Sunday, December 12, 2010

Client Centred Marketing. How an 'old' agency is changing how we think of them.

Stephen Thomas Marketing for a Better World Is an agency that seems to have successfuly reinvented itself. Once thought of as strictly a direct mail provider they are doing some great work with integration between multiple channels. Very cool campaigns like the Buy a Kid Some Time campaign with Kid's Help Phone and the brilliantly launched Medecins Sans Frontiers and the concept for MSF's What's up Crate campaign have moved me in unprecedented ways and I'm sure generated a lot of interest and money for their clients.

As an exhibitor and sponsor at the Association of Fundraising Professionals Toronto Chapter congress their approach is also refreshed. For two years now instead of talking about themselves they have brought in video crews to record delegates sharing their stories. This is a great idea because it increases their exposure and it engages their prospects in talking about themselves. HA! a very client centred approach. Very smart and very cool. Here is their video of me taken at AFP Congress last month.The video isn't transferring to my blog very well so you can click through here to You Tube if you like.

You can see more videos of other fundraising professionals on their STTV channel here. Congratulations to the ST team for their great (and very noticable work) and thank you for giving me a moment in the spotlight. Admit it folks - we all love that!

Thank you for spending time here.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Are graduates of fundraising diploma programs secretly feeling superior?

I love my AFP Toronto Chapter. Congratulations to all of the committee who delivered one of the most successful Congresses ever - over 1,000 delegates-WOW! Thank you for your hard work.

Catching up with friends and colleagues is my favourite part of the conference experience. Since I started using twitter to turn `connections`into real relationships these face to face interactions are even more special. However, one conversation I had this week was a little bit uncomfortable. It really stuck with me so I think it is worthy of further exploration.

Every time I see this person she seems to have a new job and we were talking about her most recent transition. During which she referred to her former colleagues as `uneducated fundraisers`. Of course I inquired for understanding - it sounded like she felt superior to fundraisers who hadn`t attended a formal college fundraising education program. Embarrassment set in for her when I clarified that I was in fact one of the `uneducated fundraisers` she was referring too. (All these years she assumed I was a graduate of the same program since we met in that context.) After that the conversation turned awkward. Thank goodness the session started.

I won`t use this blog to talk about the difference I`ve noticed between us `accidental fundraisers` and graduates of formal fundraising programs. That conversation really doesn`t serve much purpose. However, I would like reassurance that those who graduate formal fundraising programs don`t see themselves as superior to those of us who learned through our sweat and mistakes on the job.

Frankly after raising a lot of money, recently being recertified as a CFRE and having attended countless educational events and congresses - I consider myself pretty educated too.

A diploma from an educational institution is not the mark of a good fundraiser. A good fundraiser to me is someone who:

1. Can get and keep a job.
2. Can deliver the budget they are responsible for.
3. Teaches others along the way.

What do you think - are graduates of fundraising diploma programs secretly feeling superior to all of us?

Thank you for spending time here.