Yabba, Dabba … Don’t?
What does this mean? It means that you, as an industry insider, should make it your priority to create the most compelling concepts you can. Not just what pays the bills or what costs the least. You should be taking advantage of all that the technological world has to offer you in gaining donors. Moreover, you should be bold in your attempts. And once you do take the plunge, you should never, ever look back.
Embarking on this adventure might require returning to the drawing board entirely. Perhaps this is a hard pill to swallow, but much of what you’re producing lacks ingenuity, innovation and inspiration — especially in direct mail. Frankly, it’s the 21st century — how many people need a new pen?
What donors do need is a reason to believe that your organization is serious about its cause. And by donors, I don’t mean the 60- and 70-year-old widows to whom you insist on catering. I’m speaking of new potential donors: the upwardly mobile, young professional with money to burn, who yearns to be a part of the next great philanthropic movement — those active men and women you’d reach through advanced technology if only you would try.
That in mind, the question then is not if traditional and — for argument’s sake — nontraditional advertising will work, but rather where and how it might work.
It’d behoove you to begin in the most unlikely of places.
Like the bathroom. Of a bar.
Because that’s where, right above a urinal, at eye-level, Mothers Against Drunk Driving placed its advertisement featuring a forlorn father and son whose lives were impacted by an alcohol-related accident. If nothing else, the 8-inch-by-10-inch poster was a powerful testament to the shoulda-coulda-wouldas of very bad judgment, and with a new captive audience every few minutes — in a brilliantly appropriate place — its message was decidedly delivered.