Tag Archives: nonprofit marketing

Red, blue or bland. Why you need to differentiate yourself in your case for support.

Years ago, I bought a birthday card. On the face of the card was a colony of penguins. The birds all looked alike, except one. One was bright, blisteringly red. The greeting read something like: Happy birthday to a rugged individualist.

Case for support and positioningWhat does this have to do with the case for support? It begs the question, to what degree does your case for support stand out and to what degree is it being noticed? Is it the red penguin or one of the many in the background?

Positioning is a foundational marketing concept that centres on identifying and demonstrating how you—the cause and/or the organization—are different from like causes and like organizations and why that position matters in the marketplace.

Let’s say you are working for an organization that funds well-water projects in Africa. Yours is one of dozens of organizations with a similar mandate. So, why should a donor give to your organization? How are you different? Maybe you are the sole organization that is active in a geographical location that has a particularly urgent need. Maybe you are using superior technology that enables you to be exceptionally efficient. Maybe the strength of your volunteers reduces operating costs. The point here is to think about what sets you apart and share it with your donors. How are you the red penguin?

Being different is not enough. You need to show why the difference matters. An organization that raises funds to help families who have a problem with moss in their lawn is different, all right. But who cares? That’s a ridiculous example to demonstrate a point. A less absurd and more common example is differentiation by longevity. While being ‘in business’ since 1973 says something to a donor, it is a weak lead position to take unless you can demonstrate how past performance will affect future performance. The point here is to know why being the red penguin is important.

And lastly, set yourself apart visually (that is if you are publishing your case for support). I know, it is comfortable to blend in, but the point of marketing is to stand out and be noticed. So, take a deep breath and let the visual presentation be arresting in a way that will set you apart from the crowd and speak to your donors. Embrace your redness. Flaunt it.

So, how is your organization red and why is being red important?

The links below take you to sites with advice on how to write a positioning statement:

 

Make a great case for your cause!

Febe Galvez-Voth
http://www.febegalvezvoth.com
http://www.thecaseforsupport.com

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Why not you? A lesson for fundraisers from Russell Wilson’s dad.

I was one of the 100 million people who watched the Super Bowl last weekend. I am not a football fan, but it was quite the event so I joined my husband on the couch. My big takeaway was hearing Russell Wilson, quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks, talk about his dad, who used to inspire his son by saying, Why not you, Russell? The idea was that someone is going to get the top grade, Why not you? Someone is going to get the scholarship, Why not you? Someone’s going to be the quarterback for the team that wins the Super Bowl, Why not you?The Case for Support & Why not you?

Apply Mr. Wilson Sr.’s thinking to your cause and your case for support and the narrative sounds like this: Someone is going to get the big donation, Why not your organization? Someone is going to receive the grant, why not your organization? Someone is going to attract the volunteer leaders who have influence in your community, Why not you? Someone is going to develop that case for support that will lead the team to success, Why not you? Continue reading

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Donors not getting it?

Are you frustrated by donors who don’t give to the degree you think they could or should or who just don’t seem to get it?

In the post Are you trying to improve your donors? blogger Jeff Brooks says that it is the organization that needs to improve, not the donors. He writes: Case for Support_Donors not getting it?

They (donors) have no responsibility whatsoever to get onto our wavelength. It’s our responsibility to win them over.

Complaining about your donors will do your cause no good. Continue reading

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The kids are coming home.

I don’t know about you, but I am enjoying this season. There is anticipation in the air. The kids are coming home. Woo hoo. There are gifts under the tree. There’s baking in the freezer and we’re spending more time visiting with friends and family that we usually do.Case for Support and Christmas

So, I’ve been thinking, where is the lesson for the case for support in this season? Is it how to make your cause stand out amongst other causes? Is it how to get your donors attention amidst the busyness? How to get the most out of your year-end appeal? Those are good questions to address this season, but the case lesson I keep coming back to is wrapped up in our need and desire to be in relationship. Continue reading

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How are you saying thank you?

I’ve noticed something about what makes a thank you message stick in the heart of this case for support writer and donor. Let me explain.

I participated in a strategic planning session awhile back. The facilitator, a super smart woman, had made a donation to the charity that was in planning mode. She reported back that the organization had promptly followed up with a tax receipt and a thank you email. Check. Check. Very nice.Saying thanks: Case for Support

Some organizations have a policy that anyone who makes a donation of $250 or more gets a phone call from their relationship manager. If the gift is large enough the phone call comes from the executive director or a board member.

These are good strategies.

As a donor, I have received phone calls from charities. At the end of some calls I feel terrific about being invested in the organization’s work. The exchange feels authentic and sincere. But with other organizations I can almost picture the relationship manager crossing my name of a list at the end of the call. Check. The strategy was executed, but not a lot of connection was made.

The thing I’ve noticed about giving and receiving thanks has to do with putting purpose before plan. Continue reading

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