Stop Trying to Teach Goldfish to Juggle
I can't think of any other relationship in the wider marketing world where the "buyer" and the "seller" are so perfectly aligned or where so much good accrues to both sides.
This is utterly liberating. You don't have to tiptoe and apologize around donors. You can be bold and joyful, and that always leads to stronger fundraising.
If you fail to recognize the donor/non-donor divide, you can waste a shocking amount of time and money trying to bring non-donors along on a journey they just aren't interested in joining.
You'd be amazed how common this is. I think it's because many nonprofits and/or their fundraising programs are run or influenced by non-donors. These people don't grasp the psychology of donors, so fundraising that works is strange, even repellent, to them. "There's no way this syrupy, emotional garbage is getting it right," they say.
So they go through fantastic (and expensive) gyrations: They rebrand, giving their organization a more modern look and feel. They change the fundraising offer to something beautiful, aspirational — and abstract. They advertise in places they personally find interesting and exciting, like high-end magazines.
And none of it works. It can't, because they have the audience wrong. They might as well try to teach goldfish how to juggle as they try to coax non-donors into donating.
Non-donor fundraising produces record-breaking poor results. Jaw-droppers like 9 million impressions yielding one response. The kind of thing that stunts (or ends) careers.
This is where those in-between people come in — those who have some characteristics of donors but haven't yet crossed the divide. The beautiful thing is this: Non-donors can turn into donors. It happens all the time. And you can help it happen — to the long-term good of you and your new donors.