Does your fundraising include the critical element of kryptonite?

Superman is boring.

Or he was at first. Think about it. Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall building in a single bound. X-ray vision. Invulnerable.

He should never lose any conflict with anyone.

Yawn. Who could sustain interest in a hero who automatically wins every time?

That’s why the creators of Superman had to invent “kryptonite” — a glowing green mineral that makes the Man of Steel go as limp as overcooked pasta if he gets near it.

Kryptonite

Kryptonite was first mentioned in “The Adventures of Superman” radio show in June 1943. That’s five years after Superman was first published. Probably just in time to save the Superman franchise from fading into oblivion because it was boring. At some point, they gave him a second weakness to make it even more interesting: His x-ray vision can’t see through lead. So all the villain has to do is put some kryptonite in a lead container and presto! — the story gets interesting, because Superman might lose the battle!

What does this have to do with fundraising?

You should ask yourself this question: Is your fundraising like pre-kryptonite Superman?

Is the picture you paint of your organization of an omnipotent superhero who can’t lose no matter what?

Or is it the more-human, vulnerable hero who has a weakness? Who isn’t guaranteed victory every time. Who needs help from others.

I hope it’s the second one. Because the first one is boring.

And you can’t afford to be boring if you need donors to care enough to donate to you.

Don’t bore your donors with tales of your incredible programs that always work with the efficiency of Superman.

Instead, let your donors know that you face big challenges. And that you need them — the donors — to help you win the battle. And that victory isn’t predetermined.

That’s how you make your fundraising engaging, relevant — and effective.


Comments

Leave a Reply

What this blog is about

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.

Blog policies

Subscribe

Get new posts by email:

About the blogger

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.


Archives

Blogroll

Categories


Search the blog

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.

Recent Comments

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.

Blog Roll

someone’s blog