Nonprofit Marketing Storytime: Pole Dancing for Jesus

FG pole dancing studio

The problem: Filling this studio with Christian women

Remember when I told you using stories is a good way to illustrate a difficult concept?  Today, I’m going to follow my own advice.

Once upon a time. . .

Ok, more like last week, there was a woman named Crystal who had a problem.

Crystal opened a pole dancing studio in a small Texas town.  She was an experienced pole dancing teacher and she knew pole dancing was good exercise.  She also knew there were women in her town who would enjoy the classes she had to offer because exercise was important to them and traditional forms of exercise were fairly boring.

The problem was the small town where Crystal lived was full of devoutly Christian people.  As a Christian herself, Crystal wasn’t interested in changing that–but traditional views of Christianity and traditional views of pole dancing didn’t go together very well.  Crystal knew in order for the women in her town to try pole dancing she would have to help them think about it in very non-traditional ways.

Her first idea was important, if a little obvious.  Maybe, I should offer some classes for free, she thought.  That way women who are afraid they won’t be any good at it can try it without spending any money.  Once they get a taste of it, I know they will want to continue.

Crystal knew the money barrier was only part of the problem.  The real issue is pole dancing is associated with stripping, and stripping is not something good Christian women do.  Therefore she needed a way to break the association between pole dancing and strippers and create an association between pole dancing and something central to Christianity.

Pole Dancing for Jesus was born.  On the second Sunday of each month, Crystal offers the free class after Sunday services.  Instead of traditional dance music, the students dance  to upbeat, contemporary Christian music.

Now, women who are curious about pole dancing have a way to try it out.  The “for Jesus” part provides the bridge they needed to be able to sample the classes without starting rumors about the preschool teacher becoming a stripper.  Once the “for Jesus” classes take off the pole dancing-stripper connection will lose steam and taking the regular pole dancing classes won’t be such a big deal.

Crystal is happy.  Her new students are happy.  Her students’ neighbors might be a little less happy since that’s one less thing to gossip about, but they are not part of Crystal’s target market so for the sake of this story their happiness is not very important.

Your Turn

What keeps your potential supporters from joining your cause? Share your insurmountable barrier below and we’ll help you come up with your own “Pole Dancing for Jesus” style solution*.

*No actual pole dancing required.

2 thoughts on “Nonprofit Marketing Storytime: Pole Dancing for Jesus

  1. It sounds like Crystal has good intentions however the traditional Christian folks will always associate it with stripping. But let’s take this into account Rock n’ Roll at one point was also not accepted by the Christian community and now we have Christian Rock. So although right now pole dancing is not accepted in her community she might be on to something. I work with two non-profit orgs that are always looking for ways to raise money, maybe we ought to give pole dancing a shot. Pole Dancing to Feed the Needy!

    • Ha! Pole Dancing for the Needy makes me laugh. I’d probably try supporter walls before jumping to pole dancing fundraisers–but perhaps I’m just not quite visionary enough 🙂
      I also agree that at least for now, the “for Jesus” isn’t going to be enough to convert (so to speak) the more traditional to pole dance as worship. I would not be surprised however if she picks up some less traditional Christian customers–which is likely what she’s going for. . .

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