Advancement Associates Inc.

Issue No. 21

Spring 2014

About the science
It's often said that an effective advancement program includes elements of both art and science.

The "art" part of advancement often comes easily to development officers. After all, they are in the people business, seeking to build strong relationships with stakeholders on behalf of their organizations. For sure, if you don't enjoy personal interaction, then fundraising isn't for you.

But what about the "science" of advancement? Too often we give that dimension short shrift because it largely occurs behind the scenes or isn't adequately understood. Two good examples are marketing and market research.

E-news shines a light on those activities in this issue. Included are the helpful perspectives of experts and practitioners. We encourage readers to consider how marketing and market research--correctly considered and applied--might make a significant difference in achieving your organization's mission.

                                      Ben Gerig, editor

Marketing and nonprofits: like peas and carrots

We know being up a creek without a paddle hinders effectiveness. And so can building a successful advancement program without a marketing component. (Photo/Dan Hess)
Dr. Michael Wiese is an AAI Associate and Professor of Marketing in the Falls School of Business, Anderson (IN) University. Below he shares his belief that a marketing orientation is key for mission fulfillment of church-related, nonprofit organizations.

Question: With church-related, nonprofit organizations in mind, how would you define marketing?


Response: Marketing is everything that every person in our organization does to find, attract and retain key stakeholders who want to support our mission. Read more. 



Nine keys to successful market research

Dr. Michael Collette is Professor of Management in the Falls School of Business, Anderson (IN) University. Here is his list of ingredients that make for worthwhile market research.


In my former capacity as vice president for marketing and strategy at a university, I led a division which was increasingly dependent on reliable market research to fully comprehend vital information needed to make strategic marketing decisions. Read more. 


Informing strategic planning through market research
In Bebedó, Colombia, where growing coca for cocaine is common, MCC is helping farmers such as Ramon Casildo Mosquera Murillo begin to plant cacao, which will be processed into chocolate. (MCC Photo/Nina Linton)

Phil Rush is Director of Donor Relations for Mennonite Central Committee U.S. AAI invited him to describe how market research is informing an extensive strategic planning exercise for his organization. 


Originally founded in 1920 as a short-term effort to provide relief aid to starving Mennonites and others in Russia, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) will celebrate its 100th birthday in 2020. The organization currently supports efforts in relief, development, and peace in about 60 countries around the world. An effort of stakeholders in the United States and Canada, MCC is largely known for its well-regarded international work, although it operates various domestic programs across those two countries as well. Read more. 


Marketing: a worthy investment

Market research can help us discover important information--sometimes hard to find and sometimes hidden in plain sight. (Photo/Dan Hess)
A layman's definition of market research: an organized effort to gather information about key stakeholders. 
Small faith-based organizations are often hesitant to invest in market research. It requires funds from already-tight budgets. It adds another layer to the planning process. It may duplicate information the organization already has. 

Advancement Associates recognizes these concerns, but begs to differ. When done for the right reasons and in the right way, we believe conducting market research can be a worthwhile investment, even for small human service organizations as they seek to align programs and resources with mission. Our view is shaped by the results of the market research activities we have completed for our clients over the past decade. Here's a snapshot of those projects. Read more.
Advancement Associates, LLC 
PO Box 339
Bellefontaine, Ohio 43311



In this issue
Marketing and nonprofits: like peas and carrots
Nine keys to successful market research
Informing strategic planning through market research
Marketing: a worthy investment
Our team
Richard L. Gerig, MEd, Principal

Rebecca S. Drumm, CFRE, Associate

Ben L. Gerig, MA,
Communication Director

J. Daniel Hess, PhD, Associate

Michael D. Wiese, PhD, Associate

Email us 

Join Our Mailing List