My wish: be the blue fish!
Next year I wish you to be the blue fish. Charities need to break free from the uniformity. If you want your charity's story to not only reach (potential) donors, but actually be remembered a day after donors have read/saw/listened to them, something needs to change.
If you pick up a stack of direct mail appeals, or newsletters, or see 10 nonprofit e-mail bulletins next to each other, they are pretty much the same. Admit it. The logo might be different, but otherwise it's more or less the same. You see the differences, but your audience can't tell.
Non-profits who can distinguish themselves from the rest, can leapfrog into the future of supporter engagement. (Obviously, charity: water comes to mind).
Just before going home for my holiday break I read this Dutch post from Dick van der Lecq. Great post. A rough translation:
'In 2014 the 'no obligation mentality' needs to stop. Especially charities deserve the very best marketeers, strategists and creatives. Who don't make pretty video clips, but sparkly business cases. Who work on result throughout the entire funnel, based on insights and KPIs.'
He adds something that might be one of the reasons for our same ol' same ol' way of communicating.
'And then something else. This professional approach may cost something. Dutch people like to see average earning amateurs. But the African, Filipino and koala want effective professionals. Winners who perhaps cost double, but get triple in return. Go big or go home. Quit with the minimum required result culture.'
Speak out against the status quo in 2014. Start testing on a big scale. Question the things you never question. Dare to be different. Be the blue fish.