Life’s unplanned events often are the undoing of many non-profit organizations. Unlike for-profit businesses, who capture revenue by selling a product or service to a consumer, non-profits attempt to raise revenue by convincing a supporter to donate money to direct a product, service, or benefit to someone else. It’s not easy to say but when economic recessions, global pandemics, or just hard times spread across the globe, non-profits tend to be impacted negatively. The organizations that survive such events over time are organizations that have a history of understanding the importance of an established community of donors and supporters. Charitable organizations may not be profit makers but they are businesses and share the space with other non-profits competing for a finite number of donation dollars and supporters. Those that practice fundamental marketing strategies stand a better chance to survive uncontrollable acts of disruption.
An effective marketing strategy for a not-for-profit business is focused on building relationships. “People are really looking for something more than a transaction,” said Michael Wagner, Co-Founder of Omnia Family Wealth. “It’s about building a partnership based on a relationship.” While many non-profits may deal with complex and difficult issues, keeping the message simple and focused on a specific goal will attract the most interest. Focus the message on the importance of a timely solution, be specific in the goals and objectives and, perhaps most important, call for action. Social media channels are highly effective in building relationships through messages that are clear, concise, and consistent.
Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) began from the front yard lemonade stand of cancer patient Alexandra “Alex” Scott. The year was 2000 when the four-year-old cancer patient announced that she wanted to open a lemonade stand to raise money to help find a cure for all children with cancer. Before she passed away from cancer at the age of eight, Alex had raised more than $1 million in donations for the disease that took her life. ALSF was founded by her parents in 2005 to continue her important work. Since it was chartered, the foundation has raised more than $250 million to help fund more than 1,000 cutting-edge research projects at nearly 150 institutions, created the Travel for Care program that supports parents of children in treatment, and developed the SuperSibs resources program.
One Cup at A Time: The Story of Alex’s Lemonade Stand campaign is an especially effective and creative campaign to tell Alex’s story through a compelling video. The Foundation is successfully attracting a community of thousands of supporters dedicated to continuing Alex’s legacy of hope and accomplishing a mission “to change the lives of children with cancer through funding impactful research, raising awareness, supporting families, and empowering everyone to help cure childhood cancer.”
The campaign is a great example of a non-profit video that effectively shares the foundation’s story and utilizes fundamental marketing techniques that communicate a clear, consistent, and concise message across multiple digital and social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The ALSF website is a very good example of how a well-designed, user-friendly website can effectively present the organization’s comprehensive information in order to inspire participation and build trust in the mission.
While anyone can open an Alex’s lemonade stand throughout the year, Lemonade Days is scheduled to debut June 4th through the 12th, 2022. Registration to help “Fight Childhood Cancer, One Cup at a Time,” is now open.