About a year ago, I nicked this image off the internet and started telling everyone that it represents pretty much everything you need to know about the development of fundraising propositions.
As I hope you know, that’s Itchy & Scratchy from the Simpsons. And here, in a nutshell, is my theory.
To raise money, you need an itch and a scratch. An itch is something that upsets you, that stops you relaxing and compels you to act. A scratch is an action that not only relieves the itch but – and this is the vital bit – also feels good.
If you have a clear, uncomplicated itch and a clear, uncomplicated and appropriately priced scratch then you will get a good response. Like this.
Conversely, if you have a vague, complex itch and a diffuse, non-specific scratch then you’ll get a poor response.
As is immediately evident, the world is full of itches – although some are itchier than others.
Simple, discrete and affordable scratches, however, are few and far between. Which means that we have to work very hard to find them and negotiate very hard to get them out in front of prospects.
Anyway, my stolen Itchy & Scratchy cartoon has now travelled far and wide with the Open team and others. Most recently, it went down quite well at the Greenpeace do in Amsterdam – prompting Paul DG to tell me that I should patent it.
So there you go – my Itch & Scratch spiel is recorded from posterity. I now look forward to hearing how George Smith was saying all this while I was still in short trousers.