January 10, 2012

Awhile back I was having a conversation with Mazarine Treyz of Wild Woman Fundraising. Do you know Mazarine? She is one awesome woman, smart, savvy and loaded with energy and good will.

Anyway she said to me “Pam, I just love your consistency!”

She was talking about my weekly enews, The Grow Report, which goes out like clockwork every Thursday morning.

Why every week?

Early on when I made the decision to launch an enews targeted specifically to “small shop” development directors, one of the biggest decisions I had to make was how often I would mail. Regardless of whether I mailed monthly, bi-weekly or weekly, it’s a huge commitment. My enews takes an average of anywhere from two to four hours a week to produce – time that could be spent on client work – and costs about $75 a month to send.

But I believe strongly though that consistency, especially in today’s world, is vitally important to relationship-building. And it’s an area where the smaller community organization often falls flat.

If I had a nickel for every nonprofit website that I’ve visited or organization that I’ve been contacted by without any strategic communications plan I’d be rich. “Click here to read our newsletter” you’ll see proclaimed on their website, only to be directed to a pdf from 2009.

The importance of consistency and creating your daily, weekly, and monthly habits, especially when it comes to donor care, plays a huge role in your fundraising success.

In his book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Robert Cialini notes that consistency is particularly important when it comes to the nonprofit sector. Fundraising has always been challenging, even in the best of times. You’re asking people to give financially without really expecting anything in return.

But when you use consistency — along with asking potential donors to take small steps toward true commitment (for example urging a prospective donor to “like” you on Facebook, or watch a video about your work, or even to forward your email) – before asking them to give financially, you’re using what Cialdini refers to as the “foot-in-the-door technique,” and you’ll have greater success.

Why do you see so little consistency in the world of small nonprofit organizations?

Building relationships takes time, focus and commitment.

How can you create an organization that’s donor-focused, year round? Learn why called Simple Development Systems: Fundraising for the one-person development office a road map to success that can take the scary out and bring in a sense of comfort, self-confidence, and focus about what can and should be done.”


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Lori Jacobwith January 12, 2012 at 8:27 am

Great post, Pam. I have found that one of the best tools to help with consistency is to use your calendar. What ever calendaring tool your organization uses, Outlook, Google calendar, etc. be sure to SCHEDULE time to make calls, draft the enews, collect stories, etc.

My use of the calendar has gotten to the extreme, but when I put a speaking engagement or training or coaching session on my calendar I automatically also schedule the prep and follow-up time so it’s carved into my busy life. It allows me to be not rushing so much and to be consistent with the quality of service I seek to provide.

Mazarine January 19, 2012 at 9:09 pm

Hi pam!

Thanks so much for mentioning me!
I tried to leave a comment before but it didn’t work!
anyway, I thought of you as I wrote my enewsletter last night, and I really enjoyed reading your enewsletter today!



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