A New Year Resolution for Non Profit Organizations

Cousin Eddie, the infamous befuddled relative from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, is someone who makes the hair on the back of neck stand on end.

Cousin Eddie will say and do the most outlandish things that leave you forcing a smile, scratching and shaking your head, and questioning the integrity of your family.

In marketing terms, Cousin Eddie is not relevant and does not succeed in connecting with his intended target markets.

More on Cousin Eddie in a moment.

This year, my “year end” mail started to arrive a few weeks before Thanksgiving.  You know those stamped deliveries in the presorted envelopes with your name or organization misspelled (year in and year out).

Some of the messages share the “good” the organization is accomplishing in the community; others suggest ways for you to get involved.  All include a return envelope for you to include a “year end gift.”


These abusers of trust, relying on a year-end “ask” to make budget, lack relevance and an accurate database.  They are the “Cousin Eddies” of the nonprofit world.

Instead of providing memorable stories, they give us paper cuts and a quiet angst that we will never support an organization that resorts to these tactics.

My New Year resolution for the marketing associate at these nonprofits is to find a way to create a relevant connection to your donor base (target audience).

If you don’t have time, ask for a professional’s help.  The Public Relations Consultants Group has a number of qualified professionals who can help you to be successful.

Submitted by Tom Garrity, President of The Garrity Group Public Relations based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

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