- Fri, March 06 2009
- Filed under: Marketing essentials
Parking around my office is a challenge - few spots, metered, and all pricey, so it’s hard to find enough change to pay for it. Most of the businesses around the neighborhood have reacted this way: they post little signs in their windows saying “we don’t make change for the parking meters.”
Then there’s a jewelry shop across the street from my office. They have a sign that is the rare exception: “We will gladly make change for the parking meters!” it says.
I bet they get a lot more in-store traffic than they would otherwise. And maybe most people don’t buy jewelry when they come in for change, but I bet people browse or make conversation because they feel they feel it’s nice to do when they’re getting change. And in making conversation, people forge a personal connection with the owners. That means perhaps when they are in the market for something, they’ll go back to the store.
I wish more organizations thought like that. Is your nonprofit on a street where you could hand out parking meter change? I bet people would donate part of their change. Are there other favors or nice things you could do for the people who might become your supporters someday?
There’s also a larger lesson here, about how you choose portray yourself.
Nonprofit marketing folks and fundraisers: Don’t define yourself by who you are not - or what you refuse to do for others. Define yourself by who you are - and what makes you special.