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Inflight Briefing: 030

5 min read
May 4, 2023 1:22:34 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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030: Does anyone else have a report to share?

The best benchmarks are built with your own numbers. Instead of relying on someone else’s best practices, knowing your community and what works at your organization counts a lot more than knowing about larger trends in the market.

That being said, I’m ecstatic about M+R Benchmarks latest report. Is this a contradiction? I don’t think so. It’s really just about balance.

The best marketers are listening closely to their market. But they’re also speaking to their market — that’s where the market picks up the ing. There’s a time to listen and there’s a time to speak. There’s a time to read a trends report and there’s a time to crunch the campaign numbers yourself.

Relationships are built on communication in both directions. Our State of Nonprofit Marketing report and the M+R report are great places to spark ideas, but spoiler alert — they’re no replacement for dialogue with your members, donors, and supporters.

- william (1)
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Snackable snippets 

M+R dropped their 2023 benchmarks 📖

M+R collects its data from 215 of the larger nonprofits out there. And they do a great job distilling a lot of complex learnings into simple takeaways. A couple of the biggest takeaways? Online revenue for these nonprofits decreased 4% in 2022, and Giving Tuesday and end-of-year campaigns fared especially poorly in comparison over prior years. Also, one-time gifts are on the decline while monthly giving has increased by 12%, which accounted for 28% of all online revenue during 2022. This is just the tip of the iceberg. But remember that though this report is filled with great insights, it’s still better to work with what you know about your own community. No two people are the same, which makes it exponentially more true that no two audiences are the same. 


Jon McCoy and Becky Endicott from We are for Good took over during our most recent Good Marketing Unplugged session, which took place live at AFP ICON. They interviewed our VP of Marketing, Noah Barnett, asking him all about key insights from our recent State of Nonprofit Marketing report. Jon and Becky are hard at work championing the often thankless job nonprofit marketers and fundraisers do pushing their organizations’ causes forward. Marketing shouldn’t be seen simply as a line item — something that’s costing an organization money. Because when done right, marketing is a massive lift for the entire organization. 

Why do customers buy? 🎥

As association and nonprofit marketers, you aren’t exactly selling to customers — you’re instead finding a community and pushing a cause forward. But many of the same rules still apply. You still need to answer the question of who your audience wants to become instead of simply telling them about what your organization does. If you remember last week’s quote from Daniel Murray, you’re about to hear something very similar from Katelyn Bourgain: “People buy because of emotion, and justify with logic.” Again, connecting with someone’s deeper, often hidden, drivers is the way to partner with them toward making their life and the world a little better.

How much harder has email
marketing become? 📖

One of the big trends of 2023 is that email engagement is getting harder and harder to hold onto. Attention is the most valuable currency in our modern world. Three of the biggest changes that will help nonprofits to continue to win in capturing attention are generative AI, scalable omnichannel solutions, and evolutions to CRMs. With actionable data at their fingertips, easier ways to engage their many audiences in multiple locations, and AI-influenced content, nonprofits have more tools than ever to help respond to the age-old problem of tight budgets and small teams.

In the news

Steve Jobs has been a divisive character. But he had a profound impact on Apple’s exponential growth. However you feel about Jobs as a person, a collection of his ideas is now available for free online.

Volunteering is on the decline. Between 2019 and 2021 the number of volunteers declined 7%. That brought the figure from 30% of Americans to just 23.2% volunteering in a formal capacity with a nonprofit. 

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Something for your inspiration folder

Wrexham and Ryan Reynolds were in the news last week, but this week they’ve landed in the inspiration folder. Jay Fear, a Wrexham fan, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. And his greatest wish was to meet Ryan Reynolds.

Reynolds spent time with Jay and his family after the team was promoted to the Premier League. And he was even invited onto the set where they’re filming the new Deadpool.

It seems Reynolds doesn’t only have the golden touch when it comes to marketing — he also has a huge heart. I even think the two might be connected.



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