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Not For Profit: All For Innovation

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the CMA’s half-day Not For Profit conference in Toronto’s East end. While the presenters were from not-for-profit organizations, it was clear that their marketing tactics were harnessing advanced marketing experiences to attracted both buzz and attendance.

I walked in late due to a queue at the parking meter payment location, but heard a majority of Maureen Oxley’s presentation on UNICEF. When presenting her case-study Maureen stated that UNICEF had a big hurdle to overcome, where donors thought; “I’m a donor, I gave 17 cents last year.” For UNICEF, partnering and co-branding with a known cause – in the presented case it was the Nelson Mandela Foundation – UNICEF was able to use what it had learned from the South-East Asian Tsunami fundraising drives, and put raised funds towards a singular and directed cause.

While Maureen stated co-branding as a strategic move, what was most important for her was to “create a connection point for the kids, and for their education.” Known for the Hallows-eve charity box, it was important to link the UNICEF campaign back to Halloween. UNICEF created trick-or-treat bags, complete with reflective stripes – to not only help kids throughout the eve, but also keep them safe.

Following Maureen’s presentation was Pam Davis, of WWF-Canada. Presenting a case study on the C02 cloud in downtown Toronto, Pam presented a fantastically optimistic guide for non-profits to create a cheap, and effective, social media campaign.

Driving traffic to the campaigns microsite – SaveOurClimate – Pam stressed the fact that if you were planning on speaking to bloggers, users, of flickr snappers, you should be using these tools yourself. This is exactly what she did, and illustrated her successes throughout her presentation with excitement and exhilaration. (N.B. – I attended the event and was brought on for project-co-ordination. Having seen it operate I must commend Pam on a job well done. Photos form the event which I shot can be seen in my event Flickr Set).

The final presentation was a round-table discussion, ending at noon. Angie Mackie of The Donnee Group presented a case study on how they used online e-cards sent to the top 10 Canadian Greenhouse Gas producers to advocate change. With an overwhelming response, and effectiveness, Angie’s big take away was that you must “shift your thinking and create a dual channel [marketing] campaign, and to not solely rely on digital or analog.” Her dual-channel approach was about creating value. In her closing remarks Angie said that “you do not have to get people to donate in the online/second channel – you need only to engage them.”

Overall the conference, speakers, and layout was great, and the speakers were quite dynamic and thought provoking.

One Comment

  1. Joy
    Joy March 30, 2007

    Great recap! The final comment caught my attention… that “you do not have to get people to donate in the online/second channel — you need only to engage them.”
    I don’t agree with this idea because it takes a responsive medium (online) and takes away a core value of that medium.
    Engaging people online is important but if we fail to drive action, then the campaign execution could have been on tv or any other mass market, 1-way channel.
    Immediate call to action and the ability to respond/donate, are the inherent strengths of the online channel.

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