Gary Vaynerchuk is one of the sharpest minds in digital marketing today. His agency, Vayner Media, focuses on the for profit space but the principles that he applies to his marketing are 100% applicable to nonprofits as well.
Gary has a mantra (that he named his book after) that is a boxing metaphor: “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook.” The “jabs” in this case are all the kind things you do for your client (jab!), the interaction where you update them on what’s happening in your organization (jab!), when you write a blog post that they find helpful or interesting (jab!), or even when you offer a coupon or run a contest (jab!). Then the “right hook” is when you make the ask. You’ve earned it after all the investing you’ve made in your client, and you’ve warmed them up so now they find value in your stuff and they want to purchase your goods or services.
For nonprofits? This same principle means you don’t make the ask to your donors every time you interact with them. Consider that sometimes the value of a communication piece is simply to connect. It’s important to remind your donor that you are a part of their life, and that they are an important part of your organization–your family. They make a difference to you–even on the days they don’t give or increase their donation.
Donors today expect organizations to communicate in timely, relevant, and personal ways. They expect you to interact with them as thoughtfully as any other business they interact with (think Amazon or Warby Parker). They expect personalized communication that shares information they care about in a format that matches their native communication preferences.
Taking a donor-centric approach means evaluating your strategy with the donor’s preferences in mind…not your organization’s preferences. This can be a tough pill to swallow but it’s critical to reach your audience in the way they want to be reached if you really want them to hear you and to buy in. You’re competing with more nonprofits than ever before (1.5 million) and all the businesses that your donors’ discretionary dollars could go to.
Now is the time to up your game and make your donors feel like heroes. Start by downloading our free resource Demystifying Donor Centric Fundraising.