Just how good, how accurate, how positive (or not) is the perception your donors have of your organization?

There are numerous ways nonprofit marketers can gather this intelligence — surveys, focus groups, analysis of donor-initiated contacts and comments (e.g., call-ins, emails, letters, content entered on social media sites, testimonials), and, of course, the acid test — retention rates.

But an article recently reproduced on SOFII by Aline Reed at Bluefrog London suggests a way of gaining this insight that might be lots more fun … and perhaps even pave the way for better communicating your cause.

Aline’s article asks: What kind of advert would your supporters make, for you?

She gives a variety of examples of this approach at work.

As much as you might strive to create and shape the image/brand your donors hold in their hearts and minds, at the end of the day it’s their perception that counts. So, why not ask them to paint the picture, write the slogan, create the image or graphic or video?

Now, I’m suggesting in the first instance that you should ask your donor to ‘create’ their image of your organization. But you can also ask them in the same way to ‘sell’ your cause or program to other potential ‘customers’.

At the very least you’ll gain valuable insight into language, imagery, emotional content, level of understanding. And who knows what gems might be produced?

Has anybody tried this?

Tom

P.S. If your donor (or prospect) sees your organization as X, and you see it as Y, who wins?

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