What can you give your donor?

Take two minutes to watch this video of Steve Jobs, newly back at Apple, responding to a harsh question from an angry developer who doesn’t understand why his pet product has been killed.

In Jobs’ gracious response, he laid out his vision for Apple as a User Experience company. That vision led to products that people can’t imagine living without.

It’s easy for a non-profit to get so caught up in their own vision for changing the world that they forget to figure out why their programs and services matter to their donors. The key is that it’s not about your vision for changing the world, but about how your non-profit is a part of a donor’s vision for changing the world.

Here are Steve Job’s comments with a fundraising twist:

You’ve got to start with the donor experience and work backward to the offer. You can’t start with the offer and try to figure out where you’re going to sell it. What incredible benefits can we give to the donor? Where can we take the donor?

According to User Experience pioneers Don Norman and Jakob Nielsen, “the first requirement for an exemplary user experience is to meet the exact needs of the customer, without fuss or bother.” Do you know the needs of your donors? Figuring out how to meet those needs is the key to differentiating your offer.