Don’t “target” donors — be their target

Do you “target” your donors? The Make Marketing History blog proposes that’s the wrong way to think, at: Why Targetting Is The Wrong Marketing Mindset.

Good point:

Targetting just oozes all the wrong connotations: the passive customer, the picking off of individuals as they stray into your corporate cross-hairs, not to mention the assumption that you know how all customers behave. Reverse the metaphor. Think of your product/service as the customer’s target and your marketing as a way of perfecting their aim.

Make yourself the target. That would be a pretty smart way to raise funds.

Here are some ways to do that:


  • Know who your donors are — and embrace them. Too many fundraisers wish their donors were different: Smarter, cooler, younger. It’s way more effective to study your real, non-fantasy donors, and be attractive to them.
  • Be where your donors are. If they respond to direct mail, use direct mail. If they’re all over Facebook, be there. If there’s an event your donors love, try to be there.
  • Offer things donors really want to do. Here’s the hard part. Most nonprofits are fantastically faithful to describing what they do and how they think about it. The smart ones learn how to make their work fit in their donors’ worlds.
  • Be remarkable. Do something that your donors will want to talk about.


Comments

2 responses to “Don’t “target” donors — be their target”

  1. While I agree with the idea of organizations “becoming the target” for new donors, I also think that nonprofits must identify/uncover/target–call it what you prefer–the small percentage of donors who have the capacity to give significant gifts. They don’t identify themselves as such either in word or deed typically but instead often wonder why we don’t recognize them as such and treat them accordingly.

  2. While I agree with the idea of organizations “becoming the target” for new donors, I also think that nonprofits must identify/uncover/target–call it what you prefer–the small percentage of donors who have the capacity to give significant gifts. They don’t identify themselves as such either in word or deed typically but instead often wonder why we don’t recognize them as such and treat them accordingly.

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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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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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