Online Fundraising Strategy Digital Marketing

Using Alternative Marketing to Stand Out


Episode Summary

In this episode, we hear from Robyn Blakeman, an Associate Professor at the University of Tennessee. She discusses Guerrilla Marketing and alternative ways to help your organization be noticed, recognized and remembered.

Marketing has changed, but the principles remain the same. In this episode, we talk about the fundamentals of marketing and how to create integrated marketing campaigns. Key takeaway: start with a strong idea that resonates with your community and maximize its reach through your media.

A chapter in our book, “Brick by Brick” talks about the importance of creating a good marketing strategy by relating it to a Psychological principle known as “Brain Priming”. By using alternative marketing techniques, you are actually presenting your organization as different as well as unique.

Every organization, whether for-profit or non-profit, needs a good marketing strategy. It’s almost the same as the courtship process in humans. In a saturated scenario, almost every organization makes use of the same marketing methods. Now, how can you stand out in an ocean of the same thing? – Be different!

Robyn shows us how traditional marketing methods are transferable to technology and how trust is still the number one factor when it comes to developing connection, engagement, and relationships. Listen in to find out what these aforementioned marketing methods are and how you can put them to good use.

About Robyn Blakeman

Robyn Blakeman received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska in 1980 and her master’s from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, in 1996.

Upon graduation in 1980, she moved to Texas, where she began her career as a designer for an architectural magazine. She next took a position as mechanical director for one of the top advertising agencies in Dallas before eventually leaving to work as a freelance designer.

Professor Blakeman began teaching advertising and graphic design in 1987, first with the Art Institutes and then as an Assistant Professor of Advertising teaching both graphic and computer design at Southern Methodist University. As an Assistant Professor of Advertising at West Virginia University she developed the creative track in layout and design. She was also responsible for designing and developing the first Online Integrated Marketing Communications Graduate Certificate and Online Integrated Marketing Communications Graduate programs in the country. 

She has published two texts, The Bare Bones of Advertising Print Design, and Creative Strategy for Integrated Marketing Communications. Professor Blakeman currently teaches design at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.


Online Fundraising Strategy Digital Marketing

Getting Real with Your Data, Your Numbers and What Works for You


Episode Summary

Let’s get real in this episode on data and understanding what works for you. Geoff Livingston provides knowledge based on his many experiences working with nonprofits that took years to learn. Data is full of surprises and if you watch carefully, you can find trends that help you better connect with your audience and actually get your message in front of your donors in way that catches and holds their attention.

Knowing your audience not only allows you to tailor your communication to your target market’s preferences, but it also allows your organization to come across as one that is familiar with its supporters. “Repetition builds familiarity” after all.

Best practices and benchmarks are a great way to see what’s happening on a larger scale and they can certainly help guide you in your marketing, but there is a lot to be said for studying your own data and finding what works for you; because, what works for someone else may not necessarily be what works for you and what works for you may not be accurately represented by these industry trends.

Know your people. Know yourself. And to thine own self, be true. (William Shakespeare)


Data. Lots of it. Listen in to learn how to use your data to help you create effective communication tactics and to ultimately help you strengthen your relationships with your members.

About Geoff Livingston

Geoff Livingston is the CMO of Legends of Learning, an edtech start up in Washington, DC. Before joining Legends of Learning, he start and sold Livingston Communications, a social media boutique, as well as communications firms Zoetica, and Tenacity5 Media.

Professionally, Geoff has advised more than 10 members of the Fortune 500, including AT&T, Cox, eBay, Ford, General Dynamics, Google, PayPal, Pepsi Co., Procter and Gamble, SAIC, Verizon and Yum! Brands. He has also advised numerous start-ups, mid-cap companies, and nonprofits, including United Way of America, Live Earth, The Case Foundation, Razoo, Environmental Defense Fund, the Philanthropy 2.0 Project, Tekelec, Network Solutions, Vocus, the Washington Nationals, and Sully Erna (Godsmack lead singer).


Online Fundraising Strategy Digital Marketing

Riding the High of the News (and a bit of Grateful Dead)


Episode Summary

When it comes to gaining visibility for your organization or cause, you can take advice from David Meerman Scott, a fellow DeadHead and founder of the newsjacking movement.We’ll also discuss how to piggyback off of news stories and leverage trending topics.

In this podcast, David explains how you can use the news cycle to your advantage and boost the reach and impact of your message. Through hashtag searches, news alerts, and some self-awareness, you and your organization can build a formidable system for drawing attention to your message and creating conversations around it.

The key is to focus on speed, accuracy, and credibility to add value to the stories. Controversial topics are fair game, but be sure to think how your comments can be construed by people with different points of view in order to avoid offending others.

Basically, creating content that’s related to breaking stories is a great way to put your organization and your cause under the spotlight. But one important thing to take note of is to make sure that everyone on your team is on the same page. The ability to create a dedicated website related to the event is key to a successful fundraising campaign.

This goes in line with some of the topics discussed in “Brick by Brick” where we explore the importance of having a streamlined, up-to-date website that funnels visitors through various calls to action helps increase the number of donors to our cause. Another chapter also touches on the importance of effective storytelling by sharing a brief concept that suggests that storytelling helps people nurture relationships with one another and how, like all stories, they can be shared with one another in many ways through blogs, down to word of mouth.

Listen in as we discuss community engagement, social identity theory, the best ways to get started and how to avoid stepping over the line when it comes to your brand, along with a bit of Grateful Dead and current events like the Olympics and the #MeToo movement.

About David Meerman Scott

David Meerman Scott is an internationally acclaimed strategist, whose books and blog are must-reads for professionals seeking to generate attention in ways that grow their business. Scott’s advice and insights help people, products and organizations stand out, get noticed and capture hearts and minds. He is author or co-author of ten books – three are international bestsellers. The New Rules of Marketing & PR, now in its 6th edition, has been translated into 29 languages and is used as a text in hundreds of universities and business schools worldwide. Scott also authored Real-Time Marketing & PR, a Wall Street Journal bestseller, Newsjacking,World Wide Rave, and the new hit book The New Rules of Sales & Service. He co-authored Marketing the Moon (now in production as a feature-length film) and Marketing Lessons from The Grateful Dead.

He serves as an advisor to select emerging companies who are working to transform their industries by delivering disruptive products and services. His advisory clients include HubSpot (NYSE: HUBS), where he also serves as Marketer in Residence. In past advisory work, he contributed to successful companies as a member of the board of directors of NewsWatch KK (sale to Yahoo Japan) and Kadient (merged with Sant) and served on the board of advisors of Eloqua (IPO in mid-2012 and sale to Oracle in early 2013) and GrabCAD (sale to Stratasys in 2014).


Online Fundraising Strategy Digital Marketing

Search Engine Optimization with Your Users In Mind


Episode Summary

When it comes to the world of modern fundraising, the rise of search engine optimization and digital marketing cannot be understated. The importance of SEO is that it helps match users with relevant content. When your website is properly-optimized, you are increasing the chances of coming up in the top search results for people who are specifically looking for an organization such as yours. This means that because you are relevant to what they’re looking for, you are bound to get increased traffic from people who are also more likely to respond to calls to action.

SEO professionals are experts in increasing the online exposure of your nonprofit. They increase the visibility that your website has amongst the internet. The way they do this is by ensuring that it is accessible by search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Pinterest (to name a few).

They do a thorough keyword search in order to increase the chances of your site appearing at the top page of search engines. They also optimize the internal linking strategy so that links that are related to a possible blog post or other phrases within your website can be related to other information available to people on the site.

SEO professionals suggest things like taking advantage of your location and making sure that your organization is present on review sites such as Yelp. Being listed in directories allows the search engine to see your website and associate it with the organization’s address and contact information. One important thing to constantly keep in mind is that Google is focused on providing its end-users with the best possible experience. – This includes ensuring that your website is also optimized for mobile devices.

Posting content consistently gets search engines excited. Making sure each site has its own metadata and each page has internal pages that link to each other creates a high rating when the search engine is performing its search. Link outreach is a positive way to bring attention back to your site. This can be done by writing guest posts within another blog as a guest blogger (just remember to include a backlink to your site).

Our book echoes the importance of having a proper website. A proper website is search engine-optimized, mobile friendly, and loads efficiently. This is discussed within the book by using as a prime example. Its relevance to modern fundraisers is that a website that ranks high in search results is almost guaranteed to attract a vast number of visitors. This easily translates to a substantial increase in potential followers and donors.

Your organization MUST have a professional website that is designed with its users in mind.

In this podcast episode, we are joined by David Deitrich, who is set to discuss the many ways that we can properly perform SEO. Listen in to learn how you can improve your website’s exposure on the internet.

About David Deitrich

David Dietrich is the founder of Fair Angle, which demonstrates sone of the many best-practice online marketing strategies that non-profits can benefit from. David is committed to providing the very best in optimized strategic development for non-profits, helping them grow their online audience rapidly and organically. From there, he can help them engage and activate these followers to spread the word and donate.