Who do you read to make you think?
One blog I like to check in on is Trevor O’Donnell’s Marketing the Arts to Death. As the title says, it’s about arts marketing. But to me, it’s broader.
Trevor shows how mistaken arts marketing often is. Because its focus is internal. Because it’s what insiders think is important or impressive.
But it’s not about the audience. What’s in it for them? Why would attending be a fun, enlightening, pleasurable experience for them?
A recent piece put it succinctly: Are you selling drills or holes?
Go ahead, give it a read. I’ll wait here.
His lesson applies to fundraising as well.
In the past few days, I received two newsletters from nonprofits. One from a local organization, one from a huge national organization.
Both are doing great work. But I was so disappointed!
Whether local or national, every headline was about the organization and its accomplishments. To use Trevor’s metaphor, they were selling drills.
“Look, we’ve done good stuff!”
They hope to prove their worth to the donor or prospective donor.
But that misses the point.
Because reporting on your impact is important…
But connecting the impact directly to your donors is even more important.
Think about it: if you can do it all, why do you need donors?
And if donors can see you getting it all done without them, why would they feel the need to give?
In Trevor’s example, the hole is the audience experience. In fundraising, it’s the donor experience – the giving high a donor feels when she can help someone or something – that matters to her.
Don’t cheat her of that feeling!