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Welcome to another Whiteboard Wednesday!
It’s convention season, and Bill Scott and Dave Kirby will be at both NRB and our whole Vidare team will be at Momentum, so let us know if you would like to connect. We would love to see you.
Bill will be speaking at NRB on “Fundraising During an Economic Downturn” on Tuesday, May 23, at 3:15 in the Cypress Ballroom.
Also, our Vidare team will be leading the Leadership breakout at Momentum on Wednesday, May 31. Please join us, and again, say hi if you can.
Ok, enough shameless promotion…let’s get on with it!
by Dave Kirby firstname.lastname@example.org
In 2019, Elon Musk debuted his long-awaited electric pickup, the Cybertruck. The truck rolled out on the stage with great fanfare, bells, and whistles. During a demo of the truck’s bulletproof glass windows, lead designer Franz Von Holshausen threw a metal ball at the window, which promptly shattered. OOPS. Musk made a joke about it, but it was probably the biggest fail since Windows 98 crashed with a blue screen of death during its debut.
One might think this was the “blue screen of death” moment for the Tesla Cybertruck, except that Tesla took 250,000 orders for the truck in the week following the debut.
It was an obvious fail on a very specific promise, yet it was successful. Why? Researchers call it the “pratfall effect.”
People don’t connect with perfection. They connect with people, and people are flawed.
In fact, these days, where everything is so overly curated and contrived, showing your flaws is more important than ever. It seems like everything is “marketing,” and it’s made us cynical and suspicious.
Flaws humanize you and make you relatable.
In 1966, researcher Elliot Aronson first discovered this with a study involving spilled coffee. An actor was filmed answering quiz questions. After answering, the actor then spilled his coffee down himself. It turns out viewers rated him as more likable after he spilled the coffee.
We have done a good job of making radio more professional. But is that a good thing? Have we sanitized radio so much that there’s no humanity left in it? Do we cut and recut our voice tracks so there are no mistakes? Do we edit the breaths out of our voiceovers (yes, some people do that)?
After fundraising for almost 30 years, I can definitely say that voice-tracked shows do not raise as much money as live shows. Maybe that’s one reason why. There are no “ums,” and there are no mistakes. There’s nothing that makes the listener feel like they are listening to a real person.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating for sloppiness. The 1966 study showed that the pratfall effect only worked if the mistake was seen as minor and not indicative of incompetence. This is not an excuse to be unprofessional.
Be a person. Be human. Don’t be afraid to fall down. Don’t be afraid to let your humanity show in all its imperfection. After all, what’s more relatable than tripping over your own feet?
Our attention spans are incredibly short. What can we do about it? Mashable shares these tips for reclaiming your focus.
Ok, this one will raise some eyebrows. NextAfter makes a research-based case that adding credit card fees to your online giving actually negatively impacts your bottom line. Interesting, for sure.
Neon One studied 1,495 non-profits, 37,472 email campaigns, and over 157 million emails to identify key trends and benchmarks to help you create better email campaigns. It will require your email address, but it’s worth it.
I love that quote from my friend Bill Montgomery (he requested payment, but we said no!) As the GM of The River in Columbus, OH, he recognizes a foundational principle: Everyone on your team is a fundraiser.
We have made it very easy for you to bring as many additional staff to Fundraising 23 as you can. It’s 2 full days of amazing speakers and fundraising training that will benefit not only your donor team but everyone in your organization.
And additional staff member registrations are less than half the price of your first registration. That’s “no-brainer” level. Even if you’re already registered, it’s not too late to add additional staff at the reduced price.
So join us July 19-20 in Nashville for Fundraising 23. It’s bigger and better than ever, and it might be the only convention that will directly pay for itself with increased fundraising success.
By Paul Goldsmith email@example.com
Boards of Directors are far under-utilized in many nonprofits, created merely as a formality to meet the tax and legal requirements of a 501(c)3. However, with the right strategy, your board can be instrumental in raising substantial funds and advancing your organization’s mission.
Before recruiting potential board members, it's important that you have clearly defined the role and expectations of the board. This includes outlining their responsibilities, time commitments, and fundraising expectations. This information should be included in a board member job description that you share with potential candidates.
Recruiting and training the right-fit board members will take time, but it’s well spent.
There are successful business leaders and people of influence who share your vision. Find them and get to know them. Look for individuals who are passionate about your station's mission and have skills and connections that could benefit your fundraising efforts. Consider people with experience in fundraising, finance, marketing, or community outreach. You can ask for recommendations from your current board members, donors, or other community leaders.
Once you’ve identified a right-fit board member, provide them with the necessary training and resources to help them be successful in their roles. This should include training on your fundraising strategy and the specific needs and challenges of your radio station. Invite them to Vidare webinars or reach out, and schedule time with the Vidare team to help train your board members in fundraising for your organization.
Fundraising is a team sport.
Encourage board members to fundraise year-round with you and give them actual goals and deadlines. Having a board that is engaged and excited about funding the mission will exponentially increase your fundraising efforts without adding any additional expense to your bottom line.
But first, a warning…
We all have limited resources, your job as a leader is to find leverage to move your organization forward. Boards of directors are the ultimate leverage. When they take an active role in fundraising, they will challenge you, ask hard questions, and help you uncover your blinds. Only proceed if you’re up for the challenge, added accountability, and maximizing your missional footprint.
Before we go, do me a favor. Off the top of your head, list 3 things that made you smile today.
And if you can’t think of three, go and find them. You’re a better person when you’re smiling.
My three are:
Hit the email button and tell me your 3.
And see you next time!
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