How do we make distinctions when we do what so many other nonprofits do?
Won’t we risk confusing our volunteers with talk like this?
Why would volunteers talk about distinctions when many struggle to explain the basics of what we do?
People in fast food restaurants used to think they were selling food. But McDonald's taught them they were getting convenience and fast service.
Nobody these days thinks that Starbucks is in the coffee business. You can get great coffee countless other places for one quarter of what you pay. At Starbucks, what you get is the experience of the coffee house. In fact, notice how many people aren’t even drinking coffee while they pass the hours sitting there.
So to help you think about what you are really offering, these questions might offer some clues about your distinctions.
What ways does your organization provide different benefits from what others offer?
- How you deliver your services?
- What market segments you serve?
- Who leads your efforts?
- Why do you get the results you do?
- How do you create some distinctive offerings?
- Can you determine what people really value as your benefits?
One easy way to find the answers is to ask people. Your supporters, your clients, your employees may all have ideas that will help you find your distinctive offerings. And build your success the way McDonald's or Starbucks has done.
Have fun thinking and talking about this. You may be surprised at what you learn.
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