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

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...
Change Your Name, Watch Revenue Drop

Change Your Name, Watch Revenue Drop

We recently did a Strategic Growth Analysis on a new client’s donor database. It looked awful. The organization was rolling along and then one year, all of their metrics plummeted. At first, we thought there must be a data issue. But when we talked with them, they happened to say, “We did change our name last year. Could that have had any effect?” Why, yes, yes it could. One of the great, sad, consistencies in this business is seeing good nonprofit organizations shoot themselves in the foot over and over again with poorly executed name changes. If your organization is considering a name change, please do some research. I suggest reading our friend Jeff Brooks’ blogs on the topic. He has six: http://www.futurefundraisingnow.com/.services/blog/6a0120a59ccea7970b0120a5f38fe5970c/search?filter.q=name+change Hopefully, that will encourage to do some research of your own constituents so you completely understand how they are going to respond. There is a right way and a wrong way to do this. And the wrong way is very...