With just a few more than 90 days before the end of the year, here are seven easy steps you could take in the next 30 minutes to improve your cause marketing career before year end.
- Make an Appointment before Thanksgiving with Your Opposite Number at Your Partner Charity or Sponsor. Finish reading this list then call your partner at the cause or sponsor you work with and plan a casual meeting. The explicit purpose of the meeting, whether you admit to or not, is to help improve your personal relationship with this person, even if the relationship is already good. Remember what Covey said about trust: when trust is high, everything goes faster, costs less, and more pleasant. You almost can’t work too much on maintaining and building trust. Remember: how well you work with your colleague helps determines your success, their success and the success of your campaign. If you two don’t work well together your career could suffer and you’ll be less likely to achieve key goals.
- Create a Swipe File. Direct mail fundraisers keep a file of proven and tested sales copy, letters, ‘packages,’ and the like. You should steal this idea. Only, load it up with cause marketing examples. Your swipe file could be something electronic like Dropbox or a wiki. Or an actual paper file. Or both. Either way, load it up with cause marketing you admire or could adapt for your own purposes.
- Review the Best of Lists. Everyone has a best of list. Mine newest one will appear in this space on or near Jan 1, 2013. My ' Best Cause of 2011' is here and my 'Worst Cause marketing of 2011' is here. Read them for ideas, for new thinking, and to get a sense not only what went right, but what went wrong and why.
- Commit to Continued Cause Marketing Education. Education and self-education determines how successful your cause marketing campaigns are, indeed, how successful you are; your income and your lifespan. Some studies have even shown a correlation between happiness and education. Cause marketing is so dynamic you must commit to continued education in the practice.
- Create a Cause Marketing RSS Feed. Think of RSS as feedstock for your swipe file.
- Convene a Correspondence with a Cause Marketer You Admire. There’s somebody out there who has the answer to your future cause marketing questions. But don’t wait until the question arises to try and track someone down. Begin to cultivate trusting relationships with skilled and experienced cause marketers right now.
- Make One or More Charitable Donations Before the End of the Year. This last one is kind of a cheat because you won’t be able to do all of it in the next 30 minutes. But you can open up your browser and make a $50 donation to a fine cause in the next 30 minutes. Now, don’t tell me you gave at the office. That’s lame. Cause marketers should be active charitable donors. Give to your own cause, for sure. Chefs eat their own cooking, after all. But find other admirable charities and donate to them as well. Part of this is just a matter of good karma, of staying on the right side of the ‘Circle of Life.’ But there’s compensations to your professional life as well. Once you’re a donor they’ll start communicating with you. This will give a chance to learn first hand how other admirable charities position their cause in a noisy marketplace. It will give a sense for what they do well, and what they don't. And, of course, you almost won’t be able to stop from comparing what they do to what you do at your cause or the charity you sponsor.