Tell Me How Great You Are, So I Can Stop Giving.It’s all about me!
You’ve been around those kinds of people. Tiring. And ineffective.
But many non-profits do the same thing. The annual report, the impact reporting documents, the web site elements that report on impact, the letters and emails that go out on impact – all of them are not as much about impact but about the organization and how great it is.
All of this happens even though these good folks know what the donor really wants to be answered: “did my gift make a difference?”
Keep this point in mind: the major reason major donors (in fact, all donors) stop giving or give less is because they did not know their gift made a difference. This is pretty logical. But Jeff and I keep talking it because it doesn’t seem to be sinking in. We see so much stuff that is all me, me, me – us, us, us.
And it’s no wonder that the organizations that go down this path are in so much trouble financially.
Think about how you would feel if you went into a retail store and the customer service or sales person comes up to you and, instead of asking you how they can help you, says: “Let me tell you about how great this store is! Have you noticed how strategically located we are – how great the lighting is – how wonderful I am – etc. etc.”
It would be an immediate turn-off for you. You are in there to buy a product just like the donor is “buying” a program in order to satisfy their passions and interests. You don’t really care about that other stuff. The “us-us-us” thing does not work with you. Of course it doesn’t.
But stop right now and gather up your organization’s collateral (the magazine, the newsletter, the annual report, all the things you are sending to your caseload donors) and lay it on your desk.
Does it scream “us-us-us”?
Or does it tell the donor how his giving is making a difference?
This is critical if you are going to retain and upgrade your caseload donors.
For some help in this area, here is a link to a recent review of annual reports. And here is another link, to another review. Take a look. The principles here apply to all collateral and information you prepare for your caseload donors.
Remember, donors care more about what they are doing to change the planet than all the features, benefits and cool things about your organization. (Tweet it!)