Why Fundraising Boot Camp Makes Sense

Personal fitness training is now a ~$9 billion industry in the United States and employs 300,000 people.*

When you think about how expensive it is to hire a trainer – upwards of $150 / hour in NYC – these are pretty astounding numbers. It’s ‘astounding’ because most of the money being spent is based on exercises that most people can do on their own - totally for free. Seriously – what percent of the people willing to shell out that kind of money really don’t know how to use a bench press or work a treadmill? I’m guessing that the number is close to zero.

That said, it’s really no mystery, why we are willing to spend so much money on this stuff. It comes down to two things: (1) expertise and (2) accountability. The investment of money and time is probably a bargain for those that actually achieve their goals - particularly considering that most don’t.

After all, just knowing how to use a piece of equipment is different than knowing how to use it properly. Things like form, technique, and overall training regimen all play a role in generating results. Something a career trainer will understand better than. Plus, a client is more likely to push themselves to get that “one more rep” when they have someone standing over them providing motivation and support.

It’s pretty much the same thing with most of our fund marketing clients. It’s not as if your typical CIO has never written a marketing deck or given critical thought to her message. It’s just not what she spends her day focused on – so why would she know the right combination of tools, processes and questions to ask herself in order to maximize success.

Our approach is more like a ‘boot camp’ than some others – intensive with accountability required of all involved. But regardless of the approach, when working with a marketing firm, the objective is for the message and those delivering the message to experience a “transformation” of sorts. Like going from being in ‘okay’ shape before working with a fitness trainer to being in ‘beach’ shape after.

The job of a marketer is to challenge the manager - and just like a fitness trainer – to separate perceptions of what works (or used to work) versus reality of what works now. It’s to help them discover who they really are and why someone should care about that…to distill a long, complex message into a powerful, yet simple and distinct story.

It’s like looking at one of those before and after body photos. Most of us just have several versions of the ‘before’ body – just as most managers have several versions of the ‘before’ message. But really, what’s the point of making the effort if you never get to the ‘after?’


By JD David

April 2019JD David