Raise Funds and Increase Awareness - Applying Business Disciplines To Maximize Your Organization’s Success.

World Conference on Drowning Prevention Potsdam 2013 Presented by: Rebecca Wear Robinson www.rebeccawearrobinson.com rebeccalioness@gmail.com Drowning may be a global epidemic, but the issue faces intense competition from any number of public health and social issues for funding and the attention of the public and policy-makers. Many drowning prevention organizations are heavily reliant on volunteers or are operating on unreliable and relatively low income streams based on sporadic grants, donations and self-funding. My goal is to have organizations working on drowning prevention have the clout and the budgets of such organizations as American Cancer Society ($934 million/year), Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation ($472 million/year), World Wildlife Fund ($255 million/year), and the (RED) Campaign to the Global Fund (AIDS) ($200 million/year). Money isn’t the answer to all the world’s problems, but it is necessary to develop and implement effective programs, hire the best talent, and compete on the global stage among all the other demands for the public’s attention. What is really interesting is where the money comes from - and it’s the key to any not-for-profit organization’s success. Both the Susan G. Komen Fund and World Wildlife Fund get around 37% of their annual contributions from individual donors, a track record that keeps the bigger corporate and foundation funds flowing. The $200 million to the

Global Fund represents 50% of the revenue that individuals spent at participating corporations on (RED)-branded products. That’s $400 million in shirts, coffee, shoes, wine, Coca-Cola and headphones that are (RED) branded. Such an incredible level of funding doesn’t just happen. They don’t have more important causes than drowning prevention. They aren’t even dealing with the massive hidden global epidemic that is drowning. They do understand how to raise awareness and engage the public. They make people feel part of something bigger than themselves, something highly recognizable, something nobel. Something people can identify with personally. They have raised awareness about their issue and organization so that the money comes to them year after year, and they can make a difference. It is possible for any organization, no matter what size, to achieve the same goals - increase awareness and raise funds. During this paper I will break down the four components that are key to developing and operating a successful organization and outline specific actions that can contribute to an organization’s success. • • • • Evaluate Strategy and Assets Analyze Opportunities for Social Marketing and Traditional Marketing Analyze Target Markets and Approaches for Engagement Develop a Plan to Attract Funding

Evaluate Strategy and Assets Drowning prevention is a complex field with many players and organizations. To be effective it is critical that efforts are focused on targeted actions and audiences. It’s not about doing “just about anything,” but doing the right things, in the right places, with the right resources. To improve the bottom line, organizations must take a hard look at who they are, what they want to accomplish, and what non-monetary and monetary assets they currently possess.

It is tempting to dive right into the details, but it is worth the time and energy to take a step back first and be clear on who you are. What do you tell the world? What do the key people believe about the organization? This takes the form of a mission statement. Done well, a mission statement will be the filter through which every business decision is run. Wondering whether you should form a strategic alliance, expand to another country, invest in research, or develop educational materials? Check back to your mission statement and see if these decisions are aligned with who you are. A mission statement says ‘this is who we are’. A mission statement should be specific, inspiring, include three action verbs, and be reviewed annually. An organization will look different in it’s start-up phase and in it’s mature years. The mission statement should accurately reflect the naturally changing goals of an organization and it’s leaders. ‘Ending drowning’ is not a mission statement, it’s your vision, the end goal you are working towards. A mission statement tells the world this is how we are working to achieve that vision. Once you have a mission statement that sends shivers up your spine, that says ‘this is who we are’, develop a strategy of 5-10 statements that say ‘this is how it looks’. Do you provide a service? Educate people directly? Develop education materials? Distribute equipment? Provide training? Develop products? Who is your audience? How do you reach your audience? Where is your audience? Do you work with children? Adults? Where does your work occur? Your strategy will provide the detail of how you are going to fulfill your mission statement. Once you have a mission statement and strategy, you have the framework for developing tactics - or the ‘this is how do we do it’, always incorporating a way for measuring your results. Break down each one of your strategies and develop a tactic for executing each statement. You’ll need to continually circle back to your mission statement to make sure you are in sync, and to check against each strategy to make sure there is no conflict in your goals, and you’ll need to be realistic in your tactics. You can have a long-term goal of global domination, and include steps to reach that goal,

but remember the adage about how to eat an elephant, one bite at a time. Make sure your current mission statement, strategy and tactics reflect both your big-picture ideals and your current realities, and set benchmarks to measure your progress. The final step is to evaluate your assets - the ‘this is what we need to do it’. Look at what you have in place right now in terms of your people, your social media presence, your traditional media presence, your bricks-andmortar physical possessions, the value of your name in the marketplace. Make a list of your strengths and your weaknesses - and be brutal. If you think you have a fantastic social media presence, look at how your numbers compare to comparable organizations in your field, and compare them to successful organizations in other fields. Get unbiased outside information to confirm your analysis. See how your assets align with your strategy and make adjustments. Do you have the right people in place? Do you need to shift people resources around or get additional training for some existing staff? Are there some assets that are no longer needed with your revised mission statement and strategy? What assets do you need to add? Can you acquire needed assets with your current financial plan? What reasonable steps do you need to take to acquire the right assets? (hoping the Gates Foundation will drop a few hundred million in your lap is not a realistic immediate goal) Again, set up a way of measuring your results and commit to measuring and assessing your results monthly, or at least quarterly. If you aren’t getting the right results or fast enough results, look at your strategy, don’t just keep doing the same thing expecting different results. The trick is to continually circle back to your mission statement and develop a strategy that can be reasonably executed using assets that are currently available or easily attainable. Once you are clear on your goals, the next step is to market your organization or initiative. Let’s look at what social marketing and traditional marketing mean and how you need to use both of them effectively.

Analyze Opportunities for Social Marketing and Traditional Marketing Marketing, as defined by Philip Kotler, the guru of marketing and author of “Marketing Management” is “the set of human activities directed at facilitating and consummating exchanges.” It is the process of identifying your target market, your audience, and reaching them effectively, of convincing them to change their behavior, whether that behavior is buying your products or services, volunteering their time, donating their money or spreading the word via social media. We tend to think of marketing purely as exchanging money for goods and services, of choosing Coke vs. Pepsi, but marketing is far more than that. Marketing is engaging someone and making them feel like their involvement or purchase is part of who they are. The key to successful marketing is ‘engage’. You can’t just force people to change, you need to engage them, listen, hear their needs and desires, find the audience who shares the same beliefs as your organization, and then make a targeted pitch of your approach to demonstrate the match in interests, values and motivations. Let me be clear - no one cares about your cause, your organization, your initiative, your opinion - unless you explain to them why they should care in a way that resonates with them. People may care on a surface level that something tragic happened to you or they like you and want to support your cause, but that doesn’t mean they will change their behavior or become involved in more than a superficial way unless you make it part of them, part of who they are. We want people to feel that volunteering or contributing or learning from a drowning prevention organization is important to them, so important that they feel that part of their identity is defined by saying, ‘I work with an organization teach lifeguards in other countries’. ‘I volunteer with this organization and am in the water teaching special needs children basic swimming and water safety to make them safer in the water‘ ‘I financially support this organization because they are doing something important that matters to me’ ‘I am teaching my child to swim because I want them to be safer around water’. All of these attitudes tell the world that they are, by association, doing

something important, that their values are important, that how they spend their time and money is of true value to society. This can only occur if you are clear on specifically who you are and what you are trying to achieve, so back to the importance of a clear and inspirational mission statement. No one supports any cause or organization when they don’t clearly understand what they do. Social marketing is taking marketing to a much higher level, of applying principles of marketing to social and public health issues. Social marketing is marketing healthy attitudes and behaviors rather than products or services because they benefit society rather than a specific corporate/consumer interest. Social marketing is harnessing market forces to change behavior for the social good. Social marketing is used to ensure that ideas that are meant to change behavior for the social good aren’t just adopted but are actually implemented. It is being used to tackle huge public health and safety issues, such as obesity, bullying, and healthy lifestyles and eating habits. It is an ideal fit for drowning prevention because we must increase the public’s awareness about the dangers of drowning and then keep their attention and convince them to change their underlying attitudes about water and provide them with the correct behaviors to model around water once we have their attention. Marketing will allow us to get their attention and keep it long enough to teach them to change their behavior. Social marketing can be used by each individual organization working to end drowning, but it is far more important that we collaborate on a global level to ensure that we are sending consistent messages and creating campaigns that work together, not in competition. You can read more about my thoughts about collaboration at http://rebeccawearrobinson.com/collaboration-real-meaning/ or about the importance of consistent messaging and social marketing at http://www.scribd.com/doc/180172408/Social-Marketing-for-GuidelinesPotsdam-2013-doc . The key to any successful marketing or social marketing campaign is to identify and engage your target audience, the people you want to reach and

influence. Next we are going to look at how to identify your audience and look at how other organizations are using their mission statement to successfully identify and engage their audiences.

Analyze Target Markets and Approaches for Engagement The Susan G. Komen Fund and the World Wildlife Fund receive about 37% of their annual contributions from individuals, which then increases their clout in attracting corporate and philanthropic donations. They have such outstanding success because they know their target audience and engage them in a way that makes them identify with their brand. Their donors and supporters feel a personal connection and a commitment to having these organizations succeed, even though many women will never get breast cancer and even fewer people will see animals in the wild. They have managed to make people feel part of something bigger than themselves, something noble, something important. Their success ties back to being true to their mission statements. Let’s look at two examples in the wildlife conservation field and how their approach differs but is perfectly in sync with their mission statement, which has led to their continuing success and substantial funding. World Wildlife Fund and Greenpeace are both well-known organizations working to conserve wildlife. Both have annual income of $200-$300 million. Both utilize social media and traditional media effectively and both engage volunteers and the public successfully. Where they differ is in their mission statement, which directly affects who they attract to donate and volunteer, and how they go about their work. Their mission statements read: “Greenpeace is the leading independent campaigning organization that uses peaceful protest and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and to promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.”

“World Wildlife Fund's mission is to conserve nature and reduce the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on Earth. Our vision is to build a future in which people live in harmony with nature.” Notice the difference in the words, in the emotions the words evoke. Greenpeace uses strong words like ‘protest’ ‘expose’ ‘problems’. Their website http://www.greenpeace.org home page has a picture of a dead polar bear with humans turning their backs and walking away across a desolate landscape. They have photos of their widely-recognized fleet of boats that protest whaling and their articles are very focused on the actionoriented, in-your-face approach that Greenpeace uses. As of this writing, they have 31 protesters in Russian jails, which they are leveraging in the media to stimulate outrage and solidarity with their cause. Greenpeace attracts people who feel that they are ‘independent’ who will ‘protest’ to ‘expose’ and ‘promote solutions’. World Wildlife Fund uses more conciliatory language like ‘conserve’ ‘reduce threats’ ‘diversity on Earth’. Their website http://worldwildlife.org shows incredible photos of people and majestic live animals - a centerpiece of a group of people (including a celebrity) helping a rhino. Their stories are about hope triumphing over adversity, raising awareness about vanishing species, success stories. World Wildlife Fund attracts people who want to ‘conserve’ ‘reduce threats’, who favor ‘diversity of life’ and who want to ‘live in harmony with nature’. They attract people who want to ‘adopt’ an endangered species and are happy to receive a beautiful stuffed animal toy to commemorate their commitment. Both organizations are successful because they are clear on who they are and all of their efforts, whether interventions, programs, social media, media, or volunteer opportunities are all congruent with their stated mission. Undoubtedly one of their mission statements resonated with you, while the other felt a bit uncomfortable - either too aggressive or too passive - which is why you might support one organization over the other with your money and your time. There is not a right or a wrong way to address such a huge issue as wildlife conservation, just as there is not a right or a wrong way to address the complex and global issue of drowning.

The trick is to focus your effort on the audience who agrees with how you operate. You will have several different target markets or audiences. Volunteers, donors, corporate sponsors, strategic partners, high-profile spokespeople. Look at each one of those audiences and think ‘what is in it for them? What need are they looking to have fulfilled?’ and then develop a strategy for each of your audiences about how to engage them. In order to do this you will need to look at the demographics of each group, how they communicate, and what motivates them. Some categories you need to consider to reach your audience, depending on who your audience is and how they prefer to interact: - Traditional media - Fundraising - Direct mail - E-mail blasts - Blogging - Face-to-face interaction - Town meetings - Events - Product give-aways so they can advertise their support, show their friends that they are part of something big and important, help reinforce their decision to support you. - Website - is yours effective? Does it make it easy for people to connect via social media? Are you highlighting your good content or hiding it? Is it in sync with your mission statement in terms of visuals and content? - Social media - extremely critical - are you engaging your audience? What are the current demographics of your audience? How do you best reach your target audience using the different social media platforms? What is the desired behavior of your target audience (increase interaction? reinforce an allegiance to your organization? attract and retain volunteers?). At a minimum you should be active on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Look at Pinterest, YouTube and other sites if they attract your target audience because each platform attracts different demographics. WeChat is taking off while Facebook is losing the teen market but strong with women. It’s a constantly changing field, but if you are targeting a

specific audience it makes it easier to manage your online presence. The key is engage, engage, engage - don’t just post things, but an effective social media policy is another discussion. Most important, once you have decided on a strategy for reaching your audience, decide how you are going to measure your results. Start with a baseline - where are you now in terms of followers, volunteers, programs, and any other action that would signify success (number of rescues, number of classes, number of volunteers attracted, number of media mentions, number of likes or shares). Set up a spreadsheet and then measure the results every month. If something isn’t working, look at why it isn’t working and make adjustments, always circling back to your mission statement and strategy. Now you know who you are, how you want to proceed and who you want to reach - let’s look at how to fund your organization.

Develop A Plan To Attract Funding The desired behavior for any organization must be developing a reliable and sustainable source of funding and methods of self-funding to support your organization and hire the most talented staff. Everything we have talked about up to this point costs little or nothing but is critical in plotting the success of your organization and establishing why your organization is a good investment - to donors, to corporate sponsors, to strategic partners. To make the plan succeed, your focus needs to be firmly on the bottom line when you move forward. Thanks to the internet and social media, you can do an enormous amount to engage your audience and promote your organization at very little cost. It certainly requires a time commitment, but financially it produces a very high return on investment, because no one is going to give you money unless you can prove that you will use that money effectively and provide a good return on investment. People want to feel good about investing, they

want visible proof of success, which is why you need to measure results in areas that show success. Return on investment will mean different things to different people, so circle back again to your target markets. What is important to them? How would they define ‘return on investment’? Keep in mind that some of the big organizations get 37% of their donations from individuals, and evidence of individual loyalty may appeal to your other audiences, so it’s not just about applying for grants or corporate donations, it’s engaging individuals in the ways that matter to them. Knowing your target markets, continually ask yourself, ‘what’s in it for them?’ and make sure you are measuring the results in those areas. Big philanthropists are increasingly looking for measurable results that pass the cost-benefit test. You need to show them the numbers. Individual donors need to feel a personal connection to your work to open their purses - and no, telling them they should care about drowning is not enough, you have to help them understand why they should care - this is where marketing comes into play again. Volunteers need to feel they are involved with the greater good, that also makes them feel good personally. Strategic partnerships will only get married if it strengthens their position. If you are clear on who you are trying to reach, who your audience is, and you are measuring results, you will quickly be able to assess whether your marketing efforts are successful. If your mission statement, your marketing activities and your audience are not compatible, it will show up very quickly in poor results. Finally, take a hard look at your team and make sure you have a proven fund-raiser or sales person on the team. Not a drowning prevention expert. Not a not-for-profit expert. A fund-raiser or top sales person from any field. The best can learn about what they are raising funds for, or what programs they need to sell, but the ability to raise funds is completely different from the skills needed to manage an organization, motivate volunteers. If you don’t have someone now, make it a priority to hire that person. Make sure they buy into your mission statement and your strategy and then let them

do what they do best - get the money - so you can expand and be more effective. I leave you with this challenge. No matter how old or young your organization, no matter how big or how small, not matter if you have plenty of funds or virtually none, step back and ask yourself, WHO ARE WE? Once you can say: THIS IS WHO WE ARE, THIS IS HOW IT LOOKS, THIS IS HOW WE DO IT; and THIS IS WHAT WE NEED TO DO IT. Then, you have a formula for success.

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