An easy mistake to make in fundraising and marketing for nonprofits is to think that all of your donors are like you. What you like, they like. What you respond to, they will respond to. What moves you will move them. Not so.
The harsh reality is that your donors aren’t exactly like you. You hate telemarketing, but some of your donors respond to it. You love giving online, they don’t trust it. You’re sure that a banquet is the answer, they are so busy they don’t have an open night to come.
The marketing-thinker Seth Godin had his usual brilliant take on this in a blog post he called “Your world versus the world.”
“So often, you are not the customer for your product. Yet you market it as if you were. Showing up in your world (or the board’s world your staff’s world) is not nearly as important as showing up in the world of the person you’re actually trying to reach.”
Great reminder. Your staff, your board and even you don’t necessarily represent the people you’re trying to reach. You’re the one connecting with your donors, lapsed donors and people who could become donors. Don’t make the mistake and confuse that you are one in the same with the people. You are not.
Maybe you dislike direct mail. Often telemarketing is the outcast strategy. Could be any fundraising vehicle. Don’t think about what you like; think about what your donors respond to. And integrate, always integrate your strategies.
What about you, are there any strategies you don’t like personally but use professionally and get good results?
(photo credits: davidChief)