Strategy & Marketing

First Impressions Count

Your mom told you that “First impressions count.”  In the digital age, mom’s advice matters more than ever.  With today’s technology – email, instant messaging, Twitter, mobile phones, texts, and more, word travels fast, and first impressions matter.  In fact – and this is what I want you to remember – when it comes to fundraising and donor development, the way you first connect with a TV viewer, radio listener, supporter, or donor is the way they’ll expect you to connect from that point on.

In other words – reach them through email first, and they’ll expect that to continue.  Reach them through direct mail, the expectations are the same.  So give a lot of thought to how you want to start the conversation with potential donors, because they get used to it.

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  1. What if "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" had to raise funds?!! Imagine Ty standing there at the end of the show saying, "If you enjoyed tonight's program, then go to the phones, and…" However, on the other hand, if he said that at the end of the season, (After every family has gone through 10 boxes of Kleenex) "If you'd like to be a part of what we're doing here, call us… write us… send us your mu-lah!! And we'll all build it together". He could pull it off, too. The response would be huge! But only by establishing an amazing thing, first.

  2. I was in a meeting a few hours ago as we discussed a new website for a major event.  We have all the graphics packages and the website layout almost completed.  We have yet to compile the content for the site.  I expressed to the group that first impressions are important and that we have a look and feel for the website to make a positive first impression but that our content will make or break that first impression.  If our constituents think the site is all eye candy they will assume it will be eye candy for ever and may not frequent the site as often.  If the content is strong along with the eye candy then we can expect many return visits and we will have the opportunity to communicate with our constituents right up until the event.

  3. I would consider "secularizing" your website. EVERYONE has access to it. And you have to control the outward flow of information. It's not hiding God, nothing AT your ministry has to change, but you have to consider the public, non-believers and the media. Brand yourself as good, honest, friendly people. That's who you are, right? First impressions of "Christians" turn off non-Christians.

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