Fundraising Appeal Psychology: Show People How to Avoid Loss

toddlers fighting over toy

We really can’t stand to lose things – it’s something bred into us early on.

 

I’m about to clairify a subtle but very important point about what motivates philanthropic giving. After all, that’s what “Clairification” is all about.

It’s often said that people give to people.  So true.

But people are funny.

People will often give more to people who show them the pain that can be avoided through their gift, rather than to the people who show them the good that can be gained.Continue Reading

How to Use Peer-to-Peer Fundraising to Grow Year-End Giving

Ask your advocates to raise their hands on your behalf!

Ask your advocates to raise their hands on your behalf!

 

Thinking about how to get more new donors this year?  Wondering if you should purchase lists?

Consider this: Response to peer-to-peer fundraising is about 25% compared with direct-to-donor campaigns where response is 1 – 2%.

Why?  People respond better to people than they do to organizations.  Especially when it’s people they know and trust.  Continue Reading

How to Humanize Your Nonprofit Work by Building Empathy

empathy word cloudI am so inspired!

I recently learned about Van Jones’ virtual reality experiment, Day of Empathy via this video (thank you, thank you, thank you to Nancy Schwartz for writing about this on her Getting Attention nonprofit marketing blog: OMG Experiment to Connect & Activate (Dream Corps Case Study). The idea is to use virtual reality to build empathy (i.e., to help people walk in the shoes of others) in order to motivate action.

The idea of using virtual reality to build empathy on a communal scale is brilliant!

And it ties back to Darwin’s theory of survival.Continue Reading

Get Social to Create Awareness for Your Nonprofit

Engage all donor generations by getting social!

Engage all donor generations by getting social!

 

The majority of nonprofits are not paying enough attention to social media. This may have been understandable five years ago. Today, it’s just plain dumb.

If You’re Absent No one Can See You

Nonprofits constantly talk about their need to “build awareness.” In our digital world, it should be patently obvious that if you want to be found you need a strong online presence – and particularly a social media presence. You can’t raise money from folks who don’t know you exist.Continue Reading

The Secret of Donor-Centered Fundraising: No Money Involved

The heart of donor retention: It's not about moneyDonor-centered fundraising is not about money.

Huh?  If that first sentence has you scratching your head, it’s time to take a moment.

I know. You’re thinking this is just semantics.  You’re thinking that, of course, fundraising is about money.  You’re thinking we can pretend it’s about something else but, seriously, we need money to fulfill our missions. I know what you’re thinking.

I want you to stop thinking that way.  Because it’s getting in the way of you raising more (ahem) money.  So… close your eyes. Breathe.  Clear your mind. Ready? Okay… now…Continue Reading

How to Use Nonprofit Social Media to Reinforce Donor Relationships

You can strengthen donor relationships using social media

You can strengthen donor relationships using social media

 

To survive and thrive in the current zeitgeist, all nonprofits must master at least five skills, of which one is online social fundraising.  There are numerous reasons why this is so; today I want to focus on using social media strategies to build dynamic donor relationships.

The chief reason this is so critical is that nonprofits are hemorrhaging –losing, on average, over half of their donors every year.

Whatever nonprofits are doing currently, it’s not working especially well. So adding an additional relatively inexpensive donor retention strategy into your existing donor development plan makes sense. I encourage you to read my complete in-depth article on the subject on the Maximize Social Business blog. But if you’re pressed for time, here are some quick highlights.Continue Reading

8 Tips Fundraisers Can Learn From Street Beggars

Your money can become my sandwich

What I learned from a street beggar* (see “Note” below).

Last week a street beggaraka panhandler asked me for money and I gave it to her.  I don’t usually do this because I wonder how the money may be used and tend to give, instead, to philanthropic organizations that help the homeless and marginally employed population.  This time was different, and I want to share with you the lessons learned.  Here’s her pitch:
Can you please give me $2.00 so I can buy a sandwich? Maybe a little later for lunch?
This amazingly simple request – and everything about her approach and follow-up –works on multiple levels.  And the principles apply not just to street beggars but also to nonprofit fundraising:

Continue Reading

Be Clairaudient to Make Your Nonprofit Donors Happy

Listening Woman

Do you listen underneath what they say to truly hear what your donors want?

 

Ever hear of “A.Word.A.Day” with Anu Garg?  I hadn’t. Until a friend recently shared with me that day’s word. She said, “this one’s all about you!” The word?

Clairaudience.

It’s a perfect word for fundraisers, because it’s precisely what you must do – a skill you absolutely must have – if you’re to succeed with sustainable fundraising.

It means the ability to hear what is in people’s hearts and minds. 

It’s a lot like clairvoyance, but it brings in the audience perception. It’s the ability to “hear” what is inaudible — by getting a read on what folks are thinking and feeling on the inside. Despite what they may reveal on the outside.

Guess who is good at this?Continue Reading

12 Social Media Strategies Nonprofits Can Steal from Presidential Candidates

12SocialMediaStrategiestoStealWant to learn how to do digital fundraising? I’ve added my own thoughts to an assessment of GOP presidential candidates’ digital strategies by Marketing Profs to give you some great takeaways as to what is currently resonating online.

The candidates know how important a killer digital strategy is when it comes to finding and connecting with potential supporters, and the importance of digital was confirmed by a recent study from Pew Research. So they’re all doing it, some more successfully than others. Nonprofits can learn by studying what works; what doesn’t.Continue Reading

8 Steps of Your Effective Nonprofit Social Media Routine

8_steps_of_your_effective_nonprofit_social_media_routineA routine is a sequence of actions regularly followed; a fixed program. Too often, I find that nonprofits engage in social media along more of a catch-as-catch-can program. Nothing fixed about it.

To maximize social media productivity your practices must become habitual. And, of course, your habits must be good ones if you’re to be successful.

I’ve found that successful nonprofit marketers have 8 common social media and content marketing routines that get them valuable actions.

Take a moment to consider whether or not you do you these things systematically.

After all, you don’t spend time on marketing communications just for your own amusement, do you?

  • Hopefully, you know precisely what you want folks to think, feel and do once you’ve messaged them. Check?
  • Then you put consistent strategies in place to achieve your objectives. Check?

If you’re not quite sure you’ve got good social media habits in place, take a few minutes to introspect.

Read this post — and maybe the two posts I contributed to Maximize Social Business on which this is based: 8 Routine Social Media Practices of Successful Nonprofits and 4 Nonprofit Social Media Habits that Unlock Valuable Actions.

Your 8-Step Routine:

  1. Build meaningful relationships
  2. Be constituent-centered
  3. Use psychology of persuasion and neuroscience
  4. Tell a story
  5. Get visual
  6. Connect with influencers
  7. Create a balance of desired action responses
  8. Measure your effectiveness; adjust

Build Relationships with Potential Donors

The first four routines are geared to assure you stop talking at folks and begin building relationships with folks.

What selling and fundraising have in common is relationship-building. Fundraising has always been about building relationships with people who are, or will be, ready, willing and able to give.

Increasingly, nonprofits are leveraging technology to build relationships with potential supporters.

Get the Actions You Seek

The next four routines are about assuring that once you connect you get desired, specific results.

Generally, your goals will fall into one or more of these three categories: (1) create awareness about your mission, (2) drive purchases from those who benefit from your mission, and (3) raise funds to sustain your mission. Each category demands different calls to action.

Stop winging your social media strategy. Decide where you’re headed; plan ahead to assure you’re not wasting your time and energy to get someplace you don’t really want to go. To paraphrase Lewis Carroll in Through the Looking Glass: “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll very likely get there.

Ultimately, you’ll achieve success when you align your values with your constituents’ values. When the content you offer is content they can use. When you make your story their story.

That’s the stuff of which successful nonprofit marketing is made.

Social Media Tips and Resources Galore!

More than 100 Social Media Tips and Resources!

Hop on Board the Effective Nonprofit Social Media Train!

Grab the Clairification Hop on Board Nonprofit Social Media Guide. Fundraising and marketing have changed more in the past 5 years than in the previous 50 – it’s time to hop on board the train to the 21st century, and beyond. It’s free to subscribers! Plus, that gets you a 15-minute chat with me. No-brainer, right? Go for it!