“Happy birthday,” I say to you.
“Thanks,” you say, “but it’s not my birthday. That was months ago.”
“Oh,” I reply. “Well, most people I know are celebrating their birthdays this month, so I’ll wish you happy birthday now.”
How would you feel about that? Would you be happy that I wished you well–no matter when? Or…would you be annoyed that I didn’t know when you were born (and apparently, I didn’t care)?
There are some things that friends have to know about their friends. And your nonprofit has to know some of them about your donors.
When’s the “Holiday Season”?
When you get to December, do you wish your donors a happy holiday season? The thing is, for some of them, the holiday season was months ago.
- The Jewish holiday season begins this coming Sunday night, September 9, with the eve of Rosh Hashanah. It continues throughout September.
- Muslims already celebrated Eid ul-Adha August 21-25. It is one of their two most important holidays.
- Wiccans and other pagans look forward to the Autumnal Equinox, or Mabon, on September 22.
And those are just the religious holidays! National Hispanic Heritage Month begins September 15. There’s a case to be made that September is the “holiday season”–at least, for some of your donors.
You really need to know which ones. Otherwise, you’re wishing donors a happy birthday on the wrong day.
What’s Your “Dog vs. Cat” Question?
Now, it may be that the people on your donor list don’t celebrate any holidays (only vacation days). But there is something that matters to them, something that distinguishes them from one another, some factor that makes them feel welcome or unwelcome. And you need to know what that is.
Once the organization finds that out, cat people get mail and email with photos of cats, stories about cats, appeals to help cats.
Dog people get…well, you can figure that out!
So, for your organization, what is your “cat vs. dog question”? Is it about the holidays people celebrate? Is it the town they live in? Is it the issue they care about, or the population they want you to serve? Whatever it is, find it out, and then, make sure they hear from you about what matters to them.