Think: Chipotle, not Max & Erma’s

Chipotle – One product (meat in preferred wrapper with toppings) – lots of options: taco, burrito or bowl. Same toppings to choose from for every product. One line. Move. Fast.

Max & Erma’s: Infinite products AND infinite options. Choice is overwhelming.

Chipotle has one of the highest revenue per sq ft numbers per store. Max and Erma’s filed for bankruptcy this week.

This is a metaphor for simplicity.

How does this apply to funding? Your funding message should be more Chipotle less M&E. I’m working now with a youth organization that works in schools. We’ve developed one message around a ‘School Partnership’.

The School Partnership: $10K/yr for 3 years. Sponsors two schools (20 classrooms/500 students) for three years.

We have 15 employees at this org – all of whom come in contact with potential funders each day. Now, when someone says, “This is incredible, how can I help?” We don’t wait to schedule a meeting with development… anyone can communicate this message.

One message – many choices: Of course the prospect can come back and fund ONE school. Of course the prospect can chose to fund only one year. However, now we have ONE baseline ask for $30K with a ton of options.

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