publication date: Sep 9, 2011
maven Seth Godin
's list of three
things businesses can offer their customers stands up for charities and donors
as well. Results. Thrills. Ego satisfaction. A successful enterprise needs at
least one, he says, and preferably two or all three.
the real thought-provoker: If you can deliver only one of these, he says, it's
not results that will keep you in business!
charitable donors, I suspect his analysis breaks down right there. Do any of us
have donors who support us only because we offer the vicarious thrills of a
risky mission, or only because we make them feel important? I doubt it.
that dissonance, it's still worth applying his three lenses to what our
charities have to offer.
Godin says, are a great starting point for customer (donor) satisfaction. What
can you do better or more thoroughly than anyone else? What sets you apart from
everyone else doing the same kind of work with the same kind of people? How can
you demonstrate those results?
difficult to quantify but often as important," Godin claims, "partners and
customers respond to heroism. We are amazed and drawn to over-the-top effort,
incredible risk-taking on our behalf, the blood, sweat and tears that (rarely)
comes from a great partner."
first glance, this sounds like a missing ingredient in our sector - but not
necessarily. A few charities do actually have dangerous missions, such as bringing
relief or medical care to conflict zones. Others have supporters who will go to
heroic lengths (climbing a mountain, cycling across Canada) to raise money for them.
Still others may be able to describe their struggle with disease, illiteracy or
injustice as a heroic confrontation that depends upon and includes donors.
People like to feel important. So let donors know how important they are
to your mission, how much difference their gifts make to your results. Treat
them with more courtesy and appreciation than they experience anywhere else.
It's not that hard to do if you're guided by unfailing gratitude for what they
help your charity accomplish.
Read Seth Godin's full article