Brand Extension for Charities
Yorkston Oakmont will be representing some of the best-known charities in the United States, as well as some smaller, ‘grass-roots’ organizations that are looking to expand their brand awareness and supporter base. The firms new marketing campaigns focus on fundraising for non-profit organisations.
Yorkston Oakmont has a proven track record generating customers for energy companies since 2009. In January this year the outsourced sales and marketing firm signed their first clients in the non-profit sector. Yorkston Oakmont will be representing some of the best-known charities in the United States such as Children International, as well as some smaller, ‘grass-roots’ organizations that are looking to expand their brand awareness and supporter base.
‘Brand extension’ is the practice whereby a familiar brand name is used to launch a new product in a different category. An example provided by the company Brand Extension Research is that of Snickers, which extended the brand into ice-cream bars. Yorkston Oakmont see their work representing non-profit organizations as a form of brand extension. “Charities do not produce physical products – their ‘brand’ is the public’s perception of their work,” says Antoine Bell, CEO. “As such we can extend the brand by speaking directly to the public, in a manner that is tailored to each person. Our face-to-face approach eliminates the ‘one size fits all’ method that a lot of traditional fundraising falls under.”
So how does Yorkston Oakmont’s approach increase consumer engagement? According to Jen Shang, assistant professor of Philanthropy at Indiana University and the world’s first ‘philanthropic psychologist’, the way a charity treat potential donors is key to whether they will become supporters. Shang, as interviewed in the New York Times article ‘Getting Into a Benefactor’s Head’ reveals that the decision to support a certain charity can be determined by the language used in solicitation – women in particular increase giving by 10% when described with words such as ‘kind’, ‘compassionate’ and ‘generous’. Yorkston Oakmont CEO Antoine Bell explains: “Today there are so many charities that people need a reason to support one particular cause over another. The reason our campaigns are so effective is because we make individuals feel really good about themselves for helping out. Our representatives engage with individuals on a personal level, and as such they become an extension of the brand. The charity separates itself from all the others because it has created a personal, emotional connection with the donor.”
According to 2012 figures from the National Center for Charitable Statistics, there are 973,961 public charities registered in the United States. Yorkston Oakmont are commissioned to target individual donors as they contribute almost 90% of total giving – in 2011 individuals donated $217.79 billion to charitable causes. “I am very excited about our new clients – it’s a great feeling to know that Yorkston Oakmont are helping these organizations to continue their essential work, both in US and overseas,” says CEO Antoine Bell.
Yorkston Oakmont has been providing outsourced sales solutions since 2009, and will be expanding the charity campaign throughout their national offices in the coming months.