In September the Obama Campaign raised a jaw-dropping, record-shattering $150 million. (More here.) The take more than doubled the $66 million they raised in August, which was itself a record-breaking month.
So now, many a fundraiser is asking Why can't we do that?
The assumption behind the question is that the Obama campaign achieved those numbers by implementing a bunch of good techniques, and if the rest of us could just put those techniques to work, we'd see unprecedented revenue too.
Not so fast.
Sure, the campaign has done a lot of things very, very right. (In fact, a lot us will be studying their techniques for a long time.)
But the real reason for their success: They have an ultra-compelling "offer." It's about an historic candidate who's running during a time of national crisis, whose message is utterly compelling (to his audience), and who delivers the goods whenever he speaks.
Without that, all the cool techniques in the world can only make an incremental impact on revenue.
So ask yourself: Is your organization a "Barack Obama"?
- Are you unlike all the others, or are you one of several similar organizations -- distinguishable only by experts and insiders?
- Is there urgency built in to everything you say?
- Do you have the ability to reach out, grab people by the heart and actually make them feel differently from how they felt before they encountered you?
- Are you fighting an enemy? (It needn't be a person or people.)
If you can say yes to all those, then you can ask:
- Are you really nailing your online fundraising techniques?
But first things first -- if you want skyrocketing, "impossible" fundraising numbers.