Weekend Reading Round-Up
How can small charities compete in fundraising?

What can fundraisers learn from Coca-Cola?

Another great talk at Ted from Melinda French Gates on what nonprofits can learn from Coca-Cola (HT to the Donor Power Blog for the link).

Regardless of your view of their ethics (see here for bad Coca-Cola), it is a truly global brand and she argues there are three main reasons for this:

1.  Their use of real time data and how they feed it back into the product

2.  How they tap into local entrepreneurial talent (especially in the developing world)

3.  They do incredible marketing

As fundraisers we can learn from all three points.

Coca-Cola's knowledge and insight team know where their consumers are in real time and when sales drop they can react and do something about it.  Charities and fundraisers tend to evaluate at the end when it is too late to do anything to fix any problems.  Are you evaluating your results as they come in and then doing something about it?

By training local entrepreneurs Coca-Cola were able to sell coke in hard to reach places.  They empowered individual, created brand advocates and set them up as micro-distribution centres. 

This is similar to what Kiva and Lend With Care are doing and as fundraisers we need to find ways to empower our most committed and loyal donors and give them the tools to eulogise about our work.

Coca-Cola use aspirational marketing across the world and adapt it to local traditions and customs.  People equate Coca-Cola with the type of life they want to live and the things that are important to them (which varies around the world).  Coca-Cola speak to the dreams and hopes of people and not about the features of the product. 

The key thing here for fundraisers is to know your audience, adapt your marketing to their hopes and aspirations (the problem they are solving) and don't impose on them your view of the world!