Nonprofit Fun With Focus Groups
As you’ve probably deduced by now, this column is not a money-making enterprise. For some inscrutable reason, a snarky advice column for fundraisers just doesn’t rake it in; must be the recession.
But that’s OK, because Easier Said Than Done is a pseudo-501(c)3 nonprofit organization, and we raise our substantial budget mainly through direct mail. And, like many nonprofits with a bit of money to spend, we base a lot of our decisions on focus groups.
We’ve lately grown bored with our fundraising program — it’s so … well … fundraisingy. Not cool like we really are. But it works. So we figure if we go out and find a whole new audience, we can do cooler fundraising. And that’s just what we’ve done. Paying a ton of money to a big ad agency, we’ve come up with a new demographic. We call it Determined Domestics.
The following is an excerpt from a recent focus group, one of a series conducted with Determined Domestics at our state-of-the-art Research Centre (note the classy spelling) on the Easier Said Than Done World Headquarters Campus. The names of the participants have been changed to protect their dignity.
Moderator: I’d like you to react to a piece of direct mail from a nonprofit organization. [Hands out copies of the long-time control — a simple package in a No. 10 envelope with the bold red teaser, “URGENT.”]
Participant “Roy”: I’ve never seen anything like that.
Moderator: Really? Never?
Roy: Well, I live in a castle, and my servants read all my — what do you call it? Mayo? Main?
Roy: That’s it — mail. I’ve never actually seen it. I didn’t realize it was made of paper. I thought it was made out of caviar or some other common material.
[Moment of uncomfortable silence around the table.]