AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

One-Minute MarketerAmazonSmile Made Me Smile with its POP

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AmazonSmile Made Me Smile with its POP

Some days I just hate the consulting industry. I was going to start this blog with an endorsement about Amazon Smile program, but after reading all the haters, I’m just not sure. Yet, I’m an entrepreneur and an optimist so here goes.

Let’s start at the beginning: I received this email from Amazon (a fantastic proof of performance or POP) saying that $70 dollars were contributed to a charity of my choice. I was surprised at the total since it is diverting only a very small amount of the total I spend. My blog was going to be on how should promote this fact and produce a video on how people should be using it and how to make sure you are contributing to your charity. If you are going to be shopping on Amazon, why not list a charity and have the proceeds go to that charity? Seems simple to me with the right promotion.

Amazon Smile Email Screenshot

And then I searched the programs and the haters and the naysayers bubbled up from the consulting world. I believe they are the same ones trying to achieve click-bate status with their posts and get-rich-quick fundraising schemes. These are the feasibility study doubters (because they don’t know how to do a qualified research project). They are the skip all the steps process pessimists. They are the let’s raise all the money online consultants and not make personal asks and calls. And then there are the “Amazon is a bad actor company.” Could you imagine the Salvation Army digging into the businesses who provide bell ringers or judge the money put into the kettle. One person went so far to call our giving “slacktivism” and how by using Amazon Smile you give your supporters that sense that they are doing something for you when they really aren’t. Wow, who are you to judge my intentions as a donor.

Fundraising is a hard work. Those who are best at it don’t have time to listen to cynical and snarky. Stay positive my friends. Look for new revenue streams especially in these difficult times. Encourage people to sign up for AmazonSmile if they use Amazon and rake in the rewards–more than $241 million was donated to nonprofits. And that is something to be positive about.

Written by:

Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle.

With that kind of experience, after working at KWWL for 12 years, Mark became one of the founding partners of ME&V and, subsequently, AMPERAGE. Today, he leads the AMPERAGE creative teams, including video production, graphic design, public relations, writing and web development.

He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.”

Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.”

One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College.

Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board.

Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.