Lessons for Nonprofits from Seth Godin

Seth Godin lessons for nonprofits

I had the pleasure last night of meeting Seth Godin, marketer and best-selling author. His most recent book is Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?

He spoke at a program sponsored by the Can Do Society, a student group at Canisius College in Buffalo.

Since they say that actions speak louder than words, let’s start with his actions. I e-mailed Godin a few days ago with a comment about his blog. Within an hour or two, I received a response from Godin. That same day, I e-mailed my county legislator. I still haven’t heard back from my legislator.

To Seth Godin, I was just a faceless reader of his free blog. To the county legislator, I’m the one who gives him a job and pays his salary. Yet one made me feel valued and the other made me feel as if he thought I was a nuisance.

How do you treat your donors, volunteers and the people who use your services?

Godin espoused some provocative ideas in his talk, and I’ll share some of those with you next week.


  1. 1

    Connie, good point!

    It’s so important to be “real” especially when using all the great technology tools at our disposal. The personal touch makes all the difference and it can be done using new communication mediums.

    Thanks for the post.

    Comment by Jann Mirchandani — April 26, 2010 @ 12:38 PM

  2. 2

    Connie, Wow, wish I could have joined you! I recently finished Linchpin, and I highly recommend it for entrepreneurs and nonprofits alike. For anyone who may be interested, here is a link to my feedback on Linchpin: http://www.bit.ly/cW90xR Looking forward to your posts! Thanks! Blase

    Comment by Blase Ciabaton — April 26, 2010 @ 2:22 PM

  3. 3

    All customers, internal and external, should be treated with the utmost quality level of customer service as if they were our only customer. That personal touch is what keeps them coming back and they’ll remember you forever! Excellent post!

    Comment by Rachel — April 26, 2010 @ 2:29 PM

  4. 4

    You’re right. The personal touch does make all the difference. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment.

    Comment by Connie — April 26, 2010 @ 2:50 PM

  5. 5

    You would have enjoyed the event. Seth Godin is a good speaker, too. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on his book.

    Comment by Connie — April 26, 2010 @ 2:54 PM

  6. 6

    It’s definitely important to pay attention to our customers. It’s not always easy, but Seth Godin shows that it’s possible, even if you’re a busy person.
    Thanks so much for your comment!

    Comment by Connie — April 26, 2010 @ 3:00 PM

  7. 7


    Good post on a guy whose marketing perspectives (and other viewpoints) mean a lot to me and, I think, should mean a lot to most folks in the nonprofit sector. So much of what Seth says is applicable to the nonprofit advancement process.

    In fact, the last post on my own brand new blog is focused on one of Seth’s blog posts from recent months. Take a look at: http://www.tcg-advancementperspectives.blogspot.com.

    Comment by Raymond J. Mitchell — April 26, 2010 @ 3:13 PM

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    Yes, I agree that nonprofits can learn a lot from Seth Godin. Thanks so much for sharing your post.

    Comment by Connie — April 26, 2010 @ 7:46 PM

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    What’s even more impressive is that Seth answers his own questions. Countless times I’ve received correspondence from legislators that was incorrect and written by an intern. It’s one thing to have someone else respond, but make sure they respond to the correct issue.

    Comment by Jeanne — April 28, 2010 @ 10:37 AM

  10. 10

    I totally agree. Thanks for the input!

    Comment by Connie — April 28, 2010 @ 11:27 AM

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