-end campaign or other  annual campaign depends on how well you plan and execute your marketing leading up to those campaigns, including what your goals are, social media strategy, in-person campaigns, and building relationships with current and past donors.

  1. Create awareness programs and collaborate with other organizations in your community to strengthen your year-round marketing efforts
  2. Be careful not to get distracted by bright shiny marketing objects, the newest tactic, or latest hack. 
  3. Consistency is key to long-term success. If you don’t raise as much donations as you planned for the year – Learn, adjust, and make another plan for next year. You will build momentum.
  4. Start with an Assets Development Sheet for each of your board members to fill out. This will help you identify your gifts and assets, categorize them, and use them effectively in your year-round marketing.
  5. Using social media scheduling platforms like Hootsuite (which is free for nonprofits) are an effective way to schedule out batches of posts and save time

What did they do differently?

  • They took MayeCreate’s Marketing Plan Template and made a marketing plan and planned their content for every single day in December, which removed  a lot of stress for them
  • They decided not get overwhelmed at the idea of making a plan and listened to Monica’s advice that you just have to get started somewhere
  • They went out and talked to other organizations and found out what’s working for them (like what kinds of social media posts they get the most engagement with)
  • They recruited their board to get donor matches
  • For donor matches, they asked a couple partners if they would donate, and would be willing to let that donation be a donor match for specific days of their campaign (which turned out to be some of their highest-giving days)
  • They did Facebook Live videos, which did extremely well – Many trafficking survivors use emotional support animals, so they did Facebook Lives giving a treat to Loretta’s dog for every $100 that is donated
  • When recruiting new partners for donor matches, they named partners that already committed to donating
  • Recruit influencers and well-known people – The Coalition had a long-standing relationship with Columbia-native NASCAR Champion Carl Edwards, who supported them by making a video

What will they do next year?

  • They had a lot of success sharing real survivor story videos, so they will keep doing that next year (specifically highlighting how those survivors are being helped at that moment)
  • Keep utilizing their wonderful partners and volunteers to create unique campaigns that get people’s attention and inspire them to donate
  • Keep showing the “human touch” of their work and mission
  • Expand on their donor matching efforts in creative ways (including more service matching like mental health services and chiropractic care)
  • Partnering with a local movie theater to create a documentary of survivor stories
  • Help people know that they can help in multiple ways, not just giving, like sharing on social media or volunteering their time
  • Push host parties where donors and other supporters can host educational parties that raise awareness for human trafficking
  • Use peer to peer donations more effectively

Marketing lessons learned.

  • Daily themes are a really powerful idea for social media (like emotional support animal day, etc)
  • Brainstorming and meeting regularly within a committee is a great way to generate great ideas, but also get buy-in from your entire organization
  • Schedule out social posts for a smaller chunk of time at first (like a week), analyze data from that week, then incorporate what you learned into batching out larger chunks of posts in the future. It’s important to research what times are best to post on social media for nonprofitsActually making a marketing plan relieves a LOT of stress, is worth the work up front, and eliminates a lot of late nights
  • Sending live updates to your team and board is a great way to energize and get buy-in from your entire organization, and encourages everyone on the team to post on their own social media
  • Highlighting service providers who do in-kind donations are a great source of content
  • Using email is a key piece of an effective marketing plan
  • Planning your marketing is also about creating processes, which makes your organization WAY more efficient
  • Find people on the front lines who talk to the people you help, and gather great stories from them

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