Marketing & Fundraising: 4 Do’s & 3 Probably Not’s

One of the best things about panel discussions? All those voices in the mix! That’s how it went at last week’s “How Loud Can You Bark: Hellraising vs. Fundraising,” a roundtable hosted by The Association’s Jim Tedford featuring Denise Wong from One & All; Humane Society Silicon Valley’s Stephanie Ladeira, and Angela Speed of Wisconsin Humane Society. Register to access the complete recording, and read on for recommendations of smart things to do, and a few to avoid.

Do define who’s doing what—and who’s making decisions

If your marketing and fundraising teams aren’t working cross-departmentally, now’s the time to get started. “Clear roles and responsibilities are key,” says Humane Society Silicon Valley’s Ladeira, as are agreeing on who’s doing what, where, when and how.

Do work hard to build trust with all your partners and clients

“We start and end with trust,” says One & All’s Wong. The way to get there? “We make sure we’re always honest.” That means identifying areas when you miss the mark, and then quickly responding to setbacks.

Probably not a good idea to keep sending emails if you notice this 

At Wisconsin Humane Society, Speed is all for pushing the limit on the number of communications to send out. “Keep adding asks!” she urges. “But if you see more unsubscribes than usual, it’s time to stop.

Do look to your colleagues for inspo (and give them props when you borrow their ideas)

One of WHS’ most recent fundraising successes? Their Badly Drawn Pets promo. “For 10 dollars, people would provide a photo of their pet,” shares Speed, “and in return, they’d get a horrible drawing, mostly done by shelter staff.” It was wildly successful, and earned WHS international media—in which they took care to give credit where credit’s due. “The idea was borrowed from BARCS,” says Speed of the Baltimore agency that came up with the genius concept in 2019

Ladeira also makes a point of shouting out colleagues, including two municipal agencies that HSSV partners with:

Probably not a good idea to avoid investing $$ on socials

It’s no secret that organic each and engagement is plummeting across the board. “We have struggled ourselves with engagement on Facebook and Instagram without spending money,” says Speed. “When we invested 10 dollars, 25 dollars, in a Facebook event or post, it does pay off. You can easily see this if you track organic reach versus paid reach. We’ve found ourselves investing even more.”

Probably not a good idea to think of yourself as your target audience

“This one is key,” says Ladeira. “One important ingredient for success is remembering that you, as a person within your organization, are not your audience.” Who in your community are you trying to reach in your fundraising and marketing communications, and what’s the best messaging for each of your audiences? It’s likely going to be a little different for each.

Do get all the love you deserve, municipals!

Ladeira has a tip especially for municipal agencies. “Building coalitions within the community is the most important thing you can do to raise your profile and ensure you are getting the same love, attention and kudos from the community that nonprofits are getting,” she says. Remember, you have important stories to tell, too, just like nonprofits do.

Register to access the roundtable recording including a podcast version.

Learn More

Blog: Yes, You Can! How to Set Up Your Public Agency for Fundraising
Webinar recording and Podcast: The Roundtable: How Loud Can You Bark: Hellraising vs. Fundraising

Top photo, from left: Angela Speed; Denise Wong; Stephanie Ladeira


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