Getting to Aha!
- Relevance rules, but there's no way to be relevant to everyone. Forget trying to reach the general public — you waste time and money and fail to engage those you really want to engage.
- Narrow your target audiences down to a maximum of three groups, composed of individuals who can do the most to help you meet your fundraising goals and are most likely to do so.
Challenge: What did you say?
84 percent of organizations characterize their messages as difficult to remember.
Most organizations report that their messages suffer from lack of inspiration (70 percent generate a "so what?") and poor targeting to audience wants and needs (70 percent spur a "who cares?"). Twenty-six percent of nonprofits describe their messages as confusing. Ugh!
Here are a few comments from survey respondents:
- "Always about us, not about the people we're communicating with."
- "Too long and filled with jargon."
- "Lack clarity, because we have too many cooks in the message kitchen."
- "Good for each program but weak or nonexistent for the organization as a whole."
- Find the sweet spot of relevance that is the overlap of your organization's wants, your audiences' wants and what it is that you do differently from other organizations.
- Learn everything you can about your three target audiences so you can focus messages on the right sweet spot.
- Implement tested get-to-know-you techniques doable for every fundraiser, starting with personas, a marketing advisory team, a listening strategy and online surveys.
Challenge: What's getting in the way?
Relevance blocked by lack of focus and expertise.
The leading obstacles to messages that connect are 1) messages are a low priority, compared to other fundraising and marketing tasks (28 percent); and 2) lack of expertise (27 percent).