It’s not as if we weren’t warned.
If you’ve seen it up close, you know what I’m talking about. It’s infuriating.
The process works something like this: Fundraising isn’t all it could be, so you hire a consultant.
Doing the hard work of reaching new donors just isn’t enough fun, so talk turns to your “brand”.
Suddenly, you must change your name. Change your logo. Oh, and of course, you need a shiny new website!
Any one of those things might need work.
But beware the consultant who just wants to play in your sandbox.
You’re liable to be left with mud.
Muddy messaging. Wasted money. Confused donors. Fewer donations. It’s one great big outrageous time suck.
The people who don’t know any better will be entranced by the flash. The ones who do will be pissed off.
Communicating well isn’t about clever word games.
It’s almost never about your name. Or what your logo looks like.
It’s about how clearly you talk about the problems your organization works to solve.
And it’s about how your audience can help solve the problem. It’s directly connected to your mission and existence.
It’s directly connected to your donors or potential donors.
Absent that, no amount of design or verbal flash will get you there.
Clarity and responsiveness are what’s needed.
So say no to the razzle-dazzle. Focus on your donors – that’s where the answer is.
What’s your experience been? Do you have a horror – or success – story? Please share it in the comments!
Photo by Ryan McGuire