You can’t hide your bad attitude any more

Customers and donors seem to be developing psychic powers. It’s as if they know what we’re thinking. You can’t put anything past them.


That’s what we see in a recent post at Tom Peters’ blog, Your Brand Can Only Be As Good As…



It’s impossible to fake out your customers. Our world has become very transparent, and your customers can see, clearly, right into the soul of your company. If you want your customers to have clear, compelling, motivating beliefs about who you are and what you do for customers, you must ensure that your company’s employees have those beliefs. Otherwise, your marketing and sales promises will not resonate with the reality of being your customer.

This matters for nonprofits too.


If your organization is full of people who think your donors are clueless dolts who are barely worthy of supporting you, it’s going to show. Even if those people aren’t involved in fundraising or marketing.


I bring up that example because I’ve seen that specific issue many times at nonprofits: While the fundraisers earnestly struggle to motivate donors to join the cause, a culture of anti-donor, we’re-too-cool-for-those-ignorant-fogies disdain constantly undermines them.


It’s the kind of stuff we used to get away with, because personality didn’t really matter. But in a deeply connected world where people are suspicious of the messages they receive, you’re going to get caught: It won’t be dramatic or embarrassing; just a slow death by low response rates and tumbling retention.


If your organization has this cultural problem, your pain has probably already begun.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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About the blogger

Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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