Today I’d like to discuss the second point which Dan Pallotta addresses in his “TED Talk”: “The Way We Think About Charity is Dead Wrong” (you can find the video here in case you haven’t seen it: http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/he/dan_pallotta_the_way_we_think_about_charity_is_dead_wrong.html?source=facebook#.UUgVUSeiOi1.facebook ), which is the “different rules” that seem to exist regarding advertising and marketing for non-profits versus for-profit companies.
Dan says that in the for-profit world, it is recognized that advertising and marketing is very important, and huge sums of money are allocated toward this. In the non-profit world, however, donors typically do not understand the importance of advertising and marketing, and want their donations to go “directly to the cause”. As Dan explains, what they fail to understand is that investing money in advertising to get the word out about the organization could help bring in even larger donations and therefore even more funds for the cause. People have to be asked to participate … how can they be asked if there are no funds to market and advertise the organization, and therefore reach people?
I have seen the same sort of reluctance in donors who “do not want any of their money to go toward overheard expenses”. With all due respect, I think that is such small-minded thinking!! Especially in this day and age, you need a professional staff (and usually an office) in order to really succeed as a non-profit organization … and a professional staff, office, etc., cost money. When you tell a non-profit professional that you “do not want any of your donation going to overhead costs”, you are basically telling them that they do nothing to further the cause, are useless, and are basically leeching off the organization (or at least that’s how I feel … maybe I am too sensitive? 😉 )
OK, I think I’ve made my opinion very clear. What are your thoughts?