Fri, February 16 2007

What are you doing for your uber-activists?

Katya Andresen's avatar

Author, Robin Hood Marketing

Filed under:   Fundraising essentials •

One of my many faults is I tend to spend a lot of time thinking about what I haven’t done perfectly.  I think I’m in good company with this problem.  Do you:

1.) Spend a lot of time worrying about the donors who haven’t given to you lately

2.) Spend a lot of time worrying about how to get all your donors to give more or

2.) Spend a lot of time worrying about how to cultivate the donors and activists who are hard-core supporters

I think a lot of us do too much of #1 and #2 and not enough of #3.  Or we just send #3 people the same stuff we send to everyone else.  I know I get really obsessed with #1. 

That’s missing an opportunity. The third group of people deserve a separate outreach strategy that is well-considered, that is very appreciative and that gives them new and exciting ways to spread the word for you.

Blogger Mark Rovner just posted about a seminar by Seth Godin earlier this week, which we both attended.  It was devoted to “flipping the funnel,” or getting your supporters to spread the word for you.  Mark has a good summary of the concept in the post I highlight here, and he reminded me of #3 in a conversation we had recently.

I think the concept is a great match for the people in group #3.  Here’s what we’re finding with our Six Degrees person-to-person fundraising efforts: about 5% of folks fall into this category.  They are uber-activists.  Lots of people support you, but only a small portion wants to - AND is really good at - spreading the word and fundraising.  Those folks deserve very special treatment, not just lots of fundraising appeals from you.

Do something special for your uber-activists.  Put uber-activists in the spotlightReward them.  Ask them what you can do to help them. 

In addition to saying this, by the way, I’m going to try to get better at it myself.  Just yesterday, we sent an email to people who created Six Degrees badges and gave them tips and resources for using their badges better.  The result?  Very high open rate and a big spike in donations.  Lesson learned.

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