Moved Mountains

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

What do I have to do ...?

Promotion! It's something I find really difficult. Even though I am so sure, and so confident that what I am promoting is good and valuable and worthwhile it is really difficult to get people to listen and get on board. Maybe I'm just not good at "selling the vision"? Maybe I'm not presenting the right information in the right way - so as to build confidence? Maybe I just don't come across as someone who is trustworthy and so my "cause" is overlooked?

I'm thinking of the work I am involved with through Day 4 - a community aid and development organisation I founded around 5 years ago which has a good track record of working accountably and successfully with communities in Central and East Africa to develop sustainable, locally driven projects which really do have a positive effect on the standard of living.

It's small scale stuff, but still valuable.

Yet I have found it really difficult to get Christian's, particularly emerging-missional types, involved and supporting this work - financially and also through word of mouth and online promotion and support.

I worked in commercial media for a number of years before getting into more people focussed ministry so I understand the pull of gloss and professionalism - and, especially when it comes to professionalism, I support every effort made to promote a professional image. But I think when we are faced (and I'm speaking for myself here as much as anyone else) with a choice between a glossy, professionally marketed cause and a much less glossy not so professionally marketed one we will tend towards the gloss.

So, I want to ask the question - its actually a question I'm going to be asking a few by email as well;

What is it that we at Day 4 need to do to get your support? How do we need to change in order to start to:

a) receive broad support and promotion from organisations (a number of organisations that I am involved with in one way or another will regularly promote "aid" type organisations or initiatives of "friends" but never seem to even look at Day 4) and;

b) receive wider support and promotion from individuals, online and in the real world?

It is really difficult to get your slice of the aid and development "pie" when you aren't able to grow your supporter base.

At the end of the day I have to say though, we don't have access to professional marketers, web and graphic designers or the print media. We don't have any celebrity poster-people or any big CHristian names endorsing us. So improving the way we present online and through our various promotional resources is going to be difficult for us.

At this point in time our supporter base and income isn't big enough to warrant spending hard earned funds on a marketing campain, especially when those same funds can be used to develop a sustainable project on the ground in Africa. So in this sense we are faced with a "catch 22" situation. And I know some of you will say "you have to spend money to make money".

Answers to these questions will really help me to understand what it is we need to do to be more appealing to the public and also perhaps to answer questions people maybe have going around their mind when they are confronted with our appeals or our organisation as a whole.

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