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Help non-profits make the most of their limited marketing dollars at TechEd Innovation Weekend

Help non-profits make the most of their limited marketing dollars

One of the business cases at Innovation weekend is about helping non-profits better understand their marketing campaign results.

Non-profits in most countries are faced with lots of constraints – budget, people, resources and time. One of the most common restrictions is the expectation that organizations will spend no more than 10-15% of their budget on “overhead”. This is understandable as donors want to make sure that their money is going to support the mission, not the organization. The downside is that non-profits need to make some big impacts with limited dollars.

The challenge of communicating with members, donors and potential donors is compounded by these resource constraints.  Organizations need to answer questions like:

  • What types of campaigns are most effective?
  • How do we get people to donate to our cause?
  • What drives people to take action?
  • How do we ensure we are making most efficient use of our scarce marketing resources?
  • How do we respond to breaking news and make instant changes to our strategy?


These questions are very difficult to answer without access to the data. And more than that, the data is scattered among multiple disconnected systems. What is needed is a simple way to aggregate these data sources and present the information in a way that can be easily interpreted. The data must be actionable and those actions linked back into our financial and marketing systems.

One of the most common questions is about the effectiveness of different types of email campaigns. Email newsletters often contain multiple articles and links which tends to dilute effectiveness and lead to lower click-through rates. Emails with just one call-to-action tend to be much more effective. However, having this data to prove the case and get the communications department to adjust strategy can be challenging.

I wrote about a similar problem for a Canadian environmental organzation earlier this year on my blog here

Working on this business case as part of Innovation Weekend, you have the chance to solve some real problems for non-profits that not only improve effectiveness, but make the most of some scarce resources.

You can add your thoughts and help build out the business case (even if you won’t be there in person!!!) on the wiki here: Analyzing and improving marketing campaign effectiveness

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