group shot - youngish and diverse shutterstock_411144076We live in a world of diversity, with different people, in different countries, holding different beliefs….

We live in a world of individuality, with segmentation and personalization being hugely important to communication effectiveness.

Yet our experience in India recently confirms that there are important commonalities among people, regardless of country or upbringing.

Let me explain….

Last month, we launched our operation in India. Little in the way of traditional fundraising (as we know it in the West) had been done in that market. Yet we were convinced that the strategies we have perfected in North America, South America, Europe, and Australia, would resonate in India as well. Still, it was a risk. As stated, India does not have a tradition of direct-mail fundraising. There are no large donor files to leverage. We didn’t have years of test-and-control creative to capitalize on.

So what did we do?

We custom-built a list, based on demographic and psychographic probabilities. We leveraged the communication techniques that have been so successful in Western countries. We tested a series of premiums proven cost-effective, time and again, in other markets. And it all worked spectacularly.

Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised. Appealing to people’s better nature… attracting attention with cost-effective premiums… and identifying potential donors through our precise data-targeting techniques works. This experience also confirms that certain behaviors and hot buttons are consistent among humans, regardless of their backgrounds.

So for all struggling nonprofits, this experience in India should give you hope that even when starting with nothing, success can be achieved.

Thank you, India, for confirming the goodness of people.

Don McKenzie is President & Chief Growth Officer of Innovairre Communications, which supports more than 500 nonprofit organizations around the world. Contact us at; subscribe to our newsletter here; and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.