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  • NorCalSEM 11:32 pm on July 17, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 501 (c) 3, 501 c3, acteva, auction, bay area, charity, common grants, eventbrite, google checkout, google grants, keiretsu, keiretsu forum, keiretsu forum north bay, marin, marin wine, marin wine auction, marin wines, non profit, nonprofit, north bay, , paypal, , , , wine auction, www.eldr.com   

    What if your conversion is a donation? 

    I decided to try my hand at interviewing…(let me know what you think). A friend of mine recently went into business for herself and her most recent project is working for a non-profit here in the Bay Area. I recently met with Elizabeth May, of eMay Services, to learn a bit more about non profits and online marketing.

    NorCal SEM: Hi Liz, thanks for taking the time to speak with me.

    Elizabeth: Thanks Clay for speaking with me.

    NorCal SEM: I remember a year or so ago you told me you wanted to work for yourself, and last time we spoke things were picking up for you.

    Elizabeth: Yes, a year ago at this time, I signed on my first independent contractor position with a start up called http://www.eldr.com. It was so enriching to use my background in online marketing to really help a new company get some traffic and measure their results. In fact, I kept talking about the online marketing visions I had for consumers and companies, and as a result, people in my network consistently referred more business my way. Clearly it was my passion for matching online consumers to what they were looking for through keyword centric paid traffic that allowed others to identify me in the industry as a good resource for search engine marketing in particular and online marketing in general. Eventually, after taking on a few more clients I had enough business to quit my full time job and work officially as a self-employed person. Working for myself has been truly rewarded and equally challenging.

    NorCal SEM: I understand you’re currently working with a local non-profit; who are they?

    Elizabeth: The local non-profit I’m working for and that I am chairing is the Marin Wine Auction hosted by Keiretsu Forum Charitable Foundation, the charitable arm of Keiretsu Forum, the largest angel investor network. Keiretsu Forum focuses on bringing angel investors together to invest in early stage companies in the high tech and consumer goods industries. I love that one of the four tenants of membership is PHILANTHROPY! In the past, the major annual philanthropic event has been a golf auction, and this year, to celebrate the launch of Keiretsu Forum’s North Bay chapter, we decided to showcase the Marin wine industry, who will be pouring together for the first time ever at our event, and help some wonderful North Bay 501 (c) 3 organizations. Complete list of beneficiaries and participating wineries at our website.

    NorCal SEM: That sounds really fun, but also like a lot of work. How have you incorporated SEM into your marketing efforts for the auction, or I guess, more importantly, what is your overall online marketing strategy for raising awareness for this event?

    Elizabeth: It is a lot of fun! The event will raise about $250,000 for local charities which makes me feel really good…so…I’m plugging for everyone who can to buy tickets to do so and make the Marin Wine Auction part of your 2008 giving plans…ok, no more shameless plugging. SEM for non-profits is difficult, but easier than for profit companies. There are plenty of companies that are willing to help.

    Nonprofit organizations and events can benefit from using savings discounts on the following helpful sites:

    1. eventbrite.com
    2. acteva.com
    3. paypal.com
    4. google.checkout (NO FEES for transactions)
    5. google.com/grants – a wonderful program that allows nonprofits to use AdWords with grant money instead of cash/credit
    6. The list is endless.


    My marketing strategy for Marin Wine Auction was to build the site, include all of our information, include my contact information, make site navigation simple, and post our news. I like to write interested news and blogs in the local & wine communities to see who will write an article about our event or better yet, post our event flyer. A few best practices:

    1. Get to the Point: Polite, brief, and informative communication is key to win links to your site.
    2. Start a database: Keep good records to track how many people you’ve asked, and how many people have accepted to link to you or write an article about your site or event. This database will assist you with all future communications (creating your own PR listserv effectively), but it will also help you track conversion ratios.
    3. Make data-driven decisions: Use this conversion ratio to test different language in Press Releases or conversations in emails to improve your results.

    This experience has taught me that there are countless online marketing resources available to nonprofits. There is the opportunity to create strong partnerships between nonprofits and online marketers. What is great about online marketing is its transparency of results. Tracking results means that performance and efficiency can improve for profit in the case of regular businesses, for increased funds in the case of nonprofit businesses.

    NorCal SEM: It sounds as if you have it down…

    Elizabeth: I wish I could say that I am a pioneer in the “online marketing for nonprofits” space, but the idea is neither new nor unique. One of the best sites on the internet for nonprofits is Common Grants. Common Grants seeks to use the “common application for college admissions” process and apply it to simplify the grant application process for nonprofits. Effectively setting up nonprofits to find, win, and increase funding and eliminate the painstaking time and energy that goes into each new grant application.

    NorCal SEM: Thanks for all the great information. I know I’ve learned a lot. Keep me posted, I’d love to hear how the event goes. BTW, can I get some free tickets? ;o)

    eMay Services clients:







    • Elizabeth 4:02 am on July 28, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Hello Clay! Thanks for the article! Best wishes to you and the family.

      Next idea: Would you please break down the hype about the bookmarking networks: digg, del.icio.us, reddit, magnoliacom, newsvine, etc?

      How can and how do individuals use these sites?

      What opportunities are available for business to use these sites?

      How many sites like this exist? Which are the best/worst?

      What’s the best method in setting up my own bookmark networks?

      Thanks again!

  • NorCalSEM 9:25 pm on May 28, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bay area, blog, interactive marketing, san francisco, ,   

    First post 

    I am starting this blog for a couple of reasons.  For starters, I want to be able to ramble on about the search industry, search topics, search techniques, industry events, etc.   And to have a forum for other search practitioners in the Bay Area and beyond.   Secondly,  how can I consider myself a true interactive marketing professional without any blog experience?!  So this is it….a place to learn…a place to talk…and a place to ramble on!

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