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Follow-up to Right-Things Right-Now Marketing Webinar

Below is a follow-up by Nancy Schwartz, Speaker-Author-Strategist,, to two questions submitted by participants during the February 5, 2013, webinar “Right-Things Right-Now Marketing: Move People to Act Now With This One-Page Plan.” Nancy will answer additional questions in a post next week. To view the presentation or listen to the recording of the webinar, please click here.

Nancy Schwartz Nancy Schwartz

Q: Should goals be realistic or stretch goals?

Answer: This is such a vital question, because the nature of the goals you set has a huge influence on whether you get there or not.

I believe strongly—and have seen this work time and time again—that you have to hit a middle ground, a balance. The best goals are ambitious (so you respond on an ongoing basis to the ever-changing world in which your organization works, and the wants of your prospects and supporters—a must for moving your mission forward) goals you set have.

But there’s more. Marketing goals have to be realistic; within your reach—even if it’s the furthest reach possible (recommended for those of you who like double-dares)—to achieve those goals. Otherwise, you’ll fail time and time again in your own eyes, which is the biggest killer of the passion and creativity you need to do the best job possible.

Ambitious but realistic goals are the way to move your marketing (and your mission) forward, inch by inch!

Q: Can you please clearly differentiate between Marketing Goals and Organizational Goals?

Answer: Another great question! It’s almost as if I planted this question (but I didn’t) because understanding this distinction is crucial to setting goals that move your marketing forward in the right direction.

Goals are what you want to achieve. Complete the sentence: “We want to . . .”

Organizational goals (a max of three at a time) are the steps (let’s look one year head) that will take your organization to achieving its mission. Typical examples are:

Marketing goals are the best ways you can put marketing to work to achieve those organization goals.

Here are a few examples:
Better Choices
Offers alternative sentencing options, needs to develop more participants and support in the legal community for its programs and approach

  • Organizational Goals:

Reduce family conflict and violence in our community = healthier and happier families

Increase participation in our relationship and parenting classes and counseling programs.

  • Marketing Goals (focused on engaging influencers):

Increase understanding within the legal community for what Better Choices can offer.

Help legal community understand how to talk about our services in ways that clients, etc. can understand.

Bike Walk USA
A new advocacy organization

  • Organizational Goal: To improve the safety of bicyclists and walkers in local communities.
  • Marketing Goals:

To build understanding of how safer biking and walking can improve community health and the environment

To motivate community activism in support of safer biking and walking

To seed partnerships with other organizations working on community safety and other issues at the local level.

Start by answering these questions to get to the right marketing goals:

  1. How can marketing be put to work to achieve your organizational goal(s)?
  2. What are your big-picture goals for the long-term? Shorter-term “goals” are more likely to be benchmarks that indicate you’re on the right path, rather than defining that path as a goal should.
  3. What will you achieve through your marketing work—“sell” a program, increase your volunteer retention rate or build a corps of citizen advocates to rally support for new legislation?

Nancy Schwartz helps nonprofits like yours succeed through effective marketing. For more nonprofit marketing guidance like this, subscribe to her e-update at

Topics: Communications