How you can be the Warby Parker of fundraising

Do you know about Warby Parker? It’s an online eyewear shop that has low prices and great customer service — one of the new breed of disruptive online businesses that’s changing the way a lot of things are bought and sold.

You can tell they have something going by the number of Google hits that are something like: _____ is the Warby Parker of ______!

Can your organization by the Warby Parker of fundraising?

The B2B Marketing Insider as some hints at 5 Marketing Lessons From Warby Parker:


  1. Be Original and Relevant
  2. Engage with Customers
  3. Have a Mission
  4. Own the Customer Relationship
  5. Keep it Simple

Here’s the funny thing: Warby Parker does it by acting like a nonprofit.

Well, like a nonprofit that gets it far more than most. Virtually every nonprofit I know excels at #3 above. Few are good at the other four.

The organization that grabs those donor-focused attributes and really excels at them — that will be the Warby Parker of fundraising.


Comments

2 responses to “How you can be the Warby Parker of fundraising”

  1. I enjoyed reading your post (and the original one that you linked to). It seems like many nonprofits get so focused on their missions that they forget that the other elements listed here are highly relevant to their success. I think the points about engaging with donors and owning the donor relationship are especially crucial because so frequently nonprofit leaders and fundraisers think that the mission will sell itself if people are just exposed to it.
    I understand that it is hard to set up a donor-driven and donor-focused program when you have pressing needs and challenges to raise funds for, but the cost of not doing so is that goals might be met once or twice, but such success is rarely long-term.

  2. I enjoyed reading your post (and the original one that you linked to). It seems like many nonprofits get so focused on their missions that they forget that the other elements listed here are highly relevant to their success. I think the points about engaging with donors and owning the donor relationship are especially crucial because so frequently nonprofit leaders and fundraisers think that the mission will sell itself if people are just exposed to it.
    I understand that it is hard to set up a donor-driven and donor-focused program when you have pressing needs and challenges to raise funds for, but the cost of not doing so is that goals might be met once or twice, but such success is rarely long-term.

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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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