The "Mercedes me" idea includes "move me" and "inspire me." Each is a commitment to ongoing engagement with the Mercedes owner. Move me is about car sharing services that address getting from one place to another - car2go, car2gether and park2gther. And inspire me is focused on gathering ideas about what Mercedes owners think would be great features of a new car rather than having car designers decide what product they want to add.
So apply this to your donors. Would you want to have the experience of dealing with you that your donors are having? Are you a Mercedes or a VW business?
Can you think of new ways to "move your donors" in new ways to engage with you? Is it just a matter of pushing them up the ladder of giving? Are you challenging them with alternative ways to help you move the organization forward?
Are your donors inspired to work with you on new ideas? Can they provide other ways to face the challenges you face? Do you invite them to be part of your organization beyond just financial support?
Most of us and our board members would shudder if we thought of ourselves as car salesmen, but the fact is we can learn from the auto industry. Google is making a driverless car - probably so everybody can spend the whole trip surfing the web! Apple is considering making medical devices - more gadgets to help solve new challenges for their followers. How's that for forward thinking!
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