Printed brochures versus living brochures

Great things are happening over at Make It Transformational, the daily Transformational Giving blog created collaboratively by the Giving and Training Officers of Mission Increase Foundation.

Check out particularly L.A. Regional Giving and Training Officer Matt Bates’ post on how a local homeless shelter’s invitation to him to come down and share a meal with the homeless men was far more impactful than any brochure could ever be:

This invitation highlights a great marketing principle: invite people to participate in the tiniest little way in your cause, rather than throwing tons of information at them and expecting them to act on their own.  Rather than hand me a brochure and ask me to watch a dvd about all the great things they do, Proyecto Pastoral invites me to directly participate in the cause of loving and feeding the homeless.

It’s part of what we’re teaching this month in our Marketing Your Ministry workshops:

Printed brochures are dead. Long live “living brochures”–your champions who, equipped by you to comprehensively impact the cause, recruit others in their sphere of influence to do the same thing.

Northern California Giving and Training Officer Tracy Tucker puts it this way:

  • Printed brochures describe the ministry…while living brochures embody the ministry.
  • Printed brochures flaunt the accomplishments of the ministry…while living brochures validate the cause through their lifestyle.
  • Printed brochures get attention via clever messages…while living brochures get attention via changed lives.
  • Printed brochures have an impact limited to statistics or stories…while living brochures have an impact that everyone around them can see.
  • Printed brochures get recycled…while living brochures get involved.

Concludes Bates:

I can’t remember the last time I told my family about that great brochure I just received from a nonprofit.  In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever done this.  Have you?I can’t remember the last time I told my family about that great brochure I just received from a nonprofit.  In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever done this.  Have you?
I can’t remember the last time I told my family about that great brochure I just received from a nonprofit.  In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever done this.  Have you?
Me neither, Batesy. And how about you, dear reader?

About Pastor Foley

The Reverend Dr. Eric Foley is CEO and Co-Founder, with his wife Dr. Hyun Sook Foley, of Voice of the Martyrs Korea, supporting the work of persecuted Christians in North Korea and around the world and spreading their discipleship practices worldwide. He is also the International Ambassador for the International Christian Association, the global fellowship of Voice of the Martyrs sister ministries. Pastor Foley is a much sought after speaker, analyst, and project consultant on the North Korean underground church, North Korean defectors, and underground church discipleship. He and Dr. Foley oversee a far-flung staff across Asia that is working to help North Koreans and Christians everywhere grow to fullness in Christ. He earned the Doctor of Management at Case Western Reserve University's Weatherhead School of Management in Cleveland, Ohio.
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6 Responses to Printed brochures versus living brochures

  1. And really, you’re lucky if printed brochures even GET recycled!

    Not only are printed brochures limited to statistics or stories – they’re limited to be static. Living brochures can grow, change, and develop, but printed brochures essentially are a snapshot of a ministry at a certain time and place. That’s why they’re dead. They have to wait for the next budget year to be renewed.

    And for someone who used to spend quite a bit of time writing brochures, it’s nice to be free from them!

  2. Matt Bates says:

    I went the the Proyecto Pastoral site visit last night and it was a fantastic experience on a number of levels. The food was prepared by a group of Hispanic women from Paramount, none of whom, I would guess, has ever been the target of a major donor call, yet who all had something incredibly valuable to contribute. They come every month. The food was excellent– chicken mole, beans, rice, corn tortillas, watermelon and water.
    The entire ministry is built around community transformation, and by that they mean quite literally the surrounding neighborhood. As such, they don’t accept large donations of food or money from the outside to run the program. If the local community members– most of whom live below the federal poverty line themselves– don’t take ownership and support the shelter, then the shelter closes. It’s been running successfully since 1986.

  3. EFoley says:

    A great example of TG, plus a phenomenal restaurant review, MBTS. You’re the last of the Renaissance men.

  4. Pingback: Changing your logo? Spend less time and money to achieve the same level of ambivalence « Transformational Giving

  5. I will use these principles in a program where I work…looking forward to observing the results.

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