Keep Your Eye on the Goal


Drew Brees and the Saints offense. (Ed Schipul/Flickr)

Forgive me, but I’m going to use a sports analogy. Football, to be specific. When quarterback Drew Brees and the rest of the offensive unit of the New Orleans Saints take the field, they have just one thing in mind: score. They are focused on moving the football down the field and crossing the goal line. That’s it. Nothing else matters.

This is the way it should be in marketing and fundraising pieces. There should be a clear goal or purpose. Get the prospect, customer, or audience to do something: visit a Web site, request information, make a donation, pat head and rub stomach, something.

Here’s another key: Ideally, there should be just one goal or purpose.

The last few days I’ve been working on a fundraising appeal that has too many elements. My client agrees, I think, but her internal client is asking for a lot: to direct the audience to a personal URL, to include a separate ask with three other ways to give, to include a bumper sticker in the mailing, and to incorporate a special message that doesn’t appear to relate to anything else.

I struggled with it because, like the Saints quarterback, I wanted to drive toward just one goal: get the audience to click their personal URL, for instance. Instead, it felt muddled, even though I did my best to write a cohesive appeal.

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One thought on “Keep Your Eye on the Goal

  1. Neil,

    Multi-purpose tools only work in Alton Brown’s TV kitchen. Focus. Focus. Focus. And to continue your analogy, Drew only calls one play per down. Focus within focus.

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