You Can’t Fake Greatness
These days, donors have easy access to all kinds of amazing causes. And boomers, now entering their donor years in significant numbers, demand greatness. These hard-driving, change-the-world addicts have an attitude like this: Why should I get involved with any cause that’s less than outstanding, exciting and flat-out cool? What they want, you can’t fake.
It’s not about marketing
To meet this challenge, what you say matters less than what you do. You need to create a superior reality, not just superior marketing. And that can only happen when the entire organization — from the board on down — is in complete alignment with the goal of being remarkable.
- It’s everyone’s job to create and run programs that not only accomplish your mission, but also make sense to donors and fill them with a sense of connection and purpose.
- It’s everyone’s job to articulate the mission in a way that donors, prospective donors and third parties (like the press) can understand and love.
- It’s everyone’s job to take part in the conversation that’s forming around your cause — through blogs, wikis and other online (and offline) communities.
- It’s everyone’s job to know, understand and respect donors.
When everyone is pulling in the same direction, you’re on your way to being remarkable. To finish the race, you need to accomplish one or more of the following:
- Do something nobody else does.
- Be demonstrably more effective than other organizations.
- Leverage donors’ giving in amazing ways.
- Connect donors to the cause. Let them see, hear and feel the difference they’re making.
It is about marketing
Money doesn’t usually fall out of the sky, no matter how great you are. You have to market yourself. To put it another way, hiring Sisyphus would be a good idea, even if you “don’t need him.”
Assuming your organization is truly remarkable, here are some things you can do to leverage your excellence into fundraising power: