Archive | September, 2010

Grant Writing Resources

29 Sep

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Grants are offered for all types of purposes and to all kinds of organizations. They are a rich resource for funding projects to perpetuate and enhance your mission. If you have an important project planned but aren’t sure that your budget will cover it, consider applying for a grant. Here are some tips to follow. (Note: This is in no way a complete list, but simply a summary of my experience in the world of grant writing.)

Getting Started

Here are some questions to ask yourself before you start. They will help narrow your focus and make searching for a qualified grant much easier.
1. What is my main goal for writing this grant narrative? What am I hoping to accomplish if I get funded?
2. What is my timeline? (You will need to specify in the narrative. And some grants are only open on a once-per-year basis so you need to watching constantly for opportunities.)
3. What philanthropic organizations award grants for similar purposes?

Based on your answers to these questions, you can begin looking for grant opportunities that fit your needs. There are thousands of philanthropic organizations that are just waiting to fund a good cause.

The Search: Where Do I Begin?
The search alone can be daunting, especially if you haven’t set a clear goal. However, you are likely to find opportunities easily by entering keywords into your search engine. If you have a broad search, Grants.gov is also a great place to start. Or you can narrow your search to a specific organization in your field. For example, the NIH offers grants for medical research. The National Endowment for the Arts offers grants for all art media. The Pepsi Co. and Target are also generous grant funders for child-related programs. Check out community foundations where your institution is based or where you have programs and constituents. The amounts might not be as high, but the opportunities are great.

Tips on How to Get Funded
– Be confident in your mission and your project, and therefore, write with conviction. The more you believe in what you are proposing, the more that will show in your writing.
– Be able to give hard evidence and facts to back up your proposal. Review boards need to know that what they are considering has potential. Prove it by providing performance metrics, historical data, etc.
– Make sure you can track — and therefore, do track — the results and progress of your venture because, in all likelihood, you will be asked to present a final report to your funder when the grant period has ended.
– Another good tip is to get involved with the organizations that are potential funders. Go to their open houses, speaking engagements, etc. Arrange to meet the Executive Director. Bottom line: build a relationship!! and they’ll remember you when you go to submit an application.

Grant writing really is a rewarding process (especially when you get the award notice!) and I hope that you enjoy it. And if you don’t get funded for one grant, make the necessary modifications to your narrative and submit it again to another organization. Best of luck! Please let me know how I can support your efforts.

If you still need help or you don’t have the staff time to research and write the grant narrative, that’s ok because I offer a grant-writing service to ease that burden. Contact me for more details.

~Laura~

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For Your Thoughts…

27 Sep

Monday, September 27, 2010

Just a little quote for the last Monday in September. (I just have to say: Mondays are hard anyway. But rainy Mondays take the cake!) Hope it gets you thinking about how your consumers view your business.

“It isn’t what they say about you, it’s what they whisper.”
Errol Flynn

Happy Monday!!!   *Hint: you only have until Thursday to take advantage of the 10% referral discount.*

~Laura~

E-Mail Marketing: How To Build a Lead-Generating Mailing List

21 Sep

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Have you ever tried an e-mail marketing campaign and found it didn’t work as well as you had hoped? That’s pretty typical actually. The first step is to obtain e-mail addresses for people who actually want to hear from you. Here are a few ways to improve your results (i.e. get more “reads” and actions).

1. If you are a retail location, make sure you are obtaining e-mail addresses at the point of sale. Ask customers directly and enter it into your system or have them sign up for your newsletter.

2. Loyalty programs are a great way to encourage people to give you their information. The key here is offering them incentives!

3. Offer some of your products…or a sneak peek…for free. Offer a free seminar or class, samples, etc. People LOVE free!!

4. Contests will most assuredly get you e-mail addresses. Tell them the winner will be announced via e-mail to make it more enticing.

5. Utilize social media programs to encourage followers to sign up for your feed or newsletter or e-mail alerts.

6. As I’ve said before, word-of-mouth is a powerful tool. Friends of followers are great sources as well. Encourage your followers to pass along your information to their friends.

7. Get involved in your community. The more your name is out in the community, people will recognize your brand and you will ultimately gain loyalty.

Now it’s time to tailor your message to your audience. Check out the “Get Inside Their Head” post for tips. Good luck!

~Laura~

*Hint: There are only 9 more days left in September. Take advantage of the referral incentive NOW!*

Don’t Forget…

15 Sep

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Have you been considering some sort of change to your promotional material? Maybe you have a marketing piece that isn’t performing the way you had hoped. Why don’t you send it to me? I’ll take a look at it and give you my honest opinion. Then I’ll rework the content while keeping the original message to ultimately make it more appealing to your target audience. Contact me for more details!

~Laura~

610.393.4430 or LRDConsulting@gmail.com

Next Steps

13 Sep

Monday, September 13, 2010

First of all, I have to say, I wasn’t sure how this day would turn out. It was foggy and overcast this morning. But it is a beautiful pre-fall day and I just love being able to enjoy it! I hope that you get a chance to as well!

Now, on to other things: So last week I posted about the importance of having an online presence if you are a business owner and want to promote. Well, that’s well and good. But what do you do now that you have signed up for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn?…and the list goes on.

1) Build an online rapport with customers. You want to be consistent so your online “personality” should reflect your brick-and-mortar personality.

2) Engage visitors with relevant information. The only way to do that is to get to know your consumer. (I talked about that on a previous post.) You can also survey your readers for topics that will benefit them, products that fulfill their needs, even demographics in order to customize your message.

3) Speak on their level. Avoid using catch phrases and industry jargon.

4) Make readers feel special by offering exclusive offers, coupons, discounts and other incentives for checking in or subscribing to your feed. It will keep them wanting more. And they will likely pass on the information to their friends. (Word-of-mouth is a powerful tool!)

Happy Tweeting/Posting/Networking, etc!

~Laura~

Interactive Marketing

9 Sep

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The world now lives in the social media-sphere. In fact, one in four consumers have four or more social media accounts. So, as a promoter of a product or service, where else would you want to be? If you’re not promoting on social media services, it’s time to start. If you are, these tips will help you, too.

Laura Lake of About.com says that “if [your marketing strategy is] not interactive, it’s just interruptive.”

In their study surveying 3,000 consumers, “Consumers Open To Marketing Messages on Social Media Sites”, Performics found that:

  • 34% of those who participated said that they have used a search engine to find information on a product, service, or a brand after they saw an advertisement on a social networking site.
  • 30% learned about a new product, service or brand on a social networking site.
  • 32% said that messages about printable coupons on social sites resonate with them.
  • 28% of those responded said that messages about sales or special deal notifications resonated with them.

Bottom Line? Potential clients will find you or your product via social media services. Be there!

Delaney Marketing & Communications offers services to help create and tailor your social media strategies. Check out the “Services” page for more details.  Until next time,

~Laura~

Click here for more information on the Performics study.

Get Inside Their Head!

3 Sep

Friday, September 3, 2010

What is the best way to market to your target audience? Get to know them. That sounds like an obvious statement initially. But think about it: How much do you really know about your target market? Do you know what activities they are most likely to enjoy on a Saturday night? What TV shows are they watching? Where do they shop? If the answer is “I don’t know”, then it’s time to do a little reflection and research.

Get inside their head! Go to where your target audience is. Do things they would do. Go into their world and find out the minute details of their lives. Jim Joseph, author of The Experience Effect offers this practical suggestion: “Read a book or go to a movie that depicts the customer—especially a book or movie that the target market is embracing. You’ll get an incredible glimpse into their lives, their emotions, and their preferences.”

Once you gather this information, analyze the data. Then you can start asking other questions like: “Am I, in fact, targeting the correct demographic?” , “Do we need to try another approach?” “What strategies are working and what aren’t?” Ultimately, you will craft a unique campaign based on their needs, wants and interests.

~Laura~

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September Promotion!

1 Sep

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I haven’t really noticed a change in the weather yet…but I’m confident that autumn is right around the corner. I always, always look forward to this time of year. Apple and pumpkin picking, brisk morning air, long-sleeves and jeans and, of course, the best thing: hot apple cider with spiced wafer cookies!! It doesn’t get any better than that. Ok so maybe it does, because in the spirit of excitement and anticipation for fall, I would like to offer you an exciting opportunity.

From now until September 30, 2010, if you refer a client to Delaney Marketing & Communications, you will receive 10% off a future contract!*

*For full details, please visit the website at www.LRDelaneyMarketing.com/services.html. You’ll get all the info you need…and more!


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