Sunday, November 4, 2012

BIG’s Blog: Nothing Moves until Something is Sold

An automobile, a brand of detergent, an iPad, or an idea; nothing moves until something is sold.

Whether it is the car salesman on the lot describing the features of the new car you are looking at, or the very capable young tech salesperson at Best Buy or the Apple Store, showing you all the reasons why you should part with $400 to own a new iPad. Or maybe it’s your idea for streamlining a process that keeps generating complaints from your donors.

Nothing moves until something is sold.

That’s a big challenge in fundraising today, but not because we don’t have creative and talented people who are able to tell the story, or clearly communicate the mission. No, the problem is that the megaphone grows smaller and we are reaching fewer and fewer new potential converts to our cause.

“But that’s not true,” some say, “why, we are on the Internet through our Web site and Facebook page.”

Yes you are. But how is that working for you? How do you handle the contacts? How do you engage people who come to your Web site? What are the metrics you monitor to see what their interest is and if they are engaging and donating?

A friend of mine owns a gas station on I-70 in the middle of Kansas. He once told me, “A million dollars goes past my station every day.”

How many potential supporters and potential donors (because they really are different) come to your Web site and never return?

Nothing moves until something is sold.

This may not be a pressing issue to you today, but as your megaphone of direct mail grows smaller and smaller, year after year, this shrinkage will soon affect your planned giving.

It’s far better to be building a new megaphone today before the other one is gone. Your message and your mission are as relevant today as they have ever been, but without a viable megaphone to get your message out, your message will not be heard.

And nothing moves until something is sold.


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