Selling The Experience
Angel Aloma gave us a hugely important reminder in his recent article — Selling the Experience — in NonProfitPRO.
When I first saw the title, I expected another article — like many we’ve written in The Agitator — on the importance of the quality of interaction nonprofits have with their donors and our need to constantly be listening to what our donors are telling us about their motives and preferences.
That is, on the experience they are having with the organization.
But I was wrong.
Angel’s article was about the deeper positive experience fundraisers channel to donors by helping them realize the significance of their gift.
He starts by describing how a Volvo commercial sells the car without ever mentioning the car’s features. In this case, the feeling of freedom, reinforced by the words of a Walt Whitman poem, is the appeal.
And then, using examples of providing housing and water, he explains how his organization, Food For The Poor, appeals to its donors, helping them experience the impact of their donation on recipients served, as opposed to describing the features of their program.
So, absolutely, do everything you can to ensure the experience your donor has with your organization — your ‘customer service’ — is positive and responsive. That’s essential for retention.
But don’t forget, your most fundamental challenge is to help them experience — over and over — the joy and satisfaction of acting on their own aspirations … often altruistic, but not necessarily so.