Monday, March 22, 2010

The Cause Conference from Joe Buehrle

A week ago I had an amazing opportunity to attend the the San Diego Chaphter of American Marketing Association's Cause Conference. Further, as a member of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of San Diego I want to thank Sempra Energy for their gracious scholarship to YNPN San Diego which made it possible for me to attend. As the recipient of this scholarship, my participation in this conference could not have come at a better time.

Six months ago I accepted a new position as a Program Coordinator at a local nonprofit here in San Diego. I have been on a huge learning curve ever since. This is my first true management position since I started in the nonprofit sector about ten years ago. Like most of us in the nonprofit field, particularly under a budget crunch, we must quickly develop a vast array of skill sets. I can go from presenting before the County Commissioners to writing grants to doing finger painting with five year olds all in one day. My current position holds such a diverse array of challenges and opportunities that "cause marketing" activities many times do not make it to the top of the day's agenda.

Yet, as reiterated through the conference in a down market and dollars scarce, the process for knowing and being able to articulate the agency "cause" is that much more imperative! I have come away from this event energized and plan to bring back and begin the process for rethinking and reorganizing how I am communicating what we "do"......... and how this can lead to new philanthropic partners!

While common sense to many, for me the following became some of my favorite takeaways from the conference:
  • Brand = Feeling. We already have a brand.....and it must be built over time and managed.
  • The biggest mistake for marketing is thinking internally.
  • On the relationship between donor/corporation and agency:
  • Sponsorship = Dating; Cause Marketing = Marriage
  • and lastly, be able to answer the question- What do you do different that MATTERS?
Did you go to the American Marketing Association Cause Conference? What did you think?

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for bringing up some REALLY important points - that often get lost in the frenzy of day-to-day and fundraising that should really all go together (as you pointed out.) I hope many other people find this as inspiring as I did!


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