If you're reading this, chances are you're a fundraiser for one cause, or several. I'm sure you spend much of your time persuading people to support you. But, I wonder, do you ever show them why they should?
This has been on my mind since I saw the end of a television programme about car company, Rolls Royce. I should say straight away that I know very little about cars, so I won't be on this subject for long, but it was a selling technique that caught my eye.
Historically, the almost silent, smooth-running engine was one, major aspect of the car in which the company took pride. So much so, it became a key selling point and Rolls Royce salesmen found a great way to demonstrate this to potential customers.
They would take a coin, balance it on its side on top of the engine, and it wouldn't fall over when the engine started ticking over.
(Jay Leno refers to this in an article here)
No need for a long sales pitch after that.
If you click on it and read it, this advert is a list of selling points.
As an aside, I particularly like no. 3.
The Rolls-Royce is designed as an owner-driver car. It is eighteen inches shorter than the largest domestic car.
I'm sure you'll see right away why I picked that one out. It's going straight to the buyer and looking at how the car can meet their needs. We always aim to do the same for donors.
Anyway, I've been looking round to see if any charities have identified a USP like Rolls Royce did, then used it to show a donor the difference they make.
Many charities find this hard because they do many things in a particular field. I was wondering if anyone had found such a unique way to define themselves.
Click to watch the film on this page and you'll see that MacMillan Cancer Support describe themselves as a cushion. Or rather Suzie, who has benefited from the support of a nurse describes them as one. I don't know how well it works but you'll see it's on the charity's donate page. It was the most interesting example I could find of a charity defining themselves so tightly and finding a tangible USP.
Taking the Rolls Royce example a little more loosely, there are lots of nice ways that a charity can show a donor what it is doing on a project basis. Here's one I worked on recently.
We were asking supporters of Network for Animals to help stamp out the dog meat trade, a subject that generally performs well with donors. We want to find a new angle, a way to bring the cruelty of this practice to life for the donor.
Instead of putting a coin on an engine, we put this in their hand.
It's a length of nylon cord, used to tie up dogs on the way to slaughter. During the transportation, their mouths are tightly bound and their legs tied together. Many die a horrible death in the back of a lorry.
Before I depress you any further, let's move onto the good news that this worked well as a fundraising piece. Here's the whole pack.
(Click to enlarge)
So that's it for this time's show and tell, which has been all about 'showing' not just 'telling'.