Are You Giving Your Donors the Trump Treatment?
The Agitator | Fundraising, Direct Marketing and Advocacy Strategies for Nonprofits
by Roger Craver
7h ago
For whatever unfathomable reason my brain somehow connected coverage of Donald Trump’s bizarre eulogy at a supporter’s funeral  with some of the lousy behavior exhibited by some nonprofits in dealing with their donors. Let me explain. At a memorial service for  Rochelle “Silk” Richardson, half of the rabidly vocal  pro-Trump  commentary duo of Diamond & Silk (so rabid they were even banned by Fox Nation for spreading conspiracy theories about Covid-19)  Trump was first profusely praised by Lynette “Diamond” Hardaway for how he treated Diamond and Silk “just like th ..read more
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Should Your Fundraising Match a Chatbot?
The Agitator | Fundraising, Direct Marketing and Advocacy Strategies for Nonprofits
by Kevin Schulman, Founder, DonorVoice and DVCanvass
3d ago
Who doesn’t love a good chatbot?  Version 1.0 of chatbot world was a lot like comparing Siri to Chat-GPT, it’s Artificial Stupid vs. Artificial Intelligence. But, modern day bots are increasingly more GPT-like, which means they’re more human like, more conversational, more adaptive and more helpful. Consider today’s off the shelf chatbot options allow you to program rules of the road using a user-centered design: The brand, mission, values and goals of the organization User needs and goals The role/job of the chatbot Now swap ‘user’ for ‘donor’ in #2 and ‘chatbot’ for ‘communication’ i ..read more
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Love or Hate AI as Writing Tool?
The Agitator | Fundraising, Direct Marketing and Advocacy Strategies for Nonprofits
by Kevin Schulman, Founder, DonorVoice and DVCanvass
5d ago
In 1959 a german computer scientist developed an automated text generator using Kafka’s novel, The Castle for source material.   Harold Cohen, a painter, used mechanical devices attached to a computer to create versions of his original art, which he sold in galleries.  This was 60 plus years ago. Using computers as writing or creative aids isn’t new.  It’s just bigger, better and more democratized. In my view, there is no future that doesn’t require any and all writing apps (e.g. Word, Google Docs, all email marketing software) to, at minimum, create the first draft for you ..read more
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Are You Defining Engagement Downward?
The Agitator | Fundraising, Direct Marketing and Advocacy Strategies for Nonprofits
by Kevin Schulman, Founder, DonorVoice and DVCanvass
1w ago
Aah Engagement, a euphemism if there ever was.  An English word that once had meaning, twisted and contorted to its lowest common denominator of likes, clicks and superficial, mostly meaningless outcomes. Too many groups jump to the end and cobble together non-financial behaviors (click, like, attend, follow) and call it an “Engagement Score”. Facebook calls engagement data “irrelevant”, saying it has “no more chance of predicting actual business outcomes than a random guess.”  Engagement is not an outcome or behavior.  It’s a state of mind conceptualized as a splash of passion ..read more
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How Much Has Donor Trust in Charities Changed in the Past 5 Years?
The Agitator | Fundraising, Direct Marketing and Advocacy Strategies for Nonprofits
by Roger Craver
1w ago
In this age of “fake news”, “alternative facts” “hyper partisanship” and what seems to be a general erosion of trust why should we even care?  And if we care what can we fundraisers do about it?  Of course, every fundraiser should care because trust is the lynchpin of a solid and sustainable relationship with a donor.  And because there are ways to measure trust, taking steps increase the level of trust and by doing so  increase donor value and an organization’s net income. We’ve covered the issue of trust and challenged some myths surrounding it in our posts The Importance ..read more
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Does Your Job Security Match that of a Roman Emperor?
The Agitator | Fundraising, Direct Marketing and Advocacy Strategies for Nonprofits
by Kevin Schulman, Founder, DonorVoice and DVCanvass
1w ago
Being a Roman Emperor came with certain upside – power, money, luxury, debauchery (if into that sort of thing)… With that upside is a high likelihood of suffering a violent death.  Fundraising chieftains or those brought in to deliver a new world order won’t be publicly executed but their survival rate likely mirrors that of a Roman Emperor. It’s the bathtub curve.  This wonky model shows the “time-to-failure” – violent death for Roman Emperor or quitting/fired in our world. The overall odds of survival of a Roman emperor were akin to playing Russian roulette with a six-chambered re ..read more
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My High Openness Got In the Way of Your Social Proof Nudge
The Agitator | Fundraising, Direct Marketing and Advocacy Strategies for Nonprofits
by Kevin Schulman, Founder, DonorVoice and DVCanvass
1w ago
One (tiny) facet of behavioral science is nudges or the tendencies of humans to be influenced by certain types of information or presentation. This is where Cialdini’s six principles of persuasion fit in. Authority: People are more likely to be swayed by those perceived as expert or authorities on a subject. Consensus (and it’s Social Proof cousin): People are more likely to agree to something if they see that others are doing it too. This is Reciprocity: People are more likely to agree to something if they feel like they owe something in return. For example, if you are trying to fundrai ..read more
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Remember When?
The Agitator | Fundraising, Direct Marketing and Advocacy Strategies for Nonprofits
by Roger Craver
1w ago
I remember when people were in awe of email.  They loved it. Until they didn’t. The convenience –the ability to communicate directly and personally in writing regardless of time zones and free of telephone buzzy signals or answering machines and fax machines—was astounding. Unfortunately, that early awe of convenience and effectiveness has now morphed into a mélange of clutter and frustration as inboxes are overwhelmed and the delete key serves as a digital machete cutting our way through the daily jungle of digital undergrowth. From unethical list brokers, to dishonest spammers and grift ..read more
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Fundraising And Dating
The Agitator | Fundraising, Direct Marketing and Advocacy Strategies for Nonprofits
by Kevin Schulman, Founder, DonorVoice and DVCanvass
1w ago
Badoo is a dating app with almost half a billion registered users worldwide and 300,000 new, daily sign ups.  But the dating app biz is  a crowded space with low barriers to trying other dating apps, low barriers to exit and  high promiscuity (had to, sorry). So, customer acquisition is only as good as their retention.  And retention is an outcome, not a cause.  The cause of retention is usage. And the drivers of usage – i.e. engagement – is what they obsess over.   One might imagine more usage is better.  This is a pretty standard engagement refrain in ..read more
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Do You Use Personalized Matching In Your Fundraising?
The Agitator | Fundraising, Direct Marketing and Advocacy Strategies for Nonprofits
by Kevin Schulman, Founder, DonorVoice and DVCanvass
1w ago
Did either or both of these test ads beat the control?  No peeking. Neither test beat the control.  Or at least that’s the case if you assume everyone is the same and do a random nth test, which is 99% of all tests. How about this one, did either or both beat the control?  Go ahead and peek if you like… It was a bit of trick question since the ads only won when matched with the person they were designed for.  This experiment developed “Test 1” to match up with more extroverted people.  “Test 2” was tailored to match up better with introverted people. If you mix intro ..read more
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