The concept of “choice” might seem like an odd one in the nonprofit sector, especially when it refers to consumers rather than prospective donors. After all, many nonprofits are established to help people who have little in the way of choice.
In the updated edition of his book “Managing a Nonprofit Organization” Thomas Wolf discusses choice, especially as it pertains to marketing and branding. Choice is not just about donors, but also about constituents and name recognition.
In an age when people have an unprecedented array of customized choices they can make with the flick of an index finger, nonprofits must be aware of personalized consumer demands. On the other hand, Wolf warned, research shows consumers opting out altogether when offered too many choices. He offers these considerations about choices:
- In most cases, the greater the opportunity for consumers to choose the features of what they purchase, the better they will like it. For example, symphony organizers have learned that despite numerous subscription offerings, a “select your own” series is often most popular;
- Despite the desire to customize, it is important to limit offerings to a small number so that consumers will not be overwhelmed and thus discouraged from acting; and,
- Consumers often flock to “experts” and becoming familiar with them and gaining entry to their preferred lists can be extremely beneficial.