In Part 1 of this article I encouraged you to make this the year you begin to study psychology and apply it more to your integrated development (marketing and fundraising) strategy. I shared with you an infographic developed by marketing strategist Gregory Ciotti that some of the psychology underlying human behavior. Because there’s a lot for nonprofits to learn and apply, I’m taking you through them one by one. Today let’s complete the Top 10 list.Continue Reading
Today’s focus is on donor retention, as our year-long “Dive the Five” virtual course continues! In fact, you can use the principles you learn here for donor acquisition as well. In for-profit parlance, we’ll be discussing how to “convert customers.” In non-profit parlance it’s all about turning prospects into donors and donors into repeat donors.
I encourage you to make this the year you begin to study psychology and apply it more to your integrated development (marketing and fundraising) strategy. Continue Reading
They are simple.
They are easy to remember.
They really work.
Plus, if you wrap them up with some emotional color, you’ve got an offer that can’t be refused.
Let’s take a look.Continue Reading
I’m a huge fan of a too-little used tool when it comes to fundraising. It’s called behavioral neuroscience, and it’s pretty awesome stuff.
Moms use it all the time without evening thinking about it. Moms. Just. Know.
I’ll bet you even use it yourself. Unconsciously.
But what if you could use it intentionally to persuade prospective donors to say “yes” to investing in your cause? Or to give more often or with greater passion?
Today we’re going to talk about one foolproof way to get donors — and anyone — to do what you want them to do.
And it’s as simple as Mom saying “Because I said so!” Continue Reading
I’m about to clairify a subtle but very important point about what motivates philanthropic giving. After all, that’s what the “Clairification” blog 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 the people who show them the good that can be gained.
Seems counter-intuitive, right?
Absolutely. So here’s a little reminder that people don’t always behave as you might intuitively believe they would. Which is why fundraising is part art and part science. And here’s something we know from the research:
Fear of loss weighs heavier than hope of gainContinue Reading
Donor needs vary and evolve, depending on where they are in their own life cycle and their life cycle with your nonprofit. Do you ever wonder how you might help them meet their needs? How you might reward them for giving? You should — if you want to keep them as donors.
You may be familiar with Maslow’s “Theory of Human Motivation” where he breaks needs for human development and contentment down into steps that form a pyramid. Maslow suggests the basic human needs such as food, shelter, and sleep are required before you can pursue higher needs such as security, love and belonging, esteem and the need for self-actualization.
Sadly, just giving to charity doesn’t necessarily meet these higher-level needs. Donors may give out of guilt, fear, peer pressure (which doesn’t feel so good). Some give to be praised (meets esteem need, but only if you praise them). Some give to be accepted by peers (meets love & belonging need, but only if you offer opportunities to connect and feel loved)… and so forth. You see, giving is not always it’s own reward.
To create life-long donors imposes on your charity the obligation to do something proactive to fulfill your donor’s highest level needs.
Donors, like all human beings, are on a continual quest for meaning. It’s the existential search to be all that one can be. To feel self-actualized.
In non-psychological or theoretical terms, at the self-actualization pinnacle donors just feel darn good. They carry around a warm glow, representing the realization of their potential and inner peace.
This feeling is very powerful – and we human beings naturally seek it out. It’s one of reasons why even very poor give outsized proportions of their income to charity.
Another way to describe this is the search for meaning in life. For most people, meaning is deeply intertwined with community connections. Victor Frankl in his famous chronicle on the search for meaning wrote: love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire. Humans want to feel a sense of connection and a sense of purpose to life. Giving (time, money, and energy) is a central way that we strive to find meaning.
If your nonprofit doesn’t complete the exchange circuit for donors, their search for meaning gets cut short.
Want to keep more donors? This week’s Click-It will show you how in a number of different ways. Create magical experiences for supporters by taking a page from Disney. Craft a persuasive case for support by stepping into your donor’s shoes and asking yourself, and your team, some critical questions. Learn more about the importance of personalization by watching a video from Starbucks. Understand the psychology of the three different types of buyers (aka donors). And think critically about the number of appeals you send, and how this may help or hurt your donor acquisition, renewal and upgrade efforts. Plus you’ll find some “News You Can Use” (tons of really useful data and reports) at the bottom of this post. To your success! Continue Reading
If you’re a fan of late-night talk show host Jimmy Fallon, you know he sets aside time every Friday night to write thank you letters. I think of it as “TYIF” (“Thank You It’s Friday). Jimmy’s notes are usually creative and thought-provoking, like “Thank you, emails that say “You have successfully unsubscribed from these emails,” for completely missing the point. One of his band members plays some soothing music that’s conducive to thank you writing – after a while, the music alone is enough to get you in a grateful, thank-you-writing mood!
What if your nonprofit did the same thing?!Continue Reading
Stop Making Me — and Your Readers — Work
If reading your appeal seems like hard work to me, than why should I bother? I work all day! If reading your appeal seems like a struggle for comprehension, then what’s the point? I struggle to understand stuff all day.
My brain needs a rest.
Even more, my brain would enjoy a treat. Something that lights up my pleasure centers and makes me feel good.
Does your appeal do that for your would-be donors? Or does it require them to put in great effort to get through it?
Reading may be a breeze for you. But it’s not for everybody. Lots and lots of folks suffer from a range of “reading processing disorders” that make it difficult for them to plow through a bunch of dense text.Continue Reading