Standing in Front of your Donor’s Mailbox Or, Who is reading this stuff anyway?

I find most organizations believe they are “donor-centric” because they are telling their supporters lots of things they think they are interested in.

Important words to note above are “telling” and “think”.

I always pose the question: when you are at your mailbox, or sitting down to read your email, do you read all of the information the charities you support send? I can’t honestly say I do, and it’s my job to keep up with trends in non-profit messaging…

If you put yourself at your mailbox, sorting through envelopes, what makes you open something? What makes you set it aside to read later? What makes you throw it out without even looking at it?

The key is usually relationship. And relationships can only truly be created by two-way communication. This is surprisingly easy to accomplish as people really do want to tell you what they think, most especially the people who deeply care about what you are doing.

So a challenge to those who want to re-imagine their communications strategies: Look at every piece that goes out as if you are deciding whether to open it. Write every paragraph as if you are deciding whether to start reading the next one. And make sure that you are giving plenty of opportunities to ‘hear’ instead of ‘tell’.

Shift your perspective from looking at your communications in your role as the sender, and start imagining how things appear as the recipient.

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