Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Target the Solicitor AND the Donor

The best campaign brochures are developed with the solicitor in mind. Yes, yes, I know that campaign collateral must address the donor. But brochures that consider the solicitor as much as the donor will lead to more donations. Because as W. Clement Stone said, “Sales are contingent upon the attitude of the salesman -- not the attitude of the prospect.” So, let’s discuss the ways in which the brochure can influence the attitude of the solicitor.

A well-designed brochure creates immediate impact. It commands attention, makes a positive statement about the campaign, conveys thoughtfulness and credibility and demonstrates the organization’s commitment to its fundraising efforts. When solicitors walk into a meeting knowing they have a great brochure in their hand, they are absolutely more confident.

A well-written and presented brochure will allow the solicitor to walk the donor through the campaign, highlighting key points and images. That means that the solicitor doesn’t have to fumble with Powerpoint presentations and doesn’t have to remember a contrived script. It’s all in the brochure. Ultimately it means the solicitor can be relaxed and spend more time focusing on the donor. On top of that the strategically created brochure will anticipate the donor’s responses and actually guide the solicitor through the solicitation.

No two solicitors have the same style or personality – and that’s a good thing. It’s the uniqueness of the solicitor/prospect relationship that makes a solicitation powerful. The great brochure anchors the solicitation by always allowing the conversation to come back to the fundamental tenets of the case for support. So even tough there are many solicitors involved in the campaign, there can always be consistency to the solicitation. And when the conversation goes off on a tangent, the brochure is there to bring the discussion back home.

After the canvas, the prospective donor may have talk to other family members or advisors about the campaign. In a perfect situation, the donor is left with a feeling of warmth, sincerity and confidence from the solicitor and has all the key facts and statements in the brochure. It’s the best of both worlds.

A couple of last but not least points. Solicitors must be donors themselves. Every time they take a donor through the brochure they validate their own decision to have given. The better the brochure, the greater the sense of validation and the more positive the solicitor’s attitude. Finally, don’t think that all of this doesn’t apply to professional staff who are making solicitations. Their ability to make a quality solicitation will definitely be enhanced by a well-created brochure.

So the next time you’re working on a brochure and want to it to really contribute to the success of the campaign, start thinking about the solicitor.