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Why smarter charity promotion is needed

19 October 2009

UK Charity Insurance Brokers NCi explain why charities have to look outside the box when it comes to promoting their cause.

Despite news in the media about falling donations to charitable causes, figures recently published show that donors have still put their hands in their pockets throughout 2009.

Long gone are the days when a charity or other voluntary organisation would rely on donations made via collection tins or from their shops. Instead, many charities are now highly organised and effective marketing machines whose ideal donor would be someone who donates monthly by direct debit and who is happy for this to continue with additional one off donations from time to time.

So if charities are looking to target a different type of donor in the face of fierce competition from numerous other charitable causes, then their promotional activities and advertising needs to be smarter and more focused. A one size fits all advertising campaign may no longer be effective if charities are looking to target people stretching over a wide age range.

For example, a campaign that encourages young people to donate might not receive the same response from a more mature audience. As with any business in the modern world, highly targeted marketing is now crucial to make sure their marketing message is as success as possible. The voluntary sector is no different in this respect and therefore marketing managers who work for charities have to make sure the type of promotion they carry out and the message they give out is as tailored as possible.

An example might be that a charity, when trying to appeal to a younger audience might consider some online advertising on a social networking site like facebook or my space. Then again, as more retired people are using the internet than ever before, charities could also look to appeal to these online but with very different marketing messages.

Charities when advertising also have to make sure their adverts get across the right message and leave potential donors in no doubt about what is actually required of them and where their money will be spent. Donors to charities are increasingly looking for assurances that any donations they make are used to fund projects and go to good causes rather than high proportions of their money seemingly being wasted on administrative duties.

It is therefore up to the people responsible for charities marketing budget to work smarter to ensure the message they want to get across is the one that will get the best results in terms of donor acceptance and actual donations. Should they do so this there is no reason why charities cannot continue to be successful even in the hardest of times.

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