Because It Matters: Avoiding the Not-So-Fab Four
Why do some nonprofit organizations thrive while others, just as worthy, languish in fundraising mediocrity, barely able to raise enough money to keep the doors open?
Sure, the fundraising environment is getting tougher and tougher every day because of increased competition. But even in this climate, organizations can achieve remarkable results and thrive.
Here are four all-too-common roadblocks to effective fundraising. Wrestle with these, and you will be on your way to raising more money.
1. Failure to correctly identify your brand promise
I’m sure you know what your organization does and why it exists, but do you know what you promise your donors when they choose to support you? Your brand promise is the single most important element of your fundraising program because it explains to donors how you are meeting their needs and expectations.
Do you remember the famous branding study completed many years ago at Disneyland? What is the Disneyland brand promise? Is it about amusement rides or movies? Is it about Mickey Mouse? Is it about a clean park? No, the Disneyland brand promise is all about family fun and wholesome entertainment. In essence, Disneyland is selling the benefit of a great time with your family and friends.
What’s your brand promise? For the local human services organization, it may be the satisfaction donors receive when they help feed hungry families or protect and shelter abused children. For the international humanitarian organization, it may be the significance of knowing a life has been saved, the world made a safer place. For a religious organization, it may be spiritual satisfaction.
The point is to remember that donors give because of your cause — your ultimate accomplishments — not because of your organization. Your organization is merely a conduit for your donors’ desire to help others. Nothing more, nothing less.