Five Questions with Ceci Dadisman
Fundraising = (social) marketing. We hear this all the time but what does it actually mean, and how do we most effectively go about it? AFP chatted with Ceci Dadisman, the digital marketing manager at FORM about her thoughts on fundraising and marketing, which is also the subject of her upcoming webinar, Market Smarter, Not Harder, on January 30.
How and why did you get into marketing?
After completing my degree in music, I decided to take a year off before going to graduate school. I got a job at an organization in my native Pittsburgh, and I felt like I had found my place. Although I loved performing as a musician, I discovered that I could be of more help by using my knowledge of the arts and nonprofits to engage audiences and bring in ticket sales and donations. Since then, I have dedicated my career to working with nonprofits to help them achieve their goals, as well as empowering nonprofit administrators with knowledge and resources so they can get better results.
What do you see as the relationship between marketing and fundraising?
Marketing and fundraising are the same thing. Both marketers and fundraisers are endeavoring to communicate an organization's mission and/or programs in a compelling way so as to create relationships with patrons that become so strong that they will take action. There needs to be a comprehensive approach to the patron experience that involves both marketing and fundraising. These departments can be siloed in an organization, but it is time to break those boundaries down and embrace a holistic method.
I hear data and my eyes start to involuntarily glaze over – how do you make data interesting?
The key to using data is to focus on what actions you can take and insights you can glean from it. Simply looking at it isn't going to help you. For example, many organizations send the same annual appeal to all or most of their list. Using your own data to look deeper into the people who are on that list can guide you in finding who might have a higher propensity to give and who might need a little more convincing. Identifying these groups gives you a path in terms of what messaging and imagery you would use to get results.
If you could invent the ultimate digital marketing tool what would it do?
I would create a tool that would let marketers and fundraisers manage all marketing activities (digital and traditional) including ads, letters, Facebook campaigns, etc. It would provide calendar views as well as pull in data on campaign performance so that the efficacy of any campaign could be seen immediately. This tool would also be able to integrate into donor management and ticketing systems so that patron data is automatically pulled in to track and segment audiences.
"Go big or go home." If you're not going to give something your best effort, why do it at all?
To find out more about nonprofit marketing in a big way join us for Ceci’s webinar, Market Smarter, Not Harder, on January 30 at 1:00 PM Eastern.