In this final installment of what I learned during the 100 Donors in 90 Days program, I want to share strategies about how to get your nonprofit to develop the craziest ideas they can imagine and think way outside the box. Before you hit delete, let me remind you that I was a copywriter in large advertising firms for almost 10 years – I know how to think differently. I have run brainstorming sessions for nonprofits. And Kerri Tilby-Price’s advice raised my skills a notch.
In her amusing New Zealand accent, she explained how she encourages ideas to get further and further away from the possible to bring in the ideas that will work.
Want an example of an idea that goes completely against social norms (or nonprofit norms) that has brought many of her clients immense success? She suggests social service clients ask their clients for donations. Yes, those who are coming to the organization for health and human services because it is free should be asked for donations.
What has she seen that strategy achieve? Using the same theory that people value, and are more invested, in a product or service if it cost them something, clients are more invested in the services and the organization as well as getting a feeling that they are helping others at a place that has helped them grow.
This is in no way suggesting that these people should be added to the direct mail appeal. That may or may not be appropriate in any particular case, but by giving them the opportunity to contribute to a coffee fund or new chairs fund you are giving them the opportunity to give a dollar or two to something that everyone can benefit from. I would go even further to suggest that thanking them as a group, in a public way similar to larger donors, will help the clientele feel even better.
Getting donations in a mission-driven way is a win-win situation.
Now, if you have read this far but don’t know how you can apply this to your organization let me give you another great tip from her conversation. Put an ask on the bottom of each and every outgoing email with a link to your organizations “Donate Now” page. Then, ask your major supporters, volunteers and other committed individuals to do the same. Imagine if thousands of emails were going around from other people asking for donations for your organization.
For more details on what made it work, you will have to listen to the interview . And learn to think outside your own box. Click here to purchase your copy of 100 Donors in 90 Days today.