Getting to Aha!
The overwhelming response to our recent Nonprofit Messages Survey highlights how vital it is for your organization's messages to connect quickly and strongly with the donors whose help you want — and how rare that is today.
The way your nonprofit talks about its work, results and ultimate impact is a core competency critical to your success. Relevance is the heart of memorable, motivating fundraising messages — "aha! messages." If your messages are irrelevant (more than seven of 10 nonprofits describe their messages as off target), your organization will fail to motivate the gifts and loyalty you need to move your mission forward.
The bad news is that most nonprofits (there's a 76 percent chance that means you) admittedly do a poor job, despite their efforts. Their key messages don't connect to the people who need to hear them, and they generate a "so what, who cares?" response rather than an aha!
The great news is that fixing the problem is highly doable and promises vastly greater success in advancing your mission than you're experiencing now. It's incumbent upon executive directors, board members and key fundraisers like you to lead the charge to make your messages relevant. Here are the survey findings and several ways to cut the mess from your messages right now:
Challenge: Who cares?
Most nonprofit messages don't connect strongly with key audiences.
Seventy-six percent of the 1,566 nonprofit leaders who completed the survey say their messages connect with their target audiences only somewhat or not at all. Looking at the flip side, only 24 percent of nonprofits rate their messages as connecting well — a discouraging success rate.
However, the number of organizations whose messages do connect represents a 12 percent improvement since the last Nonprofit Messages Survey in 2009. This jump in message relevance suggests that making aha! messages a priority is making its way onto nonprofit agendas.