Wednesday, November 12, 2008

2008 Election is Historic for More Reasons Than 1

(This post is also archived on

2008 will most certainly be remembered as the year that we elected the first African American President. It will also be remembered as the year that mobile, email and social media generated incredible returns for political advocacy and fundraising!

The Pew Internet and American Life Project - a great source of information on all things Internet - says that “a record-breaking 46% of Americans used the Internet, email or cell phone text messaging to get news about the campaign, share their views and mobilize others.” More important, this multi-media communication turned into a pile of gold for the Obama Campaign, i.e. over $600 million in funds raised.

I know you’re not Obama. Nevertheless, this historic election has implications for you and your nonprofit.

1. Mobile and social media are here to stay. Don’t get stuck in “old-school” marketing. Start investigating and testing these new means of communication today!

2. Start/continue building your opt-in databases. Because it’s all about the list!

3. Learn as much as you can about your stakeholders so that you can personalize your communications. One way to do this is to append demographic and lifestyle data to your files. (Call me. I can help!)

3. Ask your supporters to help you. Your marketing budget will never be big enough for you to get all the signatures/donations/members you want or need. But you can leverage the dollars you do have by asking your best supporters to market for you. Help them to spread the word by building a charity widget, forwarding your emails, and sharing your research.

4. Remember that your supporters are connected to each other. You aren’t in control of the conversation. It’s already happening.