Are Prospective Donors Like Window Shoppers?
We all like to do it. It’s enjoyable, it’s free and, except for our time, it involves no commitment.
When the clerk asks us if they can help us, how often do we answer, “Just looking?” I dare say we’ve often given that answer when we are actually looking for something specific, but aren’t yet ready to commit. Then again, there are many times when we’re merely “killing time.”
Prospective donors to our charitable organizations and causes are a lot like window shoppers; partly because they are a lot like us. They like to peruse the merchandise. Is it my size? Do I like the color?
Like shoppers in a store, we should expect potential donors to do a lot of looking before they buy. Principle 2 of “The Eight Principles™” is “Begin at the Beginning™.” We need to put on display to our prospective investors a clear and consistent representation of who we are, what we do and why we do it—in terms they will understand and appreciate.
Digital media, “social” media have presented a unique fundraising opportunity to reach those who, in the past, we could have never reached.
As we use this medium, we need to ask ourselves what sort of shopper are we hoping to attract? Are we using social media to get the attention of potential investors or are we merely looking for a lot of folks perusing the merchandise as they “like” almost everything in sight?
The unique fundraising idea is to use social media as a way to garner the attention of those whom you may not otherwise be able to meet then build upon that initial response. You’ll certainly have the “lookers” or those killing time, but your success is never built upon these.
Don’t fall for the popularity contest with window shoppers—the “likes” or traffic numbers. These folks are mostly killing time. Pay attention to those that see what you do, believe in it and are willing to demonstrate that belief through a material expression—a gift. Even a small one.
To your fundraising success!
Larry believes in the power of relationships and the power of philanthropy to create a better place and transform lives.
Larry is the founder of The Eight Principles. His mission is to give nonprofits and philanthropists alike the opportunity to achieve their shared visions. With more than 25 years of experience in charitable fundraising and philanthropy, Larry knows that financial sustainability and scalability is possible for any nonprofit organization or charitable cause and is dependent on neither size nor resources but instead with the commitment to create a shared vision.
Larry is the author of the award-wining book, "The Eight Principles of Sustainable Fundraising." He is the Association of Fundraising Professionals' 2010 Outstanding Development Executive and has ranked in the Top 15 Fundraising Consultants in the United States by the Wall Street Business Network.
Larry is the creator of the revolutionary online fundraising training platform, The Oracle League.
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