Why people don’t care about your organization

Why don’t people care about us? Our work is so great!

Have you said that, bemoaning your small, stuck-in-the-mud donorbase?

Here are some ways to think about your challenge, from the Achieve blog, at 5 Reasons the Public Is Losing Interest in Your Cause:


  1. You’ve become too focused on internal stakeholders.
  2. You’re preoccupied with results. (Your fundraising is a big success-fest. Donors respond to need.)
  3. You’ve never really had a public engagement strategy. (You just talk about your organization and your programs; not donors and their values and they things they care about.)
  4. Your donors aren’t invested in your cause. (that’s always your fault, not theirs)
  5. You didn’t stop the bus to fix the problem.

One additional thought: If you’re trying to reach “the public,” you will automatically have some of the problems above. Successful fundraising is aimed at specific, well-understood groups that share their values, culture, faith, location, or something else in common. The “public” is dominated by people who will never, ever support you no matter what you say or do.

Know your tribe and focus on them.


Comments

6 responses to “Why people don’t care about your organization”

  1. Winnie Schulman Avatar
    Winnie Schulman

    Wow, this just hit home.
    Thanks

  2. Winnie Schulman Avatar
    Winnie Schulman

    Wow, this just hit home.
    Thanks

  3. Is there a follow-up article to help with identifying my tribe. I’m a founder who knows my client, but knowing who donors would be has always puzzled me.

  4. Is there a follow-up article to help with identifying my tribe. I’m a founder who knows my client, but knowing who donors would be has always puzzled me.

  5. That last paragraph is particularly insightful. To use an angling metaphor, don’t just cast your net anywhere and hope to catch the specific fish you want. Instead you must research. Find out what kind of fish you want (your donor), discover what bait works best (why should a donor support your cause), and get the best equipment for the job (recruit and TRAIN your employees to be the best they can)!

  6. That last paragraph is particularly insightful. To use an angling metaphor, don’t just cast your net anywhere and hope to catch the specific fish you want. Instead you must research. Find out what kind of fish you want (your donor), discover what bait works best (why should a donor support your cause), and get the best equipment for the job (recruit and TRAIN your employees to be the best they can)!

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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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