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Broadcasting Creativity

Smart Idea!

© xy - Fotolia.comThe Met Opera pioneered movie-theater broadcasts of its operas, and now various theater organizations are doing the same. This article from The New York Times talks about the Canadian Stratford Festival’s plans to jump on the bandwagon.

What caught my attention, and I hope it catches yours, is this sentence at the end of the article:

… we also plan to use components from the film to inspire a suite of digital products including applications, games and audio books.

They are recognizing that the moment they create digital content, they can utilize it for other purposes — possibly educational —  which will inspire future audiences. If you and your Board are thinking about this kind of thing, don’t simply think of repeating what the Met did, but rather, think creatively about how you might devise new and innovative digital products or services that will engage a younger and more digital audience.

Email Marketing Pre-Headers - Do You Use Them?

Email Marketing

© kreizihorse - Fotolia.comAttention all marketers and fundraisers: This article by Mike Snusz in npENGAGE talks about how valuable pre-headers are. If you’re not familiar with pre-headers, it explains how they could help you get better results from your email campaigns.

Email marketing continues to be the most powerful digital technique out there, so it behooves all of us to keep honing our email strategies.

Do You Have A Plan?

Smart Idea!

Do you have a plan? Many development directors we speak with say that they need to raise more money. That’s no surprise. The part that is a surprise is that often when I ask, “What is your plan?” to reach that goal, we get an answer, but it’s not rock-solid, as this blog post by John Haydon, in eJewish Philanthropy, would suggest.

Do you have a written fundraising plan for the year? Does it have goals, metrics, and milestones? Is there a strategy that’s been approved by your managers, or your board? That’s only the first of many simple ideas you’ll find in this worthy article. If you’re looking to ground your plan in reality, these seven tips are gems.

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I Don’t Subscribe to This Thinking

Marketing

© xavier gallego morel - Fotolia.com Sometimes I scratch my head when I read articles that seem to miss the point entirely. Here’s a well-written article about the decline of orchestra subscriptions published in The New York Times. It starts by offering hard data about the decline of subscriptions and goes on to quote Debora Borda (CEO of the LA Philharmonic) saying that subscriptions will eventually die out completely. And then the article makes a left turn and talks all about the problems with programming, as if programming will solve the subscription problem.

We know why arts organizations love subscriptions, and the point is made well here. It’s much more cost effective to market a bundle of concerts rather than sell them one-by-one. And you get the money upfront. And you have predictability as to the size of the house, well in advance. There’s lots of business-focused reasons why to try to stem the tide.

But I want to ask the obvious question: where is the audience in all this?   (click to read more...)

Measuring Success

CRM & Ticketing

© Rob hyrons - Fotolia.com How do you measure (and report) your success?

A mentor of mine always reminded me that “you drive your business in the direction of your numbers.” All sorts of other books and articles say it in a different way, but the one I like best is “if you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never get there.”

This thoughtful article from Nonprofit Quarterly reminds all non-profit managers that they have it harder than the for-profit business world. In the commercial arena, profit is the most agreed-upon metric to judge your success. But in our world, there are other measures: How you impact your community, or how you build it; more subscribers, or members, more repeat donors, more tickets sold.

It shocks me how often I talk with managers and ask simple questions such as, “What are your fundraising goals for this year, and how does that compare to last year?” and they cannot answer it. And what I’ve been preaching for the last four years is that CRM is all about giving you the tools to measure yourself against your goals on a daily basis.

Point is, if you’re not in touch with your crucial numbers or “key performance indicators” (KPI), this article is a must-read.

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Encouraging Creativity

Smart Idea!

© Marek - Fotolia.com It’s funny, we’re in the business of creativity, but how many times do you simply not feel creative? Truth be told, I have this problem all the time. Here’s a list of 15 things you can do to put you in a creative mood.

Interestingly, (spoiler alert) two of them work really well for me: Working out, and going to a “live event.” For me, I find that I get my most creative ideas listening to a live classical music concert. OK, I hear you making jokes about how I should stop thinking about work during the concert and focus on the music — and that does happen — but not all the time. Sometimes the music lets my mind wander, and then the creative juices start flowing. (And, for all of you out there marketing classical music, maybe this is a new marketing approach?)

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