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4 things we need to learn from the #nomakeupselfie phenomenon

nomakeupselfiePart 1. Successful mass participation relies on behavioural insight

I’m sure you’re aware of campaigns that started with the intention of “going viral”; if you haven’t worked on one. I know I have. It never works.

They fail because they try to force-feed the public with a key message, or get people to do an activity that’s somehow ‘relevant’ to their cause. But asking people to alter their behaviour is a big request. Only your die-hard supporters love you enough to do that – and that normally means it’s not enough people to form a critical mass. (more…)

Double your digital fundraising – by fixing donation forms

If I told you that you could double your digital fundraising quite easily, wouldn’t be stupid of you not to? I think everyone would agree. Yet the sorry state of affairs is this- donation forms suck, and people are not fixing them.

There is this stubborn belief in fundraising, that if someone has decided to support a charity, surely they will do so even if the donation form is a bit heavy. This is simply not true. (more…)

You like me

What’s not to like about our donors?

Sally Field is almost as famous for her 1985 Academy Award-acceptance speech for Places in the Heart as she is for her entire acting career: “I can’t deny the fact that you like me,” she gushed. “Right now, you like me.”

Flash forward to 2013 and thanks to Facebook, we all get a chance to be Sally Field on our very own stage nearly every day. (more…)

Fundraiser, are you too busy to change the world?

email timeI wonder if, like me, you sometimes feel this modern world is going just too fast? Perhaps, as I am, you’re increasingly coming to doubt that the many technological advances of our times are actually making our lives easier and better, like they promised they would? By any chance, does your daily email mountain also seem to you ever harder to climb and less interesting to boot, as mine does? Or does it trouble you, as it does me, that while you can now be reached by telephone pretty much wherever you happen to be, (more…)

Don’t forget your pen: Do’s and don’ts of digital fundraising

I spent my entire summer in a summer course studying digital innovation with a bunch of 19-20 year old university undergrads. Apart from making me feel very, very old, they also taught me a few very valuable lessons.

Watching them all getting writers cramps one by one during the written exam – which at the LSE is a deliciously 20th century style affair done by pen and paper – taught me the most valuable lesson of all: It is dangerous to abandon your analogue skills even in a digital world. (more…)

Donor Acquisition through Webinars? Worth a Try?

jpg_2033-Laptop-Cartoon-Character-Waving-A-Greeting-300x268I recently received an “exclusive” invitation for “select” guests to participate in a live webinar aimed at getting prospective students to enroll at a distance learning institution. Participants were promised the opportunity to interact with faculty members as they outlined their syllabus, connect with current students and even to discuss career paths with past students. In general the 60 minutes online were agreeable:  informative, fun and, yes, a little pushy – with incentives designed to get prospective students signed up to a course of study as soon as possible. While I decided against this particular course of study I realized there is a lot of potential in this webinar format for making sales and I wondered how it could be used for fundraising? (more…)