Friday, July 11, 2014

What Does the Donor Hear?

I loved cartoonist Gary Larson. It was a sad day when he retired in 1995. One of my favorite cartoon panels was "What we say to dogs". There we go. Barking out commands to our canine friend, fully expecting that he hears and understands every word. Even raising our voice to ensure we are understood. What hubris! What the dog hears is it's name. That's it.

Sasha Dichter of the Acumen Fund cleverly illustrated the parallel between "dog/human" and possible "non-profit/donor" communication.

As Sasha wrote, "I wonder if we could re-title this cartoon 'our needs', as in: every time we regale someone with 'what we need' we remember all they're hearing is 'blah blah blah blah.' But whenever we say their name, whenever we paint them into the picture, whenever we make them a part of the story, they hear us loud and clear.

If you agree with the notion, rather than thinking tactically how to make this shift by 'changing your pitch', you might instead ask yourself who's keeping you from actually seeing the person across the table as an integral part of the story...because she is."

Amen,  Sasha! The donor is more likely to hear you if the presentation or case is more about them. It's like hearing your own name. And everyone loves to hear their own name.

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