A recent addition to the pop marketing book category is Aaron Shapiro’s Users: Who Really Determines the Success of Your Business. Nothing earth shattering here, but as Gene Rebeck pointed out in his review, the author’s focus bears repeating. It also translates well for the not-for-profit sector in general, and fundraising in particular.
Organizations must cultivate customers – think donors and prospects – with the intent of building a long-term and ongoing relationship. Plan and act with an eye towards building a community of users – current contributors, prospective donors, volunteers, employees, grateful patients and families, fans and friends, and yes, even bloggers – who will interact with your institution both personally and digitally. All of these can help broaden a network of advocates who can assist in telling your story, and encouraging others to think differently about your charity.
This loyal users group constitutes a base of followers and influencers who will make and encourage new and additional gifts of time and charitable support.
T. Christian Rollins, MBA, CFRE
Executive Vice President