How not to muck up your fundraising

Ageless Marketing reveals why so much advertising fails so dismally to reach the huge and lucrative older market, at Why Seniors Don’t Buy Your Ads.

Short answer: Ads are usually aimed at younger people, even when they are meant to be aimed at older people. Because many young and naïve ad creators don’t understand that older people aren’t just like them.

This matters to us fundraisers, because our target market is overwhelmingly older people. And younger, inexperienced people who create the messages often don’t know (or refuse to believe) that making fundraising they think would work to persuade them will work with their actual audience.

Here are the Agesless Marketing ways to get it right (slightly reinterpreted by me for fundraising):


  • Avoid hyperbole. Older donors aren’t impressed.
  • Be authentic. Older donors can tell when you’re faking it.
  • Connect with their values. Values matter more and more as we age.
  • Don’t appeal to self-centered benefits. Older donors really are into helping others. The self-focused benefits that advertisers use when marketing to younger people are less interesting to older people

The big, overarching rule for fundraising: Don’t use your own taste and preferences to guide you. That will make you do it wrong!


Comments

2 responses to “How not to muck up your fundraising”

  1. I totally agree. Can not remember how often I have gone over this again and again with the creative directors at different agencies.
    I even put it clearly in the briefings!
    Do not use diapositive, do not use fond 10 etc etc
    I prefer to work with agencies who specialize in fundraising and almost only work for charities.

  2. I totally agree. Can not remember how often I have gone over this again and again with the creative directors at different agencies.
    I even put it clearly in the briefings!
    Do not use diapositive, do not use fond 10 etc etc
    I prefer to work with agencies who specialize in fundraising and almost only work for charities.

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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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