Every non-profit organization that depends on private individual or corporate philanthropy is looking for new and more effective ways of tapping their donor network.
Old techniques – direct mail solicitation letters, telemarketing, - don’t have the impact they once did. They’re drowned out in the crush and clutter of multiple appeals from scores of good causes. Even personal outreach is limited: non-profit leaders can’t access the broad array of existing and new donors they need to reach in a timely, cost-effective manner.
And ‘donor fatigue’ is real: givers are barraged with multiple requests from an army of worthy causes, making them resistant to the same old ‘ask’ advanced in the same old way.
So what about identifying new donors who haven’t established a giving history with your organization? Well, finding these elusive sources of new revenue is as difficult as locating the proverbial needle in a haystack.
That’s where the power of social media and video storytelling married together can create new impact for your non-profit: grabbing the attention of your longtime base and powerfully connecting with potential new givers.
The ‘magic’ here is using your own ‘influencers’ to tell the unique story of your organization – and do it in video. See this example from The Guest House of Milwaukee, the city’s preeminent shelter for homeless men:
Attorney Patrick O. Dunphy, board chair of The Guest House, creates a compelling rationale for contributors. As an ‘influencer,’ Dunphy is well-known within the Milwaukee community. The segment is brief; The production quality of the piece is high, and there is a strong call-to-action that links to a microsite containing contact information and ‘how to give’ specifics.
The series included testimonials from board members and from funding ‘influencers’ who believe In the Guest House mission, and support it.
These brief video segments were pushed to a wider audience by leveraging the organization’s own internal network. Board members took this and the 10 other segments in the series and pushed them out to their social friends, associates and acquaintances. For a very cost-effective technique, The Guest House achieved maximum exposure for their message.
Guest House’s organic reach was supplemented with a targeted paid Facebook campaign. This included the use of ‘SmartBoost’, - a proprietary technology that optimizes Facebook reach and engagement. The results:
Better yet – the campaign was an outstanding success. Guest House private donation grew dramatically.
“Our Influencer campaign launched in November last year, and since that time we have achieved an impressive 61% increase in donor contributions... which was one of our key goals”, said Cindy Krahenbuhl, executive director.
“Our board, staff, volunteers and other key partners have been excited to share the new content to help tell our story - obviously it's working!"
It’s a simple formula – but complex when it comes to blending compelling stories, powerful production values, pinpointed social media outreach and the engagement of a willing Board.
We’d like to help you harness the power of your own Smart Influencers campaign to drive new philanthropy for your non-profit organization.
Contact Will Ruch, principal at Versant, ‘email@example.com’ for more information.
Thank you to the Milwaukee Bucks and ACG Wisconsin for the awesome tour of the Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center last week. It looks amazing and we can't wait for it to open!
We had a great time at last night's Wine Not? 2018 Event benefiting Guest House of Milwaukee!
If you aren't familiar with the great work the Guest House does for our city, check them out: http://www.guesthouseofmilwaukee.org/
It was a privilege to hear journalist Sam Quinones, author of Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic at this afternoon's Rotary Club of Milwaukee luncheon. His discussion focused on the opiate epidemic affecting our county and city. Check out his great work and book here.
Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr stepped aside and let the players coach the game last night. This was an excellent leadership move and provides valuable lessons for anyone leading an organization. Leaders must constantly listen to employees and find ways (sometimes creative ways) to empower and engage them.
Why is everyone talking about Clint Eastwood’s The 15:17 to Paris? Because the three men who star in it are the real-life heroes of the Paris train attack. Eastwood is disrupting Hollywood with his casting, and the film is getting much more attention than the standard movie hype. In a recent USA TODAY article, Eastwood explains that people want to see the "real deal," not actors or movie stars.
The "real deal" is also important for many of our clients. We all see companies using customers to help promote their products or services. We’re now seeing that authenticity extended by using real employees to communicate with talent. It’s what Versant calls Branding from the Inside Out. It brings legitimacy to your message and it’s the "real deal."
Here’s the 15:17 to Paris movie trailer...we'd love to hear what you think.
For many people, Super Bowl Sunday means watching two of the best NFL teams duke it out. For others, it's all about one thing: watching the best brands duke it out. No matter which camp you're in, it's undeniable that Super Bowl commercials have become a popular part of Super Bowl Sunday.
Here’s a look at 10 of the best Super Bowl commercials of all time:
In this season of thanks we have many things to be grateful for – and one of them is our wonderful clients and vendor partners.
Yesterday's ACG WI Growth, Leadership and Human Capital Conference was a huge success. We were fortunate to hear from three wonderful speakers: General Stan McChrystal (Former Commander of U.S. and International Forces in Afghanistan), Kyle Maynard (bestselling author and first quadruple amputee to summit Mount Kilimanjaro) and April Dunn (SVP, CMO at ManpowerGroup). Each brought unique insights on leadership, corporate growth and talent development. Versant is glad to be a part of ACG WI as we continue to grow the event.
We had a great time celebrating the amazing work of the Neighborhood House of Milwaukee at last night's 27th Annual Harvest of Hope Gala.
Thank you to everyone who came out for our blood drive today! We are proud to report that we surpassed our donation goal. Big thanks to the BloodCenter of WI for all of your help.
Manufacturing month is WI in nearing an end, but our client, Milwaukee Composites, Inc. is just getting started. Milwaukee Composites runs under the radar locally, but they are the leading manufacturer of flooring and doors for mass transit vehicles used around the world since 1997 & are donating all the floors to the Milwaukee Streetcar. Yes, you heard us right - donating! For more information on Milwaukee Composites & their donation to the Milwaukee Streetcar, check out the microsite & video we made for the streetcar project: milwstreetcarfloors.com
Versant was happy to support the Women's Fund of Greater Milwaukee Title IX 45th Anniversary luncheon. Thank you to Donna Orender of Generation W, Inc. for your inspiration keynote speech.
If you missed our recent webinar with The Novo Group, check it out here:
Calling all marketing and HR professionals! Do your candidates know your story?
Register for our webinar with the Novo Group to find out just how easy it is to create your organization's Employer Value Proposition (EVP) and how it can set you apart from your competition in the war for talent. Register today: http://bit.ly/2vsqP4Q
ALSO: The first ten registrants to send questions in advance will receive a signed copy of Will Ruch's book, HR and Marketing POWER PARTNERS.
Versant was happy to participate in the Cream City 5K this weekend. Although it was a very cold day, we were happy to come out to Greenfield Park to help raise awareness and support for organ, tissue and eye donation.
GREAT THINGS HAPPEN WHEN YOU HAVE THE TALENT YOU WANT.
Learn the winning practices that attract and keep talent by registering for a 5 session interactive boot-camp, hosted by the Milwaukee Business Journal.
Biweekly 1-hour sessions begin April 5, 2017.
Led by Will Ruch, CEO of Versant, co-author of Power Partners, and workplace brand expert.
Cost: $500/person for the 5 session series. Includes lunch and a copy of the book, Power Partners.
While many of us were voting on November 8th, the US Labor Department released its monthly workforce statistics. Of note, the number of workers quitting jobs hit a 15-year high, and there were only 1.4 unemployed workers per job opening (a 2 to 1 ratio is "healthy").
Over the past few months, I've spoken at six conferences on workplace branding and how to effectively compete for talent in an increasingly tight labor market - both retaining good employees and attracting good talent. In each case we surveyed the audiences (private equity leaders, C-level business leaders, professional service associations and staffing services businesses) to get their anonymous feedback on how their organization is positioned with talent.
Key findings include:
As you prepare for 2017, think about how competitive your organization is with talent, and how employees and candidates see the value proposition of working for your organization.
It's an ongoing journey, but in the end make sure the talent you need votes to come - and to stay.
Last night's event for the Neighborhood House of Milwaukee's 26 Annual Gala, Harvest of Hope, was a great time. Thank you for allowing Versant to be apart of the celebration! We were proud to sponsor a table.
Versant had a great time at yesterday's ACG WI Growth, Leadership and Human Capital Conference. Will Ruch, this year's co-chair, introduced Sue Quackenbush, CHRO of Vonage (and Versant client). Other presenters included keynote Marshall Goldsmith, Executive Coach and renowned expert on business leadership, and Andrew Fastow, former CFO of Enron.
This year was another great event and we can't wait for 2017!
Congratulations to Versant's Lindsay Ruch on her membership to Young Association for Corporate Growth - Wisconsin (YACG).
Versant and Inside Media Partners launched an exciting social media campaign for JCPenney. This is the first of three campaigns for JCPenny's Belle + Sky line. Be sure to check out the behind-the-scenes videos with one of our fashion bloggers.
We all value information that comes from a trusted source. So who’s trusted when it comes to sharing information about your organization’s products or workplace? It turns out that your employees are more valued by their followers than your CEO when it comes to news about your organization.
Hootsuite shares some amazing stats:
When your employees are happy, they want to let others know. With the viral component of social media, they have the potential to let A LOT of people know positive things about your organization. The key metrics are reach, impressions and engagement. Employees can help shape your brand presence and raise its brand and talent profile. It’s all in the ask – connect with your “right fit” talent and encourage them to share posts on what they’re loving about work.
Bottom line: social media is and will continue to be a successful tool for marketing. When your “right fit” employees engage with others about your organization they have the power to shape positive and respected conversation around your brand.
Exciting things coming soon! Check out these behind-the-scenes pictures from JCPenney's design studio in NYC, where Versant & Inside Media Partners are shooting videos with popular fashion blogger Brie Bemis of Sophistifunk. Stay tuned next month for more!