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Marie Kondo Your Donor Communications

By Lynne Wester

Well, we’ve all been seduced by another trend from another thought leader asking us to tidy up our lives. I was all in until she suggested that I could only have 30 books that brought me joy. And I’m still trying to figure out how to fold those darn bundles.

But I did take something away from Marie Kondo and her KonMari method of getting rid of waste in our lives. What if we did the same with our communications to our donors and constituents? What If we only send communications we thought would bring them joy? What if we removed all of the unnecessary communications that are organization-centered and don’t spark joy with the people that love us the most? Turns out I’m not the first and won’t be the last person to think about that. Look at some of these great articles on the subject of spam and over mailing your folks:

One of the questions I am often asked is, how do you tell if we should send this communication? I go back to the old mantra of does it benefit the donor? Not is it grammatically correct and using the correct font… but does it spark joy? Tell a story? Make them want to give or give again? Giving is a joyful occasion… you want to inspire your donors to do it more. Do your communications inspire?

While multiple channels and tactics are good, it’s all about aligning a clear message to the right audience through the correct channels. Start with a goal and defined key communications objectives. I explain this concept in more detail in this video:

When you focus on a few key communication goals, you commit to sending a focused message that people understand. By taking the time to curate your messaging to your audience and align communications with organizational goals, you can tidy up your communications channels and focus on the greater benefits objectives. Knowing that you are communicating topics that align with your goals, you’ll have a far easier time tidying up your communication channels and focusing on what matters and to who.

You could even apply the same theory to the digital workspace you use, or you can wait until Marie tackles it in Joy At Work: The Career-Changing Magic of Tidying Up in spring 2020.

Until then, focus on what you can do to tidy up your communications for donors and concerned audiences. Does that email really spark joy in any way other than to check it off of a to-do list?



To take a deeper dive into my donor communications strategies and learn how to create inspiring communications that will improve donor retention and help you raise more money, check out my e-course, The Keys to Amazing Donor Communications.


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