The following is an excerpt from my new book, The Fruition Coalition Marketing Plan Workbook. ISBN 978-1-300-59132-1. $24.99.
Marketing is the art of bringing together like-minded people to develop mutually beneficial relationships and to exchange ideas and resources. Organizations engage in marketing whenever they offer a program or service, recruit volunteers, or raise money. In other words, marketing is an ongoing, everyday practice. In this book, we will learn how to be more intentional and strategic about marketing so that your organization builds stronger relationships to achieve its goals.
In my experience, many people in the nonprofit sector resist marketing. It is sometimes thought of as a wicked enterprise that is based on deception and manipulation. Nonprofits sometimes adopt marketing practices from the for-profit sector only to deepen their distain for the field. In this workbook, we are going to redefine marketing as a positive, relational practice that is specific to social change and community benefit organizations. We will carefully explore and expose all of the mysteries of marketing, leading to both greater comfort and confidence as well as a solid plan that can benefit your organization, the people you serve, and your community. By the end of this book, I hope you will see marketing as both useful and fun.
I was a marketing major in college. I love creative ideas and creating connections. Marketing feels very natural to me. My marketing practice is authentic and holistic. It is an expression of my values and my hopes for the world. I never compromise myself when I engage in marketing, though I do sometimes stretch myself so that I am able to meet others where they are. As you work through the pages in this book, think about your own philosophy of marketing and how it can be an expression of your organization’s core values.
We are going to begin by carefully examining your organization. We will start by exploring your organization’s values and culture. From there, we will identify core competencies, describe your programs and services, describe your location, and articulate your brand. Next, we will examine the social, institutional, and political environments in which your organization is situated. From there, we will explore all of your organization’s internal and external relationships. After that, we will discuss how your organization can communicate with the many people and organizations that are involved with your work. After we have explored your organization, environment, relationships, and means of communication, we will start to develop specific marketing goals and strategies. To conclude, will organize everything into a living plan to guide the marketing efforts of your organization.
With best wishes for continued success in responding to community needs and creating new possibilities,
Jessica R. Dreistadt
Founding director, the Fruition Coalition