3 Diagnoses for why your message isn’t getting through

first_img#1: “Field of Dreams” syndrome. Those who have this disease believe that, “If you build it, they will come.” If you have FODS, you think that if you build a website and stick a DonateNow button on it, donors will arrive and click. This disease also manifests itself as an assumption that uttering your mission statement will inspire people to give. If you find yourself saying, “If people only knew, they would–,” then you have FODS. Declaring your existence is not a marketing campaign. It is a symptom of FODS. The cure? You need to reach out to people and build relationships with them. Then maybe they’ll want to support you.#2: “It’s all about us” disease. Nonprofits suffering from this disease are easy to spot — their home pages, emails and all of their correspondence reads like an “About Us” page. Sometimes, this ailment is called “Nonprofit Narcissism.” Mission statements, the history of your organization and other related details should not be found everywhere and do not constitute a strong message. The cure? Make it about your supporters, not you. Why should they care? What can they accomplish? How have they changed the world with their support? #3: “Call to inaction” problem. In order to generate donations and or inspire action, you need to have a clear call to action. It’s not enough to state who you are, what you do and what’s new. You need to clearly state what you are asking and appeal to prospective supporters to take that action. “Save the earth” is not a call to action. Nor is “support us.” Be direct, specific and clear!last_img

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