"It's not rocket science. Successful businesses have been doing it for hundreds of years – building an audience by delivering value. The audience begins to know, like, and trust you... and then, they tell you exactly what they would buy if you were to offer it."
Source: Content Marketing Institute
While the quote above from Joe Pulizzi references businesses, the lesson of loving your audience certainly applies to nonprofits as well.
Everything should begin and end with your audience.
Once a month I teach a webinar on selling event sponsorships and one of my main messages to the nonprofit attendees is they need to shed their self-centeredness and embrace their audience.
For sponsorship, this happens in two ways.
- You have to know and love the audience your event represents. You should be able to speak about these people specifically and passionately. These are your peeps!
- Conversely, you have to know and respect the audience your prospect represents and understand how they fit with your audience.
But this isn't how most nonprofits sell sponsorships. Instead, they drone on about what they do (i.e. feed the poor, fight cancer, save dogs, etc) as opposed to who they represent.
Even worse, nonprofits aren't focused on the business or its audience. Selfishly, the nonprofit is only focused on one thing: making a withdrawal that will benefit them. There is no empathy. There is no service. And there certainly isn't any love.
Here's a reminder: no one likes to be treated like an ATM, companies included.
Find an audience. Build an audience. Serve an audience. Love an audience. I'm not sure I could put it in simpler words.