If you want Sustainability - Use their Language Stupid!

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How many times have you been approached by someone who’s pitching you a product or service that you have no interest in? Have you ever approached a funder or potential donor and realized that while you are talking they are getting a glazed look over their eyes? Why is that?

Too often non-profit managers forget about what is important to the end consumer. They have customers just like businesses, and even though their stakeholders are typically different because they don’t sell a product or service, non-profits still have funders who are end consumers.

To be more effective, non-profit managers need to ask themselves, “What’s in it for them,” “Am I speaking in language they understand,” and “What is my elevator speech,” because if you don’t know how to answer these three questions, your fundraising efforts will continue to struggle.

For whatever reason, people in the non-profit community forget to ask themselves, why would this person or organization care about what I am trying to tell them. This is especially true of environmental organizations which tend to talk to business people about the need to be better environmental stewards. Now, there isn’t a business person in the world that will tell you that they enjoy polluting, generating waste, or endangering the biodiversity of our planet. In fact, most of these people will tell you that they wish they could do more, but that it’s not in their job description.

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