Tue, May 20 2008

What generations are generous?

Katya Andresen's avatar

Author, Robin Hood Marketing

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Filed under:   Fundraising essentials •

It must be research season - the interesting studies just keep coming!  Here is another:

Donors across all generations tend to give roughly the same amount to philanthropic causes, when controlling for other factors such as income, education and frequency of attendance at religious services, according to “Generational Differences in Charitable Giving and in Motivations for Giving,” a study conducted by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University and sponsored by Campbell & Company. 

Key Findings

There are some generational difference in giving, mostly between the “Silent” and Great generations and Boomer and later generations. Giving differs mostly by factors other than generation – educational attainment, frequency of religious attendance and income. To the extent that these differ by generation, they explain the observed difference in giving by people of different generations. Motivations do vary by income, race, education, region of the country and religious attendance but vary little by generation after controls for these other factors. Millennial donors are most likely to be motivated by a desire to make the world a better place. They give consistent with their income, education level, frequency of religious attendance and marital status.

The full study is here.

 

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Tue, May 20 2008

Donor fatigue, skepticism and scale

Katya Andresen's avatar

Author, Robin Hood Marketing

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Filed under:   Fundraising essentials •

There is an interesting AP story that just went on the wire stating that numerous disasters in a row - like the Burmese cyclone and the Chinese earthquake - create fatigue and depress giving.  But there is more to that story:

1. It’s not simply the numbers of disasters, it’s the numbers themselves.  It’s well documented that people can’t grasp huge statistics or fathom masses of people in need.  We think in terms of individuals, and so the higher the scale, conversely, we feel the effect less immediately.  Says one non-giver:

“If you thought about at this very second the number of people who were suffering and dying, I could dedicate all my resources to that and yet it would be a drop in the bucket.”

2. Donors need to believe they can make a difference.  That’s not the case in Burma, where aid is being blocked by the miltary government.  It’s more the case in China, where we’ve seen much more giving.

3. Personal ties make a difference - especially in faraway countries, where people may feel less immediately connected.

Interestingly, the story notes the Giving USA Foundation says companies are pledging relief funds for China, perhaps because so many do business there. That last fact is important.

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Tue, May 20 2008

What Makes a Great Donation Page

Katya Andresen's avatar

Author, Robin Hood Marketing

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Filed under:   Fundraising essentials •

Donordigital has a fascinating new study you can access from their home page.  It reveals the results of lots of testing of various donation pages.  They learned:

·      Size DOES Matter: Bigger donate buttons helped convert more donors

·      Color Can Matter Too: Vividly colored donation buttons had varying levels of impact on donation page conversion

·      Less Is More: Removing unnecessary fields from personal information forms significantly increased conversion

·      Remind people (nicely) why they want to donate: Polite header copy yielded better conversion than a more forceful call-to-action

·      Test, Test, Test: Donation page testing can help improve YOUR organization’s online revenue!

Check it out.  It’s definitely worth a read if you’re raising money.

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Fri, May 16 2008

10 Things to Never Do with Your Website

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Author, Robin Hood Marketing

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Filed under:   Websites and web usability •

We had a great Nonprofit 911 call yesterday at Network for Good on how to redesign your website.  I’d like to share my favorite part of Michael Weiss of Imagistic’s presentation, which you can view in full here.

Mike’s Top 10 “Never Do This” List of website redesign

10. Never think this going to take 4 weeks
9. Never think you can do this alone
8. Never skip the information architecture phase
7. Never do this without an RFP
6. Never send the RFP to more than 5 firms
5. Never choose a vendor based on price alone
4. Never ask your IT Manager to manage this process this alone
3. Never start without a budget in mind
2. Never start this process without key stakeholders involved
1. Never hire your boss’s nephew

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Wed, May 14 2008

Jimmy Buffett is a marketing genius

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Author, Robin Hood Marketing

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Filed under:   Marketing essentials •

Photo_05

So I’m back from Mexico, where I went on vacation and hung out with Jimmy Buffett’s brand for several days.  We’ve grown tight, because we got a lot of quality time together.  Jimmy is in the airport, where you can buy Margaritaville t-shirts or the Perfect Margarita at the Jimmy Buffett restaurant.  (I chose the drink over the t-shirt.)  He’s singing about his lost shaker of salt on the TV screens in this photo I took in the restaurant in the airport.  He’s on the beach, where airborne Cessna’s pull advertisements for a bar called Margaritaville.  He’s in hotel bookstore, having apparently penned a bestseller about a pig (“Swine Not?”).  In short, he’s ubiquitous, prolific and possessing of serious marketing genius.

He has parlayed a hit song - and its drinking-on-the-beach kind of aesthetic - into a brand empire.

How do I get me some of that?

While sipping on my airport margarita awaiting my flight home, I snapped this photo and contemplated this question.  And here’s what I concluded are the three cornerstones of Jimmy’s brilliance.

1. Simplicity: He stands for one thing.  To me, that thing is life as a margarita - carefree, hammock-lying, drink-sipping relaxed happiness with a little salt around the edges.  From his music (Cheeseburgers in Paradise, anyone?) to his restaurants to his books.  Which brings me to his…

2. Consistency: It’s about the margaritas as life, folks.  Always.  Visit his website.  The name? Of course it’s margaritaville.com.  Note: excellent lead generation on the page with the email sign-up.  Nice touch.

3. Hopeful: The allure of something happy is strong.  Remember that when you tell stories.  If you go dire in the telling, remember that people want hope and happiness as the punchline.

I can hear you now.  You’re thinking, that girl had one too many margaritas in Mexico.  I’m saving the world, not slinging drinks.  Yes.  I know.  I am too.  But while I know it’s easier to sell margaritas or pigs than it is to promote the end of poverty, the principles remain the same.  Stand for something compelling and hopeful.  And stand for it over and over, over time.  It works.

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