The 4 P’s of Fundraising Success
I recently attended a graduation party for a 2020 high school graduate. In these days and times, everyone was wearing a mask and practiced social distancing. My wife and I only stayed at the event for 30 minutes or so. I was excited to learn the soon-to-be college freshman would be majoring in marketing. I have three degrees in various fields. Two of these graduate level majors were public administration and education administration.
I am also very proud of my undergraduate major, which is in business administration/marketing. I was excited to attend marketing classes to learn theory/practice from professionals. I mentioned to the graduate’s mother as I was leaving, make sure you tell your new high school graduate about the four P’s of marketing, which I was taught several decades ago.
The four P’s of marketing, according to Purely Branded, are product, price, promotion and place. A product can be either a tangible good or an intangible service that fulfills the wants or needs of consumers. After a product offering is determined, a price determination is made that impacts profits and market strategies. As a product and price is created, promotion is introduced in a variety of ways to promote the product.
This concept includes marketing, advertising and complex methodologies to engage potential buyers of the product. As these concepts come together, it is important to determine ideal locations to convert possible into actual clients. It is the process of taking a product or service to market that ultimately determines success or failure of this venture.
In Marketing That Works, the concept of the four traditional P’s is applied to fundraising. The product in the sense of fundraising is the impact dollars raised will have on the donor when a contribution is made. The product is also the ongoing relationship that will evolve over time. Marketing in fundraising is selling a dream and giving a potential donor the chance to make a difference. The place is the actual location when the prospect makes the giving decision. The place of decision-making is important, so a marketing strategy can be geared toward that location — for example, the home or office.
The price is what a potential donor will give to the organization. You need to have the right giving options and vehicle for the right target. Consider how the prospects will feel when they see or hear the fundraising request being made. Promotion represents the stories you share with prospects and donors to evoke emotion. What will set you apart from other organizations?
Use a variety of materials and concepts to convey what is unique about your organization, its mission and importance in society. If you understand the four P’s generally and how to apply them specifically in fundraising, you will achieve greater financial results for your organization.
Kimbia notes that fundraisers that track marketing best practices have the greatest success in the fundraising arena. One higher level P that should be a new focus from the old concept of product, price, promotion and place that relates to fundraising is pervasive. Pervasive means let donors donate from anywhere and give using many potential channels. Engagement and retention require integrated fundraising plans where various giving channels receiving constant messaging and relevant content.
The second P is participatory. Donation requests from supporters are 90% more effective than direct requests from an organization. Provide tools, materials and coaching to participants and donors so they can tell their stories which must be personalized, the third new P in the paradigm. Make an ask personal and provide content that motivates prospects to give to your mission. The fourth P is prescriptive. Donors are more than ever before, in control of their donation process. Nonprofits that allow donors to participate in the giving process as they seek fit, will give on an ongoing basis.
A GiveGab blog provided four P’s of being a great fundraiser. Their P’s are passion, persistence, philanthropy and people-focused. If you have passion, people will listen and believe. You must have enthusiasm and a desire for success plus passion for the causes you represent. You need to be persistent with your prospects and donors and be ready to be rejected at times. Professionals need to practice what they preach and promote philanthropy within and through themselves. You need to constantly engage the fourth P, and always be people-focused as people give to people.
When I think of P’s beyond the traditional marketing concepts, I think of the process of asking for a gift. It is all about telling a story with emotion, building a relationship of ethics and trust plus having someone about to receive your request prepared to mentally embrace you and focused in an important conversation. My P’s in this context are presentation, priorities, people and passion.
For ultimate success, the presentation needs to be face-to-face, so you can inspire the prospect through your actions. You must have a sound case for support that includes priorities for giving that positively resonates with your prospects. The person or persons you are meeting with must have the authority for a donation decision. You must have a true passion for your cause, be proud of the organization you represent and be sure of yourself. Confidence is a wonderful attribute to have as a fundraiser.
If you are prepared and present well, you will see a greater return in profits, which is the ultimate P!
Duke Haddad, Ed.D., CFRE, is currently associate director of development, director of capital campaigns and director of corporate development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis. He also serves as president of Duke Haddad and Associates LLC and is a freelance instructor for Nonprofit Web Advisor.
He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO since 2008.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis on education administration plus a dissertation on donor characteristics. He received a master’s degree from Marshall University with an emphasis on public administration plus a thesis on annual fund analysis. He secured a bachelor’s degree (cum laude) with an emphasis on marketing/management. He has done post graduate work at the University of Louisville.
Duke has received the Fundraising Executive of the Year Award, from the Association of Fundraising Professionals Indiana Chapter. He also was given the Outstanding West Virginian Award, Kentucky Colonel Award and Sagamore of the Wabash Award from the governors of West Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana, respectively, for his many career contributions in the field of philanthropy. He has maintained a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation for three decades.