Convincing nonprofit leaders of the importance of thinking strategically about their brand and donor communications has been no easy task. The importance of treating donors as customers, not a database and developing connections offering value instead of pushing out a series of transactional communications asking for money is generally lost on them. Rob Conrad and I even wrote a book on the subject.
The competition for nonprofits is not another nonprofit. It’s peoples’ discretionary time and people’s discretionary money. The competition is Nike, Harley Davidson, McDonalds. If you’re not communicating at that level, you’re going to lose this war. If you rely on fundraising, you don’t have that balanced attack. If the level of communication is not as good as what the market sees every day, you’re using only one arm, not both.
I’m encouraged. Maybe the message is starting to get through.