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Smart lessons from some creative minds around using traditional marketing theories to drive non-profit giving.
Host Tom Scott, Director, Global Brand & Innovation, from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundationstarted the session by posing the question, “What would happen if aid organizations used the same tactics as companies use to sell products?” Non-profits traditionally communicate using lots of acronyms, lot of percentages, and by showing disturbing (yet real) images of people or animals suffering that frankly make us uncomfortable and are meant to guilt us into giving.
What the Gates Foundation found though, when they did some market testing, was that people are inspired to give when they hear success stories. Not through jargon. Not through stats. Not through guilt.
After showing us what Gates Foundation is doing with Grand Challenges Exploration Project, he brought out Nick Law, R/GA’s Global Chief Creative Officer and Ted Royer, Executive Creative Director from Droga5.
Their discussion focused on why nonprofits haven’t been very good at communicating effectively, in ways that move people to act, to give. To sum up their 30-40 minute conversation, they both provided a few strong themes;
1) Make it simple for people to give (through texting, forwarding to a friend)
2) Make great content. The quality determines whether it will be shared or not.
3) Make it available to share with friends
4) Use game mechanics to engage. Instead of telling people how they should feel, draw them in with a cause and effect scenario. Tie their sharing to giving (i.e. for every 5 times a video is shared, a sponsoring company donates to a cause).
5) Showcase success stories, not guilt-ridden messages
-Katie Palliser, Microsoft Advertising
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