That cool new way to reach people — will it work?

How often has this happened to you? The boss, or a board member, or a colleague says, with great conviction:
We Need a Billboard, and Ads on Pandora and NPR Too (Kivi’s Nonprofit Communications Blog).

No idea is a bad idea, right?

Actually, there are some bad ideas out there. And “spend money in an unproven channel” is likely among the bad ones.

But there’s a way to tell for sure. Ask these questions:


  1. Who is the targeted group for this communication?
  2. What is our message to that group of people?
  3. What is the best communications channel to reach that group with that message?

Hip new channels can work if they are actually effective at driving people to action and if their audiences are your audience. Otherwise, they’re probably a waste of money.


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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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