Author Archives: DonorDreams

Are you making decisions for your board members’ time?


Macro photo of tooth wheel mechanism with PARTICIPATING concept letters

Just the other day I was in a conference room with a non-profit executive director and their board president. I was asking questions such as:

  • why did your board decide to go from meeting every month to every other month?
  • why are we having a hard time getting board members to the table to engage in a little planning work?
  • why is it that getting board members to participate is still difficult even though we keep doing things to make it easier?

You get the idea.

Of course, the answers to these questions aren’t easy and they can vary from organization-to-organization. The following are just a few explanations:

  • they are recruiting volunteers with the wrong traits, skills and experiences to serve on their board
  • they aren’t doing a good job with setting expectations during the recruitment process
  • they might not even have a structured recruitment and onboarding/orientation process in place
  • they might not be using board governance best practices in the boardroom, which results in long, boring “report meetings,” and what busy person has time for that?!?!

However, to my surprise, the answer I heard back on most of these questions was, “I know these are busy people and I’m just trying to be respectful of their time. So, I try not to set up too many meetings or ask them to do too many things.

At face value, this sounds very respectful. Right?

But what if you turn this situation around and look at it from a different perspective? What would you see?

When I did this, I saw a person making decisions about other people’s time. And in all seriousness, what right does anyone have to do that?

Maybe I tend to look at the world too simplistically. But doesn’t it make more sense for . . .

  • non-profit staff to wear the hat that involves identifying all of the work and volunteer opportunities necessary to fulfill the organization’s mission and vision?
  • board members and other volunteers to wear the hat that involves saying “YES” or “NO” to which opportunities they wish to participate?

OK, so I can already hear some of my non-profit friends muttering about scarce resources (e.g. only so many volunteers) and the organizational priorities that must be achieved. To this,I simply say a few things:

  1. Perhaps, your planning processes need to do a better job at prioritizing organizational needs (aka not everything is a high priority)
  2. Perhaps, you should choose a different planning model (e.g. alignment model, search conference, etc)
  3. Perhaps, you should use this paradigm shift to recruit more volunteers and align your recruitment efforts with those projects that need more people power

While this thinking might not be the right answer for you, I urge you to put thought into the following question:

“How can you stop making decisions for your volunteers’ time?”

Why? Because it is presumptuous of you to think it is your right to make those decisions in the first place.

Disagree with me? Agree with me? AwesomeSauce! Please scroll down and tell me why using the comment box below.

Here’s to your health!

Erik Anderson
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC
www.thehealthynonprofit.com 
erik@thehealthynonprofit.com
http://twitter.com/#!/eanderson847
http://www.facebook.com/eanderson847
http://www.linkedin.com/in/erikanderson847

Advertisements

Need some input from readers on ‘Organizational Best Practices’ to use with board members


Good morning, DonorDreams readers!

This is part five in a five part series that I started last week with two posts titled:

If you’ve read the previous two blog posts, you know I’m trying to write an eBook on the topic of “How to Engage Board Volunteers.” So far, I’ve taken my inspiration from an old favorite training curriculum titled “Inspiring & Managing Your Board for Fundraising Success,” and I’ve divided my eBook into the following sections:

  • Setting Expectations
  • Accountability & Urgency
  • Planning
  • Mission-focus
  • Organizational Best Practices

Within these sections, I want to provide samples and explanations of tools and practices that successful non-profit leaders use to keep their board volunteers engaged.*

The following set of tools (probably better characterized as ‘practices’) are ones I’ve identified as being effective in implementing simple “organizational best practices:”

What other tools or practices have you used to keep your organization organized and meetings running efficiently?

Please take a minute out of your busy schedule to provide some feedback. Your suggestions on additional tools is also greatly appreciated.

Here’s to your health!

Erik Anderson
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC
www.thehealthynonprofit.com 
erik@thehealthynonprofit.com
http://twitter.com/#!/eanderson847
http://www.facebook.com/eanderson847
http://www.linkedin.com/in/erikanderson847

*Note: I would be extremely grateful if you would share your best organization’s resources for possible inclusion as a sample in my eBook. If you are concerned about organizational privacy/confidentiality, I am more than willing to redact your organization’s name from whatever documents you provide if that is what you desire.

Need some input from readers on ‘How to Do Planning’ with board members


Good morning, DonorDreams readers!

This is part four in a five part series that I started a few weeks with two posts titled:

If you’ve read the previous blog posts, you know I’m trying to write an eBook on the topic of “How to Engage Board Volunteers.” So far, I’ve taken my inspiration from an old favorite training curriculum titled “Inspiring & Managing Your Board for Fundraising Success,” and I’ve divided my eBook into the following sections:

  • Setting Expectations
  • Accountability & Urgency
  • Planning
  • Mission-focus
  • Organizational Best Practices

Within these sections, I want to provide samples and explanations of tools and practices that successful non-profit leaders use to keep their board volunteers engaged.*

The following set of tools (probably better characterized as ‘practices’) are ones I’ve identified as being effective in the area of “Planning:”

I believe it is important to remember how many different plans potentially can exist under your organizational umbrella. The following is an incomplete list of plans I’ve seen throughout my years in the sector:

  • Long range plan
  • Strategic plan
  • Tactical plan
  • Business plan
  • Resource development plan
  • Board development plan
  • Marketing plan
  • Facility maintenance plan
  • Compensation & Benefits plan
  • Annual performance plan
  • Individual development plan
  • Program plan

What other tools or practices have you used to clearly communicate ideas such as:

  • Why board participation in planning important?
  • Why participation from other stakeholder groups in planning important?
  • Why are so many plans important to the success of your non-profit organization?
  • How to align plans for internal efficiency

Please take a minute out of your busy schedule to provide some feedback. Your suggestions on additional tools is also greatly appreciated.

Here’s to your health!

Erik Anderson
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC
www.thehealthynonprofit.com 
erik@thehealthynonprofit.com
http://twitter.com/#!/eanderson847
http://www.facebook.com/eanderson847
http://www.linkedin.com/in/erikanderson847

*Note: I would be extremely grateful if you would share your best organization’s resources for possible inclusion as a sample in my eBook. If you are concerned about organizational privacy/confidentiality, I am more than willing to redact your organization’s name from whatever documents you provide if that is what you desire.

Are you registered for the 2017 Nonprofit Leadership Summit?


Happy Labor Day to all of my friends in the non-profit sector!

Here are a few fast facts about the non-profit labor force in the United States:

  • The non-profit sector accounts for more than 10% of the United States’ labor force (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • Approximately one-quarter of Americans volunteer time via a non-profit organization (Independent Sector)
  • If the non-profit sector were a country, it would rank sixteenth among the 199 nations tracked by the World Bank (Urban Institute)

So, I think it goes without saying that it is important to invest in our sector’s leadership and people development. For this reason, I am proud to share with you that I’m one of this year’s presenters at the 2017 Nonprofit Leadership Summit.

I know what you’re thinking . . .

Ugh, another conference that my resource deprived non-profit organization cannot afford to send me.

But you’d be wrong.

This three day VIRTUAL conference is affordable and time efficient. If you haven’t given this online event any consideration, then I strongly urge you check it out ASAP because you only have a few days remaining to sign up for more expert advice than you can possibly imagine! And did I mention there are 19 CFRE credits available to those fundraising professionals who need continuing education opportunities?

Still not convinced?

OK, then please click-through to YouTube and watch a short (and dare I say FUN) interview Mazarine Treyz did with me a few weeks ago that she titled “Plan B from Outer Space! Interview with Erik Anderson of The Healthy Nonprofit” about my upcoming presentation. You can also find a transcript and more details on the Wild Woman Fundraising website.

Here is one more fast fact on this beautiful Labor Day holiday . . .

The employee turnover rate in the non-profit sector is approaching 20% and it is growing.

Show your employees they are valued by allowing them to participate in things like the 2017 Nonprofit Leadership Summit. Investing in your labor force:

  • helps address turnover
  • addresses leadership succession planning
  • illustrates that you’re a good boss

Here’s to your health!

Erik Anderson
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC
www.thehealthynonprofit.com 
erik@thehealthynonprofit.com
http://twitter.com/#!/eanderson847
http://www.facebook.com/eanderson847
http://www.linkedin.com/in/erikanderson847

Need some input from readers on ‘How to Provide Mission-Focus’ with board members


Good morning, DonorDreams readers!

This is part three  in a five part series that I started last week with two posts titled:

If you’ve read the previous two blog posts, you know I’m trying to write an eBook on the topic of “How to Engage Board Volunteers.” So far, I’ve taken my inspiration from an old favorite training curriculum titled “Inspiring & Managing Your Board for Fundraising Success,” and I’ve divided my eBook into the following sections:

  • Setting Expectations
  • Accountability & Urgency
  • Planning
  • Mission-focus
  • Organizational Best Practices

Within these sections, I want to provide samples and explanations of tools and practices that successful non-profit leaders use to keep their board volunteers engaged.*

The following set of tools (probably better characterized as ‘practices’) are ones I’ve identified as being effective in helping create “mission-focus:”

  • Inviting volunteers to tour your organization’s programming during hours of operation
  • Bringing clients into the boardroom in-person, via video or through an activity (e.g. asking clients to put together a Wish List for your organization during the holidays as if they were writing a letter to Santa and sharing those lists with board members so they can see things through your clients’ eyes)
  • Staff presentations in the boardroom focused on a program or need
  • Involving board members in a strategic program opportunity (e.g. judging a contest or client competition)
  • Infusing storytelling into your organization culture and use it as a vehicle to help volunteers discover mission-focused stories they are passionate about sharing with others

What other tools or practices have you used to clearly communicate ideas such as:

  • Why a board member or volunteer is passionate about your mission?
  • What’s happening outside of the boardroom throughout your organization?
  • Why the organization is so important to those you serve?

Please take a minute out of your busy schedule to provide some feedback. Your suggestions on additional tools is also greatly appreciated.

Here’s to your health!

Erik Anderson
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC
www.thehealthynonprofit.com 
erik@thehealthynonprofit.com
http://twitter.com/#!/eanderson847
http://www.facebook.com/eanderson847
http://www.linkedin.com/in/erikanderson847

*Note: I would be extremely grateful if you would share your best organization’s resources for possible inclusion as a sample in my eBook. If you are concerned about organizational privacy/confidentiality, I am more than willing to redact your organization’s name from whatever documents you provide if that is what you desire.

Need some input from readers on ‘How to Create Accountability and Urgency’ with board members


Hello DonorDreams blog readers!

This is part two in a five part series that I started yesterday with a post titled “Need some input from readers on ‘How to Set Expectations’ with board members.”

As you know if you read the first post in this series, I’m currently working on writing an eBook on the topic of “How to Engage Board Volunteers.” My plan is to divide the eBook down into the following sections:

  • Setting Expectations
  • Accountability & Urgency
  • Planning
  • Mission-focus
  • Organizational Best Practices

Within these sections, I want to provide samples and explanations of tools and practices that successful non-profit leaders use to keep their board volunteers engaged.*

The following set of tools are ones I’ve identified as being effective in helping with “accountability & urgency:”

In addition to using all of the aforementioned tools, I’ve used online services to help with project management and predictive performance.

What other tools have you used to clearly communicate ideas such as:

  • Is a board member doing what they said they’d do
  • Is a volunteer working “within the boundaries drawn by the board
  • Is the organization succeeding
  • Are board members doing what needs to be done

Please take a minute out of your busy schedule to provide some feedback. Your suggestions on additional tools is also greatly appreciated.

Here’s to your health!

Erik Anderson
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC
www.thehealthynonprofit.com 
erik@thehealthynonprofit.com
http://twitter.com/#!/eanderson847
http://www.facebook.com/eanderson847
http://www.linkedin.com/in/erikanderson847

*Note: I would be extremely grateful if you would share your best organization’s resources for possible inclusion as a sample in my eBook. If you are concerned about organizational privacy/confidentiality, I am more than willing to redact your organization’s name from whatever documents you provide if that is what you desire.

Need some input from readers on ‘How to Set Expectations’ with board members


Hello DonorDreams blog readers!

I’m currently working on writing an eBook on the topic of “How to Engage Board Volunteers.” The purpose of this eBook is to provide non-profit leaders with examples of tools that can be used to engage their board volunteers in their governance and resource development functions.

I’ve taken my inspiration so far from an old favorite training I used to use titled “Inspiring & Managing Your Board for Fundraising Success,” and I’ve divided my eBook into the following sections:

  • Setting Expectations
  • Accountability & Urgency
  • Planning
  • Mission-focus
  • Organizational Best Practices

Over the next few days, I will share with you a variety of tools I’ve identified in each of these sections. I’m hoping you will use the comment box functionality on each of the blog posts to share your thoughts and additional tools you’ve had success with using.*

The following set of tools are ones I’ve identified as being effective in helping “set expectations:”

What other tools have you used to clearly communicate ideas such as:

  • To what is a volunteer saying YES when agreeing to serve on a board
  • What are their roles/responsibilities
  • What should volunteers be prepared to discuss and do in upcoming meetings
  • What actions did a volunteer commit to coming out of a meeting

Please take a minute out of your busy schedule to provide some feedback. Your suggestions on additional tools is also greatly appreciated.

Here’s to your health!

Erik Anderson
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC
www.thehealthynonprofit.com 
erik@thehealthynonprofit.com
http://twitter.com/#!/eanderson847
http://www.facebook.com/eanderson847
http://www.linkedin.com/in/erikanderson847


*Note: I would be extremely grateful if you would share your best organization’s resources for possible inclusion as a sample in my eBook. If you are concerned about organizational privacy/confidentiality, I am more than willing to redact your organization’s name from whatever documents you provide if that is what you desire.

With a little help from my friends


It is a common occurrence in my life for a non-profit organization to call and want The Healthy Non-Profit (aka me) to fix their problems. Of course, these problems run the spectrum:

  • Revenue issues (e.g. our revenue model isn’t working, our fundraising campaign is in decline, etc)
  • Board engagement issues
  • Staff issues
  • Org culture issues
  • Systems issues (e.g. donor database, etc)
  • Facilities issues (e.g. expansion of space)

Sometimes, I am happy to jump in with both feet and get to work. However, before starting to frame/contract the engagement (and depending on the issue), I oftentimes will ask:

“What have you done so far to address the issue?”

What I am looking for is an answer that aligns with Joe Cocker’s classic rock-n-roll song “With A Little Help From My Friends.”

In other words, has your organization reached out to others in your community to ask for help/advice? Friends such as:

  • United Way
  • Community Foundation
  • Donors
  • Other non-profit executive directors
  • Board members
  • Former board members

Supporters of your organization can and should be seen as much more than just ATMs. In addition to contributors, it is wise to ask supporters during challenging times for:

  • Time
  • Advice
  • Influence (aka door openers)

Your organization is part of a larger ecosystem full of talented individuals and other organizations. Accessing those resources is a healthy first step before doing anything else.

Think of it in terms of your personal life. How many times have you personally ended up in a difficult place and reached out to family and friends for advice or help? I can think of a number of examples in my life.

Please don’t misunderstand me.

I recognize that during difficult times, it feels appropriate to pull-up the draw bridge of our organizational castle and not let people who support us (either with time or money) see our struggles. However, the reality is that people close to us typically can see things for what they are even if we are trying to shield them from those issues.

While “full disclosure” and letting the entire world see the “sausage making process” might not be in your best interest all of the time, you might not have to go that far. After all, you are in control of what you share and how much you share. Right?

Have you ever pulled together a task force of supporters to brainstorm solutions to challenges your organization was facing? If so, please use the comment box below to share you experience. How did you frame the issue(s)? What was the result? What would you have done differently in hindsight? We can all learn from each other.

Here’s to your health!

Erik Anderson
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC
www.thehealthynonprofit.com 
erik@thehealthynonprofit.com
http://twitter.com/#!/eanderson847
http://www.facebook.com/eanderson847
http://www.linkedin.com/in/erikanderson847

Will your non-profit be a ‘winner’ or ‘loser’ during Trump era?


Two days ago, I published a post titled “What will Trump’s impact be on the non-profit sector?” and I followed it up yesterday with “How is Trump ushering in renaissance for non-profit sector?” Today, I’ll end this series by talking about your non-profit and sharing a few readiness tips for your consideration.

President Trump is famous for talking about “winner” and “losers.” He is also a self-described conservative who campaigned on shrinking the size of the federal government. In the administration’s first budget to Congress, there are a number of programs he proposed reducing or eliminating that has a direct impact on non-profit organizations. In just the last few days, I’ve heard my clients chattering about the following few proposed cuts:

  • 21st Community Learning Centers
  • Meals on Wheels
  • Community Development Block Grants

As our society enters a new era where government starts tightening its belt, those non-profit organizations that are heavily government funded and have little experience with private sector philanthropy will likely be “losers” in my estimation.

Similarly, if your organization has strong relationships with individual donors, then I believe you are well positioned to be a “winner.” I believe this is especially true because of the reasons I provided in yesterday’s blog post.

However, you may want to start changing the way you speak to your donors in this new era. As Tom Ahern is famous for saying, properly utilizing the right emotional triggers will be your key to success. You won’t simply be able to get a away with shouting the word “Trump” and sitting back to watch the money roll in.

The following few sections are just a few thoughts I’ve had on how you can start tapping into a new generation of engaged donors.

Increase your non-solicitation communications to donors

Donors want to know how those you serve are being impacted by the changing world around us. So, help them see it.

Doing an informal audit of your last few newsletters is a great place to start. Pull those communications tools out of that dusty archive file and ask yourself:

  • How much of your content is about your organization (e.g. upcoming fundraisers, your organization’s needs, etc)?
  • How many times are you using the word “WE” and “US” versus “YOU”?
  • Do your stories focus on how your donors are heros? Or do they talk about your successes?
  • Is your content focused on seeing the world through your clients eyes or your eyes?

If you are talking more about your organization, then you want to change that practice and figure out how to make your donors the hero and reasons for those successes.

More importantly, check to see how many of your donor communication pieces are solicitation oriented compared to cultivation and stewardship oriented. You will want to change that ratio to lean more towards sending more cultivation and stewardship pieces (with small hints here and there about where the donor can contribute).

Talk about client needs and not about Trump

It is easy to point at Trump and blame everything on him. It is “shorthand” and he is an emotional conduit for some donors’ emotions. However, it is too easy for people to shrug their shoulders and say, “He’s the President. I’m just a little donor. I’ll try to make a difference in a few years when I go to the ballot box.

It is a far better strategy to highlight the issues donors care passionately about and pull on those emotional heartstrings. Sure, feel free to point at policy changes being proposed that you feel will worsen the situation, but don’t rely on it as your case for support.

Explain how one donor’s contribution can and will make a difference in the lives of those you serve.

Pay more attention to small and mid-size donors

Over the last decade we’ve seen politicians prove this point. How much money did Obama, Sanders and even Trump fundraise in smaller donations of $25, $50 and $100 gifts? They talked about it constantly, and it is time non-profits start following suit.

After all, today’s small annual campaign donor is tomorrow’s lead gift in your capital or endowment campaign.

This means evolving your resource development plan. Don’t add more special events, which are labor intensive and costly. Look at peer-to-peer solicitation opportunities such as annual campaigns, monthly giving programs, a-thon style events, targeted mail and online peer-to-peer giving opportunities. These things don’t happen organically. They require thought and strategy. So, take the time to think it through on paper with your board members and fundraising volunteers.

Add more personal contact with donors

It is easy to send a piece of mail or an email to large groups of donors and potential supporters. However, there is a lot of that going on from many different organizations. Information overload is a real thing. So, tweak your approach to increase the effectiveness of your message.

Don’t stop sending mail and email. But think about adding some in-person opportunities. Here are just a few thoughts:

  • Host a series of town hall meetings focused on the issues your clients face
  • Host special (e.g. exclusive) donor receptions to meet those you serve and let them tell the story
  • Invite donors to periodic coffee meetings with your organization’s executive director to talk about the issues

Encourage donor advocacy

Remind your donors they can and will make a difference by contacting your local, state and federal legislators about issues impacting your clients. Send out periodic notes talking about proposed policy changes that directly effect your clients. Encourage them to attend meetings, pick-up the phone or write a letter. And make it easy for them to do so. (off-handedly mentioning that a contribution will also help might not be a bad idea, too)

A note to those non-profits who are heavily government funded

OK, your organization might not be experienced in doing these things. You might be one of those organizations I indicated earlier in this post that are heading for that “loser” label.

Don’t fret! It isn’t too late to change your approach.

Here are a few suggestions you might want to look at:

  • Gather your board members together and develop a short list of individuals who you think are like-minded and supporters of your issues
  • Pick one or two of the things I mentioned above and start executing those strategies. Start small and make adjustments as you go
  • With your volunteers, develop a small resource development plan that adds two or three small individual giving strategies. Start small and be realistic. It might be as simple as sending targeted mail to 50 individuals a few times a year and hosting a simple fundraising event. Dedicate yourself to growing it steadily over the years.

If you need help convincing board members, I suggest giving them a copy of the book Who Moved My Cheese, encouraging them to read it, and facilitate a boardroom discussion about what it means for your organization. There is wisdom in your boardroom. Trust me. All you need to do is tap into it.

Here’s to your healthy!

Erik Anderson
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC
www.thehealthynonprofit.com 
erik@thehealthynonprofit.com
http://twitter.com/#!/eanderson847
http://www.facebook.com/eanderson847
http://www.linkedin.com/in/erikanderson847

How is Trump ushering in renaissance for non-profit sector?


Yesterday, I published a post titled “What will Trump’s impact be on the non-profit sector?” and I ended with a cliffhanger with the following tease:

The Trump Administration will mark the beginning of a renaissance for the non-profit sector!

If you didn’t have a chance to read yesterday’s post, I encourage you to go back and do so. It wasn’t very long, but it helps set the stage for what you’re about to read.

As I explained yesterday, I had written a blog post a few days after the election about what Donald Trump’s election might mean to the non-profit sector. However, a funny thing happened on my way to clicking the “publish” button . . . my inner Jiminy Cricket started chirping. While I normally ignore my intuition because I don’t trust it, I’ve been working on developing this inferior function (yes, this is a geeky Myers-Briggs reference … LOL) over the last five years. And I think it paid off in this case.

In the days and weeks after the election, I started to sense a “drip-drip-drip” of non-profit news coverage. There were random stories in my Google feed in addition to what I heard on the radio and saw on television. Again, I didn’t put the bigger picture together right away, but it did give me pause and kept me away from my blog’s dreaded “publish” button.

Here are a few examples of the “drip-drip-drip” I was seeing:

At first I kind of dismissed this as something I would describe as: “My-Liberal-Friends-Are-Rallying-The-Troops” phenomenon. Of course, you are thinking the same thing, right? It must be because the headlines are full of non-profits that seen as “liberal causes” such as:

  • American Civil Liberties Union (e.g. fighting Trump on immigration issue)
  • Planned Parenthood (aka abortion issue)
  • International Rescue Committee (aka Syrian refugees)
  • Center for Public Integrity (aka investigative journalism)
  • The Marshall Project (aka criminal justice system issues)
  • NAACP (aka civil right)
  • Human Rights Campaign (aka LBGTQ issues)
  • Anti-Defamation League (aka addressing anti-Semitism)
  • Sierra Club (aka environmental issues)

Take a good look up and down this list. It is way to easy to buy into an explanation like “My-Liberal-Friends-Are-Rallying-The-Troops” phenomenon.” Right? And I almost did, but Jiminy Cricket was still wagging his finger at me (or maybe it was Trump). So, I held off on publishing my Trump blog post for a little longer.

And then it came to me . . .

I was at Bloomerang‘s Bloomcon conference in Orlando, FL on February 13, 2017. One of the many expert speakers that day was Tom Ahern. (He is one of my all-time FAVs) And he was on his favorite soapbox talking about his favorite things:

  • storytelling (e.g. make the donor the hero of your case for support)
  • emotional triggers (e.g. anger, exclusivity, fear, flattery, greed, guilt, salvation) and neuroscience
  • 13 most influential words in the English language (#1 on the list is the word ‘YOU’)

My ah-ha moment came to me like bricks falling from the sky. It occurred while Tom was waxing poetic about great non-profit stories having “good guys” and “bad guys.” And this is when things started making sense:

  • Who is the perceived ‘bad guy’?  President Trump
  • What is the problem?  The new administration will [fill in the blank with things like repeal the healthcare law, deport millions of people, etc]
  • Who is the ‘good guy’?  YOU … Mr. or Mrs. Donor who cares about these issues
  • What is the solution?  A trustworthy non-profit organization asking emotionally buzzed up donors to get involved (aka volunteer, sign a petition, call your legislator but definitely don’t forget to make a contribution)

So, put a check mark in the “Good Storytelling Material” box.

But what about the emotions at play in these donors’ philanthropic decisions? (hint: go back up to the bullet point where I list Tom’s favorite seven emotional triggers and quickly refresh your memory)

The following is what I believe is driving this wave of engaged donors:

  • ANGER — donor is upset about Trump victory, especially because it was a surprise and they might now have been emotionally prepared for it
  • FEAR — donor is confident that policies and programs they value will be dismantled and people will get hurt (and the 24/7 cable news networks certainly stoke this fire)
  • GUILT — donor feels guilty that maybe they should’ve done more to help Clinton campaign (e.g. could’ve donated, knocked on doors, volunteered, etc)

These three emotions are all powerful in and of themselves. However, there is synergy between these emotions, which I believe exponentially took people to a new place (I prefer to think of it as a philanthropic place set in technicolor).

For those readers, who are excited because it sounds like I am saying that fundraising is as easy as saying: “BOO! Donald Trump is President so won’t you please give to my organization?” . . . I encourage you to think again.

But, oh snap, look at the time. It is getting late. <yawn> And I am way past my maximum word count guideline. I guess you’ll need to come back tomorrow for another installment of this series of Trump-inspired posts. But I guess it is only fair to give you a little preview:

“Trump is like having a golden ticket’ to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory for those organizations who know how to fundraise. But those organizations who have been fat and sassy and accepting lots of government funding instead of fundraising are likely going to fail or merge with other organizations.”

Don’t worry. If your organization falls into the “fat and sassy government funding” category I just described, I’ll have a few tips for you tomorrow (or maybe the next day).   😉

Here’s to your health!

Erik Anderson
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC
www.thehealthynonprofit.com 
erik@thehealthynonprofit.com
http://twitter.com/#!/eanderson847
http://www.facebook.com/eanderson847
http://www.linkedin.com/in/erikanderson847

%d bloggers like this: