The team at AboveWater Public Relations and Marketing is proud of our success increasing awareness, funds, and members for Friends of the Library of Collier County. Most important was to ensure that the non-profit achieved a return on their investment in marketing dollars. It was no easy task to prove our need to “spend” money to make more money on behalf of this not-for-profit that has been in existence since 1955. As old and established as the organization was, no one knew about Friends of the Library other than the board, existing members and library staff. AboveWater launched an awareness campaign that included the following communications vehicles:
Full-page ads in magazines and newspapers
Radio and television advertising
8-foot banners hung outside of library entrances
Full-color rack brochure
Editorial coverage in local press
A regular column in the local newspaper
Countertop posters at check-out
Floor mats at all entrances
Website revisions and news updates
Two years later, fundraising has increased by 30 percent. Annual membership has doubled. Community members are aware of the non-profit as evidenced by the increased number of people who are taking advantage of the free programs sponsored by the Friends. Philanthropists are contacting the organization to donate auction items, underwrite programs, and establish endowment funds—all wonderful words to hear when you are in the business of fundraising. Marketing is as necessary for non-profits as it is for corporations in business to make profits. With all of the communications tools available today, non-profits can find ways to market their message, attract more philanthropic supporters, and increase fundraising. AboveWater helps keep non-profits above water, too.
The campaign also boosted ticket sales for special events hosted by the Friends, such as the Nick Linn celebrity author speaker series and an annual casino night fundraiser.
Currently, AboveWater is now maintaining a level of awareness for Friends of the Library of Collier County through ongoing publicity placement, a monthly e-newsletter, Facebook posts, and minimal advertising on the one medium that proved to generate the most response-radio. Before placing any advertising, measurability systems were put in place anticipating the need to streamline the non-profit’s marketing costs long-term.