Quite a bit on Twitter yesterday about interruption marketing and its shortcomings. We were reminded, via Angel Fernando’s article, of Seth Godin’s very pertinent observations and also the concept of ‘data smog’
And yet there’s still a problem for fundraisers who want to go down the permission route – how do you get the attention of those people who might become consenting members of your ‘tribe’, to use a Godin expression, ‘somewhere down the road’? Surely that requires an initial interruption at some point?
My work for the last 12 years has mostly been in the area of telephone fundraising, an interruption marketing method that is still one of the most effective out there. Why so? Well because at the end of 1 in 5 conversations, sometimes 1 in 3, a promise has been secured, however grudging – to donate to our cause, or at least to consider it in future. And for those who won’t make that promise there and then, we know whether it’s ‘never again’ or at least ‘not now’. No other form of fundraising, apart from face to face methods, gets to the point of securing the promise so well, or helps us say farewell to those who won’t.
So, to change things for the better in the crowded fundraising world, we need people’s permission to talk to them – and thus eventually be in the position to secure the promise.
So how do you get that permission?
How about putting a new twist on a couple of old marketing propositions?
1. The ‘Send No Money Now’ proposition. You’ve all seen this – it’s still used by thousands of commercial companies. Why? Because they’re so confident their product will meet our needs, they know once we try it we will gladly purchase at the end of the trial. For us, a send no money, just your contact details proposition, could provide us with thousands more people who aren’t ready to make the promise to give straight away, but want to hear how we would use their gifts. We’d also have their permission to follow up. Some campaigning charities, like Save the Children, use text message petitions in precisely this way (scroll down the linked page) – and have got spectacular results.
2. The dating concept. Godin uses this as a metaphor for permission marketing – but what if there were a ‘dating site’ for charities?Put in the causes you care about, whether you want to support locally, or further afield, whether you want to support a single cause or spread your support, and how much money you can spare each month, quarter or year. You’d then pick one or more charities to whom you’d either give, or give explicit permission to send you information in future. You could even combine it with the Sarah Beney ‘My Single Friend’ concept – where donors would themselves endorse charities on the site. Some sites, like JustGiving or See the Difference, might go some way towards this, but there’s no site out there doing this yet.
So, what are the barriers? Cost for the one, and perception of competition for the other?
Well, the biggest thing holding us back as a sector is the refusal to invest in long-term value rather than short term. If we invest what we’ve always invested, with the strategies we’ve always used, we’ll continue to get the results we’ve always got, or worse.
The second I think rests on a confusion of what competition is, in our sector. We are not competing against each other as causes in the public mind. We are competing against the ability we all have – to send no money now and make no promise whatsoever.
It’s Charity Tuesday on Twitter today. If you’re a university graduate why not take a couple of minutes online today to give back?
Here’s a list of all the University online giving pages I could find for you
If you benefited from your time at uni – in whatever way – and you believe that the advancement of education and knowledge can be a massive driver of global social change, do support your University in their missions!
Universities generally don’t receive the majority of their funding from the Government any more – the direct amount the university I work at receives is only around a third of its turnover. And the support we could receive from alumni, even if only one in ten of our graduates were to give, would be truly transformative in terms of what we could achieve.
An active and engaged alumni community supporting their institutions has the potential to be a massive driver of change.
You can choose to direct your support towards your uni’s research and knowledge activity, or to support the experience of those who come as students, and who could go on to make significant individual contributions in all areas of global society, whether locally or on a wider scale. You could be helping someone to come or to stay, who wouldn’t be able to do so otherwise.
I firmly believe we should aim to make university education a right for as many people as we can manage – and we won’t be able to do that without your philanthropic support.
You can find a list of universities with online donation pages here. Do find your uni, click, and give – and thank you!
PS Many universities will be able to count your gift as part of a new Matched Funding scheme. That means that your gift, plus Gift Aid, could become worth at least double. So even a small gift will go a lot further than you think…
Here are the links to all the UK Universities’ online giving pages! If your uni isn’t listed it was because I couldn’t find any links about giving on their site. The list is roughly alphabetical, but it is long, so why not do a ‘Find’ (CTRL + F if you’re a PC, CMD + F if you’re a Mac) on this page, and then click through!
University of Aberdeen
University of Abertay Dundee
Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge and Chelmsford
University of the Arts London
Aston University, Birmingham
University of Bath
University of Birmingham
University of Bolton – download and print a form
University of Bradford
University of Brighton – link to download and print a form
University of Bristol
Brunel University, Uxbridge and London
University of Buckingham
University of Cambridge
University of Central Lancashire, Preston
City University London
Cass Business School
De Montfort University, Leicester
University of Dundee
University of East Anglia, Norwich
University of East London
Edge Hill University, Ormskirk
University of Edinburgh
Edinburgh Napier University
University of Essex
University of Exeter
University of Glasgow
Glasgow Caledonian University
Glasgow School of Art
Guildhall School of Music and Drama
University of Gloucestershire
University of Greenwich
Harper Adams University College
University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield
University of Huddersfield
University of Hull
Imperial College London
Keele University – download and print a form
University of Kent
King’s College London
University of Leeds
Leeds Metropolitan University
University of Leicester – download and print a form, or phone.
University of Lincoln
University of Liverpool
Liverpool Hope University – download and print a form
Liverpool John Moores University
University of London:
Birkbeck, University of London
Courtauld Institute of Art
Goldsmiths, University of London – download and print a form
Institute of Cancer Research
Institute of Education
King’s College London
London Business School
Queen Mary, University of London – download and print a form
Royal Academy of Music
Royal Holloway, University of London
Royal Veterinary College
School of Advanced Study:
Institute of Historical Research – download a form
Institute of Musical Research – download a form
School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)
School of Pharmacy, University of London
University College London (UCL)
London South Bank University
Loughborough University – download and print a form
University of Manchester
Manchester Business School – contact their team
Manchester Metropolitan University
Middlesex University, London – download and print a form
University of Wales, Newport – download and print a form
University of Northampton – supporters enquiry form
Norwich University College of the Arts
University of Nottingham
Nottingham Trent University
The Open University
University of Oxford
Oxford Brookes University
Queen’s University Belfast
Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh
University of Reading
Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen
Royal College of Art, London
Royal Northern College of Music
University of St Andrews
University of Salford
University of Sheffield
University of Southampton – download and print a form
University of Stirling
University of Strathclyde
University of Sunderland
University of Surrey
University of Sussex
Swansea University – contact page
Thames Valley University – download and print forms
University of Ulster
University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (UWIC)
University of Warwick
University of the West of England (UWE)
University of Westminster
University of Winchester
University of Worcester – download and print forms
University of York