Don’t Just Be Smart – Be Emotionally Intelligent

Don’t Just Be Smart – Be Emotionally Intelligent

This is the final in a series of blogs on 2018 trends. You can read about the first four trends here. The last trend for 2018 that Forbes highlights is: Don’t just be smart. Be emotionally intelligent. As someone who has managed a number of analysts, I totally understand this one. Throughout my career I have worked with some super smart analysts. Brilliant analysts. Analysts who could write code in circles around me 24/7. However, what I found is that “smart” is only minor variable in the algorithm of success. If an analyst didn’t possess a high co-efficient of emotional intelligence, they were usually a disappointment. I’m sure you’ve seen the same thing at the places where you have worked. Sometimes the “best” candidate fails because they can’t connect with others or don’t fit the organization’s culture. I like the way Peter Drucker talked about this, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Ultimately, we are all in the people business. And it’s best for you to fill your organization with people that have emotional intelligence. Because reading between the lines is a critical component of your organization’s...
Stop Worrying about Artificial Intelligence – Start Focusing on Augmented Intelligence

Stop Worrying about Artificial Intelligence – Start Focusing on Augmented Intelligence

This is the fourth in a series of blogs on 2018 trends. You can read about the first three trends here. The next trend for 2018 identified in the Forbes article is: Stop worrying about Artificial Intelligence. Start focusing on Augmented Intelligence. By that they mean leverage the data you already have with capable analysts. We could not agree more. If you have followed this blog very long, you will know one of our repetitive (and languishing) topics is the amount of resources some nonprofits spend on CRM systems compared to the amount they spend on people to gain insights from their current data. No CRM system will bring your organization insights. I think one of the common misconceptions is thinking: if only I had a state of the art database, all my decisions would be so much easier. What we have seen over and over again is that you don’t need to have a complex CRM system to enable insights. You just need some smart analysts. So, before you budget $X million on a new CRM system, try contracting with an analytics company for a year, and see if they can’t deliver the insights you require at a fraction of the...
Empathy is the New Black

Empathy is the New Black

This is the third in a series of blogs on 2018 trends. You can read about the first trend here and the second here. The fourth trend for 2018 stated in the Forbes article is: We are in an era of purposeful business driven by collaboration, inclusion, and the notion of leaving the world a better place. Empathy is the NEW BLACK. Now, don’t you feel good? Nonprofit organizations have ALWAYS been about leaving the world a better place. It’s about time! The commercial world wants to align with your good cause. But here’s the bad news: The commercial world is now competing in your space, and they have a lot more marketing money to throw at it. And this will distract your donors. Over the past decades, we’ve seen a slow but steady rise in the social enterprise movement. That blend of leveraging capitalism for a good cause. Think Newman’s Own or Ronald McDonald House Charities. This trend is only going to accelerate in the next few years, and companies with strong brands are going to hook up with nonprofit organizations with strong brands and both will benefit. We have a couple of recommendations for your organization to optimize this trend. First, start imagining what an ideal partnership with a commercial entity might look like. Second, begin researching companies and come up with a list of suitors that could be potential partners. Last but certainly not least, before initiating the conversation, it will be imperative that your organization create and sustain a strong nonprofit brand. A strong commercial brand will only join forces with a equally strong nonprofit...
Everyone is a Customer

Everyone is a Customer

This is a second in a series of blogs on 2018 trends. You can read about the first trend here. The second trend identified by Forbes is: In the age of experience, EVERYONE is a customer. What this simply means is that in the world of social media, there is no distinction between your “internal audience” and “external audience.” That means the experience of your board, staff and volunteers has to be consistent with the story you are sharing to your donors. Because if the experiences are not the same, you risk turning off your donors because you will come off as inauthentic. In the world before social media, it was pretty easy to separate these two audiences. I think of my experience in college driving a delivery truck during the holidays for one of the big brand-named companies. I loved their advertising. I was totally thinking it was going to be so fun working for them. Turned out, their “fun” brand story didn’t extend to its drivers. The drivers were treated like we were the enemy. It was a god-awful experience I have never forgotten. Therefore, in addition to benchmarking your donors’ experiences, it is equally important to measure your internal constituents’ experiences. You need to know if these are out of alignment. Otherwise, you will have a problem. Stay tuned for the third trend: Empathy is the new...
Five Marketing Trends for 2018

Five Marketing Trends for 2018

Recently, Forbes published an article called “Top 5 Trends for Marketers and Entrepreneurs In 2018.” I find these trends to be very encouraging for nonprofits. The market is moving towards nonprofits, and – for a change – the nonprofit industry is well-positioned to leverage the trends that Forbes describes. Trend One: We are in an experience economy. Antiquated rules of engagement no longer apply. Nonprofit organizations have never been in the business of selling a product. So, the “antiquated rules of engagement” have never applied. Rather, nonprofit organizations have had to focus on the intangible of the giving experience. Chalk up a point in your favor. However, we don’t get off the hook that easily. Though nonprofits intrinsically understand the importance of the donor experience, they don’t typically budget funds towards understanding and improving the donor experience. That point goes to our friends in the commercial space. They are much more deliberate about understanding the customer experience. What should nonprofit organizations do? They need to go behind the donor analytics and tie those findings to the donor experience. It sounds hard, but it really isn’t. And with the technological research tools of today, it’s easier and more affordable than ever before. First, you need to commit some resources to understanding your donors’ experience. We suggest you begin by benchmarking your donors’ experience at every place you intersect with them. Only after you have benchmarked and understand the donor experience can you can improve on the donor experience and maximize engagement. Stay tuned for Trend 2: In the age of experience, EVERYONE is a...