...when it comes to the buttons, ribbons, wristbands, t-shirts – all the stuff that people wear with a nonprofit’s brand – more is not always better. Sometimes, more can be, well – less. Here’s why.
You have a great idea. You run it up the flagpole to leadership. They love it! Then, nothing happens. You wait. You push it up there again. They love it again. They gush over your creativity and forethought. Then, nothing happens.
Most people think that anything that gets people to focus attention on their nonprofit leads to good things happening. Increased attention = increased revenue. And no matter what your mission is, you can find ways to connect with prospective constituents. Facebook, of course, is the biggest fish in the pond.
In a recent blog titled, Why I Care About Your Cause, But Don’t Donate, we wrote about the importance of focusing on the donor, fundraiser, or constituent in order to persuade them to support your nonprofit. If numbers are any indication of relevance, this was one of the most-read blogs that we have ever written. This strategy struck a chord.
Sometimes a nonprofit’s fundraising seems to go into a death spiral. Revenue isn’t just flat, it’s declining. The interventions attempted don’t work, and “big change” ideas won’t fly.
“So much of the general population has this condition, I know that we’ll be able to get a huge percentage activated to fundraise.”
Thus, begins the path to your personal fundraising hell, begat when you first told your CDO what you thought could happen.
In the last few years the term “implicit bias” has gone mainstream, and the idea has infiltrated even the backwoods of Virginia.
If your job is in peer-to-peer fundraising, you are in the movement business. Although no two movements are exactly the same, they all have some commonalities. The Ted Talk by Derek Sivers, “How to Start a Movement,” captures the features of movements beautifully in just three minutes. (Go watch it and come back. This will make so much more sense if you do.)
Remember Maslow’s hierarchy of needs? Just about everybody got a dose of Maslow somewhere along the line, either in high school social studies class, college psychology or sociology courses. And if it somehow slipped by you in school, you may have read about it in management or productivity books. Even books on project management talk about it.
Recently we spent a day and a half with a couple of dozen chief marketing officers from nonprofits around the US. Unlike chief development officers, who stay awake nights thinking about generating revenue, CMOs are charged with the care and feeding of their nonprofit’s brand; the way that their mission is presented to the public.
While meeting with Turnkey’s clients in New York City this week a recurring question came up – what is the state of fundraising walks? Is the walk dying off?
Recently we were contacted to provide commentary for some forthcoming research. The request involved explaining the gender difference in various types of peer-to-peer events.
There were 30 homeless women living in our church last week. On Saturday, they left us, bound for another church, which was coordinated by CARITAS, a nonprofit in Richmond, Va.
When we look at the people who serve on volunteer leadership committees for nonprofit peer-to-peer fundraising, we assume those people are our highest fundraisers and that’s how they came to be on the committees. Or we assume that these folks have a strong mission connection and that is why they are on the committee.
Maybe it is time to accept that walk is dead. Maybe enough people have done walk that we just can’t attract enough participants. Maybe the digi-verse gives them a new way to fundraise, and they don’t need to face-to-face with each other. Maybe no amount of lipstick is going to dress up this pig.
Wall Street investors famously coined the phrase, “It’s all about the Benjamins,” referring to the hundred dollar bill that bears Benjamin Franklin’s likeness. As it turns out, Franklin can give us a few tips about how to maximize fundraising dollars.
The first time I attended an Association of Fundraising Professionals meeting, I searched for the peer-to-peer fundraising sessions. There weren’t any. Each year I would go look, and there were never any sessions. Recently, a few are showing up, but they typically only involve peer-to-peer fundraising peripherally.