Spring Clean Your Creative

Now is a great time to put your fundraising creative on the table, sweep away the cobwebs and polish up the diamonds.

Carving out some time for a creative review is how you grow as a fundraiser. You often end up doing more than tuning up your winners and retiring flagging workhorses. A concentrated burst of critical thinking also pushes up new ideas and arguments that go on to energize your entire organization.

Before you get started, remember to switch bodies with your target donor and judge everything you read, watch and feel through their eyes. This is never about you.

Motivation. Are you still reflecting the true reasons people support your work? Five years ago, most people probably saw your cause differently. Are you accounting for their changing perceptions and how they impact someone’s motivation for giving?

Brand. All organizations are fluid and their personalities change over time. Do you still sound like you? Not the 2015 model. But the relevant, contemporary 2016 version.

Impact. When you show donors what their generosity can achieve, make sure your examples are current.

Attitude. Most creative executions pass through a review committee. Over time, the revisions of the group undo the craft of the individual writer who gave your message the right attitude and credibility. As you refresh your creative, be sure to bring back your passion or conviction or whatever qualities your donors love you for.

Tactics. Running a matching gift offer for the fifth year in a row? Promoting the same member benefits as last year? Doing the same thing over and over isn’t compelling. Test something new.

Above all, be ruthless. If someone says: “But we’ve always done it this way,” politely remind them that your donors don’t care. All they want from your creative is to feel powerful through you. Everything else is just fluff.