What motivates me to give – an introspective blog post

Today was the last day of the Institute of Fundraising’s National Convention. During today’s sessions, I got to thinking WHY I support the charities I do because a recurring theme has been about understanding people’s motivations to give to your cause. So I’m going to share with you the charities I regularly give to and why. I have monthly direct debits for both Macmillan Cancer Support and for Cancer Research UK. Supporting these charities is mostly about the cause – cancer. That (insert swearword) of a disease that has stolen far too many of my loved ones. I support Macmillan because their nurses have helped my loved ones in their last weeks, days and hours. I support Cancer Research UK because they are saving lives. But it’s not just the cause. I like the way they talk to me: Tweet from Dryathlon And I like the way they make me feel, even if it’s difficult to watch:

I support Amnesty International with a monthly direct debit because collectively we can all be very loud about injustice and my voice alone is not enough. Amnesty is brilliant at keeping you informed throughout their campaigns. They also make it easy for me to share their campaigns with my friends. Best of all, they tell me outcomes of campaigns when they happen. I don’t have to wait for a weekly or monthly newsletter or go to their Facebook page. Amnesty International Text

I sponsor a dog through Dogs Trust (it was a birthday present for my husband) and have done for about seven years. We both love dogs but we can’t have one of our own just yet so we do the next best thing and sponsor one. Our dog’s name is Shane and he is lovely. He also writes to us and sends us photos. We can even go and visit him if we like. The reason why we support Dogs Trust and why when we can have a dog we will go to our nearest rehoming centre is because they never put a healthy dog down. Our Dogs Trust dog Shane The final charity I support every month is Child’s i. Answering why for this charity is harder to explain. I have no personal connection to the cause but when I first heard their founder Lucy Buck speak, I just knew I had to help. The passion and conviction with which Lucy spoke, the stories she told of how the babies that had come to Malaika (the short term emergency care home in Uganda that they provide), how babies had thrived, how they had either been reunited with their families through the support of the charity or gone on to be placed with new, loving families – how could that not inspire me to want to help? And telling stories through video, email or even their Direct Debit text message is what they do so well.

  Child's i text message

They are not a big charity with a big budget so they make use of what they have. In fact, they are so brilliant at digital that they often present at sector conferences and events. They are a true lesson for fundraisers – be passionate about the cause you work for and tell your stories well. In fact, they inspired me so much that I started #100forChildsi and I hope this post has inspired you to join our team. So that’s who I support and why. Will you share with me the charities you support in the comments?

Small nudges, big results – Behaviour Economics in Fundraising

Day two of the Institute of Fundraising’s National Convention and this post is all about Behavioural Economics and what it means for fundraising.

What is Behavioural Economics?

Paul Vanangs, Head of Public Fundraising at Oxfam, explained that it is any repeatable, mass consumer behaviour which cannot be explained by, or is contradictory to, classical economics.

And as fundraisers, this is what is fascinating. Instead of asking ‘why do you not donate to us’ we should be asking ‘what barriers are stopping you from donating to us’.

It’s not about attitude, it’s about behaviour

Christopher Nield, Creative Director at On Agency, shared how he worked with the NSPCC to incorporate legacy asks into any inbound call that was answered by the team. They drew on insights from a similar exercise, below, undertaken by the Cabinet’s ‘nudge unit’ which tested a legacy ask on Cooperative Legal Services will-writing customers.

There were two different ‘nudges’:

Would you like to leave a gift to charity in your Will

Many of our customers like to leave a charitable gift in their Will. Are there any causes you are passionate about?

The second nudge had a response rate of 15.4% as opposed to 10.4% with the first.

How did NSPCC use this?

They created a Norm and Pasha mind map so that they could feel comfortable turning any call, even a complaint, into a legacy ask.

NSPCC Mind Map

So what impact did this have?

The results were 101 conversations in the first week and a conversion rate of 46%. More interestingly, there were no complaints. So in one year, this could mean up to 5,252 conversations with 2,415 new leads. By involving the team in the mind map process, they are now confident to talk about legacies when appropriate.

How can you change behaviours?

Mike Collings from MC&C shared a structured framework for running a workshop on behavioural change. There are two questions to ask:

1. What comparisons are people making?
2. What efforts are involved?

Structured framework

** My presentation of the day award goes to Mark Phillips from Bluefrog, who presented on Reverse Innovation. **

 

Did you hear the one about National Convention?

Today was the first day of the Institute of Fundraising’s National Convention. It was a day of many firsts for me: my first Convention, my first official blogger role, the first time I am representing JustGiving in my new job as Content and Community Manager and the first time I met some of my peers in real life. I could tell you a story about each of these ‘firsts’ but this blog post is not about me.

But it is about storytelling.

Storytelling was a recurring theme today. The plenary by Alan Clayton, Creative Director at Revolutionise, and Jayne George, Executive Director of Fundraising and Marketing at Guide Dogs, really brought storytelling to life. In fact, Guide Dogs, has invested in equipping everyone in the organisation to be able to tell a story. Why? Because real stories bring their cause to life, pulls on emotions and raises funds.

How do we tell a good story?

It’s imperative that you have an authentic voice. Alan shared the example of Jack’s story, whose family was helped by Claire House.

Jack's Story

His mother’s words demonstrate just how powerful storytelling is. So powerful that most of the audience was in tears. Give your supporters and people who use your services a voice and let them share their stories, in their own words.

Take your audience on a journey but make the story simple so that it can be understood by everyone, not just people who already know about your charity or your cause.

Make a story come to life

There’s no denying that words are powerful but in this age of sharing, stories also need to be brought to life. There are so many low cost ways to make your stories multi-dimensional, such as using Audioboo, Vine or Instagram. Look at this example from charitywater and how they’ve told a story in a few sentences with a 15 second video to illustrate their impact.

Give your story wings

Don’t just share your story with your audience, share it with your colleagues too. How many times has the fundraising or communications team created a video and then not told anyone about it? In order for your story to soar, everyone in the charity needs to hear it, read it, see it and believe it.

** My presentation of the day award has to go to Rob Mosley and James Barker’s presentation on What fundraisers can learn from rappers. **

Photo credit from Ken Burnett.