Apr 112014

Believe it or not, your nonprofit is like a mattress company.

I know – that sounds bizarre. But hear me out!

The last time you shopped for a mattress, did it REALLY matter how many coils it had? Or if each was individually wrapped? Or whether it had a pillow top or memory foam? Did it matter that the super comfy, yummy mattress you took home cost $150 more than the one that wasn’t?

Of course not. Because at the end of the day, what we REALLY want from our mattress is… A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP!

At our nonprofits, we may have a large inventory of mattresses (read: programs) to “sell.” But our clients, donors and other stakeholders really don’t care about the mattress. What they really care about is whether or not we’re offering the people who turn to us for help a good night’s sleep (for some of you, this may literally be the case!).

Yet we spend a LOT of time talking about the different types of mattresses we offer. In doing so, we’re missing out on a huge opportunity to truly connect with people in their heart space. What donors REALLY care about is the people you’re serving. What’s going on that’s driving them through your front door, looking for help? What are you doing about it? Not only for the people who are showing up, but on a larger, more systemic basis? Are people in better shape when they leave than when they came?

Of course people need to know that we have competent, caring staff, that our prorams are well run, that our board is paying attention, and that our resources are well-managed. But at the end of the day, our “mattress” is just the container in which powerful life-changing transformations take place. What is of primary interest to the people who support our agencies is the good night’s sleep.

So the next time you sit down to review a communication you’ve just drafted, remember to ask yourself: did I just try to sell another mattress, or did I manage to sell a good night’s sleep?

If you’re interested in having us help you craft “good night’s sleep” marketing messages, let us know!

Sweet dreams! 🙂

 April 11, 2014  Posted by at 12:18 am Communications and Social Media

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