What if your waiter brought out your meal without asking you what you wanted first?

Waiter “Here’s your tomato soup.”

You “But I don’t like tomato soup.”

Waiter “Oh yes you do. Eat it.”

This is how many non profits treat their donors, volunteers, activists and prospects.

We’re constantly serving up asks, actions and requests without asking what our audiences care about first.

Yes – your constituents have come to your restaurant (AKA organization), but they have preferences that they want to share. And if you don’t listen, they will go somewhere else and order what they want.

Audience research (through a simple survey and possible online focus group follow up) can help you test things like messages that resonate most for fundraising, messengers, loyalty, preferred engagement activities, optimism vs. pessimism… The list goes on and on.

As we near the end of quarter three, now is the time to ask — so you can craft campaigns that truly take your audiences into consideration.

You likely have what they want. You just haven’t asked.