CONNECT Partnership for Nonprofit Solutions
Marketing On A Tight Budget page 3
CONNECT is a project of the Orangewood Children’s Foundation and is funded in part by the Children and Families Commission of Orange County and Families and Communities Together.
Where’s my CO NNECTions? Update - Page 4
Free Workshop s from OCCBP Page 4
Take one AmeriCorps Corner Page 4
‘This Ad Cost Nothing’ Page 3
Letter from the Director Page 2
ective low-c ost market nonprofit w ing for a sm ho seeks to all change the world.
Letter from the Director
Tips & Trends for the Time Margarita McCullough Director
ver the past year our CONNECT team explored a variety of strategies to become more efficient with our time and resources. One key strategy we’ve researched and employed is the use of technology for training and information sharing. While this is not a new approach for professional nonprofit training entities, the trend is becoming an increasingly popular method of orienting individuals to your organization. Whether it a first-time introduction to your agency or an orientation for a new employee or volunteer the methods to go about this range from simple (and cheap) to highly complex (and expensive)! Although the capability to offer online trainings/webinars has generally been associated with subscriptions or licensing software there are some low and no- cost resources. For example, GoToWebinar is a well-known web conferencing tool that allows users to host online seminars for up to 1,000 participants. This tool can be utilized to orient new volunteers or staff to your program or to hold monthly collaborative meetings when time is at a premium. The annual subscription usually ranges from about $950 to $4,800 but through TechSoup.org, nonprofits with budgets less than $5 million can purchase an annual rate of $97 per year for up to five years.
800 N. Eckhoff St. Building 123 Orange, CA 92868-6838 www.connectoc.net
For agencies that don’t have the time and staffing resources to learn new software there is a very simplified alternative. The most basic and inexpensive method is through the use of Microsoft’s Power Point software. Although this is not a new tool to most, one use is sometimes overlooked. For example, we are accustomed to viewing a power point presentation in a more dynamic setting with someone standing in front of a room. However, this same method can be used to share information by posting either an interactive or pdf version of a power point presentation on your agency’s website for interested donors and volunteers to view on their own time. You can utilize the same (or slightly revised as appropriate) presentation that you already use to promote your agency in the community. Though neither of these resources can replace a personal touch or the energy you bring in person, they are good tools to integrate into a portion of your orientation/meeting routine or to introduce your agency to those that are just ‘passing through’ your website seeking more information. For more information about web conferencing, discounted subscriptions and software and even a webinar on how to host a webinar, visit TechSoup.org.
Margarita McCullough, MA Director firstname.lastname@example.org (714) 704-8097
Judith Serafini VISTA Project Coordinator email@example.com (714) 704-8050
Tabitha Isom VISTA Leader firstname.lastname@example.org Phone Number TBA
Emily Bradley OCCBP VISTA email@example.com Phone Number TBA
Laura Arévalo AmeriCorps Project Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org (714) 704-8237
David Nichols VISTA Leader email@example.com Phone Number TBA
April Alvarez OCCBP Project Manager firstname.lastname@example.org (714)704-8206
Mitchell McInerney OCCBP VISTA email@example.com (714)704-8288
CONNECTions Spring 2010
Low-cost Marketing Takes Creativity 5 steps to marketing in a down economy
very organization is feeling the financial pinch. Between budget cuts, drops in donations, and an increasing number of clients in need, organizations are faced with tough decisions regarding where to most effectivly invest resources.
‘This Ad Cost (Almost) Nothing’
When the economy struggles, marketing is often the first to go. But that decision can hurt organizational sustainability in the long run. Here are 5 steps to keep your marketing on track in spite of the financial strain: Take a deep breath and relax: The worst thing you can do right now is stop marketing activities altogether. It’s more important than ever to keep in touch with your current donors, volunteers and other stakeholders. 1
Evaluate your marketing: What is your return on investment? How much of your marketing expands awareness of your cause? Drop the efforts that don’t work and focus on the ones that do. 2
Get creative: There is no such thing as free marketing but, with a little innovation you can implement effective low-cost marketing. An example is provided to the right but it’s not the only idea out there. Think about the audience you want to reach, and what you want from them. Remember that not every marketing method fits and be selective. 3
Develop your action plan: Take the information you have and develop a plan for revised marketing strategies that are aligned with available resources. 4
In 2009 the Salvation Army in Porland, Maine set out on a gargantuan grassroots, guerrilla campaign that was supported by 50+ local businesses. The campaign included free advertising donated by companies in some of the most surprising places. The creative team at VIA, the ad agency behind the campaign, wrote, painted, stamped and even burned campaign messages onto everything from rocks, tarps and dirty car windshields to storefront windows, pizza boxes and coffee sleeves. The use of donated space was leveraged within the campaign to show that donations will be put to the best use. “It has been a ton of work but also a ton of fun. It has been great for us to really feel a part of a community effort at a time when our community needs us the most. The positive energy that has been generated has been pretty inspiring” Said VIA.
For more inspiration visit: Keep looking ahead: Things will get thiscampaigncostnothing.tumblr.com better and you need to prepare for that. Develop a plan for restored efforts as the financial climate improves. For more resources on marketing on a budget visit: http://miniurl.org/1AH -By Emily Lawrence, CONNECT VISTA 5
CONNECTions Spring 2010
OCCBP Workshops Orange County Capacity Building Program Offers Free Workshops to Eligible Nonprofits Faith and community-based organizations meeting certain eligibility requirements are invited to attend capacity building workshops at no cost. Organizations must be located in Orange County and providing job readiness, workforce development, or support services to low income individuals or families in at least one of eight targeted Orange County cities. Organizations interested in attending capacity building workshops must fill out the eligibility questionnaire at www.connectoc.net/eligibility.asp . Eligible organizations will receive more information about the topics, times, and locations in advance of the workshops. Upcoming Workshops: • How to Access and Navigate Government Services Thursday, September 16 • Evaluating Program Effectiveness Friday, November 12
Update CONNECT has had a lot of exciting changes, and we will be shifting our marketing efforts to more strategically focus on our current program structure. For the last year Quick CONNECTions has been a bi-weekly comprehensive resource newsletter full of quick tips and resources to increase stainability of nonprofits in the county. CONNECT will now be distributing separate program-specific Quick CONNECTions moving forward. This will allow us to provide more relevant resources directly to each audience. To continue being CONNECTed to resources log onto our web site and register for the Orange County Capacity Building Program.
VISTA Program Completes Largest Member Exit to Date As First 5 VISTA members complete their one-year term of service this summer, with the majority of members exiting in August, CONNECT will administer the program’s largest exit ever. This can largely be attributed to last year’s influx of members in part due to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funded “Recovery” VISTA positions and the large number of re-enrolled 2008-2009 members. These VISTAs provided valuable capacity building support and innovation to the nonprofits and communities they served. We appreciate all they have done to build capacity in our local nonprofits. To see images from the 2009-2010 AmeriCorps & VISTA service year visit: http://miniurl.org/LBB.
AmeriCorps VISTA members pose for a group photo at the 2010 Life After AmeriCorps Training in June.