Be more creative!
I hate it when people say that.
I’m all for creativity. No question, we need more of it. Everywhere — business, government, and especially nonprofits.
The idea of being more creative should get us excited, like a racehorse at the starting gate. We should feel freedom and energy to tackle challenges in new ways, to think big, to broaden our horizons.
But it seldom works that way when someone says Be more creative.
Because, sadly, what “be more creative” really means, almost every time you hear it, is this: Do the work in a way nobody has ever done it before.
Examples of what “be more creative” has meant in real-life fundraising:
- Leave out the reply coupon. It’s not creative.
- Don’t ask donors for specific amounts of money. That’s old hat.
- Let’s stop doing boring old uncreative direct mail. Social media is way more creative.
In other words, “I’m bored with the conventions. I want change.”
That’s not freedom. It doesn’t help you think big. It never opens up new vistas. It’s just a ticket for the express train to fundraising failure.
Here’s why: When you ignore the body of knowledge we have about fundraising and about donors, your chance of spectacular failure skyrockets. No matter how “creative” it is.
An inexperienced tennis player hates the net. It’s just in the way; you keep hitting the ball into it. And don’t get me started about the boundary lines — the game would be so much more fun without them!
An experienced tennis player loves the net. And the lines. Because they give the game shape, focus, and speed.
The truly creative fundraiser works with the knowledge we have. It gives focus to your creativity and innovation.
So be more creative. But in the smart, innovative, knowledge-based way.
Modern day flat screen TVs are helpful for promoting in outdoor digital signage, also for branding and out of home marketing. While static outdoor promoting is still relatively commonplace, digital signs are fast turning out to be a dominate force in the out of home segment. It has been proven that digital signage is a excellent method of displaying your ads.
Maybe the toughest part of outdoor promoting is getting your outdoor sign noticed. You are able to find outdoor promoting in a variety of locations and in numerous formats such as signs, posters or out of home advertisements, so there is a whole lot of competition.
Billboards, posters, bus shelter advertisements and retail signage are just a few standard methods of out of home promoting but outdoor digital signage is slowly replacing these. Nearly one in eight out of home advertisements are now digital, but why?
Digital outdoor signs have numerous advantages when compared to more standard sorts of promoting. Now that we are all familiar with modern media that is interactive, images that move and other content that is presented on screens that are outside is much more appealing than the old static signage. With digital signage solutions you are able to display appealing multi-media ads.
Next, in contrast to static signs that need physical change of content, requiring technicians to travel about and replace adverts, while outdoor digital signage allows for remote uploading of content.
Multiple advertisements from various companies are able to be displayed with outdoor digital signage Each screen are able to have perhaps six to eight advertisements on it, enhancing revenue from one promoting location.
A further plus here is being allowed to schedule and change content. This is a great boon for particular advertisers like restaurants and fast food eateries who are able to target lunchtime commuters and shoppers.
There are downsides as well as these advantages, though. Outside digital signage is certainly initially more costly with the cost of screens, media players and protection making up the initial expense. Electronic signs efficiently save time and effort after they are set up for the reason that content does not need to be modified manually.
It is needed to have it sheltered from the elements which is an added downside. Installing modern televisions, like the LCD and plasma models, necessitates protective equipment. Weather shielding is very needed, whether it is the sun or the rain, protection is very needed during various seasons.
A various method of protection that should be thought of when in outdoor places is security against impact and vandalism. Digital signs, left outside, are often subject to vandalism, so providing adequate protection for the monitor are able to ensure you spend as little as possible on replacing or repairing them.
LCD enclosures are a simple resolution for outdoor screen protection. Using plasma and common LCD screens as digital signage systems in the outdoors is made possible by these steel cabinets. LCD enclosures supply all the weather and temperature protection required, whilst also providing a solid steel barrier against impacts and vandalism.
A lot of LCD enclosures are made with screens that are shatterproof and also have climate systems so that they have the ability to handle even the harshest ambient temperatures.
If the total cost of the a number of various requirements of digital signage is putting you off, remember that the a number of good points about digital outdoor promoting still far outweigh the initial outlay.
In many ways, the second gift you get from a donor is more important than the first. The second gift signals that you may have a relationship. If a first-time donor doesn’t give a second gift within 12 months, your chance of ever getting another gift gets shockingly small.
If you’re serious about making your new donor acquisition investment pay off, you should put some serious effort into getting second gifts.
Here are some ways, from the Fundraising Trend Spotter blog, at Four simple steps to get a second gift from a new direct mail donor:
- Thank new donors in a warm and personalised way for their first gift.
- Send them a welcome pack.
- Show new donors how you are using their gift to change the world.
- Ask for a second gift within three months of receiving the first gift.
Please note that #4 says “ask for a second gift within three months,” not after three months. In fact, three months is perilously close to too late.
I can vouch for these four tactics. I’ve seen them improve donor retention again and again.
Psychology Today’s Minding the Body blog advises people to improve their mental health by giving money to charity: Worried About Money? Give Some Away.
The post cites several studies showing some of the positive impact charitable giving has on givers:
- It may foster a sense of social connectedness.
- It gives you a sense of making a difference.
- It may reduce your body’s stress response causing you to produce less cortisol, a stress hormone.
There’s a lot more than that too. Donors come out ahead financially, socially, physically, spiritually — in every possible way — when they give.
Never forget: When you ask donors for money, you are not seeking to make them less well off. You are offering them a path to a better life — including improved mental health.
When you realize how much good you open up for donors by asking them, you’ll do a better job of it. I promise.
(And if you aren’t giving, what are you waiting for?)
Thanks to Steven Screen for the tip.