It’s Fatigue to the Max Day.

Have you heard? It’s Give to the Max Day. Perhaps, like me, you received over 20 appeals before finishing your first cup of coffee. I’m. Not. Exaggerating.

gtmd_vertical_2013-smThe basic notion of Give to the Max (GTM) is that participating nonprofits are ranked on a leaderboard based on donations. The top ten receive bonus money ranging from $10,000 to $500. So, the frenzy ensues. Letters, emails and social posts scream, “Show me the money.”

Truth: I delete them all.

GTM is more about an immediate donation and far less about building long-term donor relationships. It’s the equivalent of a B2B campaign with a singular call to action – Buy Now So We Can Meet Our Quarterly Revenue Goals. Short-sightedness doesn’t build success.

Long-term Relationships
Are you prepared for the long haul?

Most B2B sales cycles are long – they can take months, or even years. The higher the investment, the more stringent the decision-making process. Many of us have effective lead generation programs. But, what happens next? For many of us, it’s a combination of content marketing and drip emails. At some point, we need to turn the leads over to the sales team – and we need to know when the time is right. Plan your customer touch points according to your sales funnel and see watch the customer responses along the way. Make sure you understand the sales cycle well enough to know which touchpoints yield the highest activation and conversion.

Nonprofits, chances your work will be important for a long time. And that’s exactly how long you’ll need your donors. It’s time to start thinking of us as customers and your mission as a product you want us to buy.

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
As marketers, we have to be brave enough to ignore the shiny objects.

In the B2B world, we have endless ways to interact with our customers. Our challenge is to take a step back, think before we act, and then make smart decisions. We need to stop hopping onto social channels before we have a strategy. Or, buying the latest and greatest tech tools without thinking about how our customers really want to interact with us.

Nonprofits, don’t be wooed by the promise of bonus money on top of donations brought in. If you look at the GTM leaderboards for the past few years, you’ll see that most participants don’t stand a chance. Instead of getting lost in the herd, be brave enough to step back and revisit your fundraising strategy. The other 364 days want some attention.

Make sure you can answer “So what?”
Doing business with you absolutely has to make your customers’ lives better.

Resist the urge to talk about the nuts and bolts of your project. Instead, talk about the “why” – it uses X% less energy, increases production by X% per job, saves customers X% in operations costs. Where you can, give tangible examples, but keep it real. Write your content and then ask yourself, “So what?” If you can’t answer the question in three different ways, it’s time for a rewrite.

Nonprofits – the same applies to you. Rather than stating your mission, talk about how you’ve brought it to life in meaningful ways. Make me verklempt. Do it.

Whatever your organization type, give your customers a product (nonprofit mission) they can support, answer “so what” before we ask (provide tangible examples) and learn how and when we want to hear from you.

That’s when your customers will #ShowYouTheMoney.

I  apologize to any of my nonprofit friends who take offense at this post. Y’all are doing important work. But you gotta get better at marketing. You’re irritating your donors.