WELCOME! I see you. You’re a lot like me. You care deeply for a cause and are challenged with figuring out how to build and sustain support for your nonprofit. Let’s face it: marketing and fundraising on behalf of your cause is overwhelming, especially on a small budget and with very few people working along side you.
I’m Julie Ann Cooper and I’ve spent my career in marketing and sales for small businesses. I now own my own agency providing product sales and marketing services. Over the last few years, I’ve transferred what I’ve learned in business to a social cause in which I am passionate: the plight of shelter animals.
In leadership roles within an all-volunteer nonprofit organization, I’ve helped to create and implement successful marketing strategies which resulted in raising more money for the organization. In fact, the annual appeal letter that I wrote at the end of 2016 raised 90% more money – and we’re talking thousands of dollars more – than the previous year’s letter. And that increase was attained even though we snail-mailed to thousands of fewer people!
So, what made the difference? Besides outstanding board leadership from our president (check out her blog here), we embraced content marketing. The content marketing approach has not replaced our traditional marketing practices (e.g., direct response, advertising, digital, email). Rather, the content marketing approach sits like a spoonful of whipped cream on top of all the marketing practices to make them (taste!) better.
Content marketing has the ability to make your whole nonprofit function better.
I am married to my high school sweetheart, Brett, and we live in the western suburbs of Chicago. We have four teenage sons – two adopted from Chicago and two adopted from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. To add to the mayhem, we share our home with Daisy, a sweet-as-can-be poodle mix and Pepe, a naughty (yet lovable!) chihuahua mix.
I’m a content marketing, sales, fundraising, graphic design, copywriting, nonprofit and shelter-pet enthusiast. I refer to myself as a richly scheduled mom juggling all that stuff that makes the rockin’ world go round.
Thanks to the internet and mobile devices, marketing is vastly different today than it was just a decade ago. Traditional marketing tactics aren’t as effective as they once were. Gone are the days where you created one generic, stagnant message and blasted it out to as many people as you could. As marketing has changed, so must you. But this is a good thing. The opportunities are endless for you to draw your supporters close.
An impressive 1.5 million nonprofit organizations in the United States and 3.7 million NGOs worldwide are doing great things for humanity. The time is now for nonprofits to understand and implement an effective content marketing strategy.
So, what is Content Marketing? A survey conducted by Content Marketing Institute and Blackbaud provide this definition:
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive action.
All content must have your audience’s best interest in mind. The information must be meaningful and add value to their lives.
The content marketing approach includes a clear strategy, creating valuable and relevant content on a consistent basis, and distributing that content to your target audience. The purpose is to ultimately develop supporters and drive action (e.g., donations, volunteerism, advocacy).
I’m combining my decades of marketing and sales experience and intense interest in content marketing (and fundraising!) with my passion for helping nonprofits succeed. I warmly extend my hand to you and will guide you through the journey. I hope you will take hold.
I know you want to make a big impact on your organization. And I know that marketing might not be your strong suit. That’s okay! People who thought they never could “do marketing” are learning basic content marketing strategies and implementing small changes that make a big impact. But to raise greater awareness and more funding for your good cause, you need to be ready and willing to adapt to today’s ever-change environment where attention is divided and people are forever multi-tasking.
My promise to you is that if you grow and adapt, your good cause will reap benefits beyond your imagination.
Think of this blog as your free go-to resource to learn the tools and best practices that you need to engage your community and become a favorite cause. I’ll provide you the big ideas from marketing and fundraising experts, plus my own experience and know-how. I will help you create content that touches people’s hearts and inspires them to support your cause.
You don’t need to hire a professional marketer or have a big budget to create compelling marketing content that will move people to action. Let’s face it: YOU are the one who knows your nonprofit organization inside out. YOU are the one who cares about future of your good cause. Your PASSION is what makes the difference. I will just help you along the way.
So, let’s get right to it and start spreading the good word about your good cause.