cultural branding

Mary Trudel and Rory MacPherson led a workshop at PAE 2012 in Miami

Fundraising Strategies: Making Social Media Mission Critical

Professional Development Workshop at the Performing Arts Exchange 2012 Miami, Florida

Trudel | MacPherson principals, Rory MacPherson and Mary Trudel headlined at South Arts’ annual booking conference for East Coast presenters. Drawing on data from our national How Strong Is Your Social Net national survey, and hundreds of practitioner interviews, we explored best practices in using social media to generate contributed income. Skills and tactics highlighted ranged from crowd-funding to donor cultivation to sponsorship trades and eyeball farming.

 The PowerPoint presentation of our workshop is available here. A few highlights:

Nationally only 5% of arts groups report use of social media has delivered mission critical or major results. 70% of survey respondents report achieving either good or some results but a significant percentage – 24% — report no results.

Our workshop highlighted the importance of treating fundraising as part of a continuum of audience engagement. Noting that “You can’t ask someone to marry you on the first date,” Mary described a cultivation approach which rewards and engages prospects at every level of interest. Major donors expect tangible rewards and recognition such as building naming rights and personal attention. We suggested that every level of engagement requires a “What’s in it for me?” response. Prospects, casual donors, subscribers, regular attendees and increasingly loyal donors can be cultivated by creative use of access and prominence, moving audiences to become fans, donors and evangelists for your organization.

We discussed effective use of social media is building engagement on steroids! The best organizations understand that their greatest assets are — to use a Facebook word – their friend relationships with audiences, visitors, fans and patrons. These groups can be mobilized to help but you CANNOT make those friends in a crisis.

Friends are made on the frontlines through individual experiences that bring fans closer or push them away. We’ve reviewed 8 important elements of effective engagement which can solidify engagement and make social media mission critical for your fundraising:

1. It’s Not One Size Fits All

2. Make it Personal + Concrete + Time Sensitive

3. Connect with Values and Value Connections

4. Listen and Respond

5. Cultivate Productive Partnerships

6. Eyeball Farming Only Works with Friends

7. Measure What Matters

8. Involve the Whole Organization

We’d love to hear about your experiences making social media mission critical in fundraising. Do be in touch.

Date City Venue
September 21, 2012 Miami South Arts Performing Arts Exchange
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Cultural Diplomacy: Engaging a Changing World

A refrain in President Obama’s State of the Union address on January 25 was, “We do big things!” He referenced the work of Brandon Fisher’s Center Rock mining company which designed the successful “Plan B” rescue of the Chilean miners and used that intervention as a metaphor for America’s story of ordinary people who dare to dream and imagine a better future. Can the arts be America’s “Plan B” in strengthening mutual understanding between Americans and citizens of Muslim-majority nations, so crucial in this time of global unrest?

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Hitting the Target – the Give and Take of Cultural Branding

Hitting the Target – the Give and Take of Cultural Branding

Shown in the photo are, from left to right: Patricia Cohen, Culture Reporter, The New York Times (panel moderator); Glyn Northington, Senior Manager in Community Relations, Target; Andrew Hamingson, Executive Director, The Public Theater; and Arthur Cohen, President, LaPlaca Cohen.

 

 

Highlights from the October 25 Arts Forum at The New York Times

Speaking about why Target supports arts groups in the communities it serves – and has since its Dayton Hudson founders’ days, Glyn Northington made three compelling points.

Target Supports arts groups:

  1. To help guests (shoppers) see the company positively as a good neighbor
  2. To advance the reputation of the brand, separating it from other “big box” retailers
  3. To help Target recruit and retain team members (employees) who want to work for a socially responsible company

Glyn ‘s presentation slides can be found here. Text of his remarks can be found here.

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Alliance Forum 10/25, 8:30-11am

How does arts sponsorship emotionalize a brand?

 

If the brand is Target, the answer is: “Get inspired. Get in for free” which extends the store’s brand promise of: “Expect more. Pay less.” (See adjacent Target ad publicizing “free admission for the whole family.”)
If the brand is the Public Theater, the answer lies in staying faithful to its institutional identity while stretching its offerings – think Joe’s Pub AND free Shakespeare in the Park – while driving for awareness.
The next New York Times/Alliance for the Arts Forum – co-produced by Trudel MacPherson – will feature Target’s Senior Manager of Community Relations, Glyn Northington and Andrew Hamingson, Executive Director of the Public Theater, discussing: THE GIVE AND TAKE OF CULTURAL BRANDING.
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