by Dr. Kerry M. Olitzky
There is no obligatory giving
Following World War II, as families moved out of urban centers and into the suburbs, they continued to support non-profit institutions, especially synagogues, out of a sense of obligation. Over the last decade, obligation diminished as a primary motivation for support. Today, people who support these institutions do so mostly because they can ascertain a personal benefit—for themselves and their families—from such support. This notion is called a value proposition.
Before starting any fundraising campaign, leaders should be able to clearly articulate their nonprofit’s value proposition to potential contributors.
In other words, what do prospective donors gain from an association with your institution?
A value proposition differs from a mission statement.
While often well-crafted and poetic, the latter attempts to concretize the ideals of the institution, often including goals and objectives. On the other hand, a value proposition is donor-centered and focused on the prospect. A value proposition is particularly important as donors ascertain the cost-benefit of their gift to the organization.
The idea “we’ll be there when you need us” will no longer create support. And “community,” which is often offered as a benefit, can be found in a variety of other locations, often only a short distance from your organization. Thus, the value proposition should be unique and clearly distinguish your institution from any other. It should also identify and meet the needs of its target population – your current and prospective donors.
During a fundraising campaign (annual, capital or endowment), planners have to move the conversation with potential donors from obligation to benefit which is encapsulated in the value proposition. All support materials should reflect this change, as well.
Interested in learning how MJA can help you develop a values proposition and lead you to a successful campaign? Email Kerry Olitzky