One thing that marketing, fundraising and nonprofit professionals have in common is a need to improve their effectiveness with customers and donors.
That’s one reason why thousands of direct, digital and commercial marketers will be attending the 7th Annual Bridge to Integrated Marketing and Fundraising Conference near Washington, D.C. August 7-9.
The Bridge Conference will focus on new ways to integrate social media, public relations, marketing, advertising and customer service to improve marketing and fundraising results.
“The job of marketing is to find, keep and grow customers,” said Laura Patterson, who will be speaking at the Bridge Conference and who manages Vision Edge Marketing of Austin, Texas. Her firm has been working for 12 years to help companies enhance their marketing efforts.
“This is a very complex time for customers. The media mix that people use to promote themselves is much more complicated, and optimizing that mix has never been more challenging,” said Douglas Lynch, Managing General Partner of Lynchpin BioMedia, a content marketing and media communications firm with offices in Los Angeles, New York, Sunnyvale and Martinsburg, West Virginia. “I look forward to hearing Ms. Patterson and other industry leaders’ insights into effective multi-channel marketing.”
While marketing executives have been fighting to hold or to increase market share, their brothers and sisters in the nonprofit world have found it even more challenging.
Gift giving has been slowly increasing over the last two years as nonprofits and foundations are finding the competition more intense in the wake of the severe economic downturn that started in 2008.
One bright spot is an area that is growing more quickly; online giving.
Katya Andresen, who’s Network for Good organization teaches nonprofits about online fundraising and engagement says, “less than 10 percent of giving is online. That is an area that will grow and is less expensive to operate than traditional fundraising.”
Network for Good was started nearly 11 years ago to create a technology driven, gift giving platform. The Bethesda, Maryland-based organization has helped over 100,000 nonprofits since then.
Ms. Andresen will present her experience during one of the 70 educational sessions at the conference as well.
The Bridge Conference is a fast growing annual event where forward-thinking direct marketers and fundraisers learn about using both traditional and digital marketing channels to maximize their efficiencies and results. Some 100 firms will present The Solutions Showcase to help attendees learn what worked, and what didn’t in recent client and fundraising campaigns. Considerable time will be focused on educating professionals on the latest developments in the fast-changing areas of technology and social marketing.
The conference provides attendees a chance to network with fellow professionals from around North America. Networking with their peers is a part of the relationship building that can help them in their day-to-day work, as is the ability to hear industry experts talk about best practices.
Tony Myers, who will be presenting three different interactive sessions, reminds us that for all of the new techniques and tactics that will be covered, one important traditional element must never be forgotten by marketers and development experts.
“The importance of relationships is still a key component,” said Dr. Myers, an entertaining public speaker who has worked in higher education development for years and now runs his own firm, Myers and Associates in Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta.
The Bridge Conference is a collaborative effort of the Direct Marketing Association of Washington (DMAW) and the Association of Fundraising Professionals Washington DC Metro Area Chapter (AFP DC). It is sponsored by over 40 organizations including the AARP Foundation, The Non-Profit Times and Target Marketing. The conference runs from August 7 to August 9 at the Gaylord National Conference Center in National Harbor, Maryland just outside Washington D.C.