Growing Your Flock Now
“Mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb; Mary had a little lamb whose fleece was white as snow.
And everywhere that Mary went, Mary went, everywhere that Mary went, The lamb was sure to go.”
Don’t be a Mary
Big whoop! She had a following of one. Where was the rest of her potential flock? Obviously she was not an equal opportunity leader. Not one to appeal to the masses. Diverse appeal was not Mary’s strong suit. Some might say, as far as charisma goes, she was a “one trick pony.” For sure, she wouldn’t have had a clue about donor psyches or donor needs and – why they follow.
So, are you a Mary? How big is your flock? Does it have the potential for growth? Enormous growth? Do you speak to all the donor psyches? Do you make them want to follow?
If you do . . .
Then you know that donors are motivated to give for different reasons. You know their life experiences drive their choices. You know their environment, lifestyle, culture, education, beliefs, and human interactions influence their opinions.
Therefore, it follows that understanding the different donor psyches helps to connect their hearts to your mission. Every human being has a “giving” tipping point that converts them to your cause.
Identify that tipping point and you bring them into your flock.
The nonprofit message must touch on and connect with the diverse motives for giving. Certainly, getting sheep to follow you would be easier. Humans aren’t sheep. They are a lot more complicated. They need more incentives to enlist in your mission.
In my work with nonprofits I’ve met a lot of people with varied reasons for donating and volunteering. They were valid reasons. Reasons with merits. Each reason had its “staying power” needs. Meeting those needs ensures a continued commitment to giving and volunteering. The donor psyche defines these needs.
What are the triggers that connect donors and volunteers to you mission? Of course you have to educate and inform them about your organization. That is a given. The big triggers are the ones that connect at a soul level. That touch their hearts. That speak to their basic humanity.
For example, donors walk through your door and convert to your cause because they are motivated by:
- Altruistic DNA – Giving is a central part of their makeup, their faith, their family tradition, their love for their community.
- Mission Connection – A deep personal relationship with your cause drives the donor. They or a loved one may have been affected by a specific medical condition, violent crime or natural disaster.
- Being a Change Agent – The giver feels fulfilled by helping to make the world a better place for humankind.
- Legacy Commitment – The donor desires to leave a legacy of service and giving as an example for their children and others.
- Alignment with Others – Benefactors want to join like-minded friends and groups that move a cause forward and accomplish change through strength in numbers.
- Tax Deductions – While receiving a benefit, the donor gets to feel good about giving.
So, now you have joined your message to their hearts, their minds, and their life. You have grown your flock of supporters and volunteers. That’s great.
The Next Step – Maintain the Connection
You shepherded them to your mission with a message that spoke to them individually. That message needs to continue. Feed your flock. Nurture their commitment.
You can keep connected and keep them involved through:
- Website, Facebook, Twitter and other social media news updates
- Online forums
- Newsletters and brochures
- Long and short copy emails
- Direct Response appeals
- Press releases and announcements – print, radio, television
- Community awareness events
- Training and certification programs
- Donor and volunteer recognition – awards, events and social media profiles
- Hotlines – help and information
Finally, strategic messaging is a critical part of recruiting and maintaining your donor and volunteer base. Each donor psyche must be addressed. So, unlike Mary, you need to be an equal opportunity leader and flock gatherer. Keeping an organization’s voice current and at the forefront of supporters’ minds is very important. It puts you ahead in the fundraising arena.
Here’s to diversifying your message and growing your flock!