What a fun video! It clearly demonstrates the need for a changed relationship between donors and orgs, it also demonstrates how easy and inexpensive it is for nonprofits to use videos to make their point very inexpensively and convincingly.
I then saw this interesting post from Niels Teunis who rightly reminds us that email continues to be the killer app (well, technically, it continues to be the killer app only for people over 30, but his point is important.) Niels closes his post with this great advice for communicating with donors via email:
- Ask the recipient to do one thing that day
- Show what that will accomplish
- Tell them what will happen next.
Online donors are not simply donors. They are part of a movement. They want to have a stake in the outcome and that is where the real challenge lies.
Let’s extend Niels model a bit further. The goal of using media for social change efforts isn’t to use latest gadgetry whenever possible, but to select the best tools available to us that fits the need. Niels’ point is that we can’t forget to use the tools that most people are comfortable with to connect with them in meaningful ways for social change. So, I’d throw the telephone into the mix, also.
When’s the last time your organization picked up the phone to thank your donors, not with an ask in mind, just a thanks for being a part of our community? A few years ago, an organization I was on the board of did just that. Every board member took the names of ten donors and called them. The response was astounding. People were so happy to hear from us, to hear about the work that was going on, and most of all, they were delighted to know that we cared about them as people and not just ATM machines. And many of them, without being asked, wrote checks. Particularly for smaller agencies, now’s the time to pick up the phone and call your donors, tell them about the wonderful things you’re doing, make sure they’re OK, and remind each other that times are tough but the purpose of our work is to build strong relationships with people over time to support our communities.