5 Signs That You’re Playing it TOO Safe

Are you pushing the edge in your marketing and fundraising programs? Or playing it safe?

If you are hearing these kinds of statements in your meetings, it may be time to shake things up a bit.

  1. “We have always done it like this.”

If you want better results, you have to try new strategies. Don’t let internal politics or the fact that one staff person will have to change their work plan prevent you from trying new approaches.

  1. “We can’t afford to fail.”

A healthy marketing program must take some risks. Determine how much risk you can afford and develop a testing plan that keeps you within that risk budget. Because if you don’t take risks, you will not find big breakthroughs.

  1. “Our Director will never sign that.”

Here’s the thing. It’s not YOUR job to push back for YOUR boss. It’s his or her job. So if you think something has strategic merit, put it forward for approval. Take the time to explain why you think it makes sense to go that route.

  1. “It’s too emotional. We just don’t talk like that.”

There are all kinds of people in the world–some who are comfortable getting emotional and others who are not. But after nearly 30 years of fundraising, I can tell you that if you want to open checkbooks, you have to pull some heartstrings. Don’t edit out emotion!

5. “Our brand guidelines don’t allow serif fonts/indented paragraphs/bold typeface/etc.”

This is a sure sign that you have given the brand police in your organization WAY too much power. Indented paragraphs, underlining, ellipses, bolding and handwritten margin notes are proven winners in direct mail fundraising letters. They make your letter easier to read and improve response. If someone in your office is saying no to these tried and true techniques, it’s time to raise a red flag.

Put on your Superman or Wonder Woman cape and fight for your program. Push the boundaries. Be bold. We promise the dollars will follow.

– Kathy Swayze, CFRE

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