In a thoughtful and typically articulate blog post, Seth Godin posits questions that donors should ask themselves when choosing to support a charity. They include a variety of specific, non-specific, emotional and rational topic points. In general, they describe a general decision tree for donor giving, whether conscious or unconscious.
Any nonprofit specialist who is concerned with donor acquisition, retention and engagement, would do well to post this list as a daily reminder that donor-centric engagement, not organization-centric promotion, lies at the heart of all we do.
Perhaps Godin’s most enlightening donor self-question is this: What story do you tell yourself about you and your giving?
Creative strategists must never forget that prospects and donors tell a “giving story,” in which they, not their favored nonprofit organizations, are protagonists. The nonprofit’s achievements that their support helps to accomplish speak to a need in their own hearts, and do not in any way relate to an organizational vision or mission statement.
Engineers use a term called the angle of repose to describe the steepest slope at which an object remains at rest before gravity takes over and the object begins to fall downhill. Wallace Stegner used this notion in his wonderful novel of the same name to describe the movements of an American family.
Malcolm Gladwell uses the notion of a tipping point in his wonderful book of the same name, to define transformative social phenomena, and describes it as “the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point…”
Relative to nonprofit direct response marketing, it strikes me that it is the creative strategist’s job to use all the powerful tools in the fundraising toolbox to tease out a donor’s angle of repose or tipping point. Specifically, to understand the moment she decides to take action. That action could be financial contribution, activism, Continue reading
“The creatives around here never bring anything new to the table. They simply take orders.”
“The account teams around here don’t respect creative. We’re simply order-takers.”
Often, these sentiments exist within the same organizational culture. In fact, where one sentiment exists, it’s almost axiomatic that you’ll hear the other. And that’s a shame.
Across many years of a career in creative consultation to direct response marketing, I have occasionally been asked to “fix the creative situation.” That sounds onerous, and sometimes it is. Like a big ship, the cultural inertia of an organization requires enormous effort to turn. Culture drives the daily perspective of every employee, and Continue reading