In combing through the various feeds that I arrive in my inbox each morning, I came across this wonderful piece at the Donor Power Blog: "Is your fundraising a long, dull conversation?"
The blog cites a blog that is new to me -- Copyblogger, with their wonderful piece: "Why Great Copy is a Conversation, Not a Soliloquy."
(In reading a few of Copyblogger's other articles, I added it to my growing feed... alas, I could spend the entire day reading and getting nothing done! For shame, for shame, that we must all have day jobs...)
These articles reminded me of something very important:
nor about you, Master Marketer;
it's about the donor.
Here is one simple way to improve your own approach to donors:
Look back at your most recent thank you letter to a donor. Circle every "I" or "we" (or the name of your organization) -- and then rewrite the letter so that you replace as many of those first person pronouns with the word "you," particularly when it's at the beginning of a sentence or a paragraph.
Force yourself to begin the letter with "You" instead of the boring "On behalf of the board, the staff and the thousands of starving, blind, crippled, poor orphans who somehow manage to wheel their way uphill, through the snow and into our office each day...."
See how the whole feel of the letter changes from being yet another bragadocious piece of fundraiser-marketer drivel to a relationship-building engagement piece.
Some organizations get it.
But sometimes, the ones that "get it" can get in trouble by taking it a bit too far.
Case in point: as a I blogged previously ("UT Southwestern: A Case Study in the Core Problem with Major Gift Fundraising"), UT Southwestern was recently torn up in local media because one of their more advanced fundraising practices leaked out: they have segmented their patient list so that top donors -- and even prospects -- are highlighted for "star treatment" when they arrive at the medical center.
Since I am sure that you, like me, was curious who made the list... I offer you this link to it (although I post the names below):
UT Southwestern list of high-profile people Dallas Morning News News for Dallas, Texas News for Dallas, Texas
UT Southwestern records information about well-to-do or well-known people to assure they receive select treatment during hospital visits. Here is a sampling of some of the people and their family members on the list, which was created in 2003, grouped by how they are known.
Vice President Dick Cheney (spouse)
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (husband)
Rep. Ken Marchant (various family members)
State Rep. Barbara Mallory Caraway
Sen. Chris Harris (son)
State Rep. Tom Craddick (wife)
Former State Rep. Alvin Granoff
U.S. Dist. Judge Barefoot Sanders
State Rep. Tony Goolsby (spouse)
Former State Rep. Kenn George (spouse)
State Rep. Helen Giddings
Former Rep. Martin Frost
Former Secretary of Commerce Don Evans
Former Mayor Ron Kirk
Former Mayor Steve Bartlett
State Rep. Joe Driver
Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson
Former Sen. Mike Moncrief (various family members), current Fort Worth mayor
Former Speaker of the House Gib Lewis (spouse)
Former Ambassador Robert Strauss (various family members)
Former Mayor Starke Taylor (family members and previous family members)
Former State Rep. Steve Wolens (mother, family members)
Former Mayor Laura Miller (listed as Laura Wolens, Dallas mayor 2002)
Former State Rep. James Horn (family members)
State Sen. Royce West
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones
Former Dallas Stars owner Norm Green
Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach
Former Dallas Cowboys linebacker Chuck Howley
Former Cowboys wide receiver Lance Rentzel
Dallas Stars and Texas Rangers owner Tom Hicks
Former baseball player Mickey Mantle's family
Former Cowboys coach Tom Landry's family
Former Texas Rangers coach Bobby Jones
Former University of Texas football coach Darrell K. Royal
Former Dallas Mavericks general manager Norm Sonju
Astros owner Drayton McLane
CHEFS AND RESTAURATEURS
Jim Moroney, publisher of The Dallas Morning News (and family)
Bob Mong, editor of The Dallas Morning News (spouse)
Robert Miller, columnist at The Dallas Morning News
Robert Decherd, chief executive officer and chairman of Belo Corp. (and family)
Wick Allison, publisher and editor of D Magazine
Prudence Mackintosh, contributor to D Magazine and Texas Monthly
Alan Peppard, columnist at The Dallas Morning News
Norm Hitzges, host for KTCK-AM (1310) (and spouse)
John Albers, chief executive of Fairfield Enterprises
Ebby Halliday, founder of Ebby Halliday Realtors
Ron Anderson, president and chief executive of Parkland Health & Hospital System
Bruce Brookshire, owner of Brookshire Grocery Corp.
Don Buchholz, chairman SWS Group
Donald Carty, former chief executive of American Airlines (and family)
Comer Cottrell, founder of Pro-line International
Robert Crandall, former chief executive of American Airlines
Trammell Crow, developer
Thomas Engibous, chief executive of Texas Instruments
Jinger Heath, founder of BeautiControl.
Irvin Levy, chief executive of National Chemsearch
Kathleen Mason, chief executive of Tuesday Morning
Morton Myerson, chief executive of 2M Cos. (and family)
Lonnie Pilgrim, chairman of Pilgrim's Pride Corp.
Timothy Wallace, chief executive of Trinity Industries
IN ARTS AND SOCIETY
Magdalena Abakanowicz, sculptor
Jeremy Adams, screenwriter
Edith Baker, gallery owner
Emanuel Borok, concert violinist
Richard Hamburger, former executive director of Dallas Theatre Center
Pavlo Hunka, visiting Dallas Opera performer
Hilda Alsabrook, former Junior League president
Ann Corrigan, Sweetheart Ball, Crystal Charity Ball
Linda Gibbons, Sweetheart Ball
Marguerite Kirk, author
Marylyn Kelso, Cattle Baron's Ball
Jerry Naylor, former lead singer of Buddy Holly & The Crickets
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