Hi. I’m Jane Pfeiffer, founder and president of Fieldtrip. Fieldtrip is a marketing and branding agency that helps nonprofits and purpose-driven organizations reduce their single biggest expense. That expense is the cost of lost opportunities. The things that don’t come to you because people don’t know who you are, what you do, why it’s important, or if you can help them, or if they should help you. When you answer those questions, you create a mission multiplier. So today you’ve got a mission to fulfill – you’re passionate about it. You know that everybody should care, and you need a lot of help and support to get the work done and to expand the scope and impact of your mission. So what do you do? Where do you start? You know, I’m sure many times it feels like literally you need to stand on the roof of your building or wherever you’re located and just shout and tell people, because surely if they hear you, they would care. They would help. Right. Well, what I have found is oftentimes organizations are ready to shout. They’re ready to invest. In marketing or communications that raises awareness and gets the word out. However, in a recent experience, I found that often the basics aren’t ready. So when the opportunity comes in, you’re spending money to raise awareness and shout from the rooftops. They forgot to check and see if the organization is even on the map. So they’re shouting from the rooftops. Probably not the best analogy, but people wanted to come find them, but they didn’t even exist. There were no directions. There was no front door, there was no street address. So how do we find you? And when we fix that problem, what we found is there were actually hundreds of people coming on a regular basis. They didn’t even need to shout. They just needed to put their organization on the map, literally.
So the basic steps that I’m talking about are very simple. But anything you spend, whether that’s a monetary investment in media or communications time in terms of PR and earned media, if you aren’t visible and available to everyone and welcoming, those efforts are going to be inefficient. So the basics, where do most searches start? That’s on the great Google. So make sure that you have your Google listing. You own it, you have access to it. You have hours, phone numbers, location, descriptions, and pictures are extra, but at least a location to make sure it’s accurate. I’ve got a nonprofit in this very same building, and every time I’m in the back parking lot, I see a poor, helpless person walking around in circles because the pin for their location is actually in the parking garage. I know the moment I see them, what they’re looking for and can stop and explain it and point them in the right direction. But what I can’t do is convince the nonprofit that they need to go on their page and move the pin to make it easier for people so that I would do first find out. And if you’re not, get on the right directories, especially if you’re in, you know, medical services, health and social services, not just Google, but all the directory listings, you need to make sure that you’ve got a representation there. Then what is that web presence? When somebody goes and types in a keyword, are you even on the first page? And if not, what’s missing? Because we can’t rely on people to look for your exact organization, but for the services that you offer for the mission that you fulfill, and it can’t be a scavenger hunt to find you. It’s got to be your website. It’s got to be right there. It doesn’t take paid media to get there, but it does take a smart SEO strategy to get there. It’s worth the investment Other things might seem even more rudimentary. Phone number… Is it accurate? Is it manned, and is it welcoming? Is there a greeting that explains what you do? Well, not explains, as I’ve told you, but inspires people about what you do. If somebody is in need and they finally pick up the phone to call you for help. How will that phone greeting or that experience make them feel? What’s the email response from your website or other links that you might have out there? Does it confirm that you received the message and set expectations for when you’ll hear from them, who you will hear from, and what will come next? And social media moderation. Yeah, it’s not fun and it’s often not positive, but letting negative comment or people asking for help and questions go unanswered is a really big black eye. So make sure you’ve got a process for that. These are the basics that you can spend all the money in the world, but if you’ve made it impossible for your organization to be found or you’ve got a bunch of black eyes when they show up to check you out, you’ve wasted those dollars. So start with the basics and then build from there. Happy to talk about next steps. Just give me a call by visiting wearefieldtrip.com. You can find my contact information and you can also register to sign up for our weekly videos at wearefieldtrip.com/nonprofits.