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.
Trudel | MacPherson Principals Mary and Rory Lead Workshop at NJ Thrive Arts Conference 2012
Photo credit: Laura Pedrick Photography
Hosted by Art Pride New Jersey and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the conference brought together more than 100 New Jersey arts organizations from all across the state. The conference theme reflected the importance of seamlessly integrating marketing, development and advocacy into all aspects of daily business. T|M was invited to review findings from our national How Strong Is Your Social Net? Research project and compare responses from the more than 35 NJ arts groups who took the survey with national data. We also moderated an interactive workshop designed to improve and integrate organizations’ communications strategies and audience engagement plans.
Trudel | MacPherson principal, Rory MacPherson, is participating as a co-designer and facilitator of Learning Exchange meetings that are part of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation-funded Engaging Dance Audiences Initiative (EDA).
The first of these meetings will take place at the Gibney Dance Center in New York City on Sunday, May 13, 2012 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. At this gathering representatives of EDA grantee organizations and other dance professionals will share ideas and information about audience engagement. The Learning Exchanges are open to all, and are suitable for artists, managers, marketing staff, agents, and educators. For more information please visit the Dance/USA website: http://www.danceusa.org/edalearningexchanges.
Rory will also be helping to lead a subsequent EDA Learning Exchange that will take place in San Francisco on Wednesday, June 27, 2012 in conjunction with the Dance/USA 2012 Annual Conference.
Rory MacPherson speaking at a recent conference
As reported in the the Montana Arts Council’s (MAC) March newsletter, the Trudel | MacPherson/Sen Associates team will be presenting results of its How Strong Is Your Social Net? 2011 landmark study of arts organizations’ usage and perceptions of digital and social media. Montana organizations comprise a large portion of the study and data on how those groups’ social media practices differ from national trends will be featured in the presentation. More than 35 Montana groups have signed on for the webinar which will feature case studies of successful practices as well as interesting national insights about social media adoption and efficacy.
T|M principals Rory and Mary presented the results of our How Strong Is Your Social Net? at a February 29th meeting being organized by the Arts Council of New Orleans and the University of New Orleans.
In order to have the greatest relevance for the representatives of arts organizations who attend, we re-opened the online survey and make it available to groups in the greater New Orleans area. More than two dozen groups took the survey and we analyzed these results to draw comparisons to our national findings at the meeting.
Rory MacPherson and Tom Kaiden
T | M principals, Rory MacPherson and Mary Trudel, presented a preview of the national How Strong Is Your Social Net? survey of arts organizations’ digital communications practices and perceptions at the Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA) 2011 Conference. Introduced by Cinda Holt, Business Development Specialist at the Montana Arts Council, the presenters were joined by Tom Kaiden, President of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, to report on results and discuss interesting trends.
Rory MacPherson, Mary Trudel, Cinda Holt and Arlynn Fishbaugh
The presentation probed how groups can better communicate authentically with patrons and fans and create communities of interest. Tom discussed how the Alliance is supporting arts groups’ audience building efforts via social media. Cinda and colleague, Arlynn Fishbaugh, Executive Director of the Montana Arts Council discussed Montana arts groups’ technology constraints and struggles with social media and highlighted the growing use of mobile technology throughout the state to connect with younger arts enthusiasts.
The press release for Americans for the Arts Annual National Arts Marketing Project Conference in Louisville highlights Sen Associates and Trudel|MacPherson Arts Consulting’s November 14th session presenting our “How Strong is Your Social Net” study.
Trudel | MacPherson Principal Mary Trudel was invited to author a guest post for Americans for the Arts, which was featured on the National Arts Marketing Project (NAMP) website and in a recent email newsletter. Mary’s guest blog is re-posted here. We’re excited for our upcoming NAMP webinar (there’s still time to sign up!) and to present our definitive national results at the NAMP conference in November.
In our work as communications consultants specializing in the arts, the questions we hear most often tend to involve digital and social media.
Even arts organizations that are recognized for innovating online are asking basic questions about the effectiveness of what they’re doing: if successful, how to make success more predictable and repeatable; and if not, how to get the sorts of results others are achieving.
T|M principals, joined by digital media strategist Jai Sen, will conduct a workshop featuring local results from the How Strong is Your Social Net? Survey compared and contrasted with national trends for the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance. Alliance members will participate in a digital communications workshop using the T | M diagnostic tool Strengthening Your Social Net.