Yesterday I had the pleasure to chat with Drayton Bird on nonprofit copywriting and marketing in general.  First I heard him speak, and then later that day we sat and chatted for a bit.

His presentation wasn’t on nonprofit copywriting.  Doesn’t matter. Good marketing and copywriting principles apply in all markets. 

Here are five of Drayton’s gems and how they also fit for fundraising as well as marketing for charities and associations:

1) “The aim of marketing is to understand the customer so well that the product fits him perfectly without selling to him.”

For fundraising – The aim of marketing is to understand the prospective donor so well that the mission fits him perfectly without selling to him.  And yes, you aresellingyour mission in every appeal you write online or in print.

For associations – The aim of marketing is to understand the prospective member so well that your association fits her perfectly without selling to her.

2) “Treat people as individuals and put relevant details about them in a database. Then build a continuing relationship with them by using the details in a relative way.”

For fundraising and membership associations – Don’t think of your donors and members as dollar signs.  They are people.  With every check they write, every piece of mail and email they respond to, every webinar or event they attend, with every phone call you have with them . . . collect data and put it in a database and incorporate it into your future nonprofit copywriting.  Refer to how long they’ve been with you; how they found you; what they seem to like the most based on their history; and so on it goes.  Build campaigns around this relevant data.

3) “Good sales people keep notes on their prospects and clients – a dairy.  And sales reps use that information over time to have personal, relevant conversations with the client and to give them information clients want.  This is how they close more sales.  In marketing, a database is a diary.  Keep notes on them so you can build a stronger relationship.”

I think that one is clear as it stands.

4) “A customer who has spent a lot of money with you should be treated differently…special.”

For nonprofits – A major donor should be treated differently, also intermediate or mid-level donors.  And for associations, members who have been with you a long time, who pay to attend Conferences and webinars regularly, etc. should be treated differently.

5) “Use the information you have on people and treat them as humans and they will respond well.  We’re tired of being treated like a number!  Treat me like an individual.”

For nonprofits – again use the information in your database to relate to donors and members in a relevant way.  This includes writing donor-centered and member-centered copy.

And I’ll leave you with this final comment from Drayton Bird which clearly pertains to nonprofit copywriting:

“Pockets are the most sensitive parts of humans.
So you must touch them in the heart first.”