One thing you should do to increase donations: Be laser focused

Is your donor communications plan “everything but the kitchen sink” or laser-focused?

Many organizations we work for want to tell their donors about EVERYTHING they do — that’s the everything but the kitchen sink approach.

For a donor this is overwhelming and can feel unfocused and unclear. Organizations who don’t have distinct brand clarity tend to take the everything but the kitchen sink approach.

I liken an organization’s brand to an iceberg. While there’s a lot going on underneath the surface, donors should only see the smallest, top-most piece. For instance World Wildlife Fund spends the vast majority of its time and budget on sustainable development projects, but raises most of its money from individuals on the topics of tigers and elephants. This is the laser-focused approach.

Switching from “kitchen sink” to laser-focused can help you increase your brand clarity and gain traction amongst your donors and prospects. Here’s how to make the shift.

  1. Find out from your donors what issues/programs they are most excited about. You can do this in a simple survey.
  2. Develop campaigns that focus only on the issue or program that ranks highest.
  3. When talking about the issue or program use your donors’  language. Are you a family planning organization? If your donors talk about birth control, then talk about birth control, not the internal term “family planning.”
  4. Tell stories that underscore this issue/program over and over and over and over. You’ll get bored of the stories. Your donors won’t.

Your audience gets bombarded with advertising messaging constantly. For you to stand out, you must be clear; You must be focused; You must be disciplined. Want to see an example of a well-positioned group? Click here.