Crossing the Chasm

Messaging Approach

There’s a surprising parallel between fundraising and selling technology products.

I found it in Geoffrey Moore’s famous book from 1991, Crossing The Chasm.

The graphic above is a direct “translation” from a graphic featured in the book. Except in this case I’ve made it about fundraising, not about selling tech products.

One of the main theses of the book is that the messaging used to attract “early adopters” will not work well when trying to attract what’s called the “early majority.” And technology companies miss this all the time because the company itself is filled with experts and early-adopters.

Sound familiar?

Doesn’t that “rhyme” with how the messaging nonprofits use in the early years does not work well when trying to achieve their next level of growth? And how nonprofits miss this because the nonprofit itself is filled with experts?

I know the graphic above takes some thinking about, but I’ve never seen a clearer picture that illustrates how the donors at your organization’s next stage of growth are different than your current donors – and therefore will likely require different messaging and tactics to be acquired.

Of course, this isn’t true for all organizations. But in my experience it’s true for a) smaller organizations who aren’t growing as fast as they’d like, and b) organizations whose growth has plateaued for many years.

If you think your organization is having a hard time crossing the chasm, keep reading this blog and check out Work Less, Raise More. The copywriting practices and communications strategies we help you with are exactly the types of things that help organizations cross the chasm.

And if you’d like Better Fundraising’s help crossing your chasm, take two minutes to fill out this form! We’d love to chat.

Remember: your organization is perfectly designed to raise what you’ve raised this year. If you’re looking for breakthrough growth, you’re probably going to have to start doing something different. And recognizing that is the first step.


Steven Screen is Co-Founder of The Better Fundraising Company and lead author of its blog. With over 25 years' fundraising experience, he gets energized by helping organizations understand how they can raise more money. He’s a second-generation fundraiser, a past winner of the Direct Mail Package of the Year, and data-driven.

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