December 27, 2013

“What’s attention worth?” asks Seth Godin in his 12-17-13 blog. “Marketers that fail are often impatient and selfish.” (Think fundraisers!) “Impatient, because they won’t invest in the long-term job of earning familiarity, permission and trust.” (Think fundraisers and fundraising and your boss and boards that want money right now! Hurry up!)

Earn! Earn familiarity. Don’t pursue visibility, hoping that “everyone will know you and then send money.”

Earn permission and trust. Remember how important trust is to loyalty. Just read Adrian Sargeant‘s work. Read The Agitator. Read Jeff Brooks and Tom Ahern. Read all the great people.

Now think about Seth’s word “selfish.” So many nonprofit organizations and fundraisers and fundraising programs are selfish. Focused on the organization and all the good the organization does. Forgetting (or on purpose ignoring?) donor centrism and customer centrism.

Wow. Basic flaw. It’s not about you and your organization and your amazing staff. It’s all about the wonderful donor whose investment allows you and your organization and your amazing staff to do stuff. And without those donors, you won’t be able to do much.

You can’t demand attention, as Seth so clearly notes. It’s not about you. It’s about the person who is paying attention. “We call it ‘paying attention’ for a reason. It’s worth quite a bit, and ought to be cherished.”

That’s good fundraising.

About Simone Joyaux

A consultant specializing in fund development, strategic planning, and board development, Simone P. Joyaux works with all types and sizes of nonprofits, speaks at conferences worldwide, and teaches in the graduate program for philanthropy at Saint Mary’s University, MN. Her books, Keep Your Donors and Strategic Fund Development, are standards in the field.

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