Do You Need a Post-recession Turnaround?
Amazing ad campaigns won't turn you around
The brand gurus' cousins, the ad agency people, have something they hope you'll buy: an ad campaign.
And they know how to sell it. They create a clever, beautiful message that makes your heart sing, that captures your aspirations and tickles your aesthetic sense.
The amazing ad campaign is a lot like the new brand — well-targeted to please you and to bulk out the portfolios of its creators ... but simply unable to get any traction in the world of real, live donors.
That's because "awareness," "aided recognition," "noted scores," "impacts" and other ways of measuring airy nothingness are not meaningful goals for hardworking nonprofits.
Think of it this way: Would you rather make 100 people slightly more "aware" of you — or would you rather move 10 (or even five) people to actually take action and write you checks?
Instead of an ad campaign, take control of your data
I realize there's hardly anything less sexy than data. But data is where it's at.
You should be able to ask a question like, "How many donors do we have in the three West Coast states who've given between $25 and $100 with cumulative giving under $250 during the last 18 months?" And to that question get an accurate, meaningful answer — more or less instantly.
If you aren't there, you are not in turnaround territory. Great data capability can help you:
- Target the right donors at the right times with the right messages.
- Invest the right amount in cultivating each donor.
- Spot trouble before it gets out of control or opportunities before they pass.
- Avoid those boneheaded errors that annoy the heck out of donors.
Being on top of your data won't win you any awards. It won't even make you interesting at parties. But it can help transform your fundraising and bring about the turnaround you need.