Wed, October 24 2012

The out-of-body experience that all marketers need

Katya Andresen's avatar

Author, Robin Hood Marketing

Filed under:   Fundraising essentials •

To be truly effective marketers, we need to see the world not through our own eyes but rather those of our audience.  That is akin to an out of body experience - unusual and enlightening.

Today is Network for Good’s inaugural Be Your Donor Day, when we ask you to see the world through the eyes of your supporters. (Get free resources to do that here.)

If you do this, you will find your world looks different.  You will probably notice:

-You are using a mission megaphone, speaking about what you do more than why it matters.
-Making things harder than they should be.  Donating, calling or contacting you is probably not as easy as it should be.
-Less would be more.  You are trying to pack far too much information and way too many ideas into your outreach.

On that last point, I’m reminded of a Seth Godin post from this week - called “No one ever bought anything on an elevator.”  It’s a caution against trying to cram your whole story, pitch and ask into an exchange. 

He says:

“The best elevator pitch doesn’t pitch your project. It pitches the meeting about your project. The best elevator pitch is true, stunning, brief and it leaves the listener eager (no, desperate) to hear the rest of it. It’s not a practiced, polished turd of prose that pleases everyone on the board and your marketing team, it’s a little fractal of the entire story, something real.  ‘I quit my job as an Emmy-winning actress to do this because…’”

In other words, you don’t have to say everything to your donors.  You only have to say enough to get them to take the next step.  Don’t focus on what it’s like to be the person pitching in the elevator.  Imagine what it feels like to be on the other side of the car.

So go be your donor today and see how it feels!

  • Comment: (3)   


Let me encourage all nonprofiteers to practice this every day, not just once a year. In the business sector, it’s known as “Outside-In Thinking,” that is, putting yourself in your customers shoes. Sure you need six event and five mission volunteers. But how easy do you make it for them to volunteer? Do you speak their language and reach them through their preferred channels? Do you consider their motivations when asking them to volunteer and when providing them with recognition?

Here’s a blog post I wrote a couple of months ago:

Posted by Glenn  on  10/24  at  10:40 AM

I get something out of every morning’s post. Today, it’s a wry chuckle. There’s a typo in the middle of the first paragraph of the quote, about practiced, polished prose. Certainly a slip, but somehow apt! Otherwise, thanks for another thoughtful bit of wisdom.

Posted by Melissa Vokey  on  10/24  at  10:43 AM

Melissa - Ooops - where is the typo?  It IS supposed to say turd if that’s what you mean…

Glenn - thanks!

Posted by Katya  on  10/24  at  04:37 PM

Leave a Comment





Preview Comment:

Remember my personal information

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Submit the word you see below:

<< Back to main