NFP’s – you’re selling a service or product – focus on your value

It’s time for NFP’s to embrace the reality of giving. It’s not about the charity, it’s about the person giving.  When you focus on the person giving, you start to focus on the value they receive from the transaction. Who wakes up in the morning and thinks they want to give their money away today, thinks of a charity and then rationally gives to the most effective charity? Maybe you’ll have one example but not likely that many more. Start focusing on your giving channels as products.

There is great opportunity for not-for-profit organisations to think of their fundraising/donating channels as products or services.  Not for profit organisations are in a unique place to add value to the lives of consumers in ways that typical businesses cannot. They don’t add value through clever creative ways of asking people to give. They add value by focusing intently on what they want their consumer to experience, how they want them to feel.

The fact that consumers are doing something that the public views as altruistic and therefore “attractive” is what makes the NFP’s product offering unique.

In South Australia in 2013, Cancer Council made the decision to focus on the consumer value in it’s Daffodil Day campaign. The national campaign previously had focused on donating, fundraising, supporting, buying something and volunteering.  The product offering had moved on from a traditional Daffodil pin to practical item; balls, bears, pens, key rings, USB sticks and pins. The genius Brand Manager in South Australia,  Alan Sicolo identified that wearing a pin was a signal, communicating something about yourself to your friends and the world. Taking this insight, wearing a Daffodil Day pin was turned into a signalling device where consumers were sending a clear message about how they were committed to beating cancer.

The value to the consumer was established ‘increase attractiveness by a public signal of generosity and commitment to a cause’, the focus was clear – ‘increase pin sales’, the price point was set low at $5. These key points were established and then the creative brief was provided to Behaviour Change Partners in Sydney and working to the brief they created a simple, cracker (non-award winning) campaign that delivered a bunch.

Sales in Daffodil Day in South Australia increased 33% over the previous year! Every other market across the country saw a decline in sales year on year.

Fundraising and marketing is not about a great advert, it’s not about a creative idea, it’s about designing a product that meets a consumer need.  Established products can be reinvigorated back to growth by understanding the customer value proposition, defining the business model and focusing on a core driver of ‘sales’. Marketing is a highly disciplined field that often gets confused with being creative.

For more insight into the underlying drivers of giving and fundraising check out the valuism article on the smart fuel section of our website.

If you’d prefer the fast track to growth give Troy Flower a call on 0447 66 66 91 or email  For international enquiries go with +61 447 66 66 91. “Life’s too short not to take some risks”.

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