AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

BlogOur Confidence Is Slipping

Subscribe to AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

Average Confidence Ratings for Institutions, 1993-2021

Our Confidence Is Slipping

According to Gallup, our confidence is slipping in U.S. institutions. In spite of all the goodwill built in 2020, Americans lost confidence in the institutions most affected by the coronavirus. These institutions include the medical system (-7 points 2020 to 2021), small businesses (-5), organized religion (-5), banks (-5), public schools (-9), even the U.S. Supreme Court and the criminal justice system (-4).

Average Confidence Ratings for Institutions, 1993-2021

Gallup says that there was an “uptick” in average confidence driven by the pandemic and that now we are returning to more typical levels. As the pandemic became political and controversial, many institutions struggled with how to message and deal with ongoing virus containment issues.

I hypothesize that some of the downward movement is due to the lack of marketing, public relations and advertising around the institutions. Most institutions cut back or completely shut down outside messaging during the pandemic. Many still have not returned to full volume. You just can’t turn off the efforts and expect a return to normal. In the future, proof of performance marketing will be key to returning confidence in our great institutions. For example, public schools took nearly a 10 point drop in public confidence from 2020 to 2021. It will take more than just stories about masks to return the public trust. It will take achievement stories, innovation stories and success stories to bring back the public’s confidence.

Mark Mathis III is chief creative & strategy officer, partner and cofounder of AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising.

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. After 12 years at KWWL, Mark became a business owner as a co-founder of ME&V — rebranded as AMPERAGE in 2015. After 25 years of leading creative teams in video production, graphic design, PR, writing and web development, Mark transitioned out of ownership in 2021. Today he serves in an employee role as special projects consultant. 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.