What can fundraisers learn from product marketing?

Last fall I attended my first IFC. Being a bit of a data geek, I most looked forward to a workshop entitled “new product development.” I expected to go and hear about all of the fabulous new database and CRM tools on the European market. Silly me. The session turned out to be about the process of developing fundraising “products” – as in ways and benefits of giving – within your own organization. What I had always heard termed simply a “gift type” in America.

Fast forward six months and I am writing a paper on product marketing for a management course. Here it was again. So I had to ask myself, “How can I, as a fundraiser, use any of this in my program?”

It turns out that product marketing has a lot to do with the way that we think about raising funds. And applying a commercial marketing “checklist” to our fundraising strategy can give us some valuable insights about the way that our donors experience our service. So it is useful to consider each of the seven “Ps” when designing your fundraising strategy. Following are some questions you can ask yourself in your planning.