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Inflight Briefing: 022

5 min read
Mar 2, 2023 3:41:46 PM
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Delivered weekly, the Inflight Briefing is designed as a blueprint for the builder and inspiration for the curious. It's for those doing good marketing

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022: Marketing is Good

Trust drives participation. The opposite is also true. Unfortunately, over the past few years nonprofits have seen a decrease in trust, and a correlated drop off in participation: 

  • Between 2000 and 2022, GiveUSA estimates the number of US households that gave to nonprofits decreased from 66% to just under 50% — that’s a 16% decline in 22 years.
  • And in 2022, the Edelman Trust Barometer reported that nonprofits are perceived as less trustworthy than their corporate counterparts.

Many nonprofits aren’t helping the situation by approaching marketing as if it’s magic: They do nothing and hope the mission markets itself. They try everything, which ends up looking a lot like nothing. Or, they run one-off campaigns, which end up all over the place, and rarely offer productive insights. 

Those at nonprofits doing marketing need a better framework for approaching their marketing and growth strategies. People crave purpose and relationship, and organizations that invest intentionally and consistently in their communities are going to see their marketing efforts soar in 2023.

- william (1)
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Snackable snippets 

The Good Marketing Framework 📖

Feathr has partnered with over 1,300 nonprofit organizations and developed this proven approach to help nonprofits create meaningful relationships with their communities. We’ve seen the unique challenges that nonprofits face, and we believe that with this framework can enable your organization’s marketing efforts to go from sputtering along to soaring. 

What the Fundraising! 🎧

Mallory Erickson and Seth Godin are both pushing boundaries in the fundraising and marketing spaces, and they want to empower fundraisers to move beyond feeling like they’re pulling teeth into the freedom of inviting others into community and purpose. A lot of effective marketing boils down to Seth’s axiom, “People like us do things like this.” People want to partner with you because you’re actively making the world a better place. Finding the right people is step one, and then the ask becomes a lot easier.

Deliberate doubt: the art of self critique 📖

Doubt is usually spoken of as a negative, but if you use it to allow yourself to reach new ideas and conclusions, you’ve turned it into a big positive. I have a strong tendency to do the first thing that pops into my head, but by using deliberate doubt to poke holes in the first idea, I have the opportunity to find a better answer the second time. John Walsh, when he joined Feathr for a Nonprofit Marketing Unplugged session, said, “I’m usually wrong about our testing. This is why we have a hypothesis.” Not only is deliberate doubt helpful as an individual, but as a marketing team if you can harness humility and doubt, you can more quickly learn and optimize your marketing campaigns for next time. 

What’s in store for AI? 🎥

Everyone is weighing in on the AI question, but Steph Smith joins the Marketing Against the Grain team for particularly insightful commentary on recent trends. All three of the participants believe that AI is going to have a huge impact on work and society, but a lot of the conversation revolves around the intersection of how people will interact most effectively with these new technologies.

What’s wrong with impact investing? 📖

This article takes a balanced approach but asks some tough questions about impact investing. At the heart of the critique is the idea that: “Few solutions that meet the fundamental needs of the poor will get you your money back.” If donors want a return on their investment over and above the impact it will have on a person, they’ll be limited in choosing only a number of solutions that will compete with other nonprofits that have maintained mission alignment at the expense of financial profit. Sometimes doing the right thing requires sacrifice, and the expectation that doing good results in a financial return may not always be realistic.


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In the news

The 4-day workweek experiment is largely working for UK companies. From an unabashedly biased perspective, I think it’s working tremendously at Feathr

On Monday, the nonprofit advocacy group, Foundations on the Hill, met in person for the first time since 2020 to encourage legislators to create greater incentives for philanthropic giving. Hopefully, with the right legislation, US households will begin to move in the opposite direction — toward greater generosity.

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Something for your inspiration folder

Looking for a Good job? The We are for Good team just released a job board dedicated to sharing Good jobs with those who know their career is about making the world a better place. Check out current openings here.


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