From a marketing perspective, there is no difference.
Whether you are trying to get people to buy or give, both require solid marketing strategies and tactics. Both are financial transactions involving an exchange of money in return for something of value. Both are not “required”. And both include some level of fairness.
Let’s consider what happens when you give a waiter money (a tip) in exchange for service compared with giving money to a homeless person.
Waiter => restaurant provides opportunity for customer (donor) to feel that they were involved in a fair exchange since they received good service (value) in exchange for money
Homeless person => nonprofit provides opportunity for donor (customer) to feel that they were involved in a fair exchange since they were provided the opportunity to make a difference (value) in exchange for money
I think the problem with fundraising is that some nonprofit staff think fundraising is “different” from other forms of marketing and sales when it isn’t. That is actually why too many organizations are so bad at raising money. Sorry folks, we need to face the fact that retention rates are at all-time-lows!
Bottom line: There is no difference between buying and giving. So, in order to inspire a monetary exchange (for profit or nonprofit), you must provide value to others.
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