It keeps happening.
And it makes me sad. And a little cranky.
Newsletters or other pieces, intended for donors. That have forgotten they’re intended for donors.
So I apologize if I’m repeating myself. (Then again, we know how effective repetition is, right?)
But I see it, over and over again. Local organizations, national, international – size doesn’t matter.
And it pains me because it’s throwing money and effort away.
Stop talking about your organization.
Stop patting yourself on the back.
Stop making your communications all about you.
You or a colleague may be diligently working to “build your brand” by pushing out communications with your name all over it.
You’re sure that if you can just sell your features, people will love you.
You mean well. You’re doing what you think you should do. But…
You’re doing it wrong.
Pushing your name and logo on people is not building your brand.
Bragging isn’t building your brand.
Your brand isn’t your logo.
Your brand is how you make people feel.
If you have donors, what those donors feel is what’s important.
And chances are, what they want to feel is good about themselves. THAT’S how you make yourself worth noticing.
Maya Angelou was right.
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
Even if you could make your name and logo ubiquitous, it wouldn’t guarantee you’d be welcome in people’s homes.
You’ll be welcomed when you can offer people a chance to feel great about themselves.
How? Talk about them, not your organization. Show them what they’ve accomplished through you.
Thank them for their generosity. Brag about their good work.
Remember to donors your organization is a means to an end, not the end.
Need a more hard-eyed way to look at this?
So maybe you get it. But someone else – with the last say – does not. And they think all this donor-focused stuff is silliness.
Try this to make your case: start measuring real things.
Facebook fans, Twitter followers, various “impressions” – they don’t mean much. If someone in your organization is wedded to those metrics, suggest something else.
Measure retention. Measure donations.
Measure happy donors.
Because happy donors talk. They’re the ones who will build your brand.
And that’s publicity you can’t buy with impressions.
Photo by Ryan McGuire