Why isn’t your charity or ministry raising more money? Maybe it’s sick. Maybe it’s got one of seven “deadly marketing diseases” identified by Doug Brendel of Berkey Brendel Sheline. Here’s Doug’s prescription:
#1 Amnesia — where you don’t know who you are. Seems absurd? Many organizations never figure out what their message to donors really is — the one central idea of your work that you communicate to donors and prospective donors relentlessly. Look at how you communicate with donors, and you’ll probably find that your messages are all over the map.
#2 Schizophrenia — you have a “ministry” or “operations” side, and a “marketing” side. But the two groups don’t really relate with each other. Staffers may sort of look down on folks in the other group. Get them together.
#3 Neurosis & Character Disorder — problems with asking. Neurotic asking is too timid; character-disordered asking is too peremptory. Gotta get some balance.
#4 Leprosy — where you keep your distance — thinking of donors as pieces of machinery that we have to get to “work” right to extract a contribution from them … instead of laying relational line to them and nurturing a relationship with them. Relate to your donors like friends.
#5 Manic Depression — with communications that are either high on emotion, but they don’t communicate much information … or loaded with information, but not very emotional. Do both — a true story of a life changed through the work of your organization is one very good way to get there.
#6 Blindness — where you market essentially by hope and luck (or your mother-in-law’s opinions). The healthier approach is to test strategies, track donor responses thoroughly, and use guide dogs (that is, consult with experts) until you become expert yourself.
#7 Hardening of the Arteries — where you forget the simplest, most natural, most necessary component of the entire fundraising equation: being grateful. Express thanks to the donor!
For more from Berkey Brendel Sheline, visit http://www.servantheart.com.