Create Value to Receive Value

We all know this guy... don't be this guy.  Photo Credit: CarbonNYC via Compfight cc

We all know this guy… don’t be this guy. Photo Credit: CarbonNYC via Compfight cc

The more I follow blogs that are popular in the nonprofit community, I can’t help but notice that most of the content is around fundraising.

What I’ve realized is this: Nonprofits are as consumed with sales as for-profits are. Donor and fund development is, at its core, sales and marketing.

In light of this obsession, let me make a suggestion: Learn to create value both for your clients and consumers and your donors, funders, and grantors. 

People buy when a salesperson clarifies or creates value. The value can be as simple as a  responsive customer service relationship or as complicated as a completely new outcome for a whole sales and marketing department that leads to dramatically increased revenues.

How does your nonprofit create value? A donor or or grantor might not receive tangible value, but there is always some value exchange in nearly every transaction.

Your nonprofit receives money. The donor becomes a part of a story.

Your nonprofit receives a grant. The granting organization solidifies its position as a change agent.

You create value for your clients or consumers, but you also create value for the stakeholders that pour their hard-earned funds into your mission.

Regardless of your fundraising methods, strategies, or tactics, don’t forget to consider how you are creating value and communicating that value to potential financial partners.  Otherwise, fundraising can become begging and entitlement.  In my world, lack of value creation leads to sleazy salesmanship.

May you and I both learn to become better and better value creators.

*Quick shoutout to Anthony Iannarino and his blog: The Sales Blog. If you want a primer in value creation, spend a few months following his work.

Question: How does your nonprofit create value in its donor development efforts?


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