#givingtuesday - behaviors lead to belief

#GivingTuesday clearly represents an opportunity for income. And, we all know it is potentially a lead generation device for new, long-term relationships. But how do we take advantage of those leads? We employ the almost Machiavellian techniques we’ve become known for at Turnkey. Although we use techniques that are not exactly, welllll…upfront, we do it for the greater good.

What we know about human nature is that, counterintuitively, behaviors lead to belief. That crazy fact of life (yes it really is) means that if we can put someone’s body in motion in an explicit behavior we can help their minds create a narrative that makes that action make sense.

For example, consider the Ice Bucket Challenge. Lots of people dumped iced water on their heads for reasons completely unconnected to the ALS Association. It was fun. They got to show off. I can “nominate” my friends…even more fun! But after the frenzy was largely over, the ALSA Walk to Defeat ALS experienced a substantial boost, 37% in income, with no additional funds beyond what was already budgeted.

What happened to those frigid folks? Psychologically, once they had exhibited the behavior of dumping water on their heads, their minds had to come up with a narrative that made sense. That narrative was, “I support ALS.” Psychologists call this “self-perception theory.”

So how does this relate to #GivingTuesday? People give on GivingTuesday because of the excitement, because it makes them feel part of something bigger (also a strong motivator of humans). They may give to new causes just to be part of giving. And that is the moment upon which we must capitalize, because the donor just engaged in a behavior and will shortly rationalize that behavior with something. It is up to us to help the donor interpret that behavior as a result of their connection to your cause.

Then, you give them another chance to do it again with another opportunity for an explicit behavior that will fuel their internal narrative of “I love XYZ.” The great thing is, since humans are inclined to be consistent in their behavior, and you’ve now gained a toehold of alignment, they are likely to say yes to your request for a behavior. At some point your behavior requests can be elevated to behaviors great for your nonprofit, like fundraising or becoming a recurring donor. Rinse and repeat forever.


givingtuesday infographic

For other great reading and insights on #givingtuesday check out these resources.