Nonprofits do wonderful things; They are staffed by wonderful people; and, they are just wonderful themselves.
That might be true, but those wonderful entities accomplish that wonderfulness because of the generous support of donors. That means that fundraising should be about telling the donors how wonderful they are, not how wonderful the organization is.
During the recent Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) International Fundraising Conference Tom Ahern of Ahern Communications emphasized the importance of keeping customers; i.e., donors; happy by making the story about the donor. It’s about the great work s/he does. Instead of “We accomplished this great thing” it’s “You accomplished this great thing.” Ahern called that effort “Loverizing.”
The idea comes across in many ways:
* The story is about the donor.
* Say it loud. Say it proud. “We need you!”
* The donor is a leading character. “And without you, it would not be possible.”
* Give the donor an important job to do. Donating.
* If there are no problems to solve, donors have nothing to do.
* Negative emotions are linked to survival, and are much stronger.
* The donor is in the story frame.
* The virtuous circle: You ask (and flatter). You thank (and flatter). You report (and flatter). You cannot flatter enough.
* Organizations build successful donor communications backwards from the target audience.