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mission world cloudA mission statement is an integral part of any organization. It is your opportunity to define the firm’s goals, values and purpose. The best mission statements explain what the organization does for its recipients, its donors, its community, and for the world.

A large majority of mission statements are laden with hollow phrases that do not adequately describe their unique organization. People often write mission statements out of obligation, failing to understand the purpose and value of a well written piece.

A mission statement, when well developed, is a formidable tool to communicate to donors and other public sector players the fundamental objectives of your organization, helping them to gain an understanding of your non-profit.

So how do you write a good mission statement?

community managementIn Part 1 of our social media series we spoke of the marketing tool in a corporation and/or a non-profit. We asked questions including, what is it? How does it relate to your organization? What is the value? What function does it serve?

In Part 2, as we moved past fundamentals, we unpacked the magic of social media. We considered what makes it so special, why it's so vital, how it will help the organization, and on which areas of engagement it focuses.

In our third and final part of the social media for non-profits series, we will look at conditions and characteristics that are necessary for success in social media marketing. We will also look into consumer trends of social media and how that affects your marketing scheme.

Without further adieu, here are a few of the conditions that are necessary for success when engaging in social media marketing:

magicLast week we spoke of social media in a corporation and/or a non-profit. What is it? How does it relate to your organization? What is its value? What function does it serve?

This week, as we move beyond the fundamentals, we can unpack a little bit of the magic of social media. What makes it so special? Why is it so vital? How will it help your organization? On what areas of engagement does it focus?

Why is Social Media Marketing relevant to my non-profit organization?nonprofit social heart 300x237

Social media marketing can be used to efficiently communicate a message to countless potential donors at high levels of engagement and low costs.

What separates social media from other forms of media are two factors: 

1 - It can be personalized.

Rather than broadcasting a message to thousands of unnecessary users - say with direct response for example - an organization can use social media to directly target relevant users that are interested in their particular cause. You can search for #hashtags to follow trends and see what users are talking about something that your organization is involved with - and then follow them. Or - you can use the advertising options to reach your target audience by sharing your ad with ONLY your target demographic.

2 - Social media advertising is arguably the most cost effective method of advertising.

On Saturday, April 25th, an earthquake struck Nepal. Kathmandu, the nation's capital city, has been overcome by shattered temples and toppled houses. Many citizens have paid their last respects to loved ones taken by the horrible natural disaster.


Photo courtesy of pbs.org

To date, over 7,300 people have been reported dead and more than 12,000 people are injured (Al Jazeera, May 3). Eight million people across the country have been affected, including one million children who desperately need assistance. 

This is just a snapshot of statistics, barely illustrating the scale of the devastation from the earthquake. Unfortunately, these grim numbers are likely to continue rising as the likelihood of further rescues diminish with every passing hour.

And just last night, there was a tremor near Mount Everest that caused dozens of more deaths. The result of this will only be seen in the coming days.

But as they say, in the darkest hour the brightest lights can shine. Whenever there is a natural disaster, whether it is a tsunami in Asia or an earthquake in Haiti, the global community comes together to help those affected.

How can we help organizations become more effective and efficient in times like this?

catalytic philanthropy 2013 600pxIn the world of the public sector there are three overarching types of philanthropy:

  • Traditional philanthropy
  • Venture philanthropy
  • Catalytic philanthropy

So what differentiates them?

As you know, people from each generation operate within a specific context and respond to situations differently.

ikea billboard designThink about your little brother and your mother - do they respond the same way to a billboard advertising Ikea? Or what about your older cousin and your grandfather, do they both enjoy punk music?

These dissimilarities in taste are extremely important to consider, especially when looking through a fundraising lens. If non-profit organizations can understand how each generation prefers to donate their time and/or money to charity, these organizations can definitely increase their fundraising efforts.

  • thank you donorsDid you know that the average American non-profit organization loses seventy percent of donors after the first gift?
  • Or that there is only a 10-15% chance that a donor will make five consecutive charitable contributions?

These statistics show just how tough it is for organizations to retain donors and how the public sector isn't going about it in the right way. The notion that it costs much more to secure a new customer than to retain an old one, which is fully understood in the corporate world, has somehow been lost in the public sector.

make a differenceThere is one question common to all donors regardless of their age, sex, race, or socioeconomic background.

"How is my donation actually helping to make a difference?"

A study conducted by Blackbaud research group showed that fifty-five percent of Gen Y and forty-four percent of Gen X say that seeing the direct impact of their contribution has a significant bearing on their decision to donate money. Baby Boomer and the Civic generation place far less importance on tangible, visible results; however, twenty-eight percent and thirty-four percent respectively still said it would influence their decision to give money.

atul tandonAtul Tandon is an entrepreneur, humanitarian, author and adviser. He has worked in the consumer banking, e-commerce, humanitarian relief and development industries. In 2009, he was named one of the top fundraisers in the USA, and was a leading voice behind the worldwide ONE campaign.

For two years, Atul Tandon was the Executive Director for United Way and its International Network comprising forty-one countries. He provided guidance and leadership to United Way's global network, including the advancement of the organization's fund-raising objectives.

Powering the world to do well by doing good.