The Social Marketing Institute starts to translate talk into action

TAMPA: Attempting to translate talk into action, the fledgling Social Marketing Institute (SMI) held its first meeting in Tampa last month for 37 marketing managers representing national non-profit organizations.

TAMPA: Attempting to translate talk into action, the fledgling Social Marketing Institute (SMI) held its first meeting in Tampa last month for 37 marketing managers representing national non-profit organizations.

TAMPA: Attempting to translate talk into action, the fledgling

Social Marketing Institute (SMI) held its first meeting in Tampa last

month for 37 marketing managers representing national non-profit

organizations.



The meeting came mere months before the group’s July deadline to

demonstrate to one of its major underwriters, the Robert Wood Johnson

Foundation, that it can succeed in providing a needed service.



Much of the discussion at the conference centered around the need for

non-profits to clarify and unify their fund-raising policies.



’The consensus at the end of the meeting was that we should do it again

and that the Social Marketing Institute should take the lead to make it

happen,’ said Dr. Alan Andreasen, the SMI’s interim director.



One area where the group failed to reach a consensus involved Internet

policy. Kurt Aschermann, the Boys and Girls Clubs of America’s SVP for

marketing and communications, expressed concern that charitable dot-coms

that have expressed their aim to funnel contributions to non-profits

will exploit the names and logos of organizations like his.



’The Internet’s so brand new,’ he said. ’You have to be careful what

you’re getting into.’



Aschermann argued that non-profits often receive very little in return

and that they should not allow use of their name unless the dot-com

makes a significant up-front commitment or contribution.



The SMI meeting was also useful as one of the first assemblies of

marketing pros from top non-profit groups. ’I’ve been doing non-profit

marketing for 10 years, and I’ve had very little contact with my peers,’

Aschermann said. ’The meeting was a great opportunity to hear other

voices.’



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